Title and Script News

  / by Bassam

Yesterday we had a meeting with Pepijn, the script-writer (He’s the guy standing up in the lunch photo below.) We discussed the script and the characters, and made a few changes. The script looks quite good, and gives many opportunities for interesting scenes and animations. He also suggested a new title that fits the story better: Elephants Dream. The next revision of the script will be the final one or very close to it. I’m itching to spill the beans about a few fun details, jokes and surprises in the new story, but the rest of the team is telling me to save something for the viewers of the movie. I myself usually avoid knowing too much about a movie before I watch it. What do you think?

what are we eating?
(Lunch after the meating…. guess what Matt had for lunch!)

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32 Responses to “Title and Script News”

  1. Oso said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    I also prefer not to know too much about a movie before seeing it. If you do decide to “spill the beans”, at least give the readers fair warning that you’re going to do so. That way they can decide whether or not they want to ruin the surprise.

  2. Bassam said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    good idea! perhaps any further revalations should have a warning followed by a “Read the Rest of this Entry” link :)

  3. Chris said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    ever had to dream?

  4. maccam912 said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    DON’T TELL! It would ruin the story. You can give away little things if you want, but don’t give away anything funny because then it won’t be as funny. I’m surprised how fast you’re moving!
    Keep up the good work (and blogs)!

  5. Jerry Coopert said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    I suggest to add a *spoiler* space to avoid flash plot revelations!

    You can document about it here:



  6. harkyman said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    I’d say to keep it close to your vests. As soon as you start spilling details, you’ll have people carping and whining about it. Do you really want to have to do your work knowing that people with on time in it are questioning your every move? I wouldn’t.

  7. JD-Multi said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    No don’t tell the script. Because that makes us wanting to watch what’s happening. Ofcourse here and there some little sneakpeeks of screenshots it nice, but don’t show the main stuff, because that ruins the fun. :P

    Like the King Kong movie, nobody actually got the exact image of the monkey yet, that makes us wanting to check the movie and watch that beast. Same they did with LOTR, we didn’t see some cool things in the trailers. :D

  8. Ryan A Neily said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    A significant percentage of the people following the unfolding of the making of the Orange.Blender movie are creators themselves. This is a magnificent opportunity for blender users to look over the shoulder of a talented crew as they make a movie. When deciding what to reveal and what to keep under wraps until showtime, I suggest using the ‘virtual mentoring’ opportunity this movie making provides as a guiding principle.

  9. Kernon said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    Please don’t ruin the movie by revealing too much. Thanks! :)

  10. TroutMaskReplica said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    I think the open source nature of the projects demands a certain level of disclosure. Whether revealing the script through links the user must deliberately click on or you simply publish the details in the blog – that is up to you, but I think the script must be made available during the production of the movie – otherwise this blog isn’t going to make any sense to those following along.

  11. Bassam said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    hmm, based on the replies I think the best thing to do is blog about the *making* of the film, technical things, workflow issues, and anything we learn/need for the making of the movie. The story itself can wait for the final movie.
    This movie is defined open in that, we release the sources and the movie under a mixture of creative commons/gpl licenses: when you get the movie dvd, you also get production files, and production software. The openess of the movie during production is a little less defined; but it’s reasonable to expect quite a bit of disclosure during the project.. I’m still not sure it’s the right thing to publish the script before the movie is finished, but that’s something still open for debate.
    The type of story we are doing, half the fun is in figuring things out for yourself as you watch it.. having the script in advance really might hurt the experience.

  12. Christiaan Bakker said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    i think matt is eating the same thing as the rest

    i hope there comes a lot of things on this site from the movie

    it seems to go a lot faster then i thought

    at my world it’s going step-by-step

  13. L. Jonathan Di Trapani said on 23 Sep, 2005:

    I agree with Bassam. I want to know how you’re making the movie (modeling, animation, texturing, lighting…) and at the same time I want to enjoy the movie when it comes out. I say keep the script under your hat but be liberal with the tech. docs.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  14. Leander said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    Im agree with Bassam too.

    Please, dont reveal too much.

