Media 5: Stretch

A post from 30 May 2015:

It’s the final stretch to the end of the semester and frankly, things are intense. My group missed the rough cut deadline for our final project last week which was a pretty big letdown and, honestly, it wasn’t that surprising. It took us a fair amount of time to get any sort of traction and see any sort of progress, and that was bound to catch up with us later down the track.

Even the pre-production phase (deciding on the concept, the script, the delegation of roles, workflow etc.) took like two or three more weeks than it should have. Disagreements about what we wanted to say with the project and how we were going to say it hampered us while other groups were goin full steam ahead with production.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t happy to be working on the project. The concept was great and it was something we all felt was interesting and also a topic we wanted to explore. The concept had a lot of strength, but we knew it was a lot of work. Planning out the story, writing a script, gathering comic book images, cutting out characters, constructing backgrounds…all that in itself is a huge task, and that’s just the prep work. I knew bringing everything together into the format of comic book pages was going to be a massively time consuming job, so early on I suggested to change the way our roles worked. Instead of one person writing the script, one person putting the pages together and one person animating, we ended up splitting the task of putting the pages together equally between the three of us: two scenes each.

The process of constructing the pages, whilst arduous and at times tedious and frustrating, was actually pretty fun and satisfying, especially once you finished a page and got to zoom out on Photoshop and see everything come together. Plus, I felt my familiarity with Photoshop increase tenfold. The only things that soured the experience were the stresses of deadlines and technical difficulties, as always, as well as the realities of group work.

It was probably the underestimation of the time it would take to make pages and animate them that caused us to miss the rough cut screening. A task like this isn’t something you can throw together the night before, as my group learned. It sucks, and it’s a mistake I hope doesn’t happen again when it comes time to submit the final cut.

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