Production Diary

Rather than fill the whole site with diary entries that are there whether your interested or not, I am putting my production diary in the comments section of this post. Click on the comments section to view.

13 Responses to “Production Diary”

  1. Will Says:

    Day one 02 10 05

    A Production Diary for an as yet un-named film by Will Bishop-Stephens starts here.

    note: This is a blog for a number of people. Just because this happens to be top of the page now doesn’t mean it’s all likethis. There are films here too. and there will soon be more than too.

    This here is a production diary for Will Bishop-Stephens aka Wrongboy Associate Productions. So those who don’t want to see it turn away now. It’s to be added to as the whole thing lumbers into motion, and I will find out from Ian whether it can avoid being on the front page , so it can just sit in my section for those who are interested. One day the film will be finished and this will function as a warning to others.


    In two days time I will have worked out a provisional concept, but I pretty much know what I want to do anyway. I don’t want to make another film which gets bogged down, so I need to work out a narrative where there are a lot of mini films within the big film. I want to keep the film really loose, not just for now in the concept, but the finished film as well, so that anything can happen at any point.

    I have some good images for the mini films, and I know what I want to do for the big one pretty much.
    The Big Film will be stop frame, model, two characters with dolls house furniture, so really small imperfect people. Latex, like Suzie Templeton/Jan Svankmeir, unsettling visually but familiar in their characters. I want the lip-synch to be really good if I can, but it probably won’t be, so the characterisation needs to be really good too, anyway it’s the incidental . I’ll test out movements with live action for reference, but I usually have an instinct for how people move. We shall see.

    The Big Film.

    There are two characters. They are two men living in squalor, the room is a kitchen-cum-laboratory. One of the men has probes going into his brain in the style so familiar in cartoons. The other man has a control panel. Their relationship is exploitative co-dependance, somewhat like Ren & Stimpy. On a large glass screen they are seeing what comes out of the first man’s head. What comes out is different animations. They are hoping it’s something that could make them some money in some way. In the second man’s opinion they are ideally placed to exploit the current boom in animation, he doesn’t explain why. Perhaps he knows more about their situation than he is letting on.

    The first man is understandably absorbed by whatever comes on screen, the second man is frustrated and impatient, he says things like- Why can’t you make a cool music video that everyone loves? or Something that could sell things, not just a dog pushing a dog bowl around a room. Don’t you want us to be rich and happy like all the famous people? Why are you so selfish? I’m going to turn up the voltage to see what happens…

    The Mini Films.

    The mini films are less formed because that’s how I want to progress. I will work in my sketchbook and go through old sketch books and find a coherent psychology for the first man, whose head is creating the sounds and images. Some of the films will be pared right down, particularly where there are characters, they will be crude cut-outs or simple lines. Other films will layer images heavily and come on fast, depending on the knobs the second man is twiddling. There will be as big a range of style and technique as possible within the limitations of analogue or near analogue.

    Through the images on screen we will see the first man’s character laid out in front of us. We will see his worst fears and his greatest joys. This could make him vunerable, but actually he is incredably thick skinned and patient with the second man.
    Now it’s time to go and get some tea & cake. so more later.
    Thank you for your kind attention.

  2. Will Says:

    Will’s Production diary 04.10.05

    for our american readers, the date format is I know you do it different, so I thought I’d clear that up.
    Today I’m going to be working on my proposal, which will be a cut and paste of what I wrote here before, and what I am going to write now combined together and then some pages of drawings. I imagine that once I know who to upload films then I’ll know how to upload images.
    I don’t like thinking about themes too much, as a film’s themes arise anyway if they belong there. However, since I’m going to be asked about it today, the themes I imagine arising are:
    The power of friendship, with selfishness and exploitation, the desperation caused by the commercial imperitve of making money, matched with selflessness, kindness, strength and love. With comic results.
    The mini films will explore the power of the subconscious, it’s unpredictability and the difficulty of harnessing creative energy to any purpose. Also, the nature of thoughts and personality, and the comedy and irrationality of human fears and fantasies. I will be exploring the animation process and the power of images in a playful way, but in the film this materiality and play will repressent a wilfullness of subconsious motivations frustrating development into a commercial form.
    There is a theme of authorship, because the fact that the lead characters are animated, and are producing animation out of the the first man’s head- so, do they know they are animated? where does animation come from?
    sorry. I’ve just finished my disertation and I haven’t quite recovered.

