Hi， It is sounds very interesting that you are an all round creative editor/writer. Script writing is not my profession，I studied in Beijing film academy but my major is concept art. I usually have the big pictures and scene in my mind，the problem is I lack the basic writing skils.As a result I always have to work with a team consists of a scrip writer，a story board artist，and myself draw concepts. However，when we finish the pre-production work we have to find someone who have knowledge and perspective，to evaluate it. Just like when you making manga/comic you will need a professional reader/editor. More importantly，I believe when I am making any film the goal is to please the audience，to make them happy or toched. This may be difficult depending on different markets. Since I come from China, a country have much different culture from US. And there are basically two schools of thinking in the animation film industry of China today. The one is focusing on developing her own traditional or classic culture, it is important but I have to admit Chinese culture is too complicated as well as alienate for American/European.The other one is what in my mind：It is not so necessary to obsesse with tradition. I personally interested in Sci-fi with steampunk & diesel punk elements，and may be some alternated histor plots，just like what happened in vedio game Bioshack series. I need your advice because you are not only creator but also audience. What would you like to see most of an animation film? What do you think a film can make a different, stands out of them all?Today's movie sometime like the fast food with many CGs and actions，but weak stories and plots. I do have some ideas of film to share and some of them may sounds a bit wierd or wild.It can be very helpful you give me advice or comments. And I hope may be we can work on some projects together in the near future if you glad to. Altough I have begin co-production with studio from europe, those are only literary short films. I havent work with colleague from US yet,because I think American market is more challenging, audience want more than in other countries.They have been watching too much good movies...
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I got excited when I read "steampunk," "Sci-Fi," "alternate history," and "Bioshock." I am an avid lover of steampunk (often dressing in said fashion), and "Bioshock" is a fabulous game. All of these elements combined into a movie would be absolutely amazing. I have actually directed a play where we based most of the elements in steampunk, and it was well-received by the audience.
I love animation films, and I suppose the biggest thing I would like to see is something new and unpredictable. It feels like many movies are just using recycled plots and CGI effects, like you said, which is tired and boring. I want to see something unpredictable. Honestly, about 98% of the time when I watch a movie I can predict the ending usually before getting past the beginning of the movie, which sort of takes the fun out of watching. I want to see a strong plot with characters I can actually relate to and care about. I want to actually feel something emotionally when I watch a movie.
I would like to hear your ideas for movie plots. I like weird and wild, so I can't wait to hear them. I would love to help you with more of your projects in the future as well.
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I actually just thought of the perfect animation movie example of what I mean by predictability and reusing plots in movies. I just watched Epic today, and while I enjoyed it, to me it was basically FernGully with a main character gender swap. I actually said to myself about two minutes into the movie, "I bet this is going to be a reverse FernGully." Again, I liked Epic, but it felt like another recycled plot.
I believe I have figured out the solution of how to request me specifically to answer a question without any strange category locking. Here is the link to my profile on JustAnswer: http://www.justanswer.com/general/expert-mirandam/ On the left side of the page, there is a white box with my photo in it along with other information. At the bottom of the box there is a place for you to type and ask your question. If you do it through my profile, it should come directly to me without any problems. But still put "For Miranda only" at the beginning of your question just to be safe.
I’ve read your answer, and you proved me that the successful character development and turing points setting are essentially the key of a great story. My favorite stories recently: Bioshock Infinite which has an ambiguous ending and definitely not the"happy ending", Actually I prefer the tragedy with bad ending or ambiguous ending. Not only because it makes you EMOTIONEDand memorable, also it can easily leave undeveloped story lines for the possible sequels. This is very important for a film maker，not because of art but business, when I have to give a presentation to the investors. They want profit and box office so a series or trilogy will make them happy at least interested in what I am doing. And a well designed story must have been logically concepted even before the scrip writing, generated necessary turning pionts and key plots，this is my guess. I never into the industry in America，tough I did met some concept designer from different studio when they visited film academy in Beijing. I think there must be some kind of formula or Hollywood standards to develope the story.
