Visual Narrative 1 Blog 16: Finals

This is my final Cabaret title sequence. I enjoyed making it and I am proud of it, but I wish I had started with this idea sooner so I would have had time to work on things and make them better. I am satisfied with everything apart from the transition of the audio and the ending where it shows screenshots of the movie and images symbolizing the nazi movement & hitler.

I learned a lot from this project. I know I am very good at editing on premiere and I am persistent and dedicated to what I do. Although the process of printing things then scanning them and then photoshopping them to PNGs was a long one, I still stood by it because it was the best method. It was the best way to showcase the kind of style Cabaret was in, because it feels raw and real, not very digital, which I somehow showed in my movie posters.

I liked the final video, and it looks better every time I watch, I just wish I had a better ending. I want to perhaps fix this for my own satisfaction and to showcase it in my portfolio. I am overall satisfied with everything else, because I know I worked hard and created an amazing title sequence. It’s unique and only I could have come up with that.

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Visual Narrative 1 Blog 15: Second attempt

I started working on the idea I got from both Law & Leland, and I thought this could be a more successful and easier approach to the cabaret title sequence. I started printing things and scanning them. I photoshopped a cane onto a hand, printed it and scanned it. I scanned everything because it gave me that sort of detailed pixelated effect. I can’t really describe it but it made things more realistic and less digital which I enjoyed.

I tried to animate the opening act of the first number and I like how it turned out, so I kept working on it. I used a lot of the ideas I already had from the storyboards. I wasn’t planning on following the exact storyboard because that would have been impossible, but I managed to simplify and mold my ideas to work better for the title sequence and so I can manage to finish on time.

 

Visual Narrative 1 Blog 14: So far…

Those are the different facial expressions of the finalized illustrated MC I had come up with. It was somewhat difficult to make because a lot of time went into illustrating the different faces and stuff. It was much easier animating and editing than it was illustrating and drawing.

This is the first animation I had come up with. I did not know what to do after this. After going over this with Law, he gave me one of the previous ideas he gave me. He told me to do it in the style of cutout animation, which gave me many more options and ideas.

Visual Narrative 1 Blog 13: Storyboarding & stuff

Storyboards I scanned. I didn’t like the lack of space for writing so I decided to cut them and paste them on another document where I can type however long I can. The ideas were not easy to come up with. I struggled coming up with visuals and how to create those visuals.

 

My final storyboard. I had to edit it in photoshop, because it did not look as organized on paper. I decided in order to be able to have a proper storyboard, I needed more space to write the information on the kind of shots and transitions there are. This seemed like nothing at first, but it’s a lot of different ideas and I knew I had a challenge ahead of me.

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These are ideas I got from the film. The cane, the smile of the MC, the curtains, they’re all small elements that aren’t big in the film.

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Then the lips transition to being Elke, the drag queen, he also plays a minor role but is part of the cabaret acts. There’s symbolism behind the Hitler thing too.

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Then the piano comes in, the hat, the drum, all elements incorporated in the opening act that could be utilized for the title sequence.

4

The dancing girls in the cabaret come into play with the introduction of the producer, director and the title.

Working on the MC on illustrator. I was going for an animated type look and it was taking long of course.

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Visual Narrative 1 Blog 12: Storyboarding

This is what I had so far when I talked to my professors. These are just ideas that I came up with based on an animation style I didn’t know the name of. Prior to doing more research, I had considered doing various types of animations that just did not go well with each other, like illustration type animation alongside cutout animation. My professors told me that would be more difficult than doing it all in the same style of animation. After doing more research, I discovered that this animation style after doing research is a cross between cutout animation and puppet animation, because objects and characters will be manipulated. Silhouette animation is a category of cutout animation and that’s a really interesting approach, but I don’t see myself pursuing that style, because it’s just black silhouettes.

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The action starts with curtains much like the curtains you would see on broadway, in theatre, or in a play. This is to show that the movie is theatrical and very animated,  flamboyant, theatrical and exaggerated. The curtains then open up to reveal the MC standing there. The camera zooms into the MC & he starts singing “Willkommen”. He points his cane and ABC Pictures presents shows on top of the cane. The camera then cuts to him pointing at the audience, and they blur out to show the In association with Allied Artists. The camera zooms in on his face, and as he hits a high note, it gets closer to his mouth. The mouth gets close at an extreme close up, and the whole screen turns black and so does the inside of the mouth, showing A Bob Fosse Film. The teeth then drop one by one revealing the name of Liza Minelli.

