Sunday, 30 January 2011
Tizz Is Born!
Some more experimentations before I settled on my final design. I started off trying out the idea of a hood rather than a hat to try hiding more of her hair, but I didn't like it... She looks too much like Little Red Riding Hood which was not my intention. I also tried playing around with different styles of curly-ish hair for hair, but I soon realised that making it only a little curly resulted in her looking too pretty and quaint, aloms Disney-esque... While I have nothing against Disney, I don't want my character to look like any typically sweet little girl who would be content sitting at home playing with her dolls and tea set. I need her to look a little eccentric, like someone who strives to live life beyond the ordinary that's expected of her while still looking naive and childish enough to not fully understand (or care about) the dangers her escapades could be putting her in. That's why I think the zanier, zig-zaggy hair of the bottom design works better, but at the same time is a little too far in the opposite direction... That's more how I'd imagine her hair after it's poofed out with static. I need a compromise between the two...
Here are my final character designs; in the end I went for hair closer to the zig-zag hair but slightly less intense. I've also decided to ditch the scarf idea as it seems unnecessary; just because she's out on a wet and windy day doesn't mean it's cold enough to need a scarf as well. Plus I need to be practical; I already have her hair, coat, and hat to animate blowing in the wind, I don't need a scarf to worry about as well. It would most likely just get lost amidst the chaos anyway. Naturally if I wanted to be really cheap I could give her skin-tight clothing and tuck all her hair under the hat, but honestly I think that would severely detract from her character, not to mention look horrible. She's the type of girl who doesn't really care about her personal appearance, if she happens to get wet of covered in mud or her hair gets tangled and knotted from her adventures, why should she care? As long as she has fun and achieves her goal, that's all that matters! So giving her fitted, fashionable clothes would make no sense.
A couple of concepts for her hanging off the side of a building or pylon perhaps. Not especially something I had in mind for the actual storyboard, I just wanted to play with drawing her in different poses that came to mind in order to help my flow of ideas.
Another concept, this time of her falling/sliding down the kite string which I do intend to include in my storyboard. Under her coat she's bee wearing a top (which you'll never see), shorts (which you'll only see briefly in below shots like this), and tights to cover her legs.
While I think on, my tutor Sarra asked me some questions about how well I know my character, so I think I'll post the answers here in case anyone's interested in her background information. I've spent so long developing her that it seems a shame no one will know all this, but hopefully the effort will show in how well her personality shines through in the film.
First and foremost, my character's name is Tizz! Tizz is short for Elizabeth, and the name was inspired by a little girl who lives across the road from me at home in Lancashire. During my last visit our street had a street party and I saw her for the first time in years; she'd grown quite a bit from the toddler I remembered and is now 8-9 years old, around the age my character is. When I saw her running around I could hardly believe it--she had curly dark brown hair, big brown eyes and looked absolutely adorable. It was as though she was the live-action counterpart of my character despite her having no connection to me previously whatsoever. Her nickname sealed it for me though; Tizz isn't only short and cute, but also sounds quirky and (not wanting to make a terrible pun, but) electric enough to really fir with my story's lightning theme. And thus I decided to adopt the name! I hope she doesn't mind... But I think it really fits.
Tizz (my character) is an only child, no doubt loved by her parents but most likely left to her own devices a lot due to them both being busy with work, hence how she manages to get away with so many risky adventures. She lives in the countryside, is a bit of a tomboy by nature, and loves comics and fictional books. Her greatest virtue is probably her sheer determination, refusing to let anything get her down or stand in her way no matter how hopeless the situation. That's not to say she's fearless, she simply manages to overcome her fear by believing everything will work out in the end like in all her favourite stories, and has (fortunately) yet to be proven wrong. With every successful endeavour her confidence grows, leading to the point where she's willing to believe she can catch lightning in a bottle. She gets the idea after finding an empty bottle labelled 'Lightning in a Bottle' on the ground, and upon seeing a thunderstorm approaching above decides to try catching some lightning herself. If some other kid can do it, why can't she? Maybe she wants to experiment with it, or maybe she hopes that the lightning will give her superpowers. Maybe it's just the excitement of trying to catch something so wild and dangerous and supposedly unobtainable and she thrives off the challenge. Whatever the exact reason, she's naive yet brave enough to try.