When my High School class studied Macbeth, plenty of the students found it boring. This was one of the few times in life when a person's subjective opinion is categorically wrong.
There is nothing remotely boring about this story! It's a power struggle, a political thriller, a morality tale, and a bloodbath. It's got dark magic, and evil deeds. It's got revenge, and battle, and twisting prophecies. So why were people not finding it as engaging as it is?
Staging, people! This is a play, after all. It's meant to be seen, not just read. Unfortunately, stagings of the play are not everyday things. Even worse, the movie versions are either way out of date and stilted or they're adaptations that take too many liberties with the text. Though we will include a subtitle option in plain modern dialect so that people can follow the story as easily as possible.
That is why I am setting out to make a CGI staging of this great play. It will feature animated robots, set in a Cyber Scotland, and it will adhere faithfully to the text. This is a staging, not an adaptation. The text is sacrosanct. Every word is going to be in there. And while the text remains the same, the visuals will be something that students can appreciate on their own terms. It will also be a genuine hoot for fans of classic literature and animation (there are plenty of us!).
To make this happen I need powerful rendering equipment. The trailer was done on my personal laptop on the very cool program called Blender (free to use, and a great community; can't recommend it enough). That minute-long trailer almost red-lined my system. To put together a full-length production I'll need a better computer, and the best candidate I've seen is the Asus G73SW. Also needed is the top-of-the-line motion capture and animation program, Autodesk suite. The trailer was also done with no motion capture. That is, all the movements were keyed in on the timeline. You can see that the movement isn't very natural. Motion capture is the way to fix that. The hardware to do the motion capture is actually pretty easy to come by: the Microsoft Kinect can get it done, along with a plugin to transfer the readings into Autodesk Motionbuilder. To make it as good a finished product as it can be, I'll need to pay for animators and 3d sculptors to do some part-time help, along with at least one physical actor to perform the motion capture. The text readings can be flexible, as I can use public domain readings. But all told, between the computer, software, and talent, our budget is set about as affordable as I could make it.
Please get on board and support this project. Check out the video for the working Trailer! And please spread the word to fans of Shakespeare and animation!
- (33 days)