However I still believe a freely written one could be more creative. For example steampunks generally reflect the world between the late victorian era in to early 1920s，the dramatic conflict always between the dawn of the modern technologie, and the misunderstanding or misusing of them. The iconic elemts are airships powered by steam ， zeppelins，robotic characters... But I realized audience deserve some more and fresh, cant be these again and again...I'd like to set the story across the 1930s in a parallel universe，an era that seems wealthy and peace, with great cities（like what Fritz Lang did in Metropolis）but I dont hope to make it utopia, there are many genre about this topic already. I just want it be as realistic as what it mean to be in the real world, yet the fantasy parts in it is what I'm going to describe:
The world is build on a big continental country，stands alone in center of a pacific ocean, giant sea walls rise alone the coastal line，protected by artillery，coastal guard and patrols at all time. It is isolated to the world ouside regardless the advanced airborne vehicles and rotating-winged airships can easily reach probably everywhere, the world is self sealing.There is some kind of reason why and what they are hiding from.I'm not sure if it would make audience curious to see what would happen next... And much much more, I just feel a bit tired and I may write question to you another day.Because it is half 3 a.m. here now.I am busy preparing the pre-production work hope can get it done by the end of this year.There are really a lot of challenges.What do you think of this and perhaps you have better ideas，or any different oppinion then please just reply straight forward.
I'm glad my answer was helpful. I did enjoy the storyline and ending in "Bioshock: Infinite" as well. Ambiguous endings are interesting and allow the player (or watcher in a movie sense) to allow their mind to guess at the ending and to try to formulate their own. I always enjoy doing that myself. I do enjoy tragedy as well, but as long as the tragic ending serves a purpose. That applies to every type of ending for me. I hate it when a movie feels like a happy ending was just slapped on because filmmakers thought it would please the audience, or a tragic ending because of the same reason. For me to like an ending, it has to be realistic and believable, and it must seem like it actually belongs, not like it was tacked on for ratings.
I think your movie idea sounds quite interesting. Definitely don't go with a complete utopia because that's been overdone. I got an "Atlantis" feel from the idea of the country being in the middle of the ocean surrounded by sea walls, which is interesting. Why is the city isolated from the world outside? It doesn't want to be dragged down by the faults of other cultures? Fear of disease? Fear of change? If you're wanting to avoid a utopian society, I wouldn't make the world outside this country too horrible. Otherwise, the isolated country becomes too perfect (utopian), as everything outside of it is terrible.
Perhaps there is something the isolated country wants to protect? New, revolutionary technology? A special person with some sort of power the outside world would want to possess or corrupt? What is the purpose of the airborne vehicles (airships?)? Are they for protection only? Or do they trade with the outside world? If they trade, that can add in a bunch of new scenarios. So many possibilities.
Wow you are very enlightening，I definately don't want to make it utopia, in fact the tragedy part is the idea and existence of the city. Men build their new world with technology, knowledge, compassion and dream, enjoyed what they achieved and became so arrogant，misleading. The city/Atlantics itself is pretty much a symbol, and what function it has is just for sake of plots and story. What out side the sea wall? Only ocean, the environment looks exactly the same as it is in Bermuda Island. When ships or airship sail into the ocean(only few miles away from the sea wall)They lost contact and control then went lost forever,no survivor or wreck， nobody knows what really happened. Because of the fear people adapted their life and destiny, never thinking about leave the city any more...Then the governor who runs the city rises to the unlimited power, control everything in it. Ironically, they did kind of well, like running the city with high efficiency and order, each class of the society accepts their role, technologically advanced enough to support any resource need for production from the sea. However, you can't see any utopia or heaven from this world, the city is not colorful or shining as it in the Bioshock, sky is grey, factories and vehicles produce heavy toxic fogs..these buildings gives people an impression of heavy and magnificent, yet boring and lifeless. .The architecture style can be found among the Nazi architecture or Stalin architecture（neoclassical）. The sad thing is residents don't really care about the problems they faced, or do they able to?Since their lives has been bound to the Atlantic city stands alone from generation to generation. There are also many many surveillance equipment on the street corners, everything is under control. Even they do have the will or delusion to escape to a new world, they don't believe it is possible to achieve so....Until an “accident” occurred...
What do the gigantic rotating wing airship do?(has vertical taking off and landing ability ) That is the hardcore, because there is only one of this type exists on this continent. (during temporary plots)There is no evidence it was build here. But according to a fair tale, long time ago the airship reached this continent, then the once green but non resident land turned into a industrial world. Then the city was build, the wall rose, guards created...（The history of the Atlantics City is short，no longer than half a centry）It was built by The founder(main character of the pre-story of the trilogy)A man of individual heroism, yet a man so tragic. He was born in a far away country on a distant great continent, had a wealth and prestigious family. When still a child he had already showed talent of making machines, especially flying vehicles. Years after, the boy grew up and became a member of the state defense consul,as a chief of director, being the youngest but the most gifted ever(still in his early 20s). Where he met a beautiful young woman, also a designer and artist. The young admired her beauty and talent, fell in love with her quickly they keep developing relationship during a large scale secret project of Naval fleet construction ...until...
