TIBBY IN THE SLUSH – PRODUCTION NOTES – DESIGN AND PRODUCTION PROCESS
Updated: Jun 14, 2018
ARCTIC LION PRODUCTION NOTES
The script for Tibby was started in October 2017 and completed in November. This is a very quick turnaround but part of the artistic exploration that will carry over to future productions at Arctic Lion is the instinctive nature and immediacy of its creation. We do not want to overwork the piece to the point where the energy of the initial ideas has dissipated. We want to be fluid and transitory. We want to be able to cope with alterations without making large steps backwards. There was opportunity when it came to recording the script to refine some of the ideas and let the characters' voices alter what felt right for them. The recording session was essentially an interesting, built-in, creative script audit. It is an opportunity within the production process that allows further crafting of each moment. This is of course where the expertise of the director comes in but what I found interesting was that I could make significant story changes due to what felt right for the characters, the pacing, the tone etc.
I wrote the script with the idea that it would be accompanied with images like storyboards or illustrations in a novel. The trickier scenes to find the right concept for were the dialogue passages and interviews. A full animation or video would be able to pick up on the changing emotions and nuances in the expression. All of this needed to be conveyed with the voice and the viewer needed to believe the character was speaking without the need for a moving mouth. Also, I wanted to avoid very long passages with the same image. This gave rise to some creative ideas such as the Artist Impressions throughout the film or the intimate scene between Santa and the Interviewer where we only see their eyes. Eyes, of course, are very expressive and can show nuance in the dilation of the pupils, the direction of glance, and the position of the eyebrows and eyelids. Towards the end of the scene, a tear accumulates in Santa’s eye as he talks about his partners and children.
In conjunction with each other, I completed the vocal recordings and drawings. This was important as one process informed the other. The look of the characters had to suit their voice and the pacing of the vocals outlined the length the illustrations would be on screen.
I have called the film an illustrated radio drama (IRD). This will be a format I will explore in further films. The idea is to create an illustrated audio book, which has the drama of a radio play, the beauty and composition of art and the depth of character of a novel. There is opportunity to include photography, live-action film, animation or written word as part of an IRD to give them a richness and contrast in conveying their ideas.
I wrote all of the music and edited the video. These were the final touches to develop the completed piece. Music videos were an influence in this process, as the image had to tell a narrative and suit the pacing and tone of the sound. I think it is important to have different mood notes within the piece, whether it is comedic, foreboding, or psychedelic.
The aim of the production is to be as sustainable as possible. This is an aim Arctic Lion will look to improve upon as we create more productions. The digital process does require energy but the materials used are recyclable and the waste created is little as the resources and personnel required are minimised. Conversely we maximise the simple power of illustration and voice. As we progress, we want to see if larger productions can minimise waste and a high carbon footprint.
Hamish Muir 21st December 2017