“Spider” is a short animation concept that I hope to complete within the semester. Though the storyboards are still a work in progress the story is thus:
There’s a dead tree in a sun baked desert. Cut closer to the tree and we see a spider web. Cut closer to see a very desperate looking spider. The spider looks around anxiously, searchingly, hoping for a fly to come by to no avail. He waits…shots of the dessert, the sun, the heat waves coming off the cracked earth.
The spider appears to be worn out then jumps up as if he hears something. He looks around. Close up to spider’s face. We can hear faint buzzing…as if from an incoming insect. The camera pans around the empty air looking for the source…The buzzing keeps getting louder and louder and the camera keeps cutting back and forth from the manic spider to the empty air until the camera falls on a fruit hanging from a branch of the tree. The buzzing stops abruptly.
It’s a ripe, plump, peach. The spider looks at it questioningly. It cautiously approaches…then hungrily gobbles up the fruit. When finished it looks momentarily satisfied, before doubling up in pain and falling off the branch into it’s own web. It struggles for a moment before curling up as if dead. The camera does a series of fades. The spider’s body slowly develops a silk cocoon. The camera holds on the cocoon, the rest of the environment a blurry haze of white heat…the cocoon cracks and a beautiful butterfly emerges. The camera pulls out and the background materializes into a lush meadow full of flowers and other butterflies. The tree has transformed from dead to lush and green. The emerging butterfly gingerly flaps its wings and takes off to join the others. The camera pans up to the seemingly ever-present sun. Fade to white.
Spider began as an exercise in storytelling with my friend Jay Jackson. Jay and I were frustrated with the types of animation projects that we were constantly forced to participate in as students. The term “30-seconds and a punch-line” easily describes the majority of the work that populated our reels. Spider is dark, moody, and slow paced. It’s exactly the opposite of what we’re used to doing, and it’s something that we’re sort of excited about.
We’ll see where it takes us…