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Live Action or Animation?

Film Mysterious Island 2001 Opinion Animation

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Azani

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 10:44 PM

I'm planning on writing, directing, and producing a fan made Bionicle film, to be called Mysterious Island. It's going to be based on the 2001 Bionicle story. Though it is still in the early stages of development, I'd like to get a few of your opinions on whether or not I should attempt to animate it, enlisting voice actors only to play the parts, or shoot it in live action. Because there are benefits and drawbacks to each when making a lengthy film, the choice isn't quite as obvious as it would be if I were making a short film, in which case I would definitely opt for shooting in live action. It will be helpful to have some opinions on this, as the decision will influence the way in which I write the script. What are some of your thoughts?
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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
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#2 Offline Toa Onaku

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 11:03 PM

If you are hoping for a better look and aesthetic feel to the film, I'd recommend animating it, but if you don't have time for that, and don't really care that much for aesthetic quality, you could choose live-action.

 

Thing about these two methods is that for either to look in any way or manner good, it's going to take effort, and I mean A LOT of effort.

 

If you want the live-action to look good, you'll need some pretty darn nifty costumes and good make-up to sell it, but if you are going with animation, it's all about time, time, time and your patience with what ever program you or who ever does the animation with the program you/they use.

 

That's my opinion at least.


Edited by Toa Onaku, Apr 13 2014 - 11:03 PM.

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#3 Offline Azani

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Posted Apr 13 2014 - 11:10 PM

If you are hoping for a better look and aesthetic feel to the film, I'd recommend animating it, but if you don't have time for that, and don't really care that much for aesthetic quality, you could choose live-action.
 
Thing about these two methods is that for either to look in any way or manner good, it's going to take effort, and I mean A LOT of effort.
 
If you want the live-action to look good, you'll need some pretty darn nifty costumes and good make-up to sell it, but if you are going with animation, it's all about time, time, time and your patience with what ever program you or who ever does the animation with the program you/they use.
 
That's my opinion at least.


I'll definitely need some talented artists and graphic designers regardless of which I decide on, although I was thinking that I could actually obtain a better aesthetic look for the film by shooting in live action.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#4 Offline The Phantom Terror

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:33 AM

This sounds like a really awesome idea! Unfortunately, I'm not proficient with art or animating (I can barely handle mine-imator XD) But I can offer a variety of voice talents. :)


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#5 Offline Azani

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 12:38 AM

This sounds like a really awesome idea! Unfortunately, I'm not proficient with art or animating (I can barely handle mine-imator XD) But I can offer a variety of voice talents. :)


Thanks for the offer; I'll be sure to contact you once I've finished the script! You can find the facebook page which I established for it at www.facebook.com/fanfilmmysteriousisland, and a link to a preview in my signature.

Edited by Artakha's Nephew, Apr 14 2014 - 12:39 AM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#6 Offline Jam Pot

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 02:41 AM

I had an idea to do a BIONICLE-in-real-life video for YouTube, basically consisting of live-action with stop-motion elements (e.g. animated Toa tools keyed into the live-action 'Toa's' hands) but I have no idea whether I'll get round to it. I thought '01 Makuta could be a swirling mass of real-world mechanical parts...is this the kind of thing you're aiming for when you say live-action, or do you mean stop-motion?

 

As far as which do I prefer, I prefer stop-motion animation. I don't know how live-action would work for BIONICLE except for what I have described above.

 

However, if CGI is done well, then I make exceptions. What was made of BQOTT was such an exception.


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#7 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 02:45 AM

If it's based on Bionicle, animation is needed for it to look good at all.


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#8 Offline Loganto The Bo-Matoran

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 08:49 AM

If it's based on Bionicle, animation is needed for it to look good at all.

Well, live action is great for comedic reasons, just look at the jaller videos.


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#9 Offline RahkshiToa88

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 08:54 AM

Live action would be hilarious!


