For my first real update I thought I would give a little background on where this film idea came from and also a quick status report. First off though, I want to say a huge thanks to all the backers so far! You guys are the best. Please keep spreading the word and being awesome!
Status Report: I'm currently still drawing and editing storyboards; trying to get the pacing and story just right. I wouldn't say I'm “fine-tuning” yet really, a lot of big plot points still don't feel quite right to me. Its progressing though, and the guts you see in the main video I posted will remain intact. I'm not gonna pull a fast one on you and use the money to make a cartoon about wise-cracking animals or anything, don't worry, heh. (For the nerds: I'm using Photoshop CS3 for storyboards, using the timeline panel from the “Extended” version of the program. It works pretty good actually! I am doing the main bit of editing in After Effects because its what I know, and then doing some post-editing in iMovie because its faster and easier for that kind of thing. If anybody cares, I can write lots more about my process, so let me know.)
Where The Story Idea Came From: I'm almost (almost) embarrassed to admit a lot of the film's ideas came from a dream, or the moment where I woke up from a dream and pieced what remained of it together in my mind. I know hearing other peoples dreams is pretty boring, so I hesitate to even talk about it, but the story just unfolded right before my mind's eye as I sat upright awake early in the morning. Ideas usually come in fits and starts for me, so it was exciting to get such a complete picture so fast. I saw the image of the boy looking over the edge of the boat, and the creepy glowing grin smiling up at him from the lake depths, and I knew he needed to travel down into that lake and discover the source of the smile later in his life. I had the skeleton of a story right there in my brain, so I quickly told my wife about it and jotted it down.
Later on, I read a short essay by G. K. Chesterton titled On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family, which is part of a larger collection called “Heretics.” (you can find it as a free e-book here) I was really fascinated with his idea about how we mistakenly try to discover more about humanity or get a fresh perspective on life by traveling to a foreign land or some strange, exotic locale. He argues that whether we like it or not (and we rarely do), we get a better idea about what humanity is like by involving ourselves with our neighbors and family. Here's a choice quote: “The best way that a man could test his readiness to encounter the common variety of mankind would be to climb down a chimney into any house at random, and get on as well as possible with the people inside. And that is essentially what each one of us did on the day that he was born.”
That was such a strong concept for me, I thought I would try to work it into Lake Beast, as I personally associate a man obsessed with revisiting a childhood experience with loneliness and isolation and general neighbor-avoidance. It seemed like it would work and give the story some needed weight. You can see the beginnings of that idea playing out in the storyboards I posted, when the man confronts the neighbor kid by chasing him into the yard and then the awkward exchange between him and the boy's mother.
That may be more info than you were looking for, but there you have it! I hope you're enjoying this little adventure as much as I am. Stay tuned for more updates as we go! (I'll try to do more drawings and fun stuff soon)
pledged of $2,000 goal
seconds to go
Sep 3, 2009 - Oct 3, 2009
Pledge $10 or more
A full-res digital download of the film.
Pledge $20 or more
(everything above +) A DVD of the film
Pledge $100 or more
4 backers Limited (6 of 10 left)
(everything above +) A DVD with a signed, hand-made cover
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer All gone!
(a digital download & DVD +) An original film-themed painting and an Executive Producer credit in the film.