Here's is my first pre-production blog. With this series of blogs, I'll be updating readers on all the happenings and preparation as we get closer to shooting. As of now, our official first day of photography is November 24th which will entitle helicopter photography. This shoot will cover establishing the landscape of Mobius which will feature city vistas and panoramic of forest (foreshadowing what will be the Green Hill Zone). We are actually going to be doing the Jaleel White voice recording before then so November is going to be a hell of a month!
We have the script ready to go but I find myself fine tuning it each and everyday. It's crazy since my mind is consistently reworking the pieces and trying to make things more faithful and to the point. It's hard to say if this is my first draft or 10th draft since I'm just continuously adding more and then taking anyway. One issue I had with "MegaMan" was that the pacing suffered from some slow down since I was so concerned with character development and plot that I ended up putting in a lot of stuff that could of been trimmed out. The pacing of the short must reflect the essence of who Sonic, Simply put, Sonic is FAST. He's just go go goes so the pacing needs to be fast and to the point. Every line of dialogue must move the story along and serve a purpose and every action beat must kick it up and generate some real excitement. We have about a week before we have to lock all off Sonic's dialogue before we go to record for his voice.
Sonic's Design and the CGI:
Over the last week, I've been rethinking certain aspects of Sonic's character design. I'm trying to get the best blend of old and new school Sonic. As more designs are released, I hope people will be vocal and honest since this has been REALLY tough. I know there are groups of fans that are divided: some love the old design while some love the newer design. Hell, there are a group of fans that love either design. I've never been this critical of designing a character in my life and I realize just how picky I'm being. Are his ears to big? Should we round his head so it's more retro? Should his legs have length but we shorted a bit? We are being really picky with every aspect since we want to deliver the ultimate, cool Sonic the Hedgehog while giving him a freshness. This challenge has been nothing short of hair pulling!
Right now, the CGI model looks great but we keep tweaking and tweaking each day. Based on what we seen, we can confidently say that all concerns that people had with the CGI based on "MegaMan" are not here. With our main character being completely CGI, he MUST look great. I can't second guess myself or allow a sub-par product. Luckily, I have VFX Supervisor David Horowitz barking at me making sure I get THE best results while he makes sure our lead modeler keeps to his real potential. Sonic has to look impressive and well rendered. When we begin releasing screen shots, we hope fans will be vocal. Until you see Sonic in the film, NO render or design is final. I will be relying a lot on the fans to give me input on the designs. My job is to just filter and manage all the advice and create something truly wonderful.
We are looking at potential shooting locations later this week! We will be shooting over all the tri-state area and we have a few diverse locations in mind. We want Mobius to be as visually dynamic as possible from the overwhelmingly vast Star Light City to the grim and bleak outskirts of South Island where Robotnik has made his mark. We hope we can avoid having to travel south to get more greenery for the foreshadowing of the Green Hill Zone but let's see what happens.
That's all the basics that are happening right now. We are still recruiting help and the fun process of casting actors begins this week. That will bring upon our next biggest challenge: who will we cast to play Robotnik? We have our eyes on someone but we will be exploring all avenues. I can't wait for fan feedback on that!
Stay tuned! Tuesday, expect new concept art and on Wednesday, a new video blog answering some FAQs!