With my minor project finished with I got my major project brief on Tuesday and I’ve had a couple of loose ideas floating round my head, I want to stick with environment design as I feel it pretty up my street and after the last project its defiantly something I want to go into. The most prominent idea in my head which overweighed the other in terms of I preferred the basic concept behind it and it aroused my interest far more than the other ideas I had.
I won’t bother going through all my potential idea but the idea that interested me spawned from me watching a recent channel 4 documentary called ‘Man on earth’ which followed Tony Robinson as he looks at how man came to be on the planet and subsequently survived and evolved.
In the documentary it went into how man began spreading out over the world and a group of settlers settled in Russian in a rather warm climate but then climate change set about ice ages which killed off trees and vegetation and the with little cover from the elements humans began building small houses from the bones and skins of dead mammoths which were not in short supply due to the change in climate wiping out large herds in short spaces of time. However because these herds were being wiped out man was reeking the benefits and as a result survived the onslaught of climate change.
This idea of the first known creation of houses and this base of modern architecture rather fascinated me and I began thinking of how I could tweak this to fit into some kind of project. I didn’t want to just make a desolate snowy Russian landscape with a few ancient buildings because i don’t feel that would have given a very dramatic effect and given it that wow factor.
The after watching an anime film called Origin: Spirit of the past, which was about a civilization living in the ruins of a world from the who live in fear of the jungle due to it at some point in the earth’s history spiralling out of control and engulfing cities etc as it violently grew. However they weren’t technologically advanced enough and didn’t have the understanding to utilize the crumbling city they lived on top of.
The combination of these 2 elements I felt would make a nice contrasting and conflicting world. I thought about how to link the 2 radically different civilizations and came to the conclusion that some kind of taboo on the futuristic city would make a nice link. Like man has gone through all this evolution then something terrible had happened which forced survivors of this terrible occurrence to relocate and live outside the huge cities they had created going back to a primitive way of living within nature hunting and foraging. Whilst keeping their distance from the tabooed cities and living in fear of the atrocity that past generations had been forced to flee from.
I went to my tutor with this idea was told it needed more contextual grounding and closure on something happening as it was just something that I’d created from my imagination.
From that idea though he pointed me towards a short story by Ray Bradbury called A sound of thunder, as well as gave me a few names to look up for other potential short stories to give my projects some contextual grounding for which to be graded upon.
My tutor also told that there had been a film made from the story which was utter rubbish, so he said steer well clear and dont watch it so it doesnt currupt you.
I went away and hunted down A Sound of Thunder and after reading it I thought to myself, that’s really interesting and would make an kool project, although it looked like I would have to slightly abandon my early civilization houses slightly due to the time period it going back to.
Here’s a shortened version of the story:
The year is 2055, a company called Time Safari, Inc who specialises in time travel to the past to enables paying customers to hunt or more precisely kill extinct animal. The company operates on the fringes of the law and due to the fact that killing an animal that has a future could ultimately impact modern reality, the company has to do background research and track animals and find those that will die of natural causes and thus enabling the paying customers to kill those specific animals minutes before they are destined to die naturally.
The protagonist is on such paying customer and goes into the year 60,000,000BC to shoot a Tyrannosaurus Rex. However once there due to the size scale and sheer ferocity of the tyrannosaurus he cowers causing the guides and the other hunters to nearly lose their lives.
There is a pathway set up hovering 6 inches above the ground for which the ‘hunters can walk on and not interact or contaminate the past , however the cowering protagonist is ordered back to the time machine but in fear strays off pathway before returning to the time machine.
After the Tyrannosaurus in slain the guides return to the time machine and consider whether to leave the protagonist in this time period or kill him outright. They send him to dig the bullets from the tyrannosaurus’ as punishment as they can leave no trace of the future in the past.
Upon returning to the future the protagonist steps out of the time machine and they find that the world is not as they left it. The protagonist pulls a clump of mud from his boots to find a dead butterfly in the mud he had stepped on in the past.
After dropping to his knees in sadness and desperation wanting to go back and change what he had done and closes his eyes.
One of the guides shoots him.
That’s a quick breakdown but I’d say read the story as it’s not overly long and it’s better than this rough description.
So I’m going to go with this in terms of project idea and with regards to what I’m thinking of making for it, I’m still pondering on it but I like the idea of making the room with the time machine in it then duplicating that room and altering it so you see the 2 alternate realities of 2055. The first a fairly utopian world slightly more advanced than the one we live in now with more of a central/left wing governing, and the altered reality more industrialised and right wing somewhat of a dystopian world where the sky is dark and clouded with a haze of smog and try and portray a world void of compassion for the planet and ignorant of the consequences to their actions.
I’m thinking the first scene would be fairly plain as if the hunting party had just left with say gun racks missing guns etc to show that someone has been here and a window to show a brief vision of the world outside. I’m also considering the possibility that I might show the time machine as it fires up and the people inside get thrust into the past.
Next show the prehistoric jungle and maybe the carcass of the dead tyrannosaurus and a footprint in the mud showing someone had been here, like we’d just missed what happened and we’re seeing the aftermath of it. However I’m not sure at the moment that the scene needs the tyrannosaurus, it needs something to link it with past but I could do that using the time machine and dials etc. So going out of my way to model a big dead t-rex might not be what this project needs, also it gives the project more of a mystery at this early stage so the last scene can be like reveal of what’s gone on.
Like a typical 3 act story structure, introduction, in this case the room with the time machine as an establishing scene, then the event or main act, where we see the prehistoric jungle, and the conclusion or consequences of the action which would be the final scene.
Final scene wise I want to show the first scene reinvented into the altered reality with time machine humming as if it was warming down, all but one gun replace on the gun rack. I’m thinking about having a path of mud footprints leading to a dead golden butterfly laying on the floor, and off to one side of the butterfly a pool of blood. The final part of that scene I’m thinking should have the camera head towards the window and show the view out to the altered reality beyond.
Before I start drawing anything and coming up with concepts it think it’s pretty key i get down and do some research into the various aspects of this idea. So next step is look into potential time machine structures, also I’m going to do some research into right and left wing politics to try and inform my alternate reality more efficiently as well as look at what a prehistoric jungle would have looked like as a jungle from 60,000,000BC would vary greatly from what we know as a jungle today.