Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rough Pizza!

These are just a few of my favorite stills from the film. I really love developing these characters and then breathing life into them. It makes me feel like a... God or something, of my own little world.

So I have a draft of Pizza! done, but unfortunately I think the story is not coming off the way I'd like. Too many people have told me they don't get it and so I'm trying to restructure or something to make the final beat more obvious. Maybe I'll use this as a survey. Please, comment to tell me whether or not you understand it! Putting together a completely original claymation in about 3 weeks wasn't easy, and I want to continue working to make it the best it can be. Thanks so much for the feedback!

Here's the link to my vimeo page, where the video is posted. It's only 3 mintues!


  1. I love the look of claymation - it's always really charming. I liked the abruptness of the ending as well. Oh and the shot after the cat eats the pizza, please leave that in, it looks hilarious.

    (spoiler alert)
    The only thing I was confused about was what he was doing there in the first place. Was there a hoard of diamonds in the house? Does he want to delude himself into thinking he's living a life of luxury?

    I suppose leaving it vague so that the audience can draw their own conclusions isn't a bad thing. Just writing what I thought.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, nice film

  3. A few things, and thanks for being open to feedback! I found your video via @wackychan.

    1. The second phone call doesn't make any sense. I watched the bit twice, and even when I knew the punchline it still doesn't make any sense. I'd get rid of it, or find some other suspense heightening task.

    2. The reversal is fine (Is he afraid of a break-in? NO, he is the break-in!), even predictable. The first thing I thought when I saw the news segment, and him changing the channel before hearing the witness descriptions were complete was that he's the intruder. He already knows what he looks like. I don't think you need to do more to make it obvious. I just think the steps of your suspense could be cleaner and more direct.

    3. The timing on the punchline (He's the intruder!) is great! In fact, I probably would get rid of the "Oh crap!" line because it telegraphs the ending. A simple gasp of fear would suffice. Or maybe put the "Oh crap!" afterwards, so that the reversal is acknowledged. Maybe. I like the speed of the ending quite a bit and wouldn't want to bog it down.

    4. I think the eye-rolling is excessive. I recognize it as a claymation convention, but it still feels weird. I wouldn't watch a human roll their eyes like that for so long -- why would I want to watch an animation? I think eye work is key to making it feel real/uncanny/compelling, but I think your eye lines need to get cleaned up and more specific. What is the character looking at? Then, what are they looking at? And then? And so on... Pay attention to your own eyes and how they move, especially when something catches your attention.

    5. I'm fine with not knowing why the guy is there -- he's a weirdo who breaks into homes, wears a towel and bunny slippers and orders pizza, that's fine -- but I think if you're wanting to make the piece really sing, you've got to get more specific about your suspense and conveying that suspense to the audience. The punchline of the film is that he's not who you think he is, but he ALSO has reasons (just not the audience's) for being fearful of an "intruder." I think you need a few more clear beats (steps that escalate and change throughout the scene) to convey that suspense and really make the scene satisfying.

    6. One technical note is that I wouldn't put the three credit names at the top, unless you have some agreement with the talent that obligates you. It's confusing to see those names and then enter into a single character claymation scene. You credit them at the end, and I think that's enough. (Though the mouse animation is super cute, if a little off-topic, story-wise.)

    A lot of these are story notes, which I imagine is complicated, considering the production process for a stop motion animation. I'm not sure how much extra stuff you have for editing when the work to create the action is so specific! But best of luck with this, regardless. And thanks again for taking the time to read this and being open to feedback. I hope it's helpful.

  4. Cool, thanks Emily! I agree with a lot of your feedback. In response:

    The second phone call is supposed to be a neighbor saying he wants to stop by a swipe a piece of Sam's pizza later. A lot of people talked to said they thought it was the pizza guy again (hahaha). The audio on that is too muffled and the wording might not make it clear that it's a neighbor. I was thinking of getting a shot of this weirdly nosey neighbor with like a telescope seeing the pizza guy pull up and then the call might make more sense. Then again, it might be excessive and make the story even more confusing.

    As far as the eye movement- yeaaah, it's probably a little excessive, but so is he as a character, I mean, he's a complete weirdo. He breaks into a house to watch TV. then orders a pizza. He's really pushing it, and it makes him nervous. That could be a slight justification. Even so, it might be too much but without complete reshoots I'm not sure if I can fix that up.

    Also, he's not really worried about an "intruder", he's worried about being caught. That is why the mouse trap and venus flytrap are sort of relevant, because they are supposed to be foreshadowing the fact that he might get caught (like the mouse did and the fly did).

    Anywho, thanks so much for the feedback and I hope you keep following my blog! I'd love to hear more comments! Thanks again!

  5. I love the animation Emily! When we come to NY I hope I can get to see how you do some of this. I would love to learn. Also, do you know Michael's cousin Rod? Have you ever heard some of his voices? They are hysterical. It would be exciting to hear he and Michael in one of your claymations sometime! (but of course I am prejudice!)-mm-

  6. its so interesting finding out what everyone's little hobbies and interests are in this class from their blogs. It's weird that I know what you spend your time doing, what kind of stuff you're into, etc... but only know your face in class. Viral marketing man, it's out there.