Eon (Trailer) Entry: Wade White


looks like you’ve already put a lot of tought in this one, not bad at all. Maybe you’re telling just a tad too much about the story in the end tough, but this is only my humble opinion.




mitchelhunt - Thanks. I think the story (i.e. the novel itself) has that epic feel to it. Although, oddly enough, the music I’m going with is less of the orchestral kind which I associate with that sort of movie and more of a modern, upbeat, rock, etc, type of thing. Ah well :slight_smile:

foane - Good point. I’ve gone back and forth on how much to reveal, and I expect I’m not done yet wrestling with it. I decided against actually showing whether or not a war takes place because I believe that’s the turning point in the story, i.e. up to that point Patricia’s job is to see if there’s any way they can stop the war from happening. After the war takes place, her goal changes to finding an Earth where it simply doesn’t happen. So I didn’t show that because I figured it was too key to the plot and I dislike trailers that give it all away.

On the other hand, my reasons behind including the reference to the Stone being from the future and a possible war taking place were because those are all things that–in both the novel and the story as I would tell it in movie form–get revealed in what more or less constitutes the first act (certinly for a movie, and in the first 100 or so pages for the book, which is only the first fifth; plus it’s in the bulrb on the back cover :smiley: ). So anyway, that was the reasoning behind my choices, but I’ll definitely continue to think about it when I move on to the next step, the edited storyboards.

Thanks for the critique!


Just a little pre-vis on Axis City for one of my shots. I was having trouble with the perspective, so moved over to 3D for some assistance.

A comparison with the storyboard panel for this shot shows considerable change in design. The spoked wheeled concept was simply what formed in my head when I read the book. When I went back to reread the actual descriptions, though, I realized I was quite a bit off. Not that one has to be a slave to the novel, of course, but I kind of like the redesign and so will likely stick with it.

Done in LightWave 3D[8].


Another shot of the city, this time more from the angle as I picture the scene in my head. I’ve realized in the process of doing this little 3D mock-up that my idea for the shot isn’t going to work quite the way I wanted to. I wanted to have the V/STOL came flying in towards the city riding the singularity, but the dimensions of the city make it impossible to get the city in 3/4 view and still have the camera on the ship. If I go right to the ship, all I get is pretty much a head on view of the city, and the “propellers” at the back is about all you can see. I would have to break perspective in order to pull it off the way I want to, which is fine except I’m not entirely sure how to do that.


I tried various logos with star fields and whatnot, then decided to try the simple and (hopefully) elegant route. This (or some variation thereof) comes in as the second last panel in my storyboards.

I may try to animate the line shooting across from left to right and circling the “O” as it goes, but I only have two seconds allocated for it in the trailer and I’m not sure that’s enough time to have that sort of thing read correctly. But I’ll give it a try at some point and see. I may also go with a different font, though this one was my favourite so far.

Done in Photoshop 7.0. For the line glow I followed a tutorial by Ryan Wieber for making lightsabers glow which can be found at: http://www.theforce.net/fanfilms/postproduction/sabres/sabertutorials.asp


like your storyline! I am waiting for the deatiled concepts and storyboard!
keep on!



mark - thanks! I’m doodling around with some character design stuff, and I’ve started working on the edited storyboards. I put together an animatic based on the rough storyboards and quickly discovered that my timing is off on the front half. I may post it anyway once I figure out how. I’m hoping to post the edited boards by the end of the month, but we’ll see as I also have an article to write for November. :slight_smile:


Trailer vs. Teaser, good point! Considering the size of the book. I guess to make a trailer we’ll need a few jump cuts like your shuttle to library cut. I also am considering some live video of real people. Great! You’ve got a course already!


userBrian - Glad it was helpful. That’s just my take on it, of course, and I’m sure the lines blur between the two to some extent. But I personally always considered a teaser just something to wet the appetite with no real laying out of what the story involves (like the initial teaser for The Da Vinci Code or T2 and maybe even Clerks 2, although that one’s pushing it for me). Having said that, on another level categories probably don’t mean a whole lot since whenever someone draws a line in the sand, someone else will inevitably cross it. And most “teasers” I see nowadays look more and more like what I described as a trailer anyway, so what do I know? :slight_smile:

Yeah, there’ll be a number of jump cuts, especially throughout the second half. The first half is mostly slow fade in an out between text an shots of the shuttle, but then it takes off. I actually sat dwon and “studied” a number of trailers and realized I could probably have twice as many shots in the second half and still be fine, and also that the text could probably flash by a little quicker. It means a lot more drawing (since every frame is yet another background to do), so I’m wary of the time frame, but in terms of pacing and how trailers seem to be put together these days I think a person can get away with a lot more speed and more shots than I initially had thought.


