What to Do when an Idea Isn't WorkingRecently I came to a place in the planning of my new personal film where I felt blocked. The concept was of two characters having a confrontation in an airport, and as I tried to commit the whole thing to storyboard, my progress and enthusiasm ground to a halt.
|The original main characters.|
I expressed this to a close friend who is also an animator, and he just shrugged and said, "Well, maybe there is something wrong with the whole idea. Rethink it."
Immediately I felt re-energized. And I also felt relief, because I was keeping with my new resolve not to animate anything without first storyboarding to the end. So I had not wasted a lot of work.
I began sorting through the ruins of my concept like a man standing amid the tornado-riven rubble of his home, looking for what might be salvaged. There were some good character designs, and there was the airport location. There was a gag about an oversized suitcase that couldn't possibly make it past airport security and size regulations as a carry-on.
Part of the ruin was what had been my main character, a goofy guy who was funny-looking but hard to understand or empathize with, even for me. He was the one with the suitcase, and now I saw that he had to go, and he had to leave the suitcase behind.
|Keep the suitcase, lose the guy. These are my first sketches of the character, from a traveling notebook.|
Next: A New Start