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#10 Offline Katuko

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Posted Apr 14 2014 - 09:29 AM

I have some experience with making short films as part of my media education. I can tell you that if you go with a long live-action movie, then planning everything out beforehand is absolutely crucial. Writing the script is one thing, rigging up the equipment is another, but make sure you have the logistics in order. Nothing sucks more than arriving on set and finding out that no, three of the people you needed suddenly have other things on their schedule, or someone failed to get the memo about shooting, or maybe you've broken a prop during transport and don't have duct tape on hand. Plan everything on paper and bring sheets and to-do lists with you.

The technical things you will need for a good movie:

- A camera (and maybe even two or three of them) of high quality. You can't shoot a long film with a mobile camera, of course. Being able to adjust things like gain, white balance etc. is key, as is the ability to use optical zoom rather than digital zoom. Make sure you have a good camera stand, preferably one with "easing" on the movements. This allows you to pan and tilt the camera without having to worry about the image shaking.
- Lighting. It may look like a nice day to shoot, but suddenly the weather outside is grey or the interior location you are shooting in is too dark. Lack of proper lighting = horrendous image quality, and this is something you often see in amateur films. Ideally you'll have maybe three proper light sources available. Look up lighting techniques on the net to get a feel of basic three-point lighting etc.
- A good sound recorder and microphone. Sound is the second thing that amateur films often skimp on. The camera's built-in mic is not good enough if you want nice sound. Something as simple as plugging a proper handheld mic into the camera can vastly improve the sound of your film.

Equipment don't need to be bought; that is expensive. If you're lucky there are people you can lend proper equipment from, but in that case make sure to have good material on hand to show that you will actually finish the project. ;)


Dedicating different people to these roles depending on what they're good at will make things a lot better for you. But then the main question is: Do you know enough people to fill the roles of camera crew and actors at once? The film projects I have been a part of have all been done by a crew of 4-6 people, and then 2 or 3 actors on stage at a time. This was a normal film, not sci-fi or anything. BIONICLE requires a lot of things to work due to its setting filled with tech and magic.

Like, if your script involves just three Toa and a few Matoran, you already need several props for Kanohi, armor, and other things. If you want them to look even remotely realistic, you need to put in some serious effort in each and still be able to keep a schedule.

Then comes things like special effects, and things like music, sound design, etc. Many of these are probably done in post-production, but if you make a live-action BIONICLE film, you would likely be better off if you reduce the special effects to a minimum. Like, if the official BIONICLE films tried to avoid it, it was probably for a good reason. 3D-animated effects are harder and more costly to make than hand-drawn effects in a 2D cartoon. People like Corridor Digital on YouTube make incredible effects, but they devote most of their time to these effects, and they don't make films longer than a few minutes or involving a few actors at a time.

This is all disregarding that you will need to make a human actor look 85% mechanical without making it look like obvious makeup. For example, painting your face grey will not give of a true mechanical vibe, it will rather seem kinda 80's and probably not as serious as you may want it.


Animation, on the other hand, don't require locations to shoot, or realistic makeup, or props that can break. It doesn't require dealing with weather, or noisy environments, or actors that don't show up on schedule. There will be no worries about shaky camera or having to do re-take an entire scene because someone messes up a line. It does require a bit of technical expertise, and don't get me wrong: it is still very hard to make a full animated film. I just think that for something as complex as BIONICLE, a sci-fi series filled with non-human characters and special effects, animation will be the better choice.

Legend of Ignaqua is an animated BIONICLE fan-film that has been completed. You may want to look at that for some inspiration, perhaps? It uses stop-motion mixed with 3D animation. Quest of The Toa was to be full 3D animation, but production of that eventually halted. Live-action can probably work too, but I imagine it will be kind of like Power Rangers in style: still fun and engaging, but a bit cheesy and not at all convincing as far as realism goes. It would also need to be shorter than a full-length, since I have a feeling you don't have a full team of BIONICLE fans and media enthusiasts ready to help you at the moment?

