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I thought I'd make a separate thread for this so that I could chronicle it (and hopefully force me to move forward with this!)

What I'm working on is a movie trailer style commercial for the graphic novel version of The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island! The first copies of the book are currently being printed. Once I've seen them and confirmed the quality, I'm going to make them for sale and I want to make this commercial to generate interest.

I've written it and started to work on the audio, but I think my idea of doing all of the voices myself isn't going to work out. The voice of Flemm is one that I don't think I'm every going to be able to do myself.

I'm thinking about posting on the website to see if I can find a fan to do the voice(s).

Does anyone here want to give it a try?

The dialogue is here in the script. There'll no doubt be some changes as I put it together, but here's the first draft. The numbers in parenthesis correspond to the strip number that the sequence is taken from. It's cool that I basically have choreographies set up for every shot. :-)

Shot 1: (4-120)

FADE IN from BLACK! The Greyhawk symbol appears white on a red background. There's a crackling noise, scanlines and a hum that makes us realize this is a transmission.

Attention, alien vessel! This world is protected by the pirate Greyhawk! You orbit this world at your own peril! Leave this world…

Shot 1b: Image switches to GREYHAWK!

…Or suffer my wrath!

FLEMM leans in.

Yeah! And I want my lucky hat back, too!

Shot 2:

Exciting TITLES appear!

TITLES: Mark R. Largent & Mark McCrary Proudly Present

TITLES: (logo) The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island!

Shot 3: (4-054)

DOC BOKOR against a menacing, cloud-filled sky!

No one has ever been to the island and survived! It's dangers are legendary! Only a fool would ever dare go there!

Shot 3b: FLEMM
A fool or a man who laughs at danger!

Shot 3c: Pull Back, to show all.

There's a difference?

Shot 4:

TiTLES: A tale of Adventure!

Shot 5: (4-079)


Okay, Sea Monster! You want to play it rough? We can play it rough!

Shot 5b: Close-up Sneeze.

It looks like he wants to play it rough, Cap'n!

Shot 5c: Change angle to show Flemm & Sneeze.

Are you sure he's not just yawning?

Shot 6:

TITLES: Mystery!

Shot 7: (4-097)

DOC and SNEEZE walk through fog.

I find I have no desire to question any of this. I'm just taking it all in stride.

Don't worry, that's a well-documented side effect of being lost on a mysterious island!

Shot 8:

TITLES: Romance!

Shot 9: (4-108)

GREYHAWK pushes a button aimed at HENRIETTA!

Awaken, Sleeping Beauty!

Shot 9b: Henrietta awakes and punches Greyhawk in the face.

Shot 10:

TITLE: And Indescribable Treasure!

Shot 11: (4-068)


Yes, it cannot be described.

(after a beat) Is it blue?

Shot 12: (4-075)

TITLES: Across the sea!

Shot 12b: Ship sails!

Shot 13: (4-018)

TITLES: And to the stars!

Shot 13b: Spaceship Flies!

Shot 14: (4-064)

TITLES: With Monkeys!

Shot 14b: Monkeys yell at Flemm from their ship.


Shot 14c: Flemm turns to Doc Bokor
That sounded awfully wordy for a simple "we surrender."

Shot 15: (4-098)

TITLES: Aliens!

15b: Aliens using scout ship to get into Greyhawk's cave.
Aim disintegration ray at a height of 427 pilfers.


At the wall! Not at the prisoners!

Oh, right.

Shot 16: (4-113)

TITLES: And terrible monsters!

Shot 16b: CELESTIAL DRAGON Quick flash shot!

Shot 17: TITLE: LOGO

Shot 18-??: MONTAGE (no animation, just stills with KEN BURNS effect)

Take a musket and fire it
These Wannabe Pirates
Were made for derring do!

With their swords at the ready
Their ship legs are steady
Their compass points true!

Oh his ship, he is mighty
and Up for a fight he
Will never back down

Though he ain't got a parrot
He's not without merit
His fame is renowned!

These are men of noble spirits
Though they may have feet of clay
Sure they may be Wannabe Pirates
But just watch them win the day!

Shot LAST: (4-054)

No matter the horrors that lie before us, men… We sail for Greyhawk Island!


