Undertaker Revisit + Inspiration Maps

Inspiration for the Clown.
Some of Leyendecker's brother's work, Man Ray, 1960's textiles and an array of early 1900's clothing and memorabilia!

For the train, the "Orient Train",  that ran in the 1800's. It was very well known for it's quality inside the train itself. Being "well known" for a specific aspect would be ironic as depending on the situation the train will be known for one of two things. - Parties or taking the dead away.

As for the Undertaker, I focused more on the seaming and tapering of early 1900's clothing, and of course I had to look at J. C Leyendecker for his certain flamboyance..

I tend to stay away from boxing myself into a time period and class structure based off of reality; however, for understand-ability and to actually recognize themes I've kept to the early 1900's for clothing and "shape", but included the addition of 1960's textiles and colours. I'm hoping they'll work well together! The darkness of the 1900's to reflect the Undertaker should contrast the bright rounded 1960's appeal.

Story Refinement

A Clown & Undertaker have to share a train.

On one side are the Undertaker's "embalming rooms"
On the other the Clown's PARTY SUPREME~~ rooms.

Passengers get on from either side and thus don't mix with each-other. However, the Clown & Undertaker both have to pass each-other constantly in the train's hall. (As they're usually very long and narrow.)

The Undertaker gets progressively more annoyed with how loud and obnoxious/ seemingly unaware the Clown is.. 

(Now either..)

-The Undertaker uses tools to sabotage the Unicycle of the Clown.

- Undertaker steals the Unicycle from the Clown in order to stop his fun. However he becomes careless and throws it out in front of the train. The train is then left to a halt and the Undertaker and Clown must work together to get it unstuck.

I'd still like to use the "Stop 1,2,3 / Change Line / End of Line" to break up the story nicely as it works with the Train theme going on..

"Change Line" Would be used at the breaking point of the story i.e when the Undertaker actually decides to help the Clown. 
"End of Line" being the ending.

(I thought the above drawing would be a nice snapshot of sorts to sum up the slightly more humorous ending.)

Notes from notebook//

"... don't make the ending abrupt or it'll lose a "warm fuzzy feeling" you get from the feelings of understanding and compromise."

Clown Key Traits

Undertaker Key Traits
Precise & Calculative
Considered Uncaring (A little impatient)
One-track minded 

They are opposites, frankly!

Maya Tutorials - Camera Part 10 - Contra Zoom


Maya Tutorial - Camera Part 8 - Coverage GTA STYLE

Poor guy :^(

Quick Story re-think!

Two characters run a train of "death." The train itself in the style of an old European train with separate compartments/cabins for passengers. However all of these have been converted to temporarily hold the dead passengers as they are taken out into the desert to be buried.


1960's Trains.

Whilst the main character is an Undertaker people think of him as the "late" Grim Reaper. People are never usually thrilled to see him.


"Hello Ma'am we're here to collect your loved one."
"Ahh the late Grim Reaper.... yes can you hold on one-"
"Ma'am we have a tight schedule to keep."
"Oh bite your tongue! No wonder you're called the "Late" Grim Reaper. Y'know my husband died atleast an hour ago. - And Mr.Peters from down the road died last tuesday!!"
"That.. is not my job Ma'am. I am an undertaker."

The train goes through a city collecting those who have died and then takes them out to the desert to be buried. A tight schedule is kept to make sure the dead reach the desert in time; and during the journey the Undertaker does his best to prepare them for being buried.

However, if for any reason the train becomes late a mysterious force does the unthinkable.. As a Unicycle gets caught in the train-tracks the Undertaker and his assistant must rush to free it or they risk a calamity of utmost grim proportion as the dead become undead from the plights of their loved ones back at home.



Shall go into more detail soon.

Rough Story Ideas

"A very stubborn individual and their undertaker service."

Break story up into "Stops" like a train !!

Stop 1, Stop 2, Stop 3, CHANGE LINE, Stop 4, END OF LINE (Use cue-card type scene changes)

CHANGE LINE to indicate the breaking point in the story where extremely enhanced (or sped up, rather) character development happens. I.e

A story with a good ending.

