Sunday, September 30, 2007

I was just playing around with some blurs and colours on some sketches i did. I was trying to figure out how the tail could represent a face, by giving the tail three little hair clusters you can get some good facial expressions and still have it look like a tail.

New story dealie.

I tried to work in as many of the things the group was unanimously deciding on as possible, but I wasn't sure how to handle a couple things, like how the tail was going to behave. It worked as a straight-man character when the ox was still dumb, but with a more serious ox I didn't think that was working too well. I thought of them more like Zazu and Simba this time around, with the ox being more laid back while the tail was nervous and twitchy. Dunno how it worked out, or if the tail is even still necessary in the new story, so I guess that's your guys' call. Either way, here's what I've gotten written up so far.


Open with a pan across the night sky, constellations glittering as the narrator explains that long ago in the time of humanity’s infancy the world was ruled over by the celestial Emperor and his heavenly court. To reward his underlings for their unfaltering loyalty, the Emperor would one day grant them a place in the stars for everyone to see.

Eventually the camera focuses on the Emperor strolling through fields of clouds with the ox, pointing to the sky and explaining to him that he has been such a strong ad trustworthy messenger for all these years, that now he only needs to fulfill one more task to secure his place in the heavens. As he compliments the ox, the Ox maintains a polite-yet-serious disposition, but his tail stands at attention and nods whenever the Emperor says something flattering. The Emperor parts a small hole in the clouds so that he and the Ox can look down to the earth and see all the hungry, impoverished people slowly milling about. He explains that he has decided that the people would be much happier if they were allowed to eat once every three days, and that he is going to lend the ox his immutable godly powers so that he can deliver the message to them. The ox looks worried because he has never been to the Earth before, but the Emperor tells him that he has nothing to worry about and that he’s being given this mission because it’s like his retirement task and it’s so easy that there’s no possible way he could screw it up.

The Ox salutes with his tail and begins to descend the stairs leading to the Earth. As he nears the bottom, the colour scheme becomes more dull and dry-looking. Upon reaching Earth he calls to the villagers and tells them that the Celestial Emperor has sent him, but the villagers weakly scramble in fear, tripping, trying to hide behind dead bushes, ect. The ox is shocked at the sight of this all, and moves to help one of the villagers who fell in the process of trying to get away. He sees that the man is on the verge of passing out from dehydration and frantically looks around for river. The land is completely dead and dry looking, so there are none to be found. In frustration, the ox shakes his fists (hooves?) and is shocked to see a huge wave come crashing past them out of nowhere, carving a river beside the village. The people come out of hiding to see the water and begin cheering for the ox.

While the ox is hamming it up, his tail begins quivering in fear, poking him on the shoulder, and directing his attention to a thunder cloud that has opened to reveal the Emperor looking down at them with a very annoyed expression. The Emperor reminds the ox that he was not told to go around granting miracles all willy-nilly and that he’d better get back on task if he wants his place in the stars. As soon as the Emperor disappears into the clouds again, the ox becomes calm again, but the tail looks very frantic and twitchy, trying to poke the ox back on task. The ox swats him away, saying that for all his years of loyal service to the Emperor, he wouldn’t possibly ever give him more than a slap on the wrist. The tail persists, so the ox concedes and hops from the crowd up on top of an elevated rock.

The Ox puts his arms up and tells the villagers that the Celestial Emperor has sent him to bring the people food! Enough food to eat three!... he looks around at all their hopeful, starving faces... three!... Thunder ominously crashes nearby and the tail puffs up... Three times a day! The people burst out cheering and celebrating as sprouts grow up all over the land and the colour become lush and vibrant. Thunder and lightning crash as the clouds open up again to reveal a very angry Emperor. He tells the ox that there is no place in his Celestial court for disobedient animals who promise his subjects more than he could ever deliver. He says that if the ox likes the people so much, he surely won’t mind staying on Earth and helping them make enough food to have all these meals he’s going around promising in the Emperor’s name.

The Ox looks confused, but them horrified as he sees his magical glow fading. He begins frantically grabbing at his skin,trying to pull up the glow as it drains away. A yoke appears and snaps around his neck, and the scene cuts to black.

