The Making of God of Dance [radio edit] (Epilogue)


The Response to the Promo:

At the pitch meeting: I’m told the promo went over like gangbusters and that it had the intended effect: to get the investor’s attention and get them feeling excited.

The feedback I got back from animation people in Toronto was overwhelmingly positive. I’m told that the artists at the Toronto studio, who were supposed to make tis promo in the first place, were blown away at the quality of the promo and at the speed in which it was produced by such a small group of people (and in the case of Simage, they were moving office across town in the middle of their participation). One artist didn’t realize that the moving animation wasn’t hand drawn. I was very pleased to hear that as I wanted it all to look as close to hand drawn as possible. In terms of the promo on all levels, it was a success.

The only negativity directed at the promo was, sadly, the excuses used to justify why the promo got made in Hong Kong at such a high standard by those in Toronto who failed to produce anything and even stated that it wouldn’t be possible to make anything more than one character model in the time allotted. But, that’s their problem. My problem was that the promo turned out well and had the desired effect.

What Worked For Me:

I feel the promo played out exactly as I wanted it to. I think it is interesting and exciting and gets one’s attention without a whole lot of effects and visual cheap tricks: it relies on filmmaking to interest the viewer.

The 2D render of 3D models worked very well and the steps I took to make the transition from drawings to 3D animation worked.

One of my favorite reactions from another animation pro was their shock when they were told the r5 second promo only has 15 seconds of actual animation. That means two thirds of the promo’s length doesn’t move in what is traditionally called animation. My director’s sleight of hand worked. That was very gratifying.

The process. Everything from start to finish was smooth. Yes, there were times of difficulty, but all problems were solved quickly and smoothly. There was very little pain in the making of the promo. The fact is that it was one of the easiest and most fun projects I have ever been involved in with and end result that I’m still pleased with.

There is no “What Didn’t Work For Me” because I wouldn’t change anything. Sure, I could fix a drawing here or there, but who’d notice? No one, so there is no point to change anything since it wouldn’t serve any purpose.

So What Happened to God of Dance?

Well, the China investors didn’t go for it. Why? I don’t know. I assume what happened is what happens a lot when it comes to projects like this: a lot of people talk, a lot of interest is shown, when the time comes to commit money to the talk knees become weak and that is the end of that. The whys don’t really matter at that point.

I hope that the show can still be pitched. The series does have a solid story premise and the main characters have what I think are very interesting character arcs that I’d love to write and see play out. But, these things take time. We’ll see what happens.

Day ONE:

All I was supposed to do was draw some rough character designs of random kids. The series had no characters and no real concept. It was more or less pitched to me like this: “They are kids and they dance. Can you draw up some characters?” So, I would draw 2 or 3 every morning for a short time until I was told “That’s enough”.

Below are some of those initial designs that somehow led to me directing a full on promo.

My design philosophy for God of Dance was simple:

-They need to look believable, with real looking hair styles and clothing, and not made up.
-They need to look modern.
-They need to look like they belong to the modern China world.
-They need to look appealing to a Chinese young person, but also to a broader taste.
-They can’t be so real that they are dull. Hairstyles and clothing have to be super-heroed up a bit to make they hyper real. Never cross a line into the ridiculous unless it was just too tasty an idea.

With that in mind, I drew these (These are some and not all of the sketches):

One thing to note: When these were drawn, the most interesting style in vogue was the neo-punk/post punk/early 80s New Wave look. It may not be as popular now, but it was then.
The first idea for RAMEN. He’s named after the idea that he makes ramen noodles.
Sometimes, you just know a winner design when you draw it.
I think you can tell by the amount of notes I have on this RASTA design that I liked him from the get-go. The belt holding up swimming trunks is what I was talking about when I mentioned a ridiculous element that can stay if it is a tasty idea. This idea, I think, is so illogical that I like it. Who would wear a belt with swimming trunks? RASTA would and no one questions it because he pulls it off. What a dude!
The END (for now...)