Monday, June 27, 2011

Sharing a Dream

After I talked to my friends about what I wanted, I started doing 2 things. One was draw concepts and moments. It is fun to do but also very crucial. Crucial to capture a vision. Your vision. Don't write it down. Visualize it. Ideas come and go, but a vision is essential. That is what I've learned in the last couple of months. It's so easy to get carried away and forget what is important to feel in the movie just by looking at it. Especially the moods, or that specific time of day, where the sun shines that particular way. For those of you who know what it's like to go fishing on a summer's evening; That feeling. Capture it.

The other was trying to get in contact with someone with more commercial talents than I have. With a proven track record. You know, someone who gets things done. Someone who knows how to get in contact with people who know other people. I needed to find someone who believed in me and my project. Someone that I could trust. Most importantly: Until now I only had talked to people I knew and not a single one of them told me I was crazy. Now it was time to tell someone whom I didn't know. Someone who could say: Hey, nice try, but I don't believe this is going to work. Whatever you do, don't quit your day job.

But I found him.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The starting point of all achievement is desire.

Almost one year ago it came to me. I was going to make my very own feature animation! I decided not to pursue a job at Pixar or dreamworks when I grew up, but instead I decided to start my own project. You know, just an entertaining 3D animated movie with a good story and a global release. That’s all.

Now I’m from Holland and saying you’ll start your very own feature animation isn’t something you hear on a daily basis. You can imagine the reactions...

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. ~Napoleon Hill
There were three very important ingredients that made me believe that this dream could become a reality! The first most important thing was that I had something to say, something that still is, after one year the foundation for my story. Something that I have to get off my chest for a long time and at the same time is something that everyone can relate to. I could tell by the way people responded. I had my ‘universal’ theme.
The second most important thing: I had found an historical event and a unique and dramatic location; the perfect setting for my ‘universal’ theme!
Third: I discovered a promotional opportunity for my movie. I found a second and earlier date, but my first discovery was a date set in the year 2018! So, that gave me 8 years time to work out a plan, get to work and finish what I started!

This combination made me feel I had something here. Something that could last once it was executed in a good way. And I needed that belief, because I would have to stay motivated for 8 years! This was the easy part...

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. ~H.E. Luccock
How was I going to start? I didn’t have any experience in story development, let alone that I knew how to start -or even end- a monster project like this. The only thing I knew, was that this project was going to be my major personal project for the next coming 8 years.
Was I going to do everything myself? The answer was easy. I wasn’t. After all, my primary goal was not to release a movie that is produced, written, drawn and animated all by myself, but to release a movie in 2018 for a mainstream audience.
I had to understand how the industry works, how much money is involved and more importantly, where you get money from.


Before I had read anything on screenplays, I started with every historical book I could find on my subject. Because this was going to be an animated movie based on true events. I wanted as much information I could get my hands on, to see if it was worth exploring for my story. Second I bought ‘Invisible Ink’ (Brian McDonald) which seemed like a good first book. Like the title says: ‘Invisible Ink. A practical guide to building stories that resonate’. It was written for me.