"The Rescue" Short Film


The lighting and composition is fantastic.



Thank you :slight_smile:

Well its funny you should say that, thats definitely what I’m going to do on this movie, previous films to this I have really not thought about what I was doing (seriously) and this time round I’m making that conscious effort to really try harder to break up the shots so that I only do maybe 10% or 5% sweeping.

[size=2]Errans Alba was the first film of mine to have a huge (really huge) feedback campaign and I did get a lot of people saying (who have said in the past but I didn’t seem to listen) about how I have too many sweeps. The four films I’d directed before Alba really didn’t get much feedback but people were even saying back then in the small amount of feedback that the camera moved too much. I think what it was, was that I didn’t have much character animation and when you have no character animation you have nothing really to look at much…[size=2]so you end up moving the camera around a lot (Ruber) instead cause it looks really bad if you don’t, because there’s just nothing to look at (unless you have a lot of technical environment effects, which I sadly didn’t have). [size=2]That would have made a huge difference, wind blowing material about, dust being disturbed on the ground / objects.[/size][/size][/size]

This is very interesting how the debate went onto this. Its exactly right and I don’t think I had really thought about it until just a short while ago, but your absolutely right. It almost creates a third situation in fact it does create a third situation on how to get even more environment into your shots…but, one that is down to what you do with pullbacks and pullins.

Baring in mind that the camera would have to be very far back in 2.35:1 from the characters, if you used pullbacks and pullins correctly, you could have interesting ways of directing the film.

But there’s always going to be big differences I think with character close ups with 2.35:1 when compared to 4:3. I spose really there are always going to be differences full stop because they are different shapes…lol


Trying to get the maximum emphasis on the height of this thing now, and been doing a lot of tweaking with the camera and a secondary light, but keep switching it off, its switched off here. I think the secondary light interferes too much with the composition…but…that’s a problem because they are currently walking into darkness

…saying this, I’m sure there can be light a lot further along in a new shot…lol



The back wall being so bright leads the eye to it, as a “pool of light”. Maybe if you put a “barn door” on the light, so a slit of light falls onto the scene from that light but cuts a shadow on the back wall… gobos… Another thing I wondered, is shouldn’t there be a doorway out of the wall, leading to the walkway they are on? If they are moving forward, where did they come out of?

ONe thing on the pullbacks, they need enough time to move… if they are too fast, the feeling can be more artifical as the camera zooms back or in… so the distance of the move, and the pacing of the move, can mean the shot ends up being too long. If a comfortable pace for the move means a 25 second shot, it would probably being boring, and “not worth the payoff of viewer time invested.” Just something I found testing shot lengths… too fast and they are rushed, but the right speed, and the shot is too long! Too many “off shots” and people’s patience starts wearing thin…

Not so easy, this storytelling thing! : ) But the effort of finding a good solution is when the viewers just “get it”.

Do you do any test wireframes, cutting those quick renders into a video sequence to see how the timing plays out? A few scenes back to back? Sometimes the pressure to keep a shot is after it’s fully rendered, and many hours have been spent on it, it seems like a horrible waste of effort to not use it. But animatics, to test the timing help the process. That seems like even MORE work, getting in the way of doing the actual film, (like eating the vegtables before desert…grrr…) but when I’ve proceeded to final shots without checking them in context to others, i’ve begrudgingly had to make cuts later…

: )

Keep it up!



Thanks Joe,

Thank you for being so honest here in all of this too. I’m finding the 2 forums i’m posting all of this in to be most benifitial (havn’t actually done this with a project ever, ive done it a little bit…but never to the end of the finished animation) you are making a differance and will go into the special thanks.

What do you reckon on this new one?

exactly, though i have to say I like long shots, but I do understand this thing that you say about new information to the viewer…but at the same time it does get subjective, set two people down in a room and one person might say “woah, that was way too long” and the other person might say “I dont know what your talking about it was the perfect length”

BUT, at the same time as many have said (including you), that its good to break it up with long and short wich I do agree with I think.

This is a very good point…lol…This is my first animaton to have multiple characters on the screen (11) at once and yes you suddenly find yourself with a continuity problem, meaning exactly what you say, that this could go wrong or have to be re done if its not carefully planned out. which IS happening at the moment, i’ll be absolutly honest with you there on this…at the moment I have 260 frames of them all walking. but i need some more planing here to get this right. In the past i have always rendered and the gone straight onto the editing straight away little by little and re doing as I go.

