Had I the chance to do it all again with the benefit of hindsight, I think I might well have chosen a career in video, animation or, even better, movie making.
I came to this realization after I started commissioning artists to illustrate scenes from Western Watch — the novel I’m writing. Of course, this is jumping the gun a bit as the novels first draft is not finished. Yet I really, really want to see Merreth come to life on the screen. I find myself watching action sequences in movies and TV shows with an eye to analyzing how their structure to see what makes them effective.
With a couple of images in hand, I started think about book trailers and even more — bringing certain scenes to life. A full blown movie is out, obviously (leaving aside the fact the novel is not finished), as is an animated movie (at least at this stage). Cost would be prohibitive.
OK then, what about just scenes, I asked myself? Still very expensive, at least with the quality that I want.
The best I might be able to do on a limited budget was a motion comic, or at at least motion comic scenes.
A motion comic is essentially a graphic novel with very limited animation applied to elements within each panel. A poor man’s animated cartoon if you will. I spend a little time looking around the web and came up with a number of motion comic resources that I have stashed away against future need.
Here they are if you are interested in reading a little more (I know I was):
- Wikipedia entry on Motion Comics
- The Rise of Motion Comics Online (a bit dated, but still good)
- Digital Motion Comics (a site devoted to showcasing motion comics and allowing people to upload their own efforts)
- Motion Comics — A State of the Art (again, a bit dated, but provides some conceptual information on the issues involved in creating a motion comic)
- What’s the Point of a Motion Comic (a contrary point of view on motion comics and their usefulness)
- The Hive (if you’ve got the money — and I sure as heck don’t at the moment — these people do awesome work, including motion comics)
- Creating Motion Comics with Moving Artist (I haven’t used this software, but it looks interesting)
- The iPad is Helping Make ‘Motion’ Comics a Graphic, Gratifying Reality
- Attempting Subtlety: A Brief Look at Motion Comics (contains an excellent description of the differences in comics, film, and prose in story telling)
Finally, while I on the topic, I would like to point you to an artist who does some wonderful work in animation. She put together the animated Merreth flash that I posted earlier.