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Utopia Talk / General Talk / UGT Project: the Great Emu War
Cherub Cow
Member
Thu Dec 22 03:05:04
k! So in case you don't already know the background...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emu_War
"The Emu War, also known as the Great Emu War, was a nuisance wildlife management military operation undertaken in Australia over the latter part of 1932 to address public concern over the number of emus said to be running amok in the Campion district of Western Australia. The unsuccessful attempts to curb the population of emus ... employed soldiers armed with Lewis guns[,] leading the media to adopt the name 'Emu War' when referring to the incident."
Cherub Cow
Member
Thu Dec 22 03:05:22
So! I've been hoping to do a comedic animation of the Emu War, which would ideally not be too long (run time of about 5 to 15 minutes?). It would be a sort of compressed play-by-play of the events, with random jokes/references thrown in (particularly references to "Sometimes in April" (2005) and "Zulu" (1964)), and it would take many many liberties with the actual story.

-=-
Current plot:

ACT I (Explanation of the lead-up)
- Australian farmland expanded
- Migrating emus flood the farmlands [visuals of breaking fences, turning green areas to brown]
- With the good conditions, emus overpopulate
- Peacetime for the emus [maybe shown by emus playing golf?]

ACT II (Failed culling)
- Australian Army headed by Major Meredith dispatched with machine guns
- delay due to rain
- Army fails to gather emus into groups for extermination [Lewis guns, one on truck; emus darting away whenever the army approaches]
- Emus use guerrilla tactics [Vietnam-style emu overrunning of an Aussie outpost to the reading of this real-life satirical commentary: "The Emu command had evidently ordered guerrilla tactics, and its unwieldy army soon split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic"]
- Major Meredith signs a treaty with an emu chief to end hostilities

ACT III (Successful Genocide Engineered)
- Emus have been incorporated into daily Aussie life (Driving cars and such)
- Aussie military quietly puts up blockades around the Campion district; alarmed emus told not to panic
- Genocide begins: Aussie soldiers storm the house of an emu diplomat: "We know [Emu diplomat] is here!"; reenactment of this scene: http://youtu.be/z-Go5Yb6Ifs?t=4m48s [on screen: Day 1, 8000 emus killed]
- Also reenact this scene from "Sometimes in April" ( http://youtu.be/9Bd_p9Tv4Aw?t=8m56s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx-tLHLsl08 ): Emus slaughtered at car checkpoint, one emu crawls away, later grenade suicides
- Corpses of emus on Australian outback scene

ACT IV (Laser Emus)
- Australian Army accidentally selected for laser emus
- Laser emus fight back
- [scene like Terminator; mounds of human skulls, pan up from emu’s feet to emu's laser eyes. Australian soldiers run around, vaporized by emu lasers]
- Emus force Australian surrender

ACT V (Another Uneasy Truce?)
- Modern Australia; integrated emus; genocide memorials
- “And that’s why at Australian customs laser emus check your passport” [emu at passport booth checks passport, looks at camera, eye glows red, credits roll]

-=-=-

On the practical side, this could take a while :D
.. still, I think it would be fun to pick at for a while. The animation would be pretty basic: 2D shapes given movement with After Effects, and a fun way around having to match voice with audio could be to have both emus and Aussies translated from weird slang (so chirping translated for emus, and Aussie gibberish translated for Aussies). If anyone can think of random jokes and visuals to throw into the story, that would be fun :D .. and any drawings would be great. I think it can start like a crude screen play (black and white drawings with general sequence) and move on to colors from there... :D
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Thu Dec 22 09:05:08
Google image search of "emu clipart" (or "cute emu clipart" which came up as a related search) and "soldier clipart" seem like helpful stuff... and to a lesser extent "Australian clipart"

not sure how much animating you're planning... but you could separate legs off to have them rotate at hip back and forth for walking... or beak parts too for speaking
(if you put the leg motion on a static body in one composition then put that composition in a more main composition you'd only have to animate that one object's motion and the rotating legs would stay with it, if that makes sense...and if I'm thinking correctly :p)

ambitious project!
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Thu Dec 22 09:26:11
you could also use that film technique of having a still image that you're just slowing panning and/or zooming on to create a sense of motion

like build a static (or even some small motion) battle scene on a 3000px composition or something, then nest that in a composition of your normal production size and slow move/zoom the nested composition to create the pan/zoom camera effect
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Thu Dec 22 09:41:12
"landscape clipart" and "scenery clipart" may have helpful images too for backgrounds... not sure of your vision on the look

you may want to confirm any cliparts are free to use from their websites or something :p
Cherub Cow
Member
Thu Dec 22 13:30:20
"you could also use that film technique of having a still image that you're just slowing panning and/or zooming on to create a sense of motion"
Ken Burns Effect! Yeah! :D I was thinking of doing that at least for the beginning part.. like to give it a documentary feel before getting totally crazy.

"not sure how much animating you're planning."
That sounds like about the level (just doing very basic movement, even if it looks weird). Like Frisky Dingo's style.. and the plan was to steal clip-art but severely alter it, but if I can get a tablet and stylus then I might be doing some from the ground up :D ... I'll try to rush a clip of an emu on a background so peeps can make pix in the same style..
Cherub Cow
Member
Wed Jan 18 20:53:03
Act IV Addition:
- emu mother shoots eggs at Aussies. Eggs hatch mid-air and become laser emus, shooting lasers while still airborne. [Narrator]: "Unlike humans, which require years of training in order to shoot lasers out of their eyes, the emu is born with this ability."