When the scene reopens, it is the next day, and the ox is straining to pull a plough through a field. In exhaustion he slumps down in the grass. He picks a blade and looks at it with a bemused expression, as though he’s wondering if it’s really worth all this trouble. He puts it in his mouth and begins to chew, looking as though he’s concentrating on it very intently. Suddenly, a look of surprise spreads across his face. He jumps to his feet, grinning, and takes a big mouthful of grass, chewing sloppily. Completely energized by how delicious the grass is, he forgets that he was ever sad and goes on ploughing the field easily, taking mouthfuls of grass as he pleases.


Anyway, that'll give us something to mill over until we talk to DQ tomorrow.

Story points

Let me know if I'm missing something vital. Also lets consider any possible foreshadowing we can have at the beginning that may hint at the ox's fate.

Pitching to DQ tomorrow....

Hey Guys,

I thought I would just throw this out there - Brockster, would you feel comfortable about pitching our story to DQ at our meeting tomorrow? I know we have a lot more of the story worked out this time, and it will be better than just reading off a paper.

What do you guys think? Are ya up for it Brock?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

my thought of the ox and the grass.


Anybody want to chat on msn? my msn e-mail is
I think both idea's are great but I'm still leaning towards Andy's food ending. one of Andy's points were that the whole film really is about food, and to end it on that note would make it give it some symbolic meaning. It has some real possibilities to make it funny and leave the audience laughing at the end. Also i wanted to talk about the point that Alex brought up about the narrator being the Ox. That would make a really cool tone for the story. Anyways I think the the story that we're coming too is really solid. lets pitch it to DQ on Monday and start thinking up some more gags for the new characters.

On second thought....

Hey, sorry about all the posts with words and not, ya and stuff. But after talking over with Andy, the whole idea of the ox "earning his medal" (see my previous post if u dont know what I'm talking about) after all may not be the ideal way to go. He brought up a good point: By giving the ox his reward (star among the heavens) at the end, and having this all be a test of merit, it might ultimately cheapen the ox's decision. The Ox makes his choice, is punished, and must now live with his decision.

So what Andy was saying is at the end, the Ox is simply happy because he's got this delicious food. He's been reduced to the level of all of mankind now. He's one of them. The food is now basically reward enough for him. As a character who undergoes a huge change, he sees that reaching that original goal (the star among the heavens) is no longer important. He has risen above that level. HES OBTAINED OX NIRVANA!

So maybe I just confused everyone with the whole "the emperor is a wise yoda" previous post. I think it may work better keeping the emperor sort of cold and indifferent, and that makes the Ox's sympathy w/ the message, and ultimately, the ox's willingness to accept his punishment, and even be HAPPY at the end, all the more of a surpise to the audience. It shows he's a noble character. Without having to reward him with a big gold star!

What do you guys think?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A new take on the Emperor....

Hey guys! I got some input from people outside our group. The feedback was really positive, and I actually got a really good suggestion I thought I'd share and see what you all thought.

What if we handled the Emperor's character differently? What if instead of being this punishing taskmaster, he instead is someone who contains true, yoda-like wisdom. This wisdom is not revealed until the film's ending.

Most of the story would stay exactly the same. The Ox still wants to earn his star place among the heavens. So his motivation is the same. His tail can still have the "follow the rules" personality. Emperor gives him the same task. He still deliberately changes the message after seeing the starving villagers.

Not too much difference so far. The ox expects to be punished (he disobeyed after all) but has no idea what it could be. The emperor reveals his punishment as having to spend eternity plowing the fields to provide food for all mankind. The ox can even show his dissapointment/sadness at this time, because it really seems like a daunting task.

BUT! Heres the big change. (and it seems like something we were almost getting at durring our story meetings) The Emperor reveals that this was a test for the ox's merit. By chosing to do what he feels is right and not blindly following orders, the ox has proven himself worthy. Although he now has the responsibility to work and provide the food he promised (because the OX promised, not the emperor), in the end this selfless act grants him his celestial place in the heavens. So basically he DOES get his star constellation, or golden medallion, or whatever. He has "earned his wings".

So now the ox gets what he wanted at the end. He doesn't get it the way he had in mind, and thats where the story arc/change in his character takes place.

I think it ends it on a more happier note, and shows some depth I didn't think to put in the Emperor's character. What do you all think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Grass....It's Delicious

Tail idears

Some sketches for the tail and other shtuff!

Getting message from Emporer....
Delivering message to people....