I always enjoyed the Fighting Fantasy game books when I was a child. Of course now we have computers, consoles, phones and tablets for our gaming needs. However, there are some companies that are bringing back the spirit of those adventure books to our electronical world.
Inkle Studios is one such company. They have been diligently translating the Steve Jackson Sorcery stories to iOS and Android operating systems. Jolly good they are too.
Inkle Studios have also created some online software that allow ordinary people like me to create their own text adventures. It’s called Inklewriter.
So, in a bid to relive my youth, I decided to write my own little adventure. It’s short and silly. Also, it’s likely quite irritating as you get killed often without warning. However, if you don’t get distracted, you’ll probably be fine.
Anyway, here it is.
I’m happy to announce that Sun will be shown at the New York International Children’s Film Festival in March.
The film will screen as part of the SHORT FILMS 2 program on the following dates and venues.
Sunday, March 9, 3:30pm SVA
Sunday, March 16, 1:30pm SVA
Saturday, March 22, 6:00pm The Scholastic Theater
Saturday, March 29, 3:00pm The Scholastic Theater
This year I directed a short film called Sun. It was actually an idea I came up with about six years ago but never got around to making. Finally at the end of 2012 we had some spare time at A Productions. So I was able to employ the skills of Phil Parker, one of A Productions’ resident animators.
Using my thumbnail storyboard Phil started animating each section of the film. I don’t think we even created an animatic. The timing was just adjusted as we went along. Phil worked in black and white using Flash.Once we were happy with the animation I set about adding colour and various painterly effects in After Effects. Although, I did like the plain black and white version.
I was then put in touch with a young composer called Joe Donohoe who built up the score from my basic instructions. “More bass. I want a cello. Can we have bass drums? Bass!”
Finally I added a few sound effects to the mix. Many of these involved me tapping or dragging my fingers on the carpet. A bit strange.
I’m very pleased with the film and I thank Phil and Joe for their hard work.
My task now is to enter it into some festivals. It’s already been accepted at Encounters Short Film Festival and has even made it into their, 90 seconds or under, Depict competition. Please go and take a look for yourself and if you are very nice why not rate it while you’re at it.
Below you can see the first and only sketchbook notes that I made for the film all those years ago. The idea basically came out of my head fully formed.
As usual at this time of year I have been designing Christmas cards for friends and family. However, I also completed two additional little Christmas design projects.
Firstly, I was asked if I’d like to contribute a picture for the Skwigly web site advent calendar. It seemed like a bit of fun, so I accepted. For reasons unknown, even to myself, I drew Christmas tree missiles raining down on the surface of the Earth. Cheery.
Lots of other great artists and illustrators also contributed to the calendar. Go check them out. I feel honoured to be in their company.
My second project was to design a card for A Productions. My brief was that it could not include anything Christmas related. That narrows down your choices for a Christmas card. So I went for perhaps the well worn subject of a winter landscape. But I do quite like stark images like this.
I had the idea for Patrick and his strange escapades a few months ago. Originally I was going to produce a choose your own adventure style game. The idea being that you’d watch a video on YouTube and then be given a choice of continuing videos at the end. I started working it out and was surprised by how many videos you end up having to make. I was going to produce all this in my spare time. However, as luck would have it I ended up having some free time at work. So the idea of making multiple videos was knocked on the head and I decided to just get one short film finished in the time I had. The intention was to emulate the classic style of point and click adventures from the PC and Amiga era of the 90s. So the animation was mostly simple loops and all the dialogue appeared as text. I always preferred those adventure games with text instead of audio.
As the film was completed as part of my day job it then became an official A Productions project. So it would be remiss of me if I didn’t direct you to the film on the A productions web site itself.
I hope to make some more adventures for Patrick soon.
Away you go!