It’s a wrap

We’ve now finished our short film and we’re pretty pleased with the end result. So pleased that we’re even thinking of doing more! Having 2D characters within a 3D environment was quite a challenge in the end but I think we managed to pull it off. All of the animation, lighting and effects were done within Unreal Tournament as was our intention from the very beginning. The only things that weren’t were the images which were made using Photoshop and sticking the individual scenes and soundtrack together was done using Premier.

You can see the end result by clicking on the link below and if you fancy having a play with our set, you can download that as well.

Watch “Once Upon A Time” 8.9MB

Download set

Download critique

Slight change of plan

After the excitement of Camden, we’ve decided to make a slight change and make hood and her boyfriend indie kids. We’re still having red so that hood stands out but we’ve had a thought on the sound track and have a couple of tunes in mind whose lyrics would fit in really well with the film. For example, the Gossip’s “Standing in the way of control” has a nice ambiguity about it coz you don’t know if it’s about the boyfriend controlling the girl or if she is controlling him by knowing that he will freak out by her turning up late. So anyway, as the tunes are of an indie nature, it would make sense if the people were the same. Hopefully it won’t take us too much time to sort them out.

The way in

So we’ve just finished the entrance to Libertine, the club where hood meets her wolf. The neon sign looks pretty good even if I do say so myself. But the thing I’m really pleased with is getting the red light to spill out onto the pavement.

Entrance to Libertine, our club

Once upon a time…

No, I’m not gonna tell you a story, that’s gonna be the title to our film. Coz it’s loosely based on a fairy tale we thought it would be appropriate.

In da club

Today has all been about making the club where little red riding hood meets her bloke. As it’s underground, gone for an industrial look as you’ll see below. There’s an entrance off to the right, the bar in the forground and the DJ booth and dance floor in the background. I’ve been playing about with lighting, trying to get the right shadows and also to try and make the people dancing not too prominent. Coz all the action with hood and the boyfriend is likely to happen near the bar, we don’t want the dancers to distract the viewers. I think there’s still a bit of work to be done with that plus the people I’ve used are only temporary. Also, I need to put in the stairs from the ground floor entrance otherwise the first step in will be quite a big one 🙂

View from behind the bar of the club

A small town

Been busy working on the set of our film and the street has now turned into a small town. We’ve added more streets complete with pavements and lights and it’s starting to look pretty good as you “fly” around it. I’m now working on the club and Jamie is sorting out the characters. As usual with us, we don’t have a name for our film. I don’t think our usual style of adding the word “thing” will work this time.

Our small town in UT2004

Street scene update

We’ve now got the street scene finished. We’ve sorted out the night sky, added street lights, played about with the lighting to make it look like night and have added another street at the end to give the impression of a ‘T’ junction. Unfortunately when we export the scene, it’s not coming out as a standard size. So far we’ve not been able to find the relevant setting to fix this. It’s not the end of the world but resizing it in Final Cut doesn’t make it look quite so good. On the plus side though, we’ve found a setting that lets us export it in letterbox-widescreen mode which is nice.

Screen dump of our street scene

Widescreen version of our street scene

Street scene

We’ve been playing about with textures to try and get the right feel for the film. Below is one of our attempts at the street that little red riding hood will walk along to get to and from the club. Apart from the sky, this is pretty close to what we want to achieve. Ignore the thin red lines, they’re just grabs from the editor and not from the film.

Street scene experiment

Street scene experiment

Street scene experiment


After much discussion, we’ve now finally agreed on the narrative and have even storyboarded it. The “wolf” is a place as well as being a person. Essentially the story is about a girl, who is in an abusive relationship, getting ready to meet her bloke in a club. When she gets there, he starts getting violent and she is rescued by the bouncers. We’ve also decided on the viewpoint. We had thought that perhaps it was filmed from the viewpoint of her rescuer, perhaps a guy who has fancied her from afar but decided against that because if he’s watching her get ready then that sounds more like a stalker than a rescuer. So we’ve gone for the CCTV angle. You can’t walk around a town without being watched by them and all clubs have them on the door and inside them so we thought it was quite a good way to observe the action.

I’ve also gone back and re-watched Sin City as the comic book, film-noir look is what we want to try and achieve and the opening scene is almost exactly what we want to do with our Little Red Riding Hood.

Our storyboard

A black and white still from Sin City with the only colour being the girl's red dress


Jamie and I have now decided on a narrative….finally. We’re gonna use Little Red Riding Hood but bring it up to date. Unfortunately, we’re not sure what the wolf should be. Drug dealer, pimp – each could be really good but until we’ve sorted that out, we can’t really start storyboarding it. During our meeting with Mike the other day, he suggested that the wolf needn’t be a person, it could be a place. We’d not considered that before and it has really got us thinking. Maybe a club where she meets people who try to do stuff to her. Anyway, it’s another good idea to chuck into the mix.