Unless it's raining…

TITLES: (LOGO) The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island

Show book... maybe animation of flipping through it.

TITLES: A 200-page graphic novel now available!


What's the expected running time of this?
There's no set time that it has to be, but my guess is it's going to be between 1:30 and 2:00.
I might give it a go. Can you give us some idea of the type of voices you want? Descriptions such as heroic, quirky etc.
Here's my thoughts, Ken. I'm thinking this might be kind of a know-it-when-I-hear-it thing.

Flemm: I think there's a tinge of heroic-ness in his voice, but somehow still comical. Almost like a comedian imitating a heroic actor (in the same way that Don Adams' Maxwell Smart voice is an imitation of William Powell.) Flemm is a kid at heart, so I don't think his voice is very deep. Comical without sounding weak or wimpy.

Greyhawk: Fully heroic, but with some swashbuckle flair to it. I almost said Errol Flynn-like, but ironically, Flynn's voice is thin and weak.

Mr. Sneeze: The faithful sidekick. A steady, friendly voice.

Doc Bokor: An old man voice with a tinge of a Jamaican accent that still manages to sound sagely.
And the monkeys? How do they sound? Not that I would have any interest in doing a crazed Monkey chatter voice...but just in case, are they:

Dulcet, adoring, MOCKING, studious, thoughtful, complacent, EVIL, pathetic, alien, robotic, british...etc?
The monkeys are mean, Nancy. Totally evil. :-)

When you were talking about other projects, i was thinking you really ought to do something with the Pirates instead. Like a trailer!

I envisioned it starting with "There are stories to be told..."

Well, I may have someone to do the voices! I had gotten an email from this guy a year ago, but he never followed up with me. Anyway, I emailed him again last week and he got back to me yesterday and sent me some samples. I think he's got an interesting take on them.

Very weird hearing a "voice" attached to the characters. In my head they speak, but there's not really an audio component to their voices.
I will give it a try.
Would you be interested in any help animating this? Two minutes is a long haul, but maybe i could try a one or two shot test?
I'd welcome the help, Robert! I'm still waiting on the voice tracks. He started them last week, so I'm not sure how long it will take him. Almost all of the clips are very brief and mostly are lip synching.

I could do a shot or two too if you're interested. Haven't (3d) animated in far too long.
That would be great, Ken! I'll keep you in the loop!
The first sequence!!

I'm probably going to experiment a little more with the opening part to do some more distortion/static type stuff, but this is basically it!

First time speaking with their new voices!

Click to view attachment
That's proof positive that these guys were made to be animated. smile.gif

I must admit that Flemm's voice is a lot different than the one I imagined in my head.
Of course hearing more will help it sink in.

Nicely done Mark!
I like it! Some of mouths seem out of sync, but it could just be playback issues.
Thanks, Rodney! They were made to be animated, but I don't know that we'll ever get to see a real animated project.

It was interesting to me to hear someone else interpret the voices the way they heard them. What I like about the Flemm voice is that it has that kind of puffed-up quality to it and is very comical.

The Greyhawk voice was inspired by the actor Stewart Granger. Seeing this movie poster makes the connection pretty clear!


Thanks, Ken! They look okay to me on my computer, so it could be a playback issue. Those modulating scanlines do make the frames a bit more complicated.
Spent today creating a little logo animation for "Endeavor Comics" to use in this commercial. Endeavor Comics was the label we self-published our books in the '90s and I still have the website, so thought I'd use it for this, too.

Simple model, but made cool via matcap shaders and transparency/bump maps on the back!

Click to view attachment
Another shot!

This one's the Sea Monster scene. There'll be sound effects added to all of these and the final editing will probably be tighter, but here it is in the raw:

Click to view attachment
Very cool. I like how the ship moves with the waves.

Thanks, Steve! I found moving the camera really helped sell that.
Very cool.
Sorry, but what is Flem saying in his gaganswer?
Paul Forwood
It's all looking really good, Mark. smile.gif
Looking forward to more animation.
Looking very good Mark! smile.gif

Pirates are still enjoying their rise in popularity and more movies are set to sail to maintain that interest.
Keep plugging away and here's hoping some of that interest will move in your direction.

