Wade White is entered in the “Eon Challenge” update: View Challenge Page
Well, I just finished the novel yesterday and quite enjoyed it. I’ve never tried something like this before – the challenge, I mean, not reading – but I’m determined to at least finish and submit something. I’m planning on doing a 2D limited animation style trailer using primarily Mirage.
I haven’t done up the rough storyboard yet, but I have been roughing out the beats for a screenplay as I would write it for this novel. In my thinking, the difference between a teaser and a trailer is that while a teaser is simply aimed at grabbing the viewer’s attention and piquing curiosity, a trailer should actually tell a little story, like a min-version of the movie but without giving everything away (because what would be the point of that, right?).
Thus to tell a mini version, I figure I need to have at least a rough idea of the full version as I would write it. What would I leave out (from the story as told in the novel)? What would I include? What one main thread would connect the whole thing together? What characters would appear and which ones wouldn’t? Which events need to happen on screen, and which would be peripheral to the story in movie version? Because I can only include in the trailer what I would include in the movie, which obviously, given the size of the book, isn’t going to be everything.
Maybe this seems like overthinking it (since we’re not actually making THE trailer for a movie based on the novel), but it’s the approach that makes the most sense for me individually. I tend to think long on the front end, then dive in and do it once I have a solid plan in place.
Although it’s not strictly speaking part of the requirements, I may post the story beats here once they’re finished. I’ve already outlined the novel (took about four pages of paper on both sides). By kind of mapping out the whole novel in front of me like that, it makes it much easier to decide what needs to stay and what can go.
At this point, I know the main thrust of the story as I would tell it would focus on Patricia (perhaps obviously) and her desire to keep/change the future. Following the Syd Field method of screenplay writing, the first plot point near the end of Act 1 would be her discovery of the impending war, the midpoint would be the nuclear holocaust, and the second plot point near the end of Act 2 would probably be the revelation of the Jart threat (not entirely sure on that one yet, although that is more or less where it comes in the novel). Of course, in a trailer that will likely all get jumbled around a bit.
Anyway, like I said, I’ve never tried anything like this before, so what do I know?
Should be fun though.
Oh, and I did put together a rough music track this evening using ACID. I’m presuming composing with loop tracks is okay? I guess perhaps I should check the FAQ on that score (no pun intended).
Best of luck to everyone!
Just a quick sketch done in Photoshop tonight. Thought I might as well start tossing the images in my head down on paper while they’re fresh.
mmmh! nice sketch!!!
So, I finished the rough beats for my trailer. After putting together a beat sheet for the movie as I would write it, I used that to in turn develop my outline. I’ve already done up a preliminary sound track, so I timed it to the music and used that to more or less determine how many “beats” I have to work with. I’ll post the timing with the storyboards (which I’ll start hopefully tonight).
My idea is to more or less focus on Patricia throughout the trailer and use her story to hint at the wider story of the stone. So I pick out quotes either from her or in relation to her and sprinkled those throughout. I’m contemplating intermixing some written text in the first four or five beats to explain the Stone more explicitly. It starts out slow and dreamy, then the tempo picks up at beat six and builds until just before the end. I may also switch 13 and 14 (I originally had them reversed to what they are now).
[numbers following are page numbers]
[font=Times New Roman]1. [/font]Image: shuttle approaching the Stone
Patricia: “I’ll be gone for a couple of months, maybe longer.” (15)
[font=Times New Roman]2. [/font]Image: Patricia seeing the second chamber for the first time
Hoffman: “You’re uncertain about Patricia.” (124)
[font=Times New Roman]3. [/font]Image: Patricia standing inside the library
Lanier: “She’s young.” (124)
[font=Times New Roman]4. [/font]Image: Patricia watching the sixth chamber machinery
Olmy: “She has the Mystery.” (426)
[font=Times New Roman]5. [/font]Image: Patricia disembarking from shuttle (27)
Pilot: “Promise us, someday you’ll tell us what the hell happened up here?”
Patricia: “Why do you think they’ll tell me?”
Pilot: “Don’t you know? You’re here to save them.”
[font=Times New Roman]6. [/font]Image: date of 2110 inside the cover of the library book
Patricia: “The Stone is from our future.” (54)
Lanier: “From a future.” (54 - actually from Patricia on page 100)
[font=Times New Roman]7. [/font]Image: missiles launching / nuclear blast (?)
Patricia: “There’s going to be a catastrophe in less than a month.” (100)
[font=Times New Roman]8. [/font]Image: soldiers assembling
Patricia: “What are they doing about it?” (108)
Lanier: “All that they can.”
