To expand on my ideas from last week, and give insight into the research I'm doing--
My idea is to make an “alternate fairytale” based on a boy who grows up with people who can turn into tress. The story will follow the human boy as he is adopted by the tree people as an abandoned baby, his growth into a young man, and the lesson he learns from the tree people. Essentially, the peaceful tree people are immortal, but choose to become trees when they decide to “end” their life. This is initially unnatural to the boy and he doesn’t understand it, but faced by immediate danger, he finally comes to to understand why they become trees and accepts the change without being afraid of it.
My intention is for viewers to be pulled into this strange, lyrical world, just as we are drawn into fairytales by the Grimm Brothers.
I’ve been doing some research into fairytales and myths to determine what makes a fairytale. What separates them from other stories?
Some key points of fairytales:
1. They create a profound sense of wonder. There are many ways to describe this, but basically the reader/listener/viewer rapidly suspends their disbelief and accepts the strange, wonderful events that happen so quickly. From Jack Zipes (who I did a lot of reading up on): “Wonder is… the emotion excited by the perception of something novel and unexpected or inexplicable; astonishment mingled with perplexity and bewildered curiosity … The tales seek to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition to life.”
2. Things happen rapidly. Events happen at a dreamlike pace; change is violent and constant.
3. The personalities of the characters are minimally developed. Characters are often archetypes, and their desires and inner thoughts are connected to their symbolic meaning in the story.
4. There is a moral or lesson. When I ask people what they think makes a fairytale, they usually come down to this— “It teaches you something.” I am struggling with this. Does the moral have to be clear cut and easily delivered to the reader/listener/viewer? As my draft is currently, the message is convoluted (partly due to the story’s natural rough edges, mostly due to an intended moral that confuses even me, the writer).
The transitions should flow into each other, so this means metamorphosing, masking, and other transitions used commonly in Motion Graphics. I imagine the progression to imitate illustrations that you might find in a storybook. ((Not literally a storybook— I wasn’t planning on showing an actual book opening, but I’m not closed to the idea, either.)) I plan to divide the story into beats, whatever moves it forward, and craft carefully detailed images from there. Each detail has to be intentional and eye-grabbing since the actual scene-animation will be minimal (nice transitions will take most of my animation manpower). For example, you might see a tree woman slowly cradling a baby to her, hair waving and whatnot with small organic details in the environment, but characters should not be moving too much in each beat. There would perhaps be a couple exceptions with faster-paced parts, but regardless the viewer should get the sense that they are being pulled into a story.