Ha! Thanks for posting this, Peter. It's interesting to see all the little lines and details that were cut out (although I can see why -- on a quick read-through, what made it to the screen seems a bit smoother).
When I was younger, the slicker animation and sheer weirdness of some of the other episodes (especially "Isthmus Crypticus" and "The Purge") appealed to me more, but now I think "Thanatophobia" is probably my favorite episode. It feels so well-composed to me, each scene clicking together like clockwork, including the visuals and the dialogue. I seem to remember you saying once that this could have been a much longer episode; I'd love to have seen a feature-length version. Although I wonder whether the expanded runtime and an opportunity to let things play out more slowly would really have helped it, or if the quick pace keeps it effective? Hmm...
― Matt Rebholz, Tuesday, 20 September 2016 01:31 (six years ago) link
Each episode of the series could easily have been expanded to feature length. A few of them really suffered from being shortened, but I do think Thanatophobia works well at its current length, though it seems to require multiple viewings for all the pieces to fit. I'd originally wanted to build up more of a sense of Sybil's daily routine of going to work, daily meetings with Onan across the hole in the wall, coming home, practicing her maneuver, using up her spinal ampules. It's the episode I use in my class to show how an animated episode goes from initial concept to script, to design and storyboard, to final film. It demonstrates many of the methods of engagement I teach which are the tools every director should learn. Sadly, students I've had in just the past 4 years have shown me that they're less and less interested in reading scripts or recognizing the importance of the writing phase of filmmaking. Even when I require them to read the script I've posted here, I get fewer each year who make the effort.
― Peter Chung, Thursday, 22 September 2016 00:26 (six years ago) link
I have to ask your theories on why that is.
― Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Thursday, 22 September 2016 01:24 (six years ago) link
At USC, there's a huge population of Chinese students. My class last year was over 60 percent Chinese, some who barely speak English. They are very talented and hard working, but the effect on class discussion is unfortunate. Still, I'd rather have quiet students who produce high quality work than ones who talk big but have little to show.
― Peter Chung, Sunday, 25 September 2016 01:44 (six years ago) link