    Thanks in advance

  15. pofo said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    I’m guessing Matt had an orange for lunch and you tweaked the colours to fool us ^^

  16. Rui Campos said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    I think that you should reveal an overview of the movie, with one or two major moments, but not going into much detail.

    Some details will be revealed on your weekly make-of, so, better not get into much detail now.

  17. Richard said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    Now that the basic script is complete, do you have any idea how long this movie will be?

  18. Francisco Ortiz said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    What could be great difference between this project and all the !#@& stuff made before it: show all the creative process the best way you can BEFORE finishing the job. To know whats going on is the better way to show up the community your creative path and later ask for their help. “The end” is always a surprise when you are deep in the creative process. Tell us evething you can! You are not Holy$#%wood! Remember that!

  19. max said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    i think you already spilled too much. i’m almost positive of the first word but wont spoil it by posting it here.

  20. Elcrapocrew said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    Looks like a hotdog and a Coke to me.

  21. Reno said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    Sins when do you hide trademarks????

    We all know you drink CocaCola loads of Spa.The brand of chips you eat. The brand camputers.
    And now after a few weeks You make youre pictures ugly?!!!! Just Ask for sponsoring. If they will not sponsor, make sure there is nothing of them in the pictures again, so the pics do not have to be damaged anymore. And: Davy`s Eroth…. ????:)

    Please let us know about your(great)work, not to muche about the movie it selfe.
    Greatings Reno

  22. Lee said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    Thanks for all your insights guys.

    Reno: That particular picture where we did some selective blurring was simply in the name of fun, its the only photo you will see that, we are having this weird thing called ‘fun’ here even though its all so busy. =D

    Our plan is pretty much what Bassam had stated before me, and I have a feeling it will be the optimal way to go. We are spending as much time while making the movie to be sure we document and pass on the information we learn from this project. I could see the actual story not being of huge use compared to the process of making it (until it is made ofcourse), and when we release the film (in only a few months remember!) we will be including all of the production files, and we beleive the script falls under that catagory.

    We will try to be discreet to those who wish to not know much or any about the story, and at the same time will try our best to document all the things we encounter behind the scenes in the daily blogs. It is a tricky balance but we hope we have found one that can be helpful to as many as possible. =)

  23. JoOngle said on 24 Sep, 2005:

    I Like the way you guys have been blogging before…because
    you post tip & guides on how to do various smart things
    and solutions you’ve had to do to overcome some limitations.

    This is the true spirit of sharing with the community, and
    to tell you the truth….if you keep that up….it would
    matter little how the actual movie turns out because the
    value in your contributions could hold it’s own weight, not
    that the movie should be second…but that the movie is much
    more than “just” a movie. The world is full of 12 minute-

    …what the world is NOT so full of….is a community like
    the Blender community – it’s truly unique.

    Best wishes

  24. Steve said on 25 Sep, 2005:

    I was curious..It says that the content will be released as creative commons. Does anyone know which licence will be used? The reason I ask is that there are a whole bunch of people who seem to think that all creative commons licenses are open source, but in reality the only one that even closely resembles the freedom software definition is Attribution-ShareAlik(GPL) and just plain old Attribution(ZLIB/BSD)

    Releasing the movie under a license that would prevent for example someone playing it in an indie movie theater for tickets or someone reusing the characters in their own indie movie for profit would in my opinion not only be completly antithetical to the spirit of open source, but it would also in my opinion completely kill the potential of the movie to be taken seriously.

    Releasing the movie under a restrictive Creative Commons license could very well kill this.

    There are a heck of a lot of clever CGI films online, but the reason why non of them have the popularity of say, Toy Story, is because none of them have ever been seen by anyone but online buffs. In order to make this work we need to have a large community marketing involvement coordinating everything from poster put ups to shows in theaters to home video releases. None of which is possible without the right to use the material commercially or to make open source derivative works.

    That said, there are a lot of open source media projects already out there. Just in the same way that an open-source software program borrows from other open-sources, You guys might want to investigate options for open-source contributions. fliker and openphoto have close to a million texture/design worthy photos under BY and BY-SA licenses, as well as wikimedia commons, and on the backround music side, Opsound is king for great BY-SA tracks, followed by the french site Jamendo.

