Saturday, January 26, 2013

RISE of the GUARDIANS post 06 (Pitch, Entity or Human?)

I was brought on to Rise of the Guardians to help explore the potential of the concept as a story for feature film. But due to my character design background, I was asked to explore the look of these guys from time to time as it concerned the ever changing story. I did a great deal of development on the character of Pitch(See my previous Guardian's posts), and I had a lot of opinions on his overall character and look. Here is another small sample of some of my exploration: Below I was playing with more ghastly and ghostly forms for Pitch. Made up of strands and fumes of darkness. More of an entity than a human. A nightmare in physical form. I pushed hard to not just make Pitch a guy in a suit.
Below I was playing with a more refined and noble vibe to Pitch, while also trying to keep him feeling ancient. In fact I decided to use ancient sculpture as inspiration for these sketches. More “humanistic” here but doing what I can to not just make him a guy in a costume.
But there was a prevailing push to make Pitch more visually humanistic. So If that was going to be the case I proposed that maybe his eyes and features could look slightly more animalistic or "other worldly".
But all the while I would still explore the more supernatural aspects of Pitch. More of a force of nature. He is Nightmare, and fear. He is supposed to terrify children in order to gain strength.
I created these beat boards(below)to support the idea of Pitch truly becoming an absolute force of nature during the climax of the film. The fear of the children in the town below feeds this beastly tornado. Jack, losing his strength, hangs on to this swirling mass for dear life, as North, Sandy, and Bunny bravely charge towards the imposing tower of darkness(Via North's Sleigh):
In the final film Pitch ended up a very humanistic character. There was much debate and discussion, but I miss some of the more supernatural aspects that were explored. More from Rise of the Guardians down the road. But I will have many other things to share from other projects over the next couple of months. Stay posted.

59 Comments:

Blogger Omar said...

I don't recall if you'd gone into the "why" behind the director/management going with the more human Pitch, instead of your concept. What was the logic behind it? To me, the idea of Pitch being far more ghastly and otherworldly seems far more interesting, so I'd be curious to know what rational they had to take it in a different direction.

7:15 PM  
Blogger mickey the wicked said...

Beautiful concepts! It's sad to see that some of them have not made the final cut, but I am quite inspired by them.

2:06 PM  
Blogger ROLFE said...

What a brilliant idea for a blog. Thanks for sharing with us the many, many years of hard work done behind the scenes before these movies hit the screen.

You’re very talented!


ROLFE

3:33 AM  
Blogger SHANE PRIGMORE said...


Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm glad you find these posts interesting.

OMAR: The answer to that question is multi layered:
Firstly, making these films requires an ever changing and growing team of people working together over a period of years to meet a singular goal. There are MANY opinions coming from all over throughout the process. Everybody’s tastes vary, and everyone's vision of the film is often different as well. At a large studio, there are also factors such as marketing and budget that come into play when developing a film. What will audiences think? It's scary for many people to present an un-conventional idea to their superiors, or to an audience, It might mean having to approach something in a way they may not be accustomed to. Some people are afraid that doing something different might be too technically challenging to pull off within a deadline or budget. So because of these, and MANY other factors, some peoples first instinct might be to reject a new idea right off the bat, and just stick to what they know worked for them, or others in the past. Just do what’s “safe”.
Its a daunting challenge to create anything under those conditions, but when faced with it, (and you will be) all you can do is wear THE STORY as your armor. The Story drives everything, or at least it should, and the story is what drove me to develop and think of PITCH in the ways that I did . Story defines design. And not just the series of narrative events within a story, but the TONE of the story as well. Rise of the GUARDIANS was a darker, high stakes, FANTASY, adventure film, and ANIMATED at that. This is what I whent to bat with when presenting these concepts.
But no matter how much you work to serve the story, or try to do new things to take advantage of the amazing medium of animation and film...sometimes, one or more of the many factors I mentioned above, will override your attempts.
But why were these ideas not used? Well, I would first have to say that I do believe that some aspects of my exploration did make it into Pitchs’ persona in the final film. There is a lot of story work I have not shared on my blog that had an impact. Not everything for sure. But I do think Pitch could have been an even more memorable and unique character/villain, if more of what was explored by myself and several others on the team, might have made it to the screen.
It’s like master animator and teacher Eric Larsen (one of Walt Disney’s 9 Old Men) once said: “ The audience won’t know what you leave out or don’t show them, so it is up to you to make sure you don’t cheat them out of something great. Always try to give the audience something special, something more, something new.”
Strong words from a master. Its just that sometimes that kind of thinking gets lost in the shuffle, or not considered at all.

It’s an incredible task to try to make any kind of film, and there are thousands of decisions made a week, if not daily. So I hope that this response might help give you just a bit of an insight into the “Why ?”.

Thanks,

-Shane

3:26 PM  
Blogger Omar said...

Thanks for the in-depth response!!!

I suppose it is more complicated than what one person deems to be a superior idea.

Very interesting!
Thanks!

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Blogger Devin Crane said...

Dude these are fricken awesome!!! I remember coming by your office when you guys were cranking these outs! feels like forever ago

10:58 AM  
Blogger Thomas Campi said...

Thank you very much for sharing your art, it's inspiring and it helps a lot to understand all the work behind an animation. I really love your work! ( huge fan of your Coraline art)

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Blogger Aira said...

Your work enchanted me *_* FANTASTIC!

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Blogger Jason Scheier said...

You rock so hard man!! lovin this post! I wish the movie would have stayed more in this direction for supernatural/ghostly design sense

4:02 PM  
Blogger Pat Houlihan said...

I'm really enjoying seeing your work. Amazing. Thanks for sharing. While I enjoyed Rise of the Guardians, I did walk away scratching my head over why Pitch was so vanilla. Love your early concepts of him/it. I think the kids could have handled it.

Again, thanks for sharing.....I'll be following.

11:50 AM  
Blogger SHANE PRIGMORE said...

Thanks for your thoughts and reactions everyone. Glad you find it all interesting. I'll post more about Guardians in the future for sure.

Lots more to share

-Shane

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