  3. Will Says:

    Production Diary 02/12/05
    This is what I produced for Deborah Levy’s Script Surgery
    ©Royal College of Art 2005

    Examples for Film Structure
    Characters, Scenes and Dialogue.
    Will Bishop-Stephens, 2nd Year Film.

    A number of short films are created within the context of a linking story.

    The Linking Story

    A confined space with two characters, Mr.1 and Mr.2. A very small model set adding to the cramped feel, and tiny, awkwardly animated, stop-motion model animation characters, made of cloth, wire, plasticine and latex.

    A narrow room cramped with furniture for kitchen, bathroom and toilet. There is a table in the middle. Also, at one end, its screen covering most of the end wall, is a CONSOLE, surrounded by outsized laboratory equipment.

    Mr.1 and Mr.2 produce animated films on the screen by connecting Mr.2 to a skullcap with probes sticking out of it, in the cartoon/mad scientist tradition. Mr.1 tries to direct what happens on screen by twiddling knobs and pushing buttons.

    Scenes and Dialogue

    Few pieces of dialogue exist. Some pieces exist in relation to the mini films, but eventually these will link the films and tell us about the two characters and their relationship. These are examples and are not in any order.

    Pre-titles opening scene.

    POV from behind the screen looking into the room, in the foreground Mr.1 and Mr.2 sitting looking into the screen. They look directly at the audience for a suspended moment, blinking. Mr.2 has a brass skullcap with probes and wires sticking out of it. They are deadpan. Mr.1 delivers his verdict.

    Mr.1; Oh, no… Not Stop-Motion Model Animation… Stop-Motion Model Animation gives me the creeps.

    The Desperation of Mr.1, and the ‘Detective’ minifilm.

    Mr.1; Why don’t you produce something useful? Cute animals, or something funny that sells things? Something that will appeal to children or executives? (pleading)…Try it, just try it… Make something thrilling! Like those Cop Shows on the T.V!
    Mr.2; Yes! I know what you mean! I will!

    Camera focuses on the glass of the console and zooms in until it fills the screen.
    The console is showing white.

    Mr.1; (fading) What’s going on? It’s just white…

    Two characters walk on, ‘tap tap tap tap tap tap tap’. They are small simple hand drawn
    characters who make speech bubbles when they talk, and they talk very fast.

    Coyle: Okay. Here’s the situation; I am a detective, this gentleman here is a criminal, with some kind of weapon…

    Gimme the gun, I want that gun, give me the gun, gun gun gun, gun,
    Gimme that gun, I want that gun I need that gun, gimme the gun, gimme the gun, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Sharpe: (simultaneously)
    No no no no. You can’t have the gun, it’s my gun, you can’t have the gun, no no no I don’t want to give it to you, stay away stay away, you can’t have it, it’s my gun, ok, thank you, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome.

    Both look at camera, as if waiting for further instructions.

    Cut to Mr. 1 and Mr.2, head and shoulders shot. Mr.2 is looking of camera at the screen
    of the console, Mr.1 is staring at Mr.2 in disbelief. Mr.2 glances at Mr.1 and back at the screen, and then looks at Mr.1.

    Mr.2; What?

    Mr.2’s secret preoccupation with dancing girls

    Mr.2 looks over at Mr.1, who is standing at the table with his back to Mr.2, flicking through the pages of a flickbook. Mr.1 looks back at the screen and it fills with splodgy colourful paint can-can girls, as in the ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ sequence in Yellow Submarine. Mr.2’s girls are plumper. Whenever Mr.1 is distracted during the film and is looking at something else for a moment, Mr.2 snatches a glance at the colourful ladies.

