Killing the Baby

Sometimes, you´ve got to kill your babies in order to keep them alive.

With one of my babies, my animated science fiction short film, Echoes, I had to take a really hard decision.

As I have mentioned it before, it would take approximately 2.000 hours to finish all the handpainted watercolour images for my backgrounds.
Having finished all of the tasks that can (and cannot) be done on a shaky train, all that´s left of the Echoes postproduction workload has to be done on a desktop computer or a big drawing table. And that´s where my problem arises: I can do so only on Saturdays – for about 6 to 10 hours a day. Considering days I or one of my loved ones gets sick, somebody in my family has a birthday, Xmas or that I´m simply having a vacation what´s left are approximately 45 Saturdays a year.

[45 Saturdays] x [approx. 8 working hours] = 360 hours

So I got 360 hours a year I can work on the postproduction of Echoes. Not taking into account my other mini projects I´m working on besides Echoes. And if my estimate is right (2.000 hours for the watercoloured backgrounds), it would take 5 years and 7 months to get all my watercolour paintings done. What would still be missing are:

  • the rotoscoping process (drawing the figures based on the filmed materials)
  • the 3D modeling
  • 3D movement trackings
  • hair creation
  • compositing (putting all together)
  • …and much more

Being confronted with such a workload could be discouraging, but I have to see it the positive way: I have never ever learnt so much about filmmaking before. And today I know how to do stuff I would not have dreamt doing 3 years ago when I first started with Echoes. Most of it being 3D stuff (which I never was really into – I´m old school, I love making miniatures) and project management.

It was a tough decision, but I had to let go my dearest part of Echoes, which were the hand painted, watercoloured backgrounds in order to get Echoes finished (sooner). Killing my baby to let my baby live.

What Echoes will look like instead is the style I had in mind when I wrote Echoes – which was a black and white, inky, comic style look. Something like Battle Angle Alita…

Battle Angle Alita
…or a game called Mad World:
Mad World Game Screenshot

Echoes might have also some greytones.
But it will definitely have a harsher look.


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