Pirates of the Carribean 4 and Pirates in Adventure with Scientists (by Peter Lord/Aardman in stop motion in March 2012)
Thanks, guys! (Jake, Flemm is saying "Are you sure he's not just yawning?")

Trying to buckle down and get one shot done a day so I can knock this puppy out! Here's today's. This is only a shaded render, but I'm holding off now on doing the renderings until I get everything pieced together and see how it all works!

This is the Laugh at Danger bit...

Click to view attachment

It wasn't just for the look that I gave Doc Bokor that huge mustache. Makes lip-synching for that character a breeze. :-)
Good start Mark! I'm thinking some of the moves are a little floaty. And Flemm saying he laughs at danger is just crying out for some snappy hand gestures. But I'm just an observer. smile.gif
Thanks, Ken. You're right. I know I definitely went a little overboard with Doc Bokor's swaying around. I need to make it a little more subtle. I wanted a little more snap on Flemm's fist movement, too. I'll get the chance to tweak the shots a little before the final render.

Excited to get this done, though. Think it might get the Wannabe Pirates some attention.
It wasn't just for the look that I gave Doc Bokor that huge mustache. Makes lip-synching for that character a breeze. :-)

No kidding! That works really well too.
Design-wise Doc Bokor is one of my favorite characters. It helps that every scene he's in is always good for a laugh.
A wonderful character for Flemm and crew to play off of.

I'm really liking his voice as well. smile.gif

Thanks, Rodney!

I gave Scott (the talented fellow doing the voices) a very specific request for Doc Bokor's voice: I wanted Doc Bokor to sound like Geoffrey Holder (the 7-Up "Uncola" guy) who played Baron Samedi in "Live and Let Die." I think he did a fantastic job of capturing it.

What's been fun for me is having another person interpreting the characters with their voices. It brings some freshness into it and it's very inspiring. The voice and audio work was always what held me up from getting a Wannabe Pirates animation off of the ground.
Good man KenH was kind enough to animate one of the scenes for me!

Doc Bokor and Mr. Sneeze comment on mysterious islands...

Click to view attachment

I will assume this is first pass. The following would be my impressions, thoughts (don't know if/what is planned for polishing):

I find it hard to connect the voices to the characters. Perhaps some "in character acting" would facilitate making the voices connect more. EG, gestures to indicate "clueless, refined Brit" for Flemm, and some "stereotypic" Indian culture mannerisms for Bokor (eg hand flips), etc.

Flemm has dead eyes. Darting glances, changes in glance direction, lids lowered, & moving some, perhaps asymmetrical expressions would make him come alive. Looks like mainly the brows have been animated, along with mouth parts for dialog. Also need feeling, thinking facial animation.

Body parts appear stiff. Looks like hands, fingers, shoulders, head, torso have minimal (if any) animation. Walking looks like bobbing up/down. On first view I thought they were on a boat. How about some side/side, irregular motion, head looking round at environment, torso movement, finger motion, just enough to make them come alive.

The sound track could use consistent backgound ambiant noise, starting from the beginning, not just when voices start. Perhaps ocean waves? I can't tell if background noise with voices is intended or not, but it sounds like the ocean a bit.

I think it works for what I'm doing, Nancy. I suppose if the elbows bounced to the movements that might keep the arms from looking as stiff.

Waiting to put all the parts together before I do the final sound. I've been watching video tutorials for After Effects all day trying to think what I'm going to do for all of the title cards. Want something fun that feels like a real movie trailer.

Okay, a lifetime of Mom guilt trips made me unable to not concede to your comments, Nancy. :-) I tweaked the last shot to try to cover some of the things you mentioned. I kept the hands up, though. they have aliens behind them aiming weapons at them. I might have overdone the bounce in the arms a little (almost looks like they are "raising the roof.")

Click to view attachment

Here's the shot I worked on today. Fun to have the monkey reacting to everything. :-)

Click to view attachment
QUOTE(largento @ May 15 2011, 08:29 PM) *
Okay, a lifetime of Mom guilt trips made me unable to not concede to your comments, Nancy. :-) I tweaked the last shot to try to cover some of the things you mentioned. I kept the hands up, though. they have aliens behind them aiming weapons at them. I might have overdone the bounce in the arms a little (almost looks like they are "raising the roof.")