    Mr.1’s fear of ‘Happy Families’ cards

    Mr.2 discovers he has a power over Mr.1, when figures from the old ‘Happy Families’ childrens card game come out of his head onto screen and Mr.1 is terrified.

    Mr.1; (climbing over the back of his chair)Ahhhhh, What are they?

    Mr.2; It’s the characters from the Happy Families card game. They’ve come to life in my head.

    Mr.1; (from behind the chair) Make it stop! Make it stop!

    Mr.2; okay. It’s gone.

    Mr.1 comes back gingerly and sits on his chair. Mr.2 gives him another blast of Mrs. Bung the Brewers Wife, and Mr.1’s chair falls backwards with a yelp.


    Mr.2 is producing an image of a dog in a kitchen.

    Mr.1; What’s that?

    Mr.2; It’s a dog. Could we get a dog?

    Mr.1; What’s it doing?

    Mr.2; It’s licking an empty take-away packet around a kitchen floor.

    Mr.1; (pause)…People like dogs. Could you do a film about dogs?

    Mr.2 studies the console screen very hard. He visibly strains. The word ‘Dogs’ appears shakily on screen.

    We go into a mini film about dogs. Dogs walk across screen, we see all sorts of dogs, lots of breeds, many cute dogs, some wear ruffs and do summersaults but soon the dogs start slavering and become wild and ferocious with massive teeth.

    Cut to the console, with the dogs on screen, where Mr.’s 1 & 2 are madly pressing buttons trying to turn the console off, which they manage just before the approaching big mad dog gets to the front of the screen. They slump in their chairs.

    That’s all for today. There will be five scenes in the end.

    ©Royal College of Art 2005

  4. Tee-Hee Says:

    Go for it, Will.

  5. Mavis Says:

    I just wanted to pop in and say hi… so… Hi!

  6. Will Says:

    Hi Mavis.

  7. Will Says:


    I am working on trying to infultrate some dialogue into the script from John Hegley and Simon Munnery, both poets and stand up comedians, having met up with John to discuss animating a poem with him after I finish college. Afterwards it got me thinking about my dialogue and the benefits of collaberating with someone who knows what they are doing. also they have good voices for ‘Mr.1′ and ‘Mr.2′, henceforth re-named ‘John’ and ‘Simon’

    Watch this space.

    Not that hard, you will damage your eyes.

  8. Will Says:

    I have finished the script, now. It’s version 3.0, and depends on the approval of John for certain parts that are his dialogue, and particularly if he is going to do the voice acting. I will get in touch with him as soon as I am feeling more BRAVE and PROFFESSIONAL. basically I am asking a Large Favour. But it would be really great, so I will try.
    In any case, the process of trying to integrate John’s dialogue with my own has brought the quality up a fair bit, so even if nothing else comes of the collaberation that’s still done.

  9. DAD Says:

    This looks good. I have been looking at Passion Pictures site. Will they post your award there ? Keep working. Speak soon . Love Dad

  10. Will Says:

    Hi dad.

  11. Will Says:

    I have posted a picture of one of the tiny heads in early to mid stage of production. Later on I will show you further on stages, but now I am franticly busy…GAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGG

  12. Rightgirl Says:

    Will- do some work and stop writing your production diary……!! I’m watching you!

  13. Will Says:

    Script for WRONG… as it was at _010206, before cuts.

    Version 3.4

    Model animation, in a dolls house/bedsit environment. JOHN H. is looking out of the window in their long thin single room flat.

    Titles; WRONG

    JOHN H. is looking out of the window

    Cut to:
    Live action, traffic at the end of an alley, as viewed from a window that faces one wall of the alley, so that only a sliver of the road can be seen.