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Lipstick comes into the frame, and as the lipstick goes over the lips, it zooms out to show Elke, the drag queen. The drag queen is looking at herself in the mirror, and the camera cuts to her raising her hand and writing Michael York‘s name with lipstick. Then her hand goes down and she brings up a cloth which she wipes with the mirror showing Helmut Griem. Then she puts the cloth down and it shows the name of Joel Grey, right next to an image of Hitler that has been drawn on, making him look dumb and foolish. The drag queen then folds the cloth in half, and as the camera pans, she wipes to the right, erasing Hitler’s ugly makeup to show just his ugly face.

The names of Marisa Berenson & Fritz Wepper are revealed after the wipe, both whom play Jewish characters alongside the symbol of the Nazis. This is supposed to mean something where you see the characters whose love will be ruined by Hitler’s stupid agenda. Then the wiping stops when a Kit Kat Klub poster is shown alongside Hitler’s. This is meant to represent the fact that once before the KKK was a place where people leave all their issues and troubles behind to just have fun and let go. After the wipe, you see his face without the goofy face drawings on, and how he’s being embraced more and more in the KKK, especially by the MC.

There’s then makeup at the end of the table, and then the camera pans to the cinematographer’s name Geoffrey Unsworth carved into wood. Then the camera pans to the side/edge of the table, showing edited by David Betherton. Now onto the last page I have so far, the side of the table turns into a piano, showing music by, then it cuts to a high angle shot of the piano, with the brand name being John Kander, Fred Ebb & Ralph Burns. Someone starts playing the piano with a hat on there.

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This is what I have so far. I have thought of the next sequence to come, but not so far ahead. I need to draw more and come up with ideas as I draw along. The next idea would be presumably the MC picking the hat up and turning the hat to show the screenplay by Jay Allen. I have a lot of work to do, and I wanna do so much, but I don’t know where to start, how to start or even what to do. I haven’t decided on a style yet and I will be figuring that out from now on.

Visual Narrative 1 Blog 11: Leland’s Week

This week was all Leland. Law was somewhere idk where, but I was happy, the class was much happier and quieter JK! The first class was just Leland talking to us about filmmaking, and we had Hadeer come in and show some of her work to us. We also saw some other things that inspire her in the process of movie making, and things that could inspire us in creating the title sequence / trailer. I was getting more and more ideas while watching these videos. A lot of them were pretty cool, but they are not possible with the time I have to execute this project.

This week I was doing more research and I started working on my storyboard for the final title sequence. I did not show Leland my storyboard, because I wanted to be done with it before being able to show it. This week was pretty empty. I did not work much on anything to be honest. I just started working on my storyboard, but was barely making progress due to the lack of ideas and inspiration.

Visual Narrative 1 Blog 10: Intro to Title Sequences

This week was all about discovering our ideas. After discussing with one person from the class, I kinda got what I wanted to do, but then I still needed the feedback of my professors. The very kind lady (Hamda) told me to stick to one idea, and focus on that otherwise I will be lost. I agreed because I was lost, and it seemed like mostly everybody had their minds set on one idea based on what I had seen. I was just unsure of which approach to take because they are both very good ideas and the potential behind both the trailer and title sequence is big.

This was the first idea I had, and I drew inspiration from the BTS action that takes place before a performance. This is presumably Sally, and she’s just getting ready before a show. She’s putting her nail polish on, touching up some stuff, reapplying her lipstick, in various shots, as you can see from the sketch. She looks at herself in the mirror making sure she looks perfect and ready for the stage. She then hears some yelling coming from outside. She goes over to check what the fuss is about, and it’s just a Nazi and someone against the Nazis fighting outside. Sally turns her attention away, takes her hat, and walks away from the shot. The title of the film is then shown along with the cast and release date.

This was my title sequence. I incorporated elements from the film after being shown different title sequences in class, also after doing my own research. I was inspired by films that have animated title sequences, as they are not necessarily animated, but have made title sequences in that particular style. That idea to me was intriguing, because my movie did not have any animation in it, but the story and characters were very animated and exaggerated. This style would have perfectly fit the style of the movie.

The title sequence starts with a train just like the movie did, then transitions into a cigar that comes at the end of the train, and is jointed by it. It’s much like train stocks being coupled. Then the cigar lights up. Two sticks come in, turning the cigar into a k, which then rotates to show that it’s the kit kat klub sign. I had two ideas for what would happen after that. 1B being that the kkk sign turns off, as it’s lit. 2B being a German beer coming into frame and pushing away the light sign. The mug then turns up right and the next actor’s name shows up. The camera pans so that the mug is on the left, and then the drink pours. The pouring liquid turns into a chair, which then disassembles turning into a Nazi sign. The last thing that I worked on with this idea was the hat.

I stopped working on that idea, because I wanted to focus on something else, which was suggested by Leland & Law, and there’s not a word or a style to describe it, but the video they showed me was called monty python or something. I tried looking it up using keywords that defined that kind of animation, and I don’t think I have found anything. I am still doing research, and plan on working to make a good storyboard for the idea that I have in mind.