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  • Writer's pictureAshton Blyth

The response

Reflecting on my feedback from Jonathan, I've decided to focus on the chapters as individual episodes and pick a couple at a time to focus, starting with Chapter 3: Coming Out. I guess I was just thinking about it as a full film more for the fact that when it comes to film festivals I'll want to just submit the whole thing as a feature film to save on costs, but I had a already purposely broke it into chapters thinking that there would be key ones that could feed well into PSHE lessons in schools.

I chose to start with Coming Out as that's probably the first significant chapter, and it has scenes that will be pretty easy to film for animating, and the other scenes will be live action interviews.

The first shot I picked is the fifth in the film, the moment I get a response to my 'coming out' text messages to my parents. This was really easy to animate, I did 12 different frames of the phone outline (a full second) and copied and pasted them individually going backwards (so that it finished at the beginning with the first frame), then copied and pasted that loop for the whole film. Although that may come across as lazy, it keeps the look consistent. I then animated the text coming in and the lock screen illuminating - some details were a bit fiddly, like the signal bars, I had to work at 200% zoom to get all the details perfect but I'm really pleased with how it came out - with the ping of the phone it's very satisfying to watch!

Although a simple shot, it actually took four attempts. I filmed the phone receiving the text in real-time rather than editing it in after to make sure the angles of things on the screen were just right in relation to the phone. I used my sister's phone (an iPhone 6 where mine would have been a 5 at the time, so not too dissimilar in looks, and this was the phone my mum had then - I needed a phone that still had the same features for the year this takes place like the home button and screen edges, unlike my iPhone 11 now) for the film and had my Dad text it, I did debate changing the contact names and texting it myself exactly when I wanted it, but had a feeling that would throw up problems of adding my number to my dad's contact and didn't want to mess it up, which meant I had to rope dad into messaging at the right time...

The first time I realised that the phone was on silent and so there was no sound captured, the second time I remembered my sister has the sound of a duck as her text-tone - so that had to go! I then realised I should see if I can change the date to the exact date so it would come up with the right day to rotoscope over rather than having to free-hand the correct details. The third time dad had left his phone unlocked so it showed he'd read my thumbs-up-I'm-ready text, but after waiting five minutes I stopped the recording, and then of course he messaged. The forth time, however, was perfect and that's what I worked with for the rotoscoping.


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