...or more correctly: tunnelling. Like a caver, the deeper we plunge through the box tunnels, the further back in time we go. And in the deepest, darkest recesses I am now coming across early development work - and many, many ideas that never made it to the final film. Stuff I don't even remember drawing until I take the lid off the box and gaze inside. This, I guess, is one of the interesting side effects of working in a non-digital way: you leave a paper trail. Literally.
One of the earliest sequences I tested in animatic form was a 'Wally Get's Ready For His Date' sequence. I'd found a piece John Williams's musical score to the movie '1941' called 'Swing Swing Swing' that had great rhythm and a sense of rising excitment (here's an arrangement of it on YouTube, but unfortunately not the original wonderful recording). Using a thirty second chunk of this as a temp track I worked up a quick and rough animatic montage sequence showing Wally's ablutions, all timed to the music.
|The big shave...|
|Which guy hasn't experienced this..?|
|Ear wax removal, to a musical beat...|
|Nasal hair removal, to a musical beat...|
|And a zit explosion to hit a musical climax...|
|Enthusiastic sponging 'downstairs'...|
|Slightly too enthusiastic a towelling downstairs too...|
It was all drawn very fast and very crudely - as you can see - and with pretty crude humour too, but cut together in quick succession, with exciting and upbeat music, it worked a treat. Wally grabbed his clothes, burst out of the bathroom on a big musical climax and then... discovered he was ready for his date three hours early. I even animated, coloured and shot his burst out of the bathroom door as an early animation test.
I still have the sequence on video and would have posted it online quite happily, but for the fact that John Williams and Steven Spielberg would probably -and quite rightly- sue my ass off for misappropriating their original film music. And it doesn't really work quite so effectively when it's run silent...
Anyway, this was yet another sequence that got the chop before it went into production. And for the usual reasons: it was fun enough, but slowed up the story.
But - praise be to blogging - it's fun to revisit it here. It's always strange to come across ideas, drawings or sequences you've put down on paper years before, but have utterly forgotten in the meantime. It's a little like that feeling you get when you go in a multi-mirrored bathroom and catch sight of the weird looking figure in front of you, before realising you are looking at the back of your very own head...