Roy Blumenthal’s Danger Video

 
 

These are some of the sketches created for the short animation for How to Live Dangerously. You can see these, and more of Roy Blumenthal’s animation projects, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/royblumenthal/

How to make an animation...

The making of the video...


Here’s Roy’s description of how he went about it:


HOW TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY is Warwick Cairns's second book. It's all about how the arbitrary 'safety' and 'health' laws imposed on us by 'the people who run things' are actually really bad for us. The book details strategies for taking back our power, and living better lives as a result.


This video is a multimedia summary of the book.


THE SCRIPTING PROCESS

I contacted Warwick with the idea. And he wrote a first draft script. I edited that, and sent it back to him for further revision. When he was happy that the script accurately represented the contents of his book, he made several voice recordings of the material.



SOUND DESIGN

I chose the best version, and started my sound design. I believe that the audio component of a movie supplies more than 70% of the power of a piece. As I do the sound design, ideas flow for the visuals. I wanted the soundtrack to be able to stand alone as an adio-only podcast, if Warwick wants to use it as such.


JAMENDO.COM & CREATIVE COMMONS

My starting point was to search http://www.jamendo.com/ for Creative Commons 'Attribution' or 'Attribution, Share-Alike' tracks. I specifically remove any track that specifies 'non-commercial' as one of the preconditions for using it. The two licenses I zone in on allow me to mold the music to my needs. With a hat tip to the musicians. In essence, I take their solid tracks, and sculpt them into what I need for the piece I have in mind.


For this type of work, I always search for heavy metal or hard rock first. I find that these genres offer the most energy and diversity of tracks. They almost always have killer bridges, with amazing musicianship. Really good raw material to work with.


I sourced several tracks from Jamendo. And brought them into Audacity, along with Warwick's vocal track. And I built the audio from there.


SKETCHES

In this piece, I sketched several pictures in my little Moleskine. All of these sketches were done in bed, with a copy of the script to hand. I did them in a sort of order, following the logic that Warwick and I created in the script.



My next task was to scan the pics, and work them in PhotoShop CS3. I coloured and textured the pics, squashed and squished them. And generally made them realllllly vivid. A few of those sketches didn't make it into the final film. But most of them did.


EDITING THE MOVIE

Next up was throwing the pics and sound design onto my timeline in Adobe Premiere Pro on my Toshiba Tecra M4 tablet pc.


THE CARICATURE OF WARWICK

While I was messing around in Premiere, editing, I took a break. I opened ArtRage on my Asus R1E tablet pc, started my video capture program, and made my caricature of Warwick in one short sitting. It took about ten minutes for me to get it to my satisfaction.


ANIMATING THE CARICATURE IN CRAZYTALK

I then opened CrazyTalk 5.0 on my Toshiba Tecra M4, popped the caricature in, dropped the voice-only track in, and got Warwick's pic talking nicely. When I was happy with the 'acting' of the avatar, I exported as a high res AV. That turned into a 5 gig file!


I slapped the animation movie into Premiere. And then followed tons of fanatical detail work. I originally intended painting speech bubbles for Warwick. But early on in the sound design, I decided to rather go for illustrative pics.


FLICKR & CREATIVE COMMONS

So I sourced suitable photos, using the Flickr Creative Commons search tool. I use the same criteria for pics as I do for music. The pieces HAVE TO be under 'Attribution', or 'Attribution, Share-Alike' licenses.


I found about twenty or so pics, and when trying them, found that most weren't reallllly what I wanted. Everything looks very different when the audio and video come together.


PICTURE AND MUSIC CREDITS

All of the picture and music credits are listed at the end of the movie, and here in the metadata...


MUSIC CREDITS:

•"Drowned Devoured"
by Outselling of Lies
(Album:
THE BEGINNING)

•"Marchand de Bonheur" (nouvelle version)
by Contreband
(Album:
À CONTRE PIED)

•"Comercial de Verdade Verdadeira"
by Jailson Brito Jr
(Album:
MATA BARATA)

•"Dream Zero"
by Marc Reeves
(Album:
LUCID DREAMSONGS)

All available from http://www.jamendo.com/.

All distributed under Creative Commons licenses.


PHOTO CREDITS:

•"Work Day" by beverlytaz / Beverly Lussier
All Rights Reserved -- Used by Permission
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/830277

•"Living room Panorama" by .Larry Page / Larry Page
Creative Commons -- Attribution
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo/2076313727/

•"Stitched" (Bike in Park) by condour / Michael Condouris
Creative Commons -- Attribution
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/condour/129132282/

•"Crazy descent off of the hill" by Brett L. / Brett L.
Creative Commons -- Attribution, Share-Alike
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brettlider/87141926/

•"patton and the sign" by striatic / hobvias sudoneighm
Creative Commons -- Attribution
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/141173911/

•"This Is The City" by Oslo In The Summertime / Michael King
Creative Commons -- Attribution
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/oslointhesummertime/1121768988/



THE FINISHED PRODUCT

This little vid took me about a week of solid work to crack. Deeply enjoyable for me. Warwick's publishers on both sides of the Atlantic (Britain and the US) are very keen to make use of the vid to promote the book.


CONTACT ME FOR YOUR VERY OWN ANIMATED SUMMARY

If you need any animated summaries made of any of your talks, get in touch with me. I work internationally, and I'm keen to see what I can produce for you. My email address is royblumenthal@gmail.com. My website is at http://snipurl.com/visualfacilitation.