Posted by – December 18, 2008

A couple of super-talented illustrators and animators have offered to help with the movie — Michael Cho, a high-school pal Sanford, and Matt Hammill:

Interstitials might be one way to take advantage of this, but what about a low-rent Waking Life treatment? With the artist doodling faces over live actors faces?

I’m thinking the Doodlefaces are from the future — it’s an avatar-type thing for them. But it’s kind of hard to tell. They just start showing up, speaking mostly incomprehensibly, pointing and laughing at totally commonplace things — like we might do if we were dropped a few hundred years back and saw a pirate and started saying “aaarrrrr!” to the pirate’s befuddlement (but our companions hilarity).

“What happens in the 2000s, stays in the 2000s” is their attitude. They treat us like bit players to their starring roles, are totally irresponsible and create paradoxes and chain-reactions to amuse and annoy people back home.

8 Comments on Doodlefaces

  1. Anthony says:

    i love this idea jim.
    i loved waking life.
    a time and space story is always tricky, but they can be amazing.
    maybe something, unfortunately, the masses will not embrace.

  2. Jim says:

    Talking about time/space, I just saw a movie called Timecrimes (bittorrent)– a lo-fi sci-fi Spanish time travel flick. It’s way more comprehensible than Primer, thankfully, but a little campy for my tastes.

  3. Flick says:

    There’s a John Wyndham story about a sudden influx of time-travellers who are basically rude tourists. They pop up in showers, scandalize the british public with their shocking dress codes, and basically block everyone’s view. They are intangible, but they are everywhere.

    The town finally wins by turning into a tourist mecca for people from the now, and the tourists from the future get bored because they aren’t seeing “natural” life anymore.

    But the doodling thing might be a way to eliminate backgrounders who aren’t release-formed, logos, etc. Sort of a Residents aesthetic (see “The Gingerbread Man”).

  4. Matt says:

    Hey, that could be fun. It makes me think of this music video–doodles on a live action bg.

    Just some technical stuff, in case you’re shooting test footage–
    The most important thing, for being able to line up any VFX with the
    background (aka “tracking”, which is necessary if there’s even this
    slightest camera movement in the shot) is to have some clear
    background detail to track from. If the footage is just a person on a
    dark background, say, there’s no bg info to track from and you’re up
    the creek. Also, pans and tilts (where the camera stays in the same
    spot and just “looks around”) are much easier than trucks or dollies
    (where the camera actually moves around) for tracking.

  5. Jim says:

    Terrific info, Matt.

    In that (gorgeous) vid you pointed us to, there’s a handheld shake to it. Would that have made it very hard to do, or is that close enough to the original cam position to make it OK?

    The element I found most affecting in that vid is the weird intake of breath the white critter makes — without a corresponding exhale. It made me anxious. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  6. Matt says:

    I’m not an expert on camera tracking or anything, but I don’t think that camera shake would pose much of a problem. There’s still enough consistency between frames to track from.

    And you’re totally right about that breath.

  7. Craig says:

    watching this makes me think this would be a good way to visualize the “super baby toys”

  8. Jim says:

    Craig — watching which clip?

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