Click to view attachment

Here's the shot I worked on today. Fun to have the monkey reacting to everything. :-)

Click to view attachment

ACK - guilt??? Hoo hooo...I'll bet my guilt baggage trumps yours, hands down.

My intention is to describe my impressions, with no guilting & with no requirement to do anything about it. Only if you agree, otherwise ignore.

So that being said: for the Sneeze & Bokor clip - looks a little better, could still use some subtle hand, finger movement, unconscious but meaningful body language gestures consistent with their dialog. I wasn't suggesting the arms should come down, but there could be some subtle turning of the wrists, twitch of the fingers (noticed that you took out Sneeze's hand flip, unfortunately)

The new clip, in contrast seems floaty (as opposed to stiff), as if they are all swimming into their next move, especially the monkey. My impression would be that monkey movements could be erratic, deliberate, nervous, twitchy, crazy or juvenile like. Think of your nephews? As for Flemm and Bokor, their movements could be more deliberate & could use some holds, before they move a bit snappier into their next pose.

It's coming along!
I've been cranking away on this! I've got a rough assemblage that I'm using as my framework.

One of the things I decided to change was to take the first shot and make it appear to be on a monitor on a spaceship console.

Here's the console I made:

Click to view attachment

And here's what it looks like with the video running in it:

Click to view attachment

I've added more shots, so I have even more to do, but I really think it's going to be fun when it's finished.
Great style!
Still no flatscreens on that spaceship? ;>)
Thanks, Jake!

But you're forgetting that this story takes place over 300 years ago. :-)

Still feverishly working to get this finished!

Here's the sequence I finished today. I've been using Mark S' ocean generator with neat results. I've been adding scenes to this, but I'm pretty sure of the exact sequence now. I've got a fun scene with Flemm in his Queen Amidala outfit to do tomorrow and then I need to go back to one scene and see if I can salvage it. Then it's three short scenes and I'm finished! Of course, two of those three short scenes are going to be very difficult, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Click to view attachment

I hadn't intended this scene to be in there, but this song was part of the first voice file for Flemm that I was sent and the singing sold me on the whole thing. Was very happy to be able to fit it in.

Oooo...looks great! Loved the water, lighting, and...the singing!...makes me wannabe a pirate too and sail the
Thanks, Nancy! That ocean generator is a wonderful thing!
I love the ship bobbing on the ocean. It reminds me of a bathtub toy, which seems consistent with Flem's operation smile.gif
Paul Forwood
That looks great, Mark! Love that water!
I felt that Flem's voice should have diminished slightly when you cut to the long shot. It sounds like he could be singing over my shoulder rather than on the ship.
This trailer looks like it is shaping up nicely. smile.gif
LOL, love the singing!

I'm glad someone has finally gotten some use out of that ocean rig. wink.gif
Thanks all!

I got the same impression, Holmes. That it's a toy ship.

That's a great suggestion, Paul. I'm fortunate to be in the position where someone is doing the sound for me (thank the maker!) I'll pass that along. He's going to be doing music for the whole thing which is something I'm really excited about. I've heard some of the sound work he's done and it's really been impressive. It might just make up some for my amateur animation. :-)

I had been too intimidated to try it out, but I was amazed how easy the ocean generator was to use, Mark (i.e. you don't have to do anything to use it.) I can't imagine going back to the "flat" water ever again.

I'm lovin' it, Mark! It looks like you're having fun. Also, kudos to Mark Skodacek for the Ocean Rig!
Very nice!

Maybe I would add some blending from the colors of ocean and background from the opening to the boatscene,
like the morning slowly downing.

A pity theres no foam with the oceanrig yet.
That would make it perfect for me.

Probably experimenting with materialeffectors and wake materials/maps would add too much additional work to your project
for the time being...

Thanks, David & Jake! I *am* having fun with it. Beyond that, it's a chance for me to push myself. It seems like every time I do another project I learn new things. At some point, I'm bound to figure it all out. :-)

I'm not even pretending to have any clue how to create anything like that, Jake. Perfection is out of my grasp. :-)
A pity theres no foam with the oceanrig yet.

Well, you could always experiment yourself.
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