THE MAKING OF THE SPAWN: ANIMATION TEASER
Todd Tells All! Spawn: Animation Takes Flight
Friday, July 15, 2005
Although it was my intention to give you a follow up on the voice recordings for the animation, we will not be discussing that in this week's column. Having quite a few other people involved with the show, sometimes it can be a challenge to get things done right and on schedule. We are still moving along in casting the voices, there is just not much to elaborate on at this time. Stay tuned for an update in a later column.
Having said that I think now is a good time to discuss the process of making the animation trailer that will make its premiere on Thursday, July 14th at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
Since the con is such a huge event, and key to creating a buzz with new projects, we really wanted to have some animation footage put together to show at the con.
Around the beginning of May we approached Film Roman about our need, and want, to create a trailer that could be shown to the tens of thousands of people, including thousands of Spawn fans, who attend the event. Film Roman was receptive to the idea and excited that we are just as anxious to get the project in front of people as they are. Since we all agreed we needed something to entice the crowd, we moved forward with the process of creating a teaser trailer.
The first step was summing up our 80-minute story into just 30-plus seconds. Via a brief outline, this task was done relatively quickly and sent over to our crew for comments. The mini story they suggested we show was accepted and approved to move onto the storyboarding.
Around the end of May with only a month and a half to our deadline, we asked for the boards. I was going to be visiting Film Roman's office on June 15th and I wanted to see what they had while I was there. Along with seeing the boards for the entire movie, (what turned out to be 30 pounds of paper and over 2800 pages), they did have the trailer boards ready as well. I made a few quick comments and some changes to the copy, but overall I was pleased with what I saw. Meeting our July 1st deadline seemed possible.
Come the end of June everything was moving along nicely. We had received the revised boards and approved them and overall timing was on schedule, until the person in charge of keeping things rolling with the trailer was pulled off our project to help with something else. At a bit of a stand still, with the con quickly approaching, we were able to get another week tacked on to our final deadline for some breathing room. Reorganization ensued and thankfully things began to happen very quickly.
With the storyboards complete the next step was to create the tempo of the images we were showing. For this trailer, the main things we were hoping to achieve was obviously a good representation of the mood and action of the story, as well as a good pace that could A) grab interest of people walking by the McFarlane booth, and B) have them walking away counting down the months until they could see more. As the deadline was loudly pounding on our door, we still had some final touches to add in order to have a TMP worthy product to put on the screen.
The sound and music still had to be laid in, a gigantic task since realistic sound is crucial in animation. It was crunch time and with only four days to get it done, everyone was working overtime. We were lucky enough to have a multiple Emmy-nominated score writer on our team, and within the four days I was satisfied. Meanwhile, the sound effects crew was doing their thing and by the skin of our teeth we made our deadline. With some shocking visuals, not always evident in animation, great sound and a very early, quick glimpse of Spawn, I think we have achieved our goal of creating a buzz worthy teaser for Spawn: Animation.
Like every process we've discussed so far, we've had some challenges along the way. But thankfully all were overcome and we have come through the process with an entertaining teaser to show off at the convention. There was so much hard work and many long hours put into this thirty-second trailer, that I only wish it could be longer and we could show more. But after all it is only a "teaser."
I hope to see many of you at Comic-Con. I will be hosting a panel on Saturday from 1-2:30 pm where I will elaborate on many of our entertainment projects, hint... Spawn 2 live-action feature film, as well as what's happening with my toy company.
Thanks for reading,
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