I sketched out some concepts for the second chamber library for one of my shots. Not sure I’m entirely happy with the result, though. I think it needs a more futuristic take.


OK…i admit…you surprised me!:eek:
the storyboard is very clear…and the scene cuts are cool and tell the story as it is! the eon logo is one of the simpler and cool that i have seen all around. I admit…you seem to be about to do a very very nice job…or maybe…G R E A T !
I will be back for sure to see more stuff…and…did you plan to post an animatic?


Thanks for the encouragement, Oz! I only hope I can pull it all together (in the time provided) the way it looks in my head. I mean, I know I’ll have something to submit, but getting all the animation done will be a real test. I wasn’t joking when in my first post I said I’d never attempted anything like this before. I have no formal background or training (or work experience even other than my own playing around with software) in any of this stuff, so I’m definitely working on a huge learning curve here, but still enjoying every minute of it.

I’ve done up an animatic with music and the rough storyboards, but I’ve been trying to post the requirements for the challenge more or less in order (since they follow a logical progression). So I’m doing up the edited boards now (I’m aiming to post those next week), then I’ll post the scratch track as an animatic to those boards and the music and SFX stuff will follow after. I imagine once I get the edited boards done the next couple of steps will come in fairly short order.


I agree timing is a problem especially if you want to fit as much in as you do. Myself I am planning more of a teaser trailer.

Personally I am finding I very interesting and useful seeing what you’ve chosen to include and what not to.

The audio will be a big challenge I think!!! :slight_smile:

Best of luck


fendell - thanks! I spent a lot of time (and still am) thinking about what to include and what threads of the story to show in the trailer. For example, I left out any references to relationships in general (although in a movie version I would use the Patricia/Paul relationship as a central motivating factor for her actions), and I don’t have any mention of the Jarts (although I’m still at this point considering popping in a quick shot or two of them; unfortunately they take a back seat for most of the novel, so I’m not entirely sure how one would go about bringing them into the mix of a movie without chewing up a lot of time for the rest of the story), or even of the various chambers and the singularity, etc, which are all big parts of the story. My decision was to pick out one central aspect–even if it didn’t cover everything from what might go into a movie–and go mainly with that. I think (hopes) it results in a clearer statement being made.

As for the timing, I’m satisfied now with my second rough test animatic here at home that it will all fit in well enough and that there’s even enough room for some more shots in the second half. A quick study of just about any recent action or scifi trailer shows that many shots and sequences roll by often in a matter of fractions of a second (depending on the intended pacing, of course). I’ll hopefully be able to post the edited animatics by the end of next week and then people can give their input on how well it works.

The audio will indeed be a challenge, but for my part mostly just in tems of simply getting it recorded. :slight_smile: I’m going to record a scratch track next week on what little equipment I have here at home (and it isn’t much, let me tell you), but hope to maybe rent a decent mike or something for the final.


You could also post “help wanted” in audio & music forums, where you’ll find 16 billion music/audio guys hoping to get into a cool project.

Good luck! :thumbsup:


Yeah, I thought about that possibility as well. :slight_smile: I’m going to give it a try solo for now just because I really want the experience of doing it that way (it was one of the drawing cards for me to enter the challenge), but if I haven’t found a decent audio solution by the middle of next month I may indeed have to look for help. But I can at least put together the scratch track for now.


PANEL 1: Okay, so back to the beginning again, eh? On this first panel I kept the black screen but cut the time down to just one second. Hopefully that’s enough, and it’ll have to do anyway since I realized very quickly in putting this together that time is of the essence in this little endeavour (90 seconds goes by very quickly). In fact, timing was the element that received the biggest overhaul in the first thirty seconds of the trailer. In the rough boards I had the lines of text held for four seconds each and the visuals for only two. Here I’ve reversed that and monkeyed around a bit with some of the panels and worked it out to three for the text and four for the visuals basically across the board. After studying a number of recent trailers I determined that text can be read faster than I had previously thought and that a more balanced rhythm between the visuals and the text would make things flow a lot smoother (the rough animatic was too jumpy).

