https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4SLxOTX31gOur idea was working so I had a thought that the team seemed to like, what if the elevator really wanted to be something else, maybe, a vending machine? Sure it’s a little odd but we thought they had a relatively similar blocky design. Maybe the elevator was dopey and didn’t think about his actions, maybe he spat out people like a vending machine spits out snacks, we thought maybe he could be harassed or mocked by one of the vending machines which led him to consume his goods and take his place, the humour being in the fact that the elevator is blissfully unaware of his traumatising actions. We thought maybe one of the vending machines could spit out a can at the elevator, this would be the victim for the attack. I’ve created a rough photo mash and some digital paintings to visualise my thoughts for this idea.
Concept piece showing an elevator pretending to be a vending machine filled with confectionary he took from the other vending machines. It shows his severed chords showing that he broke free from the elevator shaft, the vending machines look on in fear and try to get as far away as possible.
The below concept shows four vending machines taking but their bubble is burst when the vending machine breaks free from his restraints and takes one of their places. As stated before the thought was that the vending machines could be making fun of the elevator or chuck at can at him which makes him frustrated and take matters into his own hands, this idea was based off wanting an implicit meaning of treat others as you would like to be treated, the explicit, a vending machine being attacked by an elevator.
Above is an animatic Glen created to show the elevator being bullied
I went on to create some more character designs with more personality changing their shapes and size, the girl, the bully and his cronies and finally our protagonist the elevator. I messed around with colour and shape, I had some rough shape sketches on paper but unfortunately they have gone missing so you’ll just have to take my word that I experimented.
I wanted designs to make the character their own, I wanted to lend personality to them based on their shape. I liked though thought of giving the female vending machine curves, maybe not the conventional hour glass figure because it’s a vending machine, but curves none the less. I ended up giving her a shapely head, some eyelashes and lips to give the impression it was a female vending machine.
Below are the two ‘smarms’ as we took to calling them, I quite like the subtle curves which give them their own distinct looks. I tried to give them straighter edges than the female to maybe indicate a more solid less feminine figure. I designed one tall and skinny, one short and wide as I thought it was a funny combination.
Here is the bully who is drawn quite straight which contrasts to the curves of the other machines, I wanted him to look different than the others. his design is quite plain but I think this shows him as strong and macho.
Here is our protagonist the elevator. I wanted to design him with curves as I envisioned the he would squash and stretch, I also wanted him to compliment the female vending machine to some extent which is why he round off more at the bottom so that they would fit beside each other more easily. By suggestion by Glen and David I took reference from ‘Bob the Builder’ for the mouth, to be specific, the character lofty.
Here’s the final line up showing the size variations of the characters
We revised this idea and wanted to develop it a bit more, we decided it should be a love story which is something we had discussed before with our previous elevator ideas. The idea involved a new beautiful vending machine that the elevator instantly falls for, however his lingering gaze is interrupted my a douchebag vending machine who shoots a can at the elevator hitting him in the face. The elevator gets his revenge as the lights turn out swapping places with the douchebag and tying him up in the elevator shaft in the process to cover up his tracks. Here’s a story board that Glen drew up from the teams ideas;
Glen then created this animatic from the story board, his animatic showed various different shot ideas and methods which we could incorporate to show the elevator’s emotions without words.
We wanted the animatic to be digital and to consolidate some ideas so I used Glen’s to make another version with a few changes. Here’s all the frames I drew out for the animatic;
I edited the video together for the presentation the next day. Unfortunately, I did not have time to complete the last couple of shots of the vending machine tied up in the elevator shaft.
This was not a huge problem as based on feedback from Mike and Yuan we decided to change our idea, there was elements that they liked such as the way emotions were conveyed by the elevator and they also thought the character designs of the vending machines were appealing so we decided stick with them but ultimately change the idea as the tutors didn’t believe the story was strong enough and we agreed.