What are they hiding from?The sea wall are constructed by concrete and steal, generally over 50 meters high and built into a stepped shape of its inner side. The cutaway view is very similar to the shape of a Roman copula or modern stadium. On top edge of the wall it measures 7-10 meters depending on specific area. The thickest parts are the gun batteries and gateways, usually ranges from 8-10 meters wide plus supporting strictures. The distance or in other word the thickness from the bottom edge of the wall to the vertical outter surface can be over 150 meters. These character easily explain the sea wall is a strong defensive structure. They cant be breached by contemporary siege weapons（like heavy artilleries mounted on it, ranges from 155-203mm in caliber）. We can imply that it was built to protect the city from “something” extreamly powerful， not giants in my favourite Japanese manga Attack on Giants of course. What are those things？You wont forget the great airship at the beginning？It is 262 meters long，has a wings span of 76 meters，and an overall height is 62 meters. Powered by three piston engines but way much bigger than those on a traditional plane. Despite its pounderous size it is quite nimble and fast for a thing if still could be qualified as airship，cruissing speed is 210km/h，and top speed for short burst is 315km/h. A machine which is easily surpassing the real greatest zeppelin LZ130 Hindenburg...The truth is：This is the prototype originaly built for civilian use，but very capable of carrying heavy arm and armour after modification，then put into military use.（A fleet of these battle type can be built by the distant country I mentioned before）
There are too much contents.I can write them one by one, but I have to spend a week to complete a scriptment. What do you think of this early concept, will it attract an experienced writer and editor like you? I am actually a rookie in the field of script writing, most thing I am doing is writing project plans... Other thing will be done by a team of real professionals. However, I hope to know whether my idea has something special offered to my audience. or sadly overdone like some story before. I know it is far from perfect. Please tell me your oppinion and intrest of it. I think myself kind of crazy to project something like this, regarding the production cost I mean...（it will be a 3D animation film in my mind，alos the first long film）
Seems I am greatly inspired by the Attack on giants, Bioshock，Pacific rim and The last exile.I admit that cause I am a fun of steampunk and dieselpunk.
Thanks so much for your positive rating and bonus. I apologize for not responding earlier today. My husband and I have come down with something, and I've been feeling rotten all day, so I've not been on the computer much.
I'm glad my answers have been helpful. I really like the idea of an almost "Bermuda Triangle" approach to what happens to the ships/airships when they go into the ocean. It sounds like a good reason for people to want to remain in the city. The idea of an almost Nazi-like government is interesting with people either not caring about the problems in society or being unable to care. I think them being unable to care is a more interesting approach than them simply choosing not to care. Perhaps the governor has somehow controlled their minds in some fashion? This "accident" sounds interesting. If you go the mind-control route, perhaps something interfered with or destroyed his mind-control ability. But I think it would be really interesting if only a few people were now "aware" of the problems, with the masses still being oblivious.
I like the story of the "Founder." He sounds like a very intriguing person. Perhaps something extremely tragic happened with his beloved and set him on the path of darkness? Maybe he is the governor himself, or the governor is a descendant of his. I love to try to imagine scenarios. I love the descriptions of the airships. A fleet of them would definitely be something to behold.
I'm definitely intrigued by the early concept. My mind would not be spinning with a million different possibilities and scenarios if I didn't like it. :) It does feel unique, and I think it will be very fascinating to see. An "Atlantis-type" society has not been overused in today's market, in my opinion, so I think it, along with the steampunk and dieselpunk elements, will create something truly amazing.
I think it's a good thing that you are inspired by the things you listed. The best ideas come from true inspiration. It was my love of steampunk that inspired me to direct a play that was not supposed to be steampunk and make it steampunk, which the audience loved. I even had most of my original actors come back and audition for another play I directed because they liked that I did stuff differently from "the norm," which is what I think your idea is. I like that your idea is unique and interesting and brings in elements that are still "underground" for a lot of today's society.