    Model animation.
    JOHN H is at the window, and JOHN 2 is sat at the table doing nothing in particular. JOHN looks pensive. JOHN H. looks restless.

    JOHN H; Okay, how about a game of dog breed guesswork?

    JOHN 2: How do you play?

    JOHN H: one of us thinks of a breed of dog, and the other person has to guess which breed they’re thinking of.

    JOHN 2: alright , I’ll give it a go. DALMATION

    JOHN H: Don’t say it out loud, think it to yourself

    JOHN 2: but I was guessing yours

    JOHN H: Oh. Well. If you’re guessing would you mind putting a bit more inquisitiveness in your tone?

    JOHN 2: alright. DALMATION ? Is it? Is it? Is it, dalmation?

    JOHN H: Yes it is.


    JOHN H: I’ve got you a present.

    JOHN 2: Have you John?

    JOHN H: Yes I have. It’s going to make us rich and famous. It’s over there…

    JOHN H looks across at something that takes up one end of the room, covered by a sheet. Perhaps some dramatic music. JOHN H uncovers THE CONSOLE, consisting of a screen, valves, resistors, and real size glass lab equipment.

    JOHN 2: Ooh. It’s very big. What is it?

    JOHN H shows JOHN 2 a head clamp with wires sticking out of it.

    JOHN H: You put this on your head and it fires probes into your brain, and then whatever images are in your head come up on the big screen.

    JOHN 2: Probes you say?

    JOHN H: Yes. Are you going to give it a try?

    JOHN 2: Why don’t you give it a go first?

    JOHN H: I couldn’t possibly John, it’s your present.

    JOHN 2: Oh. Perhaps I’ll save it for later.

    JOHN H: Well. Perhaps now would be good.

    Fade to black.

    Sfx, Sound of drilling into bone.

    Title, white on black: THE SOUND OF DRILLING INTO BONE

    JOHN H and JOHN 2 are sat at the CONSOLE, JOHN 2 has the head clamp on with wires sticking out of it. They are looking at the screen of the console, which is mounted like a window on the end wall. Technical diagrams from old physics books and suchlike flash up in quick succession. Suddenly we see a brief brightly coloured scene.


    On screen: 2D animation, paint on glass. A line of chubby high kicking dancing girls, doing the can can, in psychedelic colours, like the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds sequence in Yellow Submarine.

    JOHN H: What was that?

    JOHN 2: Nothing.

    JOHN H: Was that Chubby Psychedelic Dancing Girls?

    JOHN 2: No.

    JOHN H: Oh. Because I thought it was.

    JOHN 2: It wasn’t

    JOHN H: Right then. Let’s have a look at some dogs.

    JOHN 2: I don’t think I can do dogs

    As JOHN 2 says the last line a rapid sequence of dog breed diagrams comes up on screen.

    JOHN H: Okay. How about Potatoes?

    JOHN 2: I thought this was MY present.

    Title, white on black: Dogs and Potatoes

    2D animation:

    JOHN H sings a song on Dogs and Potatoes, and the animation goes with the poem except that there are dancing girls in there sometimes. at the end we see that JOHN H is speaking in the room and the animation is on the screen. JOHN 2 is providing the images.

    JOHN H: Ahh. That was great. Did I see dancing girls in there somewhere?

    JOHN 2: That seems a little unlikely John.

    JOHN H: Right then, let’s play another game.

    JOHN 2: Is it Dalmation John?

    JOHN H: Not that game. Another game, called ‘ Becoming Rich and Famous’

    JOHN 2: That sounds like a difficult game John. How do you play it?

    JOHN H: You think of some Cartoons that prove very popular with the general public, john. And then we retire on the proceeds.

    JOHN 2: That sounds somehow wrong.

    JOHN H: No John. It’s exactly right.

    Title, white on black: WRONG

    A selection of absurd clips of animation appear, first Full Screen, then pulling back to reveal that they are playing on THE CONSOLE, and silhouetted heads of JOHN H and JOHN 2. JOHN H is dismissing the animations as soon as they establish themselves on screen.

