Monday, August 20, 2007

That Frankenstein feeling

Today my creative partner and I had our first brainstorming session at the animation studio with whom we’re in serious discussions about a co-production. We’ve met a few times already. Firstly to present our idea for an animated feature and subsequently to discuss various business options. But today was something different altogether. Today we, just the creatives, met with the specific intention of hammering out the technical, visual specifications of the first couple of characters.

We started off with the usual small talk about developments in the industry, the price of tea in China and so on. The sizzling subtext of this pleasant chit-chat was unmistakably our shared vision and ambition for this hugely exciting project. The banter continued for a minute or two until we realized the guys we were bantering to were staring at something and grinning stupidly.

There it was in the middle of the table. Unexpectedly small but unmistakably accurate: An initial Plasticine “sketch” of our main character’s head. We both had to do a double take and the room went silent for a little while. Wow!

It might help to explain that this project has already been two years in the making. We have endless stacks of sketches of characters and locations. We’ve written episodes and songs for various TV formats and penned numerous feature story ideas. We’ve planned a website with all kinds of interactive goodies. But only now are we finally embarking on production after endless false starts and disappointments.

And for the first time, our beloved main character has made the quantum leap from two- to three dimensions.

No longer is he merely a cute cartoon character on a page. No longer is he just a potentially great comedic character. He’s now out there, given shape and form by these wonderful, talented people who’ve taken our designs and done with them what we hoped they would: Given them life!

Some people call this activity playing God. I’m not sure about that, but it’s certainly a peculiar feeling to see something you’ve held in your mind for a long time suddenly out there in the world staring back at you. It’s a bit like that creepy feeling you get whenever there’s a scene in a morgue and you can’t help but expect one of the bodies to suddenly sit up.

A monumental day for us and for our main character. Let’s hope he never turns on us.

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