Monday, July 13, 2009


Yesterday I finally sat down with pen to paper and wrote the story. I don't know why it was taking me so long to get what was in my head out. But, I will say this- it really does feel better. It's certainly not perfect and I have a hunch it's too long. If anyone feels like they have some free time, please let me know so that I can send you a copy. It would be awesome to have a reader. I know I am posting a lot of things here, but I feel funny putting up my entire document online.

The basic idea is this:

Mica and his mother live in their digitally enhanced "pod" life. They are hooked in, logged on, socially networking and computing- so much to the extent that they are barely communicating with each other in the physical realm. One day Mica notices that his mother's eye is frantically twitching and slowly before his eyes-his mother begins to morph into a robotic form. In a state of panic Mica runs to his computer and searches for a remedy to the situation- but nothing came up. He runs all over his house and despite the fact that his long lost father's room is forbidden, he goes in. His father's room is a relic from time's past. There are books and smelling salts and things that Mica had never seen. Mica rummaged through various books trying to find something that could help his mother- with not much luck. Just as he is about to leave the room, he lifts up a small book which in turn breaks open a bookcase to reveal a tunnel leading to a secret garden. Mica and his mother enter the tunnel. In the garden they need to find a seed to plant in order give the mother juice from the nectar of its fruit. This leads them on a quest to find the seed and in turn themselves.

As you might have noted- I also changed the gender of the protagonist. This decision was made for a few reasons, including the fact that I have now made contact with a young boy who is going to model for me and help me out along the way. (I am actually really very EXCITED about this fact)

Deliverables Progress:
  • story- draft 1 complete
  • script
  • storyboard
  • character sheets
  • paper


Tarynne said...

The ending seems forced, and like you're trying to touch on too many themes. If this is a piece about degradation of communication because of decreased human to human contact in an increasingly digital reliant world, then keep it to that and don't try to cram the environmental stuff in there because it's trendy right now. Focus on one issue, and figure out everything you want to say about it, and then narrow that list.

Jess said...

Thanks for the feedback. This piece is about the lack of authentic communication due to the overwhelming about of accessible kinds of digital communication, however its thesis is that in order to appreciate real connections you need to have real experiences, which is why the natural world component is important to my story.

baldwinc said...

The theme is very intriguing and complex. I don't think you should change the main idea at all. Since you are still throwing out ideas and developing the story line, it may be too early to narrow it down, but I agree with the other comment that there is a lot all at once. The story will still be exciting even with some elements taken out. You may have an idea of how it will all develop. For example, the part about the father's room left me hanging a little - wanted to know more about it, which is great if you come back to it later but without revisiting this, it seems like an isolated object in the story.

The drawings are great. I like the look you are going for. The faces display a sense of childlike innocence and a little bit of bewilderment. They really seem to fit with your idea. I like the faces that don't have the dark circles around their eyes better than those that do. Too me, the dark makes them look sort of lost and sad where as the others, although they seem a little bit confused, still look open to possibility which ends up being more engaging.

I hope that helps. I will keep checking for updates.

Gillian Fisher said...

Maybe make sure you're not too preachy with regard to black & white internet=bad, old stuff=good. Otherwise your story might end up being another Luddite, down-with-the-new, up-with-the-old, resistant-to-change tirade of some sort. Maybe try to add some ambiguously good traits to the internets and some subtle bad stuff to dad's room or something like that...

Tall Dave said...

I like the direction this is taking a lot, Jess! Reminds me a bit of Coraline, but more complex...

The Weekend Warrior said...

Jess I really like your idea. Not too often do animators approach youth with a sense of disconnect. It's refreshing to see a child, at least metaphorically, experience the isolation that we encounter as machines and mass communication become more prominent. And at least for people our age, youth is associated with the more tangible, pre-computer era.

I'm excited to see what kind of imagery you conjure up. Keep up the good work!

Jess said...

Thanks guys, all of you have really good feedback. SOoo..
1. Yes, I am a little anxious about the fact that it comes off a bit as computers are bad and nature is good. I was thinking that maybe some of his computer skills could help him in the outdoors, like navigation or something.

2. I am trying to avoid the obvious Alice in Wonderlandiness of this.

3. I just realized that little to none of my favorite animations have boy protagonists. crazy. Do we think that there is a proven study out that female protagonists are better?