Main character (Pepper) traits -

Strong Willed

"Conscience" based character (Milk) traits -

Open minded

They are meant to work as opposites and the "conscience" character should act as such against the protagonist’s close-mindedness.
Whilst the protagonist does not openly ask for advice from the conscience character as they are much to stubborn as friends they will listen to each other.

"Pepper & Milk"

Rough events in chronological order:

Pepper starts an Undertaker service in an abandoned train. | STOP 1

Quickly finds people are reluctant due to his appearance. | STOP 1

Milk comes along and ASSESSES THE SITUATION | STOP 2

Milk proceeds to try and give Pepper advice | STOP 2

Pepper is reluctant | STOP 2

Milk helps Pepper by showing an example of appropriate appearance in the environment successfully | STOP 3

Pepper realises he should be more willing to accept change even if it is temporary. | CHANGE LINE

Milk shows Pepper he can still be individual outside of work and nothing bad happens. normal clothes etc. chatting in the reception of the undertaker train.  | STOP 4

someone comes in asking if they are the eccentric undertakers. end up getting work from that too
^ ends up as a good example that some people do appreciate it so its not so suffocatingly boring. | STOP 4


Maya Tutorial - Camera Part 7 - Distance Shots

Maya Tutorials - Camera Part 6 - Crane Shot

Film Review - Rope (1948)

figure. 1 Movie Poster

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope features long scenes and an extremely sensitive script using metaphors to compare to the unthinkable. A psychological thriller with strong characters to act in favor of a lack of typical action seen in a thriller. The psychological aspects of Hitchcock's Rope brings out guilt and charm from the duo of Brandon and Phillip. An experiment of "format" with less emphasis on action and more on careful word-play.

figure, 2 Brandon & Phillip hiding David in the Chest
Brandon's charm and deceiving nature swoons the guests of the ill-timed party whilst Phillip stresses constantly. So much of Rope is focused on the subtleties from the choice of words to the gradual tone-change throughout the 80 minute-long film. The homosexual undertone between Brandon and Phillip played by John Dall and Farley Granger, Rope uses moral concepts of superiority and inferiority in a Cluedo style film with a satisfying conclusion leaving no unanswered questions. Described as having an "oddly dreamlike quality" (Clark, n.d.) the suspense of Rope comes from the use of metaphors to almost perfectly describe the scenario of murder that Brandon and Phillip had committed. Phillip becomes increasingly scared and sensitive to mentions of strangulation of chickens or Rupert Cadell's philosophical talk of murder being a form of Art. - Meanwhile Brandon becomes more and more tantalized with the notion of someone catching onto his crime and uses his charm and sociopath-like nature to both hint at what he had done and at the same time sway them from impossibility of the idea.

As Hitchcock uses Rope as an experiment to test the genre of a psychological thriller he substitutes blood, gore and violence for carefully chosen words and  facial expressions. Phillip's constantly contorting face gets consistently more worried and Brandon's more obnoxious. "His camera stands back and takes them in, singles them out on occasion and even moves in now and then for close looks." (Crowther, 1948) The film is shot entirely in one room, each scene being longer than five minutes very similar to An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley(1945-onward) and it's one setting, script-emphasized direction. This technique was cleverly broken up by Hitchcock but becomes more obvious when the camera zooms into the back of any suited Man and zooms out again. Though whilst it is obvious it highlights and emphasizes the film's focus on the assertiveness of Brandon, Rupert and Phillip. It could be said that because of the direction of this film (comparatively to An Inspector Calls) it is less of a film and more of a play.
figure 3. Guests and Rupert standing over the Chest.
Rope, whilst a subtle film builds large amounts of tension because of how it deals with the reality of what has happened. "the emphasis on the macabre in this small story is frightfully intense" (Crowther, 1948) Using metaphors of strangling chickens, or "cut a throat week" to seemingly obliviously create a link and flashback to the murder of David. - The constant unveiling of something hidden. In the chest we know David's body is hidden and as the audience aware it's there. - But the guests of this odd party with champagne have not a clue regardless of what they might say to stir our suspense further. Rope often ventures out of the "psychological thriller" genre many a time due to the fact as an audience we are already aware of the who,what,where and when. - But the cast does not. Similar to when you go and see a Broadway show.. The audience calls out "He did it!" whilst the actor on stage plays dumb to the shouts and warnings. The only difference here however, is that we have no connection to the party-goers in the apartment overlooking Manhattan.  - With that, comes suspense.

