“Complications cause conflict, and conflict is born in character.” Lajos Egri
The writing gurus say that the second act should be loaded with complications. It’s never as good as it seems at the midpoint and it’s never as bad as it seems at the all-is-lost point. Just before the third act begins, the hero hits rock bottom, wallows in hopelessness, and then somehow breaks through the wall and charges after his dream. And I think the same may be true in the making of a movie, as there are always unexpected obstacles, twists and turns.
We’re in the middle of our production, and because this film is so different – it’s not live action, not quite animatic, not really traditional animation – we’ve had to continually reassess our approach as we go. Part of the ongoing evaluations are numeric. We average the amount of shots we can produce, subtract animation time, add back overtime, subtract color time, add back time for changes…then wallow in hopelessness before we figure out a way to get it all done.
This happened yesterday. And just after we figured out a way to attack our already daunting finish schedule, we heard the good news that our voice track made the semi-finals for Amazon Studios’ dialogue track contest, and five of our actors are up for the best actor awards. Congratulations to Claudia Black, David Jacks, Don Schlossman, Paul Benton, and Samantha Roy! Yesterday I posted about the creative process, the unrelenting, unpredictable abyss that often comes with the experience of flying high in excitement, falling, trudging through the muck, and picking oneself up – the rollercoaster ride. It reminds me of Woody Allen’s joke in “Annie Hall,” which he borrowed from Groucho Marx:
“A guy tells his doctor that his brother is crazy and thinks he’s a chicken. The doctor asks, ‘Then why don’t you institutionalize him’? And the guys says, ‘I can’t. I need the eggs.’”