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I am so thankful that you reply every aspect of my question. I hope my online questions wouldn't bother your daily life, because I always stay up late to work on project, my lifestyle is rather unhealthy. I think working on a project like this is meaningful for me, not only because I really love the steampunk & dieselpunk story, but also these genres are seldom seen outside western（except for Japan，they did pretty well）Another reason is nowadays in China，the cartoon & comic industry has just started to rebirth, there are lot of good works recently.However, honestly speaking our entertainment products often give audience an impression of less good quality and lack of originality（true for a number of them,with my agony ）. That sometime does hurt to a creator,no matter how good he/she thought the work is. Another fact is, despite censorship,lacking of a solid grading system,many people in the industry hold an oppinion that we should make films based on/reflect Chinsese culture,PURELY. I wouldn't say this is a good idea，because when I am looking into the global market it tells these films often not popular.They related to many cultural backgrounds, make western audience confused or not easily accepted.Sometimes, I don't really have interest to see those type either.For this reason a commercial success is difficult, as a result many producers and creators lost faith in what they are doing. The problem is caused by thinking, or may be belief.
Luckily, I was influenced by an Objectivist. I read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and some of her other works. Quite enlightened. That novel is kind of poplar among young generation in China today.That gives me some confidence perhaps a story can express the inner spirit of young audience will become a success. But I can't be sure about this，just by my intuition.Maybe you already noticed the Atlantics City I concepted has a lot of metaphors ：An industrialized world， sort of powerful，a steadily developing society yet has its sickness. People have willingness to change but constrained by different kind of obstructive forces.I get some inspiration from the homeland I am living, and some experience I gained during my college in Western.I am not able to judge whether the governor evil or not（In the story the governor，which descended from the founder himself but not a real human.Not evil though he/she did something against general belief，just like a humanoid computer making decision by logical analyzing only）,the audience would be the judge.I want to make a fictional world everything exists in it has its own reason, not simply good or evil.The good guy/bad guy story is too childish for audience age from 17-25（the targeted audience）I feel young people（including myself） who loves animation films （or anything related to ACG）deserve more than entertainment like fast food, but a little more independent thinking if possible.
This project is such a large construction, I even doubt my ability to accomplish it, though I have a handful of teamate. I think it is good for me to spend some time make a clear story line， the key turning points，logic and the perspective of the world，further details.Then carefully write a project treatment and scriptment. I supposed I could have made a animation of this in 1-2 years, but I realized it may took much longer time.Even so I believe in what I am doing, because you have positive oppinion and interest to watch it. That is encouraging. I hope audience in US and Europe could see my work oneday，which they really love to see...
My English is not so good, I took Literature writing before unfortunately cut too many lessons...But I think I expressed my basic ideas. And thank you very much！Looking forward to talk about this in the future.
I'm glad my answers and opinions are helpful. I try to be very thorough and give you my full opinion on everything, so I'm glad I'm accomplishing that. I definitely agree that your project sounds meaningful, and I also think the steampunk/dieselpunk genres need to be seen worldwide. I don't think that you should be "forced" to make movies based solely on Chinese culture. That's very restricting and limits your audience. As you said, cultural movies aren't often well-received by people outside of that particular culture. I'm very open-minded, but unfortunately, a lot of people in the Western world can be very narrow-minded and unreceptive to anything different than what they're used to.
I haven't read Fountainhead, but I am a fan of the objectivist opinion. That's generally how I try to look at things as best I can, with a bit of realism thrown in. I wish more people used an objective mind, instead of a subjective one, but most don't. So many problems in today's world would probably be solved if people could look at things objectively.
I did notice that you used a lot of metaphors in your "Atlantis" story. As you found them pertaining to your homeland, I saw a lot of them pertaining to mine, especially in America's current state. I like the fact that you are avoiding the "good guy/bad guy" story. I don't believe anything is ever completely "good" or completely "evil." I've been watching a show this week (the final season of Spartacus), and they made a reference to people not being born evil but being made evil by choices, circumstances, etc. I think that's a fair assumption in most cases. A good hero always has some type of damning quality, while a good villain always has some type of redeeming quality. If they didn't, it would be impossible to truly care or emotionally identify with either archetype. It's often the most interesting thing to let the audience truly decide.
In my opinion, I think it is always best to have a strong, clear storyline before moving forward with a project. The story can always be adapted, but without at least a good idea of where you're headed, you're likely to back yourself into a corner that's difficult to get out of.
I am definitely interested to learn more about your film and to see it one day. And your English is fine. I've never been confused by anything you've said. Don't stress over it. :) I look forward to talking with you more about your ideas and film in the future as well.
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