Monster Month - My Process

My process when working on a film is pretty laid back.  The script is not written in traditional script fashion since I am the filmmaker, writing, directing, producing, creating, editing, all me.  So my pre-production work is done in me-shorthand. Often scribbled notes in a sketchbook (I have one for each film).  My storyboards are very rough, just enough to register a visual cue with me, or reference something in my notes elsewhere.

Here is an image from my sketchbook for "Unearthed", storyboards for the 2-D animated sequence that I haven't started on yet. 
I had a few solid ideas for the Monster Month short from the beginning. I knew I wanted the monster to be a sort of classic devil. I knew it would climb out of a hole in the back yard. I started writing a script and sculpting the devil concurrently. ( No sketches for the devil, I just dove in, having an admittedly hazy vision of the lil guy in my mind's eye already.)  I had to wrangle together more of a script for this one though, since I will be working with an actor(s) for the first time.  Still not in traditional format, but more coherent than my shorthand :)  Here is the beginning of the short...
*telephone rings*
“Hey dad. Did you get my text?”
(fade in from black)

Sunny morning, birds chirping. Camera positioned on the floor next to the bed. We see Girl’s socked feet, and behind them under the bed. Girl is putting shoes on and talking to her father on her cell. We only hear her end of the conversation.

“Yeah.” “Yes!” “No, it’s HUGE! It was just there this morning, and Sal was going crazy all night…”

Girl gets up and walks through house as she talks, through the living room, kitchen…

“No, dad, its like the size of my car!” “I am not exaggerating, would you just come over?”
Girl exit’s the house, working her way around the side of the house to the yard.

“I know.” “I know!” “I have a lot to do for tomorrow night too! I havent even started baking yet, its just…”

Girl enters yard and stops short.
“No! No, the cakes will be done, but…”

*augh* Girl is frustrated, dad has hung up.

“…the hole…”

birds eye pov revealing a massive, bottomless sink hole in Girl’s yard.
Cut to: later that evening
Girl is baking. Quick shots -- Mixer. Filling wrapper. Oven flaring on. Piping frosting.

Girl is tired, its late now and the kitchen is a mess, flour and powdered sugar everywhere
. She starts to clean up, putting dishes in the sink, cleaning the mixer & counter, and listens to a news broadcast talking about the sinkholes popping up all over town. Girl enters living room to watch the television broadcast. Sinkholes on the news. By a levee, the cathedral, the streetcar line, superdome. A cameraman is peering into one of the holes - zoom into the image of the hole and fade to darkness.

Creature-cam: outside from the hole looking up to the house, then running/bounding to the crawlspace under the house...


Sven Bonnichsen said...

Love behind the scenes stuff. :)

Darkstrider said...

Awesome - givin' me goosebumps!

Also this:

"I read the news today oh, boy
Four thousand holes in blackburn, lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the albert hall"

Shelley Noble said...

woo hoo. Great facility with story as always!