Edited by Katuko, Apr 14 2014 - 09:32 AM.

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#11 Offline Kask Daxxe

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 03:23 PM

I can do voices.


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#12 Offline Jakura Nuva

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 03:29 PM

I'm planning on writing, directing, and producing a fan made Bionicle film, to be called Mysterious Island. It's going to be based on the 2001 Bionicle story. Though it is still in the early stages of development, I'd like to get a few of your opinions on whether or not I should attempt to animate it, enlisting voice actors only to play the parts, or shoot it in live action. Because there are benefits and drawbacks to each when making a lengthy film, the choice isn't quite as obvious as it would be if I were making a short film, in which case I would definitely opt for shooting in live action. It will be helpful to have some opinions on this, as the decision will influence the way in which I write the script. What are some of your thoughts?

Personally, I think animation would be better for a Bionicle movie of these standards, rather than live action.

As for voice actors, it would be my dream to voice a Matoran for you, but I'm not so available :P


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#13 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 07:12 PM

If you want some gritty, realistic setting and mood, live action is the way to go. But if you want it the way you truly want it, go for animated.


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#14 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 11:59 AM

What do you mean by live-action


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#15 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 12:25 PM

What do you mean by live-action

Like actually filmed with a camera. It uses the real world as a set, there are real actors and actresses, that sort of stuff.


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Live while you can while there's air in your lungs. Live your life in the best way you can and die with no regrets. Life is too good to brush off, so live your life and love it.

 

Click here to go to Snax, the SybreNetX reboot!

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Click the homemade banner to go to Sonic: Pure Chaos!

 

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#16 Offline Azani

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 01:06 PM

If you want some gritty, realistic setting and mood, live action is the way to go. But if you want it the way you truly want it, go for animated.


If I had no monetary or time constraints, I would definitely go for live action, without a pause. I want the film to look as realistic as possible.

What do you mean by live-action

Like actually filmed with a camera. It uses the real world as a set, there are real actors and actresses, that sort of stuff.


Sybre is right; I'd be filming actual people in costumes and makeup, walking around on an actual set. It would be probably be the most expensive and time consuming option, but it'd the one which I have the most experience with.

Edited by Artakha's Nephew, Apr 17 2014 - 01:09 PM.

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I can also be found under the username Azani on SolisMagna.com and the BioMediaProject forums. Check out SolisMagna.com, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend [url=http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/11507-bionicle-nova-orbis-new-world/Nova Orbis, an awesome comic series by NickonAquaMagna.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 
Bionicle is returning in 2015!

#17 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 02:14 PM

 

If you want some gritty, realistic setting and mood, live action is the way to go. But if you want it the way you truly want it, go for animated.


If I had no monetary or time constraints, I would definitely go for live action, without a pause. I want the film to look as realistic as possible.

 

What do you mean by live-action

Like actually filmed with a camera. It uses the real world as a set, there are real actors and actresses, that sort of stuff.

 


Sybre is right; I'd be filming actual people in costumes and makeup, walking around on an actual set. It would be probably be the most expensive and time consuming option, but it'd the one which I have the most experience with.

 

While live action is a good and interesting choice, I agree that it'd be really expensive. I'm 15 years old, so I know what I'm talking about. For someone who's my age or younger, it'd be a total chore just to get a decent amount of money, and I know this firsthand. You should try establishing a budget or try getting funds somehow. Have some people that are helping with your movie chip in with their own money and pay for props and other necessary things. While I wish you luck financially in this movie, it will be anything but easy to pull off.

I'm thinking of doing a live-action BIONICLE movie (you've inspired me), and all I have that could be appropriate for such a film are clothing that could be suitable for a Toa of any of the six elements with barely any weapons. It's gonna cost a lot of money just to get all the tools and paint them, and I have a staggeringly awful budget and almost nothing to work with. You might have more luck than me, but be careful with your money and use it wisely. Like I said, it's gonna leave a massive hole in your wallet, but it should be worth it.

