Sunday, 20 January 2013

Back to the Digging - part 2

Having mentioned in the last post how certain ideas can lead nowhere, I've just unearthed a perfect example from the bottom of a storage box. Here are a bunch of drawings I made from a part of the script that ultimately got cut out before getting anywhere near the animation stage.

An early sketch of Wally sprawled drunkenly at home. I dumped
this sequence early on, but kept the shirt and tie design.

In the early drafts of The Last Belle script our drunken character, Wally, haplessly journeying through London to reach his date on time, had his bad-taste shirt (but not his tie) torn off during a slapstick incident and then needed to realise how ridiculous he looked, before deciding to buy another - equally revolting - replacement shirt. When I started to think about this sequence I played around with how to reveal to Wally his own state of undress. Here was the first attempt at that moment of self-revelation, scribbled in a sketchbook:

The idea was he'd just catch sight of himself in a shop-front reflection. But then I figured there would be extra humiliation for him if he saw himself reflected many times over:

So the idea of a TV store came up (these sketches can be dated by the lack of flat-screen TVs!) This seemed a better idea so I began to draw up some animatic panels:

He flies across the street (from a previous bit of slapstick)...

...ends up by the TV shop window...

...and sees himself blinking back.

So far, so good. But then he had to go to a shop and find a replacement shirt. And the new shirt needed an even louder and busier pattern than the original.

The original shirt pattern, from a very early storyboard panel. 

Next week's post: the hunt for a new ghastly shirt design...


  1. lol. his man boobs are ridiculous as well. How did you decide not to include this? Im sure it would have gotten a good laugh. Looks like a Hawaiian Lasseter shirt (no disrespect to him).

    1. Oh, I loved animating those man-boobs, or 'moobs' as they are known over here! (Or maybe they're called that everywhere?) My animation assistant Bella Bremner swore the moobs got bigger with each scene we did! I'll get on to why this particular bit of the script was cut out in the next post... but the moobs survived the final cut, as did the first Hawaiian shirt.

  2. Neil, you really need to put together a DVD chocked full of extras like this!

    1. Thanks Steve! I'd love to have the money and the time to put a load of this kind of stuff on a DVD... maybe one day soon I will! There's even unused footage from the film, including a (mostly) full colour test sequence, and the scenes we trimmed out in editing. One day, one day.....