It is certainly an experiment that from a pure film-aspect could not work so well due to straying far from that of a usual thriller film. There is no "thrill" in the way off jump-cuts, sudden reveals or even mystery to be unveiled in the first place, but it acts morally as a psychological film, borderline show, to encompass a strong ending that due to the suspense makes you wonder if in the end sequence with Brandon, Phillip and Rupert something spontaneous will happen and the addition of a gun only adds to this...

figure 4. The Metronome acting as a pace changer for the film.
However overall, whilst considered failed by his own standards, Hitchcock has managed to create a film that should be at the least admired for it's outstanding delicate handling of it's script and careful pacing that adds to the dim, but overall suspense of Rope. Hitchcock used the metronome, a piece of rope and a gun all as timing-based devices to add to the characters and ultimately Phillip's anxiety over his co-committed crime. It's a film that should be judged outside of it's supposed genre to be appreciated rather than slated for not fitting into a template of films that had come before.



Clark, G. (n.d.). Rope Review (1948). [online] Thespinningimage.co.uk. Available at: http://www.thespinningimage.co.uk/cultfilms/displaycultfilm.asp?reviewid=5109&aff=13 [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].
Crowther, B. (1948). 'Rope': An Exercise in Suspense Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/081748hitch-rope-review.html [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].
Crowther, B. (1948). 'Rope': An Exercise in Suspense Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/081748hitch-rope-review.html [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].

Illustration List

Hitchcock, A. (1948). Brandon & Phillip hiding David in the Chest. [image] Available at: http://puu.sh/eXy3J/7465cca33b.png [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].
Hitchcock, A. (1948). Guests and Rupert standing over the Chest.. [image] Available at: http://puu.sh/eXRQf/e4a6ad0a87.png [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].
Hitchcock, A. (1948). Movie Poster. [image] Available at: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4069/4710908713_d9e5a7ab88.jpg [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].
Hitchcock, A. (1948). The Metronome acting as a pace changer for the film.. [image] Available at: http://puu.sh/eXRsB/faf2d50c8f.png [Accessed 24 Jan. 2015].

Further reading: (FYI)
An Inspector Calls: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Inspector_Calls

Like for Like Storyboard

I added text from the scene only in key events or "movesets" that are important to each character and the scene. Scene is from Kamen Rider Drive roughly about 2 minutes long.

Life Drawing - 07/01/2014

Focused on leg placement rather than quality of line to further own-time figurative perspective qualms I've been having.

La Jetée

figure 1. La Jetée Movie Poster

The fall of a body starts the French black and white film off dramatically, and whilst this feeling is not felt until the end sequence it does well to end the short film unequivocally. At only 28 minutes long, La Jetée is composed of still shots - all except one. Ironically, the most “still” of shots is the only that is shot in motion-picture. An extremely honest and simple film described as “a minimalist masterpiece affording us an all-too-rare glimpse at the paradoxes and complexities of perception and the subconscious.” (Sellars, 2005) but only if we choose to. The described complexities can go further and manifest into concepts of time if you so wish to.

Whilst The Jetée can be considered a Sci-fi film it is not only restricted to that genre. With the very simple addition of a romantic interest La Jetée turns into a rather shallowly simple short-story about a man seeking a woman who he cannot get off his mind. In order to do this the man complies with a group of mad-scientist-like men running experiments on survivors of an explosion in Paris caused by war. Making the most of a bad situation he almost blindly searches out and finds the woman he was seeking. It is the plot of almost every story and would not be as conceivable as it is without the as equally sci-fi and otherworldly approach La Jetée takes.

With 28 minutes of footage “The Man” and “The Woman” are less characters meant for fully-fleshed out and developed meaning but more so to act as relatable cut-outs for whoever will watch The Jetée. - Until the Sci-fi aspects of the still-comprised film start to take over. Their situation is unique in a sense that no-one in reality will (or who knows !) come across being forced foam pieces over their eyes and having to travel back in time to find their hope-to-be sweetheart.

figure 2. Time-Travel set-up with foam goggle-eyes.