[font=Times New Roman]9. Patricia: “You want me to stay here while all the people I love die in a war I [/font]
already know about?” (109)
[font=Times New Roman]10. [/font]Image: the tuberider zips along the plasma tube
Olmy: “She believes she can open a gate to an alternate universe.” (401)
[font=Times New Roman]11. [/font]Image: Patricia with Olmy
Carrolson: “She’s missing.” (246)
[font=Times New Roman]12. [/font]Image: Lanier and Hoffman
Lanier: “I’m not going to just give up on her.” (247)
[font=Times New Roman]13. Patricia opening her gate (467-471; or alternatively 446 ff.)[/font]
[font=Times New Roman]14. [/font]Mirsky in the library with fists raised
Mirsky: “Where are you?” (369)
[font=Times New Roman]15. EON logo[/font]
[font=Times New Roman]16. Text: Coming soon to theatres everywhere.[/font]
[font=Times New Roman]17. Credits[/font]
Does anyone know if the credits for the trailer itself (i.e. mentioning voice-over people, etc) counts in the 90 sec. time limit? Another question for the FAQ I guess.
mmmh…the time limit is a problem for me too…90 sec. are not enought for my first trailer version.
Anyway…very interesting trailer…i mean…very focused on the book.A trailer that use the book text to explain a lot…i like it…Tell me,did you plan to use real actors for your scenes?
Heh. Well, if by “real actors” you mean actual actors (i.e. trained actors), then no. I don’t have those sorts of contacts unfortunately (actually, I’m wrong; as I sat here typing that, I just realized I know at least two people who have studied acting, so I’ll put a hold on that thought while I make a few calls ).
But in any case I do intend to use distinct voices for each of the characters that has any dialogue in the trailer. I may do one of the voices myself, if push comes to shove. My wife could do Patricia or Carrolson. I have a few other friends who would be willing to pitch in. And my brother-in-law lived in Ukraine for several years and can pull off a convincing Russian accent for Mirsky. My biggest problem is setup. I don’t really have a proper audio setup for recording (well, I have a five dollar microphone hooked up to my system, but that’s hardly a “setup”).
So audio right now is probably my biggest hurdle.
This is actually my second set of rough storyboards. I did up the first set based on the beats I wrote out and posted. Then as I was doing up the boards I realized I needed a better introduction. So I did that up and stuck in on front, but then realized I had to way too much material. So with some cropping and rearranging I came up with the following.
There are still a few places where I know I’ll make some changes in the edited version. But it’s good enough for rough, and a fair reflection of how I envisioned the trailer overall.
As is apparent from a comparison between the beats and the actual boards, I put in some text to better introduce the story and contextualize Patricia. She’s still very much the focus, of course. But I think this sets it up better and makes things less ambiguous overall (which my original beats were slightly, I think).
This is getting to the end of the first third of the trailer. Up to this point the pace is fairly slow. The music is kind of low and dreamy. But it picks up slightly around the 30 second mark, and then another 16 seconds later really changes tempo.
This is also getting to the place in terms of the boards where my new intro finishes up and the original beats come back into play more, although I did a little editing on those as well in terms of both content and order, just to make the “story” flow better.
I had this little conversation with the pilot in the original beats. I think it provides a nice segue between the slower intro and the rest of the trailer that attempts to hint at Patricia’s center role in all this. I changed the wording from the book just a bit, one to make it easier to say, and two to pique viewer interset (i.e. having the pilot say “save them” is easier than “save their collective hides,” but if I put in “save the world” it gives away too much (in terms of the movie at that point) because most people don’t realize the world is in any immediate danger – well, other than the kiind it’s always in).
Anyway, I did flesh it out a bit better with a few more boards, but I’m pretty sure this sequence is a keeper.
The end of the seque, and the change in tempo big time with Panel 17 into the second half of the trailer. Things really start moving along here. In fact, it may be that there’s too much crammed in there (in terms of dialogue anyway). I’ll have to wait until I do the scratch track to see if it will all fit in nicely. I can always crop here and there a little if need be.
I’m not as happy with the first two boards here (I don’t mean drawing-wise, although I admit my boards take very seriously the designation “rough”).
What I mean to say is, I’m not as happy with the sequence. When I did some rearranging of panels, I need a couply to drop in here for pacing, and these were the two left over, but I’m not quite satisfied. So in a salute to laziness, I stuck them in for now, rather than draw up yet more boards. But I suspect they will change in the edited version.
Here, on the other hand, I can well imagine another board or two squeezing in someplace. I envision a fairly fast pace at this point, and I want to convey that visually. The two panels with soldiers running by help in that regard (I think), but there could maybe be one or two more.
Panel 26 here was one of the first pictures that popped into my head as a possible scene for the trailer when I was reading through the book. And it has remained more or less untouched or unaltered from that point until I did the boards. My sketch here doesn’t do it justice, but it does convey the idea. I just hope I can pull it off the way I want to in the final version.
I like the panel of Mirsky and Vielgorsky too. Not sure why. Just do.
From this point on things are fairly locked in. I like the end sequence, and this came to me quite early on as well.
And that, as they say, is that. Again, I like the scene of Mirsky here. The tempo hits its hard point with that panel, then shuts right down to just a bass for the last two.
The final two panels zing by really fast, which I’m not happy about, but I didn’t want to give up any more space than that.
your plan sounds great. it looks like a real epic!