PANEL 2: Same as previous. I’ve liked this opening text ever since I first wrote it down, and we all know what they say about when it ain’t broke …

PANEL 3: I decided to bump the shot of the shuttle together with the Earth up to the first visual here. My reasoning was twofold. One, I think it establishes better the whole setting for the movie (and by extension, of course, the trailer). It’s something familiar for the viewer to hang their hat on: a space shuttle, not unlike what exists currently, passing by in high orbit over the Earth. The second reason I’ll cover in my discussion of Panel 5 which follows.


PANEL 4: Same as previous.

PANEL 5: More or less the same, but I think it works better now in conjunction with the shot of the shuttle over the Earth in Panel 3. The reason being, with the Earth now firmly established as sitting “below” the shuttle, it is more readily apparent that the shadow that begins to loom over the shuttle cannot be that of the planet itself (that may have been obvious before, but I think it makes it concrete now with this order and also provides for better overall continuity between panels 3, 5, 7, and 10 as a sort of zoom in closer and closer to the shuttle).

PANEL 6/7: I changed the wording for this one (the previous “No one knew how or why” sounded just plain clunky to me). I’m still not entirely satisfied with what’s here, although it is getting closer. The overall rhythm of the opening third of the trailer feels right to me, and so I know something needs to go here with more or less this flavour to it (i.e. some comment about the Stone itself). I’m just not one hundred percent convinced this text is quite it–yet. But it’s definitely much closer.


PANEL 7: See discussion of Panel 6.

PANEL 8: Almost the same, except I dropped the Earth (which is now established in Panel 3) out of the picture. This concentrates the viewer’s focus squarely on the shuttle and the Stone. And again, I think the overall sequence works better since it creates a sort of jump pan and zoom in towards the shuttle now throughout the opening four visual panels (3, 5, 7, and 10).

PANEL 9: I changed the wording here a bit (from “And one woman was chosen”) making it simpler though the sentiment remains pretty much the same. The text here begins the link between the overall setting already established (21st Century, Earth’s orbit, “the Stone”, etc) and narrows the focus to Patricia, who is the protagonist and whose individual story will provide the main thrust of the remaining portion of the trailer. Other options might have been to make the impending war the main focus, or the chambers of the Stone, etc. I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong choice in that regard, but whatever one’s choice I figure it should act as the guide for everything else. I went with Patricia’s story first, and then touch on the other stuff as it relates to her.


PANEL 10: Basically same as before, although I’m thinking now that for the sake of continuity in the “zoom” I may need to change the angle of the shot. At the very least, perhaps have it straight on to the window. I’m not sure how I can creep up from behind (which is how the zoom was progressing in the previous three shots) and still get a shot of Patricia’s face with her facing forward.

PANEL 11: I like the text here much better than the previous “To discover the truth.” That maybe had a certain ring to it, but I find this much more powerful. “Truth” is such an ambiguous concept, but a secret that needs unlocking is much more gripping and visual image since it implies a more concrete action (to me anyway). And it’s true enough to the story since that’s more or less what Patricia is brought on board to do, namely, solve the puzzle of the Stone. I also bumped the dialogue from the subsequent panel to here as part of my redistribution of the timing. Plus I thought it was cool to have the dialogue come in on a predominantly black screen first (and one must never underestimate the “Cool” factor).

PANEL 12: Since I cut one of the two images here, I wasn’t entirely sure what to show. The dialogue has them docking, but I haven’t actually established that there’s a dock yet. So I either need a shot of the dock from far enough back to give the lay of the land, or a really close in shot of them coming to a stop and hope the viewer connects the docking bay with the Stone. After a coin toss, I decided to go with the ship coming to a full stop. But I reserve the right to go for best two out of three. Also, I reversed the shot and threw the Earth back in for good measure thus re-orienting the viewer as to overall setting and location and hopefully making it clear that the shuttle has just entered the Stone. I hope the reversal works in terms of the jump zooms, but it’s possible it may need another quick shot in there to make that transition a bit smoother.