Visually, La Jetée is a unique choice of format for the time. From the start of the 1900’s film was constantly being pushed to producer longer films, better visuals and sweeping pan-shots meant to absolutely stun the audience. Around the same time as La Jetée, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Psycho (1960) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) were all notable films of grandiose effects or story. - Each scene carefully considered. This is the case with La Jetée but the decision to create the 28 minute film comprised completely of stills must have been a strong decisive “push” for it from Chris Maker; director, cinematographer and screenwriter. A direct link between the use of stills and memory like a set of “snapshots” is apparent.. “As the man remembers his past, and the woman, he relives it – never really sure if he is sent or if he is dreaming – one snapshot literally coming alive with his subjective colouring.” (Sellars, 2005) The choice of format was purposeful and does a lot of work leaving holes that something shot one-hundred percent in moving-picture would automatically fill in. Whilst it is in black and white the film does not try to use artistic premise, skills or knowledge from the Film Noir 40’s and 50’s and instead provides an “Art-house” variation. Lighting is considered to emphasize a face, but La Jetée holds a carefulness for the face rather than an overall setting in each frame. Often, the people considered evil will have lighting to make the domes of their eyes appear black and reveal the skeletal structure underneath their skin compared to the woman where everything is much softer and round. But it is in the environment around the man and woman that start to give clues into the theories of time and how we perceive it..

Technicals aside La Jetée’s visual style comes off much more prevalent. The foam covering of the man’s eyes that look like enlarged goggles in the shape of an  infinite sign, or statues with missing parts, chips and imperfections. (figure 3) - Simple mechanisms that are only seen for a few seconds but once thought into more detail hold true to the film’s idea of time and human nature. - We will only be able to ever see what is there and as such we focus on it. As British Film Scholar Janet Harbord notes “We are instructed to look at the fragments that endure, at the partial nature of things that survive over time” (Harbord and Marker, 2009) and with this you start to understand much more that there are subtle pieces of imagery that make up La Jetée even though it is not pushed in your face. It is extremely ironic that as the man travels back in time to revisit (and relive…) a woman he remembers, they end up in a taxidermy museum filled with animals that look alive but have been seemingly “frozen” in time in a state they were remembered for being.

figure 3. Example of statue with missing head.

Perhaps the most striking piece of imagery used in La Jetée is the figure with an elongated arm jarred in a strange position. (figure 4.) The mysterious figure is dressed in normal, but overall dark clothes. It stands between the man and the woman and ultimately acts as a marker of death for the man. - Immediately bringing us back to the beginning where we see the fall of a body. - It was the man’s. It is disappointing however, that this suddenly creepy and demented figure pop out from nowhere towards the end. When the film ends it leaves a bad taste in your mouth; not because La Jetée ends badly but because imagery used for the grim-reaper like figure or the people from the future did not get fully explored. At only 28 minutes long the film starts becoming it’s own with true sci-fi elements emerging only to be stopped. As a character-based film La Jetée works very well as both having a simple, clear story under a short time limit but also introducing sci-fi elements into a love-interest involved film. It is no wonder that many, many films have stuck to this template in recent years as it is an extremely safe option now that films just like La Jetée had come first and achieved it in a much shorter space of time.

figure 4. Grim Reaper styled figure.


Harbord, J. and Marker, C. (2009). Chris Marker, La jetée. London: Afterall Books.

Sellars, S. (2005). Ballardian » Retrospecto: La Jetée. [online] Ballardian.com. Available at: http://www.ballardian.com/la-jetee [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].
Illustration List

Marker, C. (1962). [image] Available at: http://payload.cargocollective.com/1/1/41869/512158/4332176611_1a3a865b5e_b.jpg [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].

Marker, C. (1962). [image] Available at: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m54acfTOTm1qb83nho1_1280.png [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].

Marker, C. (1962). [image] Available at: http://www.fsf.vu.lt/dokumentai/naujienos/2014/Kadras_i%C5%A1_filmo_La_Jetee._Meno_avilio_archyvas.jpg [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].

Marker, C. (1962). [image] Available at: http://s3.amazonaws.com/criterion-production/product_images/1505-b2cd0ce10ae50ccaddf336cd797dbd2c/LJ_SS_Page_Still_original.jpg [Accessed 13 Jan. 2015].

Maya Tutorial - Motion Paths + Batch Rendering

I added some motion blur & a physical sun/sky but dropped the horizon down for some atmosphere.