At the moment I have a very controversial way of making my films, I dont storyboard, which some people really dont understand, I dont even have a script written down for this (which is somthing that was addressed over at animwatch, the guys over there did convince me that having a script is a good idea) theres a whole big debate on it over here


…but i have a basic idea of the story in my head, and I get ideas as I go along making it. its like one thing sparks off another…and… I love accidents.



That new shot seems to take less focus off the empty wall. Seeing that light and dark, a shot that would be cool, is an angle that shows the bright sidewall, and the silhouette of the figures passing in front. Even if it’s a “cheat” the angle could be plausible…

Storyboarding, some directors storyboard every shot, some very few or none, in live action anyway. Used to be for drawn animation, you NEEDED a breakdown sheet to time the lip sync, and for the Tim Burton, and Aardman, models and sets, timing and breakdown sheets too. It’s partly for all the work involved, wasted effort in animation is expensive. But for shorter, and experimental animation, there is the “forward” through the animation approach… hmmm… The reason I storyboard, after working through a short written outline, then more detailed writting, then to some thumbnail storyboards, is at ome point I SEE the shots, and play them through in my mind as a mental edit of the movie. Rewind, imagine the timing, etc. Then I find it helps to jot down in a sketch the result of that mental review! I can always change the shot, if I think of a way to improve it. It’s building on what’s come before, and refining. Like a sculpture or painting becoming more refined. If I don’t record these pockets of ideas, that seem so obvious, it’s strange,but later, they have faded or are gone! What?! I HAD the PERFECT shot… now how did that go again!!! So now it’s quciker to jot somethings down. I like index cards, because then I can shuffle the order of scenes, and add scenes with ease.

Just some tools to coordinate all the ideas as they flow through… Not a striaghtjacket for you, just a trail of breadcrumbs through the creative process!



Ah right, suddenly realises something just figured out what you think your seeing…its actually…that bright bit on the right is actually not a wall, but a big old visible light (sort of like smoke). This may be a bit of a unforeseen problem though if people think it’s a wall, I wonder how I can get round that problem.

That’s exactly right, Alfred Hitchcock was like that…he had it all exactly how he wanted in drawings a long time before he rolled cameras and some like Danny Boyle and David Lynch are very much not so keen on it…but this is OK…these are also again live action directors…but I don’t know, I feel that a film is a film…I have in the past (in 2003) storyboarded one of my seven short animation films (that was at college where they forced you to…lol) I honestly have a hell of a time, struggling and getting frustrated with storyboards, I like to be in Cinema 4D with the camera adjusting the lens and lights immediately…plus get a lot of joy in that…it might be that because I come from a photography background that that’s how I prefer to do it…not entirely sure. And I don’t think the industry would like to hear me say this. Maybe one day I’ll have to storyboard. Maybe though…It’s maybe that there IS storyboarding going on, but just that its going on in my head. that its more a sort of live storyboardiing, if that makes sence.

But as I keep saying, accidents are wonderful things, and a lot of my work has been a accident (happy accident)

Its OK though for all of us directors to be directing in a different way to each other, its just part of it all. There is the quote “whatever works” that I like to quote.


Possible new direction to take things. Certainly looking different.

Just experimenting with more barn doors (well cubes place in front of the light) right now as I post this one.


Spliting the light up a bit now.


whoa that looks much better now - dont bother with handrail it’ll only get in the way of the characters and theres something nice about the fact they could plummet off the edge… gives it a slightly unsafe vertigo feeling :slight_smile:


Thanks dude :slight_smile:

That’s exactly how I felt too,

A handrail however was done just after this render, just to see what it looked like, another idea was that I MIGHT be able to somehow put in parts of a handrail that have decayed, so we have some bits where theres a handrail and some bits where only the railings are left sticking up with no top part…with the idea being that characters can interact with it, I want to have a character nearly fall or even fall.


actually yeah - part worn handrail would be quite smart - bits kinda bent out of shape and the like would help break up some of the straight lines maybe too :slight_smile:


JANUARY [size=3]25TH 2008 STATEMENT[/size]


Ok, the project is still coming under occasional fire from some folks who are saying its too simalar to Craste (Jo Jo in the Stars). This leaves me not really knowing what to do…I spose I continue on with it…but it leaves you feeling a bit uncertain on how to proceed. One of my fears at this time I think is that people will label me as that guy who ripped off Craste. I’m somebody whos now been making films for ten years…this seventh animation I just really wanted to push out the boat with character animation…but simple character animation…I mean you think about these things for litrally years…“how the hell can I tell a really good story with full on character animation and get this thing finished on my own in a time that wont kill me?”


