Sunday, 20 September 2009

Dog's Day Afternoon

The Making Of a story about a Dog, an Old Lady and some... Donuts.

Computer Arts features Dog's Day Afternoon in their November 2009 issue.

The Story

Dog's Day Afternoon was created during my first year studying for my MA in Animation Direction at the National Film and Television School. The projects aim was to create a story in which two characters, each with unique personalities, meet and embrace in a hug which reveals some of their character. I designed one of the characters and then received the second one at random from one of the other animation directors.
My character was inspired from my 10-year old Beagle; she is quite small but has a big personality (and appetite). The two main attributes of her character were that she is very greedy and always hungry, which helped in designing her overall look.

The second character was an old lady. 
Her characteristics were that she was sneaky and lonely.

 Plasticine model of the dog


Upon designing the characters I teamed up with one of the script writing students at the NFTS, Joe Mattei and we came up with the idea that the only way the old lady can get a hug is by carrying tasty donuts around with her in a massive handbag, luring passers by.

At the time it was too expensive to have the puppets made professionally so instead I made them myself at home, i had great help from my mum and Richard Phelan (who also has a very cool blog!).
Puppets in the making
We were going to use a rig for the dog, but it didn't quite work in the end. 
When you see the dog walking in the film it is actually sat on a piece of plasticine.

The puppets were made using aluminium wires for armatures, foam, plasticine and fabrique

For the production I also teamed up with a cinematography student, Fredericka Lathbridge, who lit the set. The lights always stayed in the same position the set was rotated in stead. The whole film was shot using a blue screen and Manuel Perez, a Post Production student at NFTS created the park backgrounds digitally. The film was shot with a stills camera and was created in just under six weeks.

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