    JOHN H: Wrong…wrong……….wrong……wrong…..That’s wrong… Next…. Next…

    Small character on screen: Hey diddle diddle dumpkin there’s no-one quite like me

    JOHN H: Next!

    Small character: What do you mean NEXT? I composed that myself.

    JOHN H: Next!

    JOHN 2: Can we have a break now? We’ve been doing this for three days now.

    JOHN H: We can have a break when you stop being so selfish and start catching the eye of Multi Media Production Executives.
    How about we play a game where you try and produce an exciting police drama like on the T.V.

    JOHN 2: (over excited) Yes! Those Shows Are Exciting Aren’t They? I’ll Make One Come Out of My Brain!

    JOHN H: (a bit hesitant) Okay.

    Title, white on black: An Exciting Police Drama Out of JOHN’s Brain

    JOHN H; (fading) What’s going on? It’s just white…

    Two characters walk on, ‘tap tap tap tap tap tap tap’. They are small simple hand drawn
    characters who make speech bubbles when they talk, and they talk very fast.

    Coyle: Okay. Here’s the situation; I am a detective, this gentleman here is a criminal, with some kind of weapon…

    Gimme the gun, I want that gun, give me the gun, gun gun gun, gun,
    Gimme that gun, I want that gun I need that gun, gimme the gun, gimme the gun, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Sharpe: (simultaneously)
    No no no no. You can’t have the gun, it’s my gun, you can’t have the gun, no no no I don’t want to give it to you, stay away stay away, you can’t have it, it’s my gun, ok, thank you, you’re welcome, you’re welcome, you’re welcome.

    Both look at camera, as if waiting for further instructions.

    Cut to JOHN H and JOHN 2, head and shoulders shot. JOHN 2 is looking of camera at the screen
    of the console, JOHN H is staring at JOHN 2 in disbelief. JOHN 2 glances at JOHN H and back at the screen, and then looks at JOHN H, who is still staring at him.

    JOHN 2; …What?

    (Pause) I could do a proper music video.

    Title, white on black: A PROPER MUSIC VIDEO.

    JOHN H: Are you sure you can manage?

    JOHN 2: Yeah, I’ll be fine…do you think this machine will make us rich and famous?

    JOHN H: It might do. Big Machines are always making people rich and famous. Perhaps we aught to turn it off now though.

    JOHN 2: I’ll be fine.

    JOHN H: Are you sure?

    JOHN 2; I’ll be fine.

    JOHN 2 reaches up and pulls a lever and JOHN H looks expectantly at the screen. JOHN 2 pulls a very
    odd face and starts vibrating, but JOHN H doesn’t notice. Odd noises come from the CONSOLE and odd images appear on the screen that coalesces into a rhythm and a sort of music. We cut back and forth between the music video and JOHN 2’s face.

    JOHN H hits JOHN 2 with a plank




    JOHN H; …that’s the last time I hit you with a plank


    Images on screen flash in quick succession, and then suddenly stop.

    JOHN H: Oh look, John. It’s broken. We’ll have to stop and have our tea.

    JOHN 2: It’s not broken. You’ve just turned it off.
    JOHN 2 points at a giant off ‘button’

    JOHN H: No. It’s quite beyond repair, John. It’s time for our tea.

    JOHN 2: Oh, ok. What we having?

    JOHN H: Tonight John, we are having Oven Chips

    Full screen image of Oven Chips packet and plinky plunky advertising music for 1 second only.

    Cut to: JOHN 2 is sat at the table waiting for his tea, seen from the side facing left, he is looking at a book. JOHN H is offscreen, to the left there are the sounds of chips going under the grill.

    Sfx. Grill rattle

    JOHN H, offscreen: Okay…How about a game of Guess the Duck Breed?

    Long pause…JOHN 2 stares offscreen, towards where JOHN H is busy getting dinner, pondering

    JOHN 2: How do you play it?


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