Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good progress

I've made good headway on my MarkIV tank model, I've started to add colour to it, and got the tracks to animate. The drawn/painted look is getting there. Here's a sneak peek at the work in progress.

I've been reading more on the fateful battle at Cambrai on Nov 20 1917 and found that there were more British tanks involved on that day, in that single battle, than there is in the whole of the modern tank regiment.

I also found a 35mm colour slide transparency that my father took, of me aged 1, sat on Gilbert's living room table, with him looking on. I'm so glad I still have it. That picture is the only image I know of that we're both in, and the fact that it's in colour is a wonderful bonus.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New tech for an old story

I'm currently researching digital paint and animation tech for Gilbert's War. I've built a basic MarkIV tank in 3d, and want to see how it looks in test shots, alongside live-action pyrotechnic FX plates and hand-drawn character animation. This is the critical phase where I'll be testing out, then locking down the 'look' of the film.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little revelations

A previously ordered book arrived today, titled 'Cambrai 1917, The Birth of Armoured Combat' which contains pictures and paintings of the battle as well as detailed maps of troop movements. This is vital for me - to actually 'see' the battle as well as read about it.

It's an extraordinary vision, and though Gilbert's story is essentially human in scale, there will be opportunities for staggeringly beautiful, terrifying and epic scenes. Doing justice to this material is going to be very hard work, but also very rewarding.

I had an email tonight from an eminent French historian who specialises in this battle, and he's offered to help me envisage the battlefield of the day.

It's all coming together.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lost Heroes

I'm currently watching a series called 'Lost Heroes of World War One', filmed when the last few veterans were alive and could relate their experiences first hand. Many were teenage volunteers rushing to the front lines with boyish enthusiasm and a fateful ignorance of what awaited them.

Over the four years 16 million souls died as a direct result of the fighting.