I highly encourage you to pursue the live action option, though. It will take some work to push reality aside and have absolutely everything you need with money to spare. I wish you luck.


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Live while you can while there's air in your lungs. Live your life in the best way you can and die with no regrets. Life is too good to brush off, so live your life and love it.

 

Click here to go to Snax, the SybreNetX reboot!

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Click the homemade banner to go to Sonic: Pure Chaos!

 

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Why must all our greatest dreams come to an end? I would have slept for eternity just to keep my favorite one...

 

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#18 Offline Jam Pot

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Posted Apr 17 2014 - 04:36 PM

I'm 15 years old, so I know what I'm talking about.

 

Dude, I hope you don't find this offensive, but I'm 18 and have actual industry experience and wouldn't try a live-action BIONICLE film. It's expensive to do (much more so than you think) and the VFX necessary to make it look decent would be extremely hard. I spent four years trying to work on a low budget webseries (a kind of supernatural teen thing, it was pretty promising) and even though I had the budget for it, unforseen circumstances meant it never got made.

 

I'd suggest doing stop-motion if you can. If you have BIONICLEs and a camera then you can do it, and if you're committed to doing your project this way then you'll find it's a lot cheaper to make sets and backdrops than it is to pay a crew, buy make-up and materials for costumes, make the costumes, pay for and construct sets, buy filming permits for location shoots...comparatively speaking, stop-motion's a lot cheaper. Decent stop-motion takes a lot of skill, but it can be done. I've seen some animations out there, well beyond my current level of ability, which look much better than a live-action BIONICLE fan film ever could. Live-action BIONICLE would only ever work on a reasonable budget.

 

Everything I've mentioned above applies to a professional film production, even on a small scale. What you're talking about doing is an amateur production, and you're 14 years old. This is a massive jump into the deep end and will only end in disappointment. Trust me, my productions have flopped a thousand times. My advise is start on something small and manageable and work your way up. That can be stop-motion or, if you're particularly mathematically gifted, then work on learning Blender (a free but legendary piece of CGI software).

 

Don't get me wrong, I will respect whatever you choose to do, whether you follow my advise or not. If you go ahead with live-action then that's your cool, for better or worse, and I'm not going to think badly of you because of it, because you'll be doing what you want to do and you'll be giving it your best shot. But if I can help a budding filmmaker to not make the same mistakes I did, then I will. I wasted years chasing empty dreams when I had the skills to be creating much more valuable and rewarding content. Please don't do the same.

 

If you want to talk more about this or have any questions, please don't hesitate to message me. You have ambition (which is fantastic) and I wish you the best of luck whatever you choose to do.

 

Sorry if I got all rambly and preachy there  :P  it's late here.


Edited by Jam Pot, Apr 17 2014 - 04:42 PM.

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#19 Offline KopakaFan116

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Posted May 14 2014 - 11:13 PM

I think it would be great to film it in live action. The only drawback is costumes, and you might be able to come up with a few ways to work through that. But if you definitely would be filming it in live action, I would recommend Masks at least. : )

 

This sounds like a great project, PM me if you need any help. That would be great!

 

P. S. I've been gifted with a wonderful voice, and I can do lots of different types of characters.

So if you need help with voice acting, You could PM me about it.

 

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#20 Offline toa electro

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Posted May 24 2014 - 12:24 AM

I'm glad there is support for the live action IDEA, back when I pitched it, not many people were too gung go about it. But regarding to your question, you can see my support for which style to go with (live action) but I have actually tried doing this before and I'll tell you, it's hard to do it by yourself or with 2 extra people, it's gonna cost money if you really want it to be just ok looking. The easier option would be flash animation style like Templar studios does it. I tell you, I would love to watch a new series like that
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