Week 14

a CMU ETC Production

Week 14

Back in the (Seahorse?) Saddle

Monday night ended our mad rush to get our content to a completed state for Soft opening. By the end, we had put together all of our scenes; three were left incomplete, but we were able to show the in-progress versions along with a “% completion” number so our audience knew we were on our way.

This shot was a big hit.

Much to our surprise and delight, the faculty were overall impressed with what we had come up with so far! We got a number of comments impressed with our animations, story pacing, hair, and environments. Considering how frustrated we were getting with some of the technical obstacles we faced, it was encouraging to hear the production was appealing to people. The most consistent piece of feedback we got was to finish the job and get all scenes out the door, which makes sense. But it definitely seemed as though we inspired confidence that the team is up to the task.

Some other thoughtful points of feedback we got were to speed up the transformation reveal a little bit; while it’s inherently a powerful moment, it was overstaying its welcome. This is something we plan to smooth out through editing the timing. We also heard that the font we used in our credits was distracting because it made U’s look like V’s. As such, we’ll look for one that communicates the same mythic tone while also being more legible. Never forget the importance of a good font!

On the Pre-Production side, the feedback was a bit more decisive. Our idea for the dialogue in the piece was to be voice-over that establishes the relationship between Hallie and Hasan through the back-and-forth letters they send each other. We knew this choice did not directly match the events transpiring on screen, but hadn’t considered the mental effort that would put on the viewer to connect the dots. This was something the faculty brought up to us, and something we now seek to iterate on. We want the focus to be on the Package as the main character, so anything we can do to emphasize that will be helpful.

To celebrate our success at Softs, and raise morale moving forward, the team took a breather and grabbed dinner and drinks together:

In the next week, we look forward to finishing strong. Our hard deadline is May 3rd, as that’s when the ETC is holding its annual Open House. We want to be able to showcase our final product for prospective ETC students, so that way we can help garner interest in the program. This will also give us time to reflect on our lessons learned for our team post-mortem and Finals presentation, in which we want to clearly communicate the steps we took to get to this point.

Until next time!