Monday, March 22, 2010

Writing is Re-writing, Storyboarding is Stor-Re-boarding, and all is good in the hood

Last week, (pre-spring break) we had our Midterm Critique by the digital arts department. Overall, I felt the impressions were generally favorable on my project but a lot of the suggestions seemed to come from completely different directions. As a result, I did another rewrite of my pitch and wrote out the entire death thing from my concept, mostly because it looks like it is the most polarizing issue and I feel like it makes it seem like I am going for a more "screwball" style of comedy. I haven't done a new audio track yet, but I do have new boards and a new pitch, the pitch is below.

We see various shots of an unkept house, lawn overgrown, the house should vaguely resemble a 1960's McDonalds in the color scheme. The one thing that does not seem beaten up or chipped off would be an American flag that hangs off by the doorway, which is within arms length of a window. My idea here is that I want to introduce my character through the exterior of his cat shaped house here. A soft spoken narrator starts "Everyone wants to be famous, at least at one point in their life and some would say in the case of Steve Watterson, a long unemployed artist living in Brooklyn, Wisconsin, he's the most famous man who's never left his house."

Candid shots of our protagonist start to montage on each other as the narration continues, most of these will be close-ups of him living his life. Steve Watterson is a boyish looking man with a stained shirt and Pink Floyd boxers likely hasn't showered in days, his house is filled with various different cat products and he walks around in orange cat slippers. "Every morning when he gets up and puts on his slippers, he opens his front door to a food truck, usually reserved for senior citizens, and gets a box of Fruit Loops and two cans of Tuna for every meal of the day, one for himself and the other for his arthritic cat, Vivian" Narration pauses for a few seconds as we see him slowly sitting down at the two seat dinner table with his cat, one can for him and the other for himself.

Narration starts up again "Three years ago, Steve's Keyboard Kitty video, reached seven million views, which allowed him to live off of t-shirt sales for a good year or two". We then see a shot of his cat struggling to walk over to the table and then falling limp, Steve picks him up by the two front legs, cat lets out a yowl and goes limp as he places him on a raised stool so the cat would be at the same level as him on the table, he pushes the stool in and pops open the tuna can. "Like most things in his life, his cat Vivian came to him in the mail"

Cuts to an interview with Steve Watterson the first time we see his face, at the table eating the tuna, white noise playing in the background, a band with his name and title will show up on screen "was it fate that brought me and Vivian together? Even I don't know at this point, she was recommended to me on the front page of based on my purchase history...I didn't even know they sold cats there, but after losing my job, I was lonely and I needed something to get my mind of things, plus I needed something else in my cart to qualify for Supersaver shipping" our character then looks down "...which lead to the longest 6-8 business days of my life".

His interview continues "it was during those days I started to evaluate my career as an artist, all my pieces were missing something but I had no idea what it was". Narrator starts up again "Steve showed me some of his earlier pieces, with the only major audience being Brooklyn Elementary, his conceptual pieces failed to find an audience when their fine art background consists of pipe cleaners and googly eyes". As this narration happens we see Polaroid instant camera photos of our artist standing in a jar, another where he glued giant sized googly eyes to his face, and lastly a room entitled Nihilism with nothing in it, all of the galleries are portrayed as openings with absolutely no one there.

It cuts to a shot of him next to the historical keyboard, petting a boneless looking Vivian on his lap. Steve starts up again "it was right then when Vivian came in the mail, she seemed a bit irritated after taking the trip but I had no time to lose, if I wanted to entice elementary schoolers, I had to make a piece that would speak on their level." We see a shot of him fitting a blue shirt on to his sarcastic cat "and that's where Vivian became a star, the video was a commentary on life itself, how we are forced to go against our primal animal instincts, to wear a shirt, play a piano song to please the world, little did I know, the video was uploaded to YouTube the next day and my life was changed forever". Cut to a recreation of the Keyboard cat video in a grainy YouTube window.

"The amount of traffic to my 10 year old website brought it down in a matter of minutes after it was on YouTube and it wasn't long until I started to receive letters and tribute t-shirts in the mail..." we see a shot of a horrible looking Geocities era website and then piles of merchandise lying around. "With this newfound success, I decided to give the audience what they demanded, and extended my video out to a series of works, but none of these ever really caught on". Similar videos of the cat playing the saxophone and harp play back, the list of views on YouTube is in the hundreds. We see a close up of the cat on his lap and he lifts the paw up "but, his arthritis really got in the way of future plans". Steve looks back and we see a whole room of various different musical instruments.

Narrator starts up again "it's been two years since Watterson last uploaded anything to YouTube and his status as an internet phenomenon wore down in favor of an ironically enjoyed forgettable '80s music video, no one can really blame Steve for his reclusion, the chances are he'll never get to create a piece that garners 9 million views ever again, but I can't help but shake the feeling that we haven't seen the last of Steve Watterson...". Steve looks back and forth as the camera crew leaves, he locks the door with a smirk on his face, as we see him slowly put on a cat mask and blue T-shirt, he hits the record button on the camera and the screen turns dark.
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