..
btw! I'm still ironing out the logistics of animating this. It seems like getting an iPad+ApplePencil would be the best long-term option because I could doodle in my free minutes throughout the day.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Wed Jan 18 22:22:32
i don't know anything about modern tech doohickeys but good luck!
McKobb
Member
Thu Jan 19 14:18:56
Sounds like a good emulation!
Cherub Cow
Member
Sat Jan 19 18:09:58
I hope I haven't sat on this idea for too long :(
For future reference, it's currently 2019, and someone posted this on Imgur:
http://imgur.com/gallery/iliASCp
Laser-eyed emus? :( :(
I've down-voted the post to buy myself some time ;D
Cherub Cow
Member
Sun Apr 19 01:59:52
Posting this for reference:
(2015 comic about the Emu War)
http://imgur.com/gallery/kacPd
Repel
Member
Sun Apr 19 02:34:02
I heard their cousins the Kiwis are even more dangerous..
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Sun Apr 19 14:58:29
some description of the truck part (but hard to say if embellishment added over time) :

"
The birds were smarter and faster than anticipated — so fast that they were often out of range of the machine guns before the soldiers could aim and fire. Meredith needed to get the guns close and keep them close.

So he decided to mount a Lewis onto one of the farmer’s trucks. It didn’t go well. When weighed down by the gunner and his 30-pound weapon, the vehicles still couldn’t keep up with the emus. Worse, the bumpy ride made it impossible to aim.

No soldier fired a shot from the back of a truck during the operation, but one industrious farmer did use his vehicle to run down a slow straggler.

The hit-and-run backfired when the emu smashed through the car, tangling itself in the steering wheel. The truck ran off the road and plowed through several feet of fence before it stopped.
"

http://med...to-the-mighty-emu-fd0f07203ca4
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Mar 08 07:38:48
Shit. :|

"John Cleese and US comedian Rob Schneider are working on a new film called 'The Great Emu War'"
[British Comedy Guide; March 6th, 2021]
http://www...ews/6239/john-cleese-emu-film/
"Speaking on The One Show, Cleese confirmed: "We just finished the script""

I mean.. I did sit on this for three [or four?] years, so it's not a big surprise.
Silver lining: I will have a new computer soon, and I was hoping to use it to start rendering for this project. And because I sort of "published" here first, there's at least a record that I'm not just jumping on their idea.
Repel
Member
Mon Mar 08 11:37:15
only problem is it's not showing the year that you posted it, it may be well the future.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Mon Mar 08 11:55:15
first post is Thursday Dec 22... 2016 was the last time Dec 22 was a Thursday

therefore i notarize this thread as started Dec 22 2016 (i am not a notary)
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Mar 08 21:27:56
Good catch! I was wondering if I'd have to ask Turtle Crawler for a registry or something. I was figuring 2018/2017 only because I time-stamped 2019 (Sat Jan 19 18:09:58) and that was at least a year after the first post.

Regardless, I have to beat Cleese and Schneider to the presses on this one :D
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Apr 19 03:31:00
I've consolidated all of my Emu notes into one file (I had made script additions over the years and put them in different places), so it's looking much more like a coherent screenplay. I'll do some final polishing to make sure things all fit, then I'll do the storyboarding, then it's animation time. Final animation will be the real difficulty..

I've been learning more about animation shortcuts for this project, and it seems like dialogue and mouth movement can be taken care of with "Facerig" (available on the Steam store: demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e25_nuRNl0M ) and/or Adobe Characterizer (Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z02AcZhxSfs ).

Facerig allows importing of custom models from Blender, so I could potentially use that for an animation shortcut (so.. animate the character in Blender (which I've learned how to do already), then use Facerig tracking to get the mouth movements right rather than manually animating/tracking mouth movements).

But Adobe:Characterizer (in Character Animator) allows those things *plus* it would let me do a consistent custom drawing style across all characters. I wouldn't have to do unique models for each new person's face; I could just have people sit for their lines Joel Haver-style, then super-impose the art (mask the faces and add bodies and backgrounds afterwards). And since it would be my custom work, I could match the Characterizer style with the backgrounds I make... Incidentally, Adobe Characterizer is how people have been turning regular videos into A-Ha's "Take On Me"..

I'm not sure how much to incorporate Blender. I'd like to do the 3D scenes using it, but it may depend on how quickly I can make scenes using Blender versus just creating pseudo-3D from Photoshop drawings. For future projects, I'd eventually like to do all importing into Blender, but because I'm fairly new to Blender I may not be able to get the work out quickly enough to release before Cleese and Schneider. I'll try to give weekly updates now that this is in gear :D
Repel
Member
Mon Apr 19 06:59:33
So who's gonna do all the voices? You and a mixer? :D
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Mon Apr 19 12:18:14
maybe send your ideas & all your movie reviewing credentials to Cleese & Schneider & they'll put you on the team (or steal your ideas :p)

both seem active on Twitter (Cleese seeming politically on the left, Schneider on the right)
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Apr 19 12:35:16
That's.. kind of an awesome idea :D
That way we wouldn't be stealing each other's thunder ;D
I'll have to think of clever ways to approach that.. because if they think I'm just some credits vulture, they might take some kind of preemptive legal action or something. Research to be done! :D

..
"So who's gonna do all the voices? You and a mixer? :D"

I have a local friend from Australia who's married to someone from New Zealand, so I think they'd be good to ask :D
That may even be enough people. It's basically just a historian-narrator and a couple of Aussie soldiers having a conversation in one scene — not quite up to Charles Dickens with the cast list ;)
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