Dorothy Short Film Pitch

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The request for a contemporary classic music video came in from a new client. I have never done something like this before in my life, so… challenge accepted!

Gunnar Madsen is a composer, and he and Anna had a connection about making this music video together.

Listen to the music here while you read the rest of this. I will take you on a journey through how my mind works. Don't worry, it's not all as strange as it seems. Or, okay, maybe it is.

The idea was to get the concept developed to the place where we can start looking for funding, and I was immediately sold on the concept. There was a certain level of enthusiasm from everyone involved, and it was super refreshing to be in that environment.

Dorothy is looking sad while she throws ash into a river. Flashback – she misses her dad. She is little, and they fold origami lotus flowers, and puts them in the water. Flash forward to current time - It’s his ashes that she throws into the river. Henry the fish sees her in her grief, and falls in love with her. But he is not a human, and tries everything in his power to get her attention. It’s not working. At some point he jumps out of the water to kiss her, but at that time she gets up and leaves. Henry goes to the bottom of the river to sulk, and look at himself in the mirror. He cherished all the lotus flowers she folded as a kid, and these transforms him into a human, and he walks through the forest to meet her.

The camera blocking looked something like this:

The idea was to get as much bang for buck with the least amount of images to show the style and tone, but balanced with really good quality. Less is more. We agreed on 3 matte paintings with characters in them, at critical parts of the story, and an animatic to see the flow of timings and moods. Corel Painter had some really nice brushes, which I preferred over the Photoshop ones. I also really wanted to apply the experience I recently acquired in Painter to some practical project, and the timing could not have been better. Evolution of character design iterations:

 

Evolution of set design iterations:

 

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The last bit was to do an animatic. Every part had to be drawn separately so I could animate it all.

 

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Have a look at the animatic over here:

Henk Coetzee