Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Lunchbox of Notre Dame

I really liked Disney's adaptation of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," but I can't believe it ever got green-lighted in the first place. The original story is about as appropriate for kids as "The Scarlet Letter*," and even the Disneyfied version was pretty darn dark. You wouldn't know that from the advertising, though. Check out these 1990's ads selling "Hunchback" burger toys and sweets to unsuspecting kids.

The third Burger King commercial (video #3) is the coolest, with Burger King transforming into some kind of crazy Renaissance Faire, complete with a giant Gothic cathedral belltower rising up from the building!

*Disney should totally make an animated musical comedy adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter," though.

Hunchback in 4 Minutes-No Narration

This is my video as it stands now. I'm still lagging behind, because all the drawing sequences are supposed to have audio commentary and right now they don't. The only sound is the music (and a sound effect) at the beginning, and another sound effect at the end (which plays twice...I need to fix that). When I add narration, the movie will be VERY different. It'll make more sense, and hopefully it'll be funnier. I would like people's opinions on the drawings alone, without sound, just so I can see how effectively they communicate a complex story (my guess is not very well).

Monday, November 28, 2011



Thankfully my video is SUPPOSED to look frantic and rushed. I just need to get my butt in gear and finish the darn thing NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW.

Here's a preview. It includes a title sequence and a "THE END" image, with appropriate music and cheesy sound effects. In between is a a bunch of sped-up silent footage of me illustrating "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in silly, simple cartoon drawings. Narration will be added later. I plan to speak as quickly and clearly as possible, using simple, casual language. I'm not going to speed up my voice like a chipmunk. That's cheesy and distracting, and it'll be hard to understand.

The narration will probably be among the last things I add, because I want to determine exactly how long the video clips are before I record narration for them. Originally I was working on a script, but it would probably be better if I just improvised the narration, just like I'm improvising the drawings. People like spontaneity. So now the script is just for the purposes of helping me remember the story.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is a quick video sample, meant to convey the idea I described in my last journal. It's just a little title sequence, then a short introduction to the character of Quasimodo while I doodle him on camera. Halfway through drawing Quasi, my camera batteries died, so it ends abruptly. I didn't heed the lesson of always keeping your camera charged and ready.

I'm still using a little rinky-dink point-and-shoot digital camera (not a digital video camera). Even though I planned to use voice narration in the final project, I didn't even try to record my voice for this sample because that camera's microphone is really bad. Plus, I wanted to experiment with using subtitles instead of (or in addition to) voiceover narration. I still want to use voiceovers if that's possible, because with voice, you can convey a lot more information a lot more quickly.

For the final video, I hope to recruit my friend as a camerawoman, and have her use her Mom's digital video camera to record better image and sound.

The title sequence builds up the video so much with its dramatic music, that I feel it's anticlimactic once I actually cut to the drawing part. That was sort of intentional, but it's less funny than I had hoped.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Video Direction: Hunchback of Notre Dame in 4 minutes

I have another video idea that's been brewing in my head. It's a takeoff on the "camera recording me draw" idea, but I'm drawing a series of pictures to tell a story. Specifically, The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. I've been obsessed with that story (all versions) since September. The idea of condensing it into 4 minutes or less is an amusing challenge, since the novel is really long and fairly complex.
The bulk of the footage (as I'm imagining it) would be sped-up footage of me drawing simple cartoon illustrations of important characters and events in the story. Once each drawing is done, the camera would linger a bit on it so you could get a good look before moving onto the next picture. To break things up, these drawings might be juxtaposed with other relevant or comical images, like screenshots (or footage) from various "Hunchback" movies, or photos of Notre Dame itself.
The soundtrack would mainly be my voice, doing a running commentary as I tell the story in a highly simplified, dry, somewhat irreverent way. I'm not going to CHANGE the story, but neither the illustrations nor the narration should convey that I'm taking it very seriously. The original "Hunchback" is such a moody, dark, brooding story that it's way more fun if you DON'T take it seriously. I might add instrumental music from Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (or other sources) for dramatic or comedic effect. The music would either play softly behind my narration, or I'd use it for little musical interludes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dear Arthur

It looks like I'm playing on the computer but I'm not. I'm taking notes on what you say by typing them into Textedit. It helps me pay attention and remember what you say.