I’ve done some sound on the film now, though I’m a bit unsure about it. There’s a lot of technical problems too with the sound. I’ve done a new ident for myself too (did this a long time ago though) (which again I’m unsure of) I just want something a bit more exciting for the audience. Its something that I keep spending a awful lot of time on…somthing i’m sure Steve wont be happy about…lol…I should spend more time on the actual story I know.

I know that some guys on here wanted to see something though, so here’s a clip.


stage6 has been shut down so if your looking for the clip, bare with me, it’ll get put onto revver soon…





Now I wish I could tell you that something been done, and maybe I shouldn’t come on here and write a statement until something has been done…and then post…but…I’ve decided that I want to keep people informed on what happens, even if nothing has happened.

I really did burn myself out on it (which always seems to happen) I also wanted to just get away from it (again, something that always happens) I went off and did a whole load of Indiana Jones fan art instead for some reason. The only way I can explain this is that you just want change basically, after doing something for a month and half solidly your crying out for change.

I’m strongly wanting to get back to this project however, and well, I think I’ve exhausted the Indiana Jones stuff…I did ten individual pieces there on that, so I was very busy there and it helps to change…well, I mean it helps your mind, but it sure as hell loses time on your bigger projects, your mind in the long run though is more important.


hey up mate no probs I know exactly what you mean - I’ve been working on my mech arms for nearly 6 months in my spare time now and tbh it feels kinda pointless now and like its not worth finishing which is totally dumb considering how much time and effort I’ve put in and hows its beginning to look. I’m just shattered with working on it and the next personal project will be ALOT shorter methinks!!

I guess once its finished, animated and I’m doing the fun part of tweaking the edit, putting sound fx on and recolouring to see what I like best then I’ll be happy but most probably just relieved its bloody well finished lol!


oh man…exactly yes!
the thing is that you do start to (well I spose depending on the individual, but I feel movie directors are pretty insane people, I mean you have to be) go a bit weird and I for one start to get very negative thoughts…but you have to realise (and I’m sure you do) that the casual wondering viewer of your animation is seeing it completely fresh for the first time…but the poor sod of a director has looked at each shot ten squillion times…lol. We must be all nuts…in fact…we are all nuts…lol

I keep saying that to myself too “the next one will be shorter” lol…and I do try to do that, but my work seems to always extend out (in a natural way), that again gets down to how the director feels about length of the piece. It’s the toughest thing doing all of this with no money, but I for one feel that there’s a certain charm to the solo no budget project that cant be found anywhere else…almost like we belong in our own genre. The crazy one man project genre.


Dont give up!! :slight_smile:

You just gotta keep pluggin away at it. Throw an hour or so in there every morning or night and it’ll start coming together faster and faster. The best way to motivate yourself is to think about how awesome its gonna look when youre finally done.

It’s looking really good so far, and I liked the animation. Its always great when 3d gets put in motion.


Thanks Scott :slight_smile:

And thanks for the encouragement :slight_smile: …your right, your absolutely right, a little bit a day would indeed all add up to a fair bit a week or a month… and yes it’s a wonderful thing when a film is completed, I’ve worked my whole life towards somthing like this that has character animaton in it, and I would love to see it completed.


If anybody knows me, they’ll know that I find it very difficult / impossible to work the way in which they teach you to work at film school. By that I mean Treatment then Script then Storyboard then Animatic then Animation…I find that order to be next to impossible to sit in a chair and do, and for anyone who’s reading this and hasn’t made a film themselves, don’t be fooled into thinking that those teachings are concrete and that there’s no other way…there’s PLENTY of other ways, its ONE way of doing it, that works for some and doesn’t work for others.

If your sat there at home and are trying to make a film this way and are really struggling to do it (in the film school order)…your NOT alone.


Some people write a little scene then stop and go out and film it / animate it…then stop…then write something which is completely not related to the first scene and move onto creating that immediately. More ideas may then come to you to fill in the gap. How did this character end up here?..What happened in-between these very far apart scenes?

Some people think purely in images and have to get those images out their head straight away.

Some people find that by writing or even drawing a big old drawing of the end shot of the story first, you can then start to work backwards on how things ended up getting to that point. Writing the start of your story is not always the answer.

Some people write about what they’ve experienced in recent life, or across their entire life, that can be just about anything and can be very effective…though for some, far too personal a thing to do.

You can even go the Werner Herzog route and set out walking six hundred miles then write about what you saw and make it into a film…or even take your camera with you on that journey.


Ok, here we go again, this is a new scene that I suddenly started to work on / had been conjurred up in my mind for a while. It was time to create it in 3d, its a large hall leading to another room but its going to have a outside series of shots as he walks in.