    Anyway, I was just figuring I would put in my two cents.

  25. Reno said on 25 Sep, 2005:

    Ok, was afraid, it was because the man standing on the foto ordered you to do so.
    But hope you still have fun :p

  26. Jerry Coopert said on 25 Sep, 2005:

    I totally agree with JoOngle!

    The sharing method that you are using in this project it’s absolutely unique, and that’s the difference from any other animation-short-project in the world; beside the final results that are very important, but not so important like the creation method shared with this fantastic community!

    Best wishes!

  27. Matt said on 25 Sep, 2005:

    Hi Steve,

    On the ‘the movie’ page on this site, we have the text

    “The result of this project will be a short movie, 12-20 minutes, which will be distributed under the Creative Commons license which means it will be freely available worldwide for public viewing and redistribution without royalty demands or written permission from the original copyright owners.”

    We haven’t exactly talked about which particular license yet, but we’ve always just assumed it would be the least restrictive (i.e. allowing modification, redistribution, etc.). That’s why we’re including all production files on the DVD! So I think this would be the Attribution license. We should probalby be more specific about this.

    Thanks for your comment!

  28. Matt said on 26 Sep, 2005:

    Oh and by the way, it’s only a sandwich. Bassam was just playing with you all ;)

  29. Steve said on 26 Sep, 2005:

    I realize that you guys probably want to do things a particular way, and that is fine, but so far development on the film appears like it is going to be limited to just a few people on the main team. While this is certainly a simple way to go, Typically, open source software projects have benefited greatly from the advantage they can get through community involvement as opposed to just a main team doing all the work. To understand this, see Cathedral and the Bazaar It is an interesting read. I can think of a lot of talented people who would be interested in helping with the orange project, myself included. The only major detriment to this would be an infrastructure problem: How do you coordinate dozens upon dozens of community volunteers in art creation, marketing, writing, sound engineering, video engineering, etc? My thoughts are that a good platform for this sort of thing is the answer, similar to the way Wikipedia’s software facilitated a good community based architecture of encyclopedia writing, and cvs and other tools facilitated a good architecture for writing software

    I am a coder (If you haven’t figured out that yet) and I would love to work on such a platform: However, I am not an expert in movie creation. Perhaps it might be interesting to meet with your team and publish requirements for what such software should be able to do… I bet with a solid feature wishlist someone out there would start it up! My immediate thoughts are that it should be able to check-in/check-out 3D models, files, sounds, and artwork through version control, as well as be able to facilitate communication between artists, publish guidlines for what direction aspects of the movie or art should take, as well as publish style guidlines. Hopefully it should also be able to transcode formats or delineate tasks if at all possible. This is just my two cents, but I bet that that might seriously speed up development…

  30. Juan Javier Martinez said on 27 Sep, 2005:

    As Bassam and Di Trapani say, it is a good idea to share with the community the technical issues, not the story.

    I myself am interested in getting information about the software used for editing and the resolution of the rendered images….

    ….but I don’t want to hear a word of the story…!!! (just kidding) ;-)

    Juan Javier
    Blender user.

  31. Toni said on 28 Sep, 2005:


    at this point of the project the story development, modelling, animation — the actual movie making — is indeed centralized to this room. One reason being, as you note, that it is certainly simpler. Now we have at least some chance of communicating artistic ideas right!

    Software development, on the other hand, is a global operation. Just like with normally in Blender, the network of developers all around the world is constantly working on the tool, for many purposes (like their own businesses), but listening to needs of Orange too. With that and all the other technical issues we can (and need to!) be totally open all the time. This is also the reason why only one programmer (me) is part of the core team, the other’s being graphics, modelling and animation artists. This was the safer choice, because the open source software community has a long tradition of virtual collaboration, with established practices everyone is used to. We don’t have that for art, at least not at the same level. Wikipedia is certainly a success, but it being fact-based probably makes things simpler.

    Back to movie making, I think there are two says to look at this: Firstly a, or perhaps the, purpose of Orange is to push open source software development to the level that it provides a complete toolset for movie making. That way anyone has access to the tools for making his/her own movies, with the chance of making necessary changes to those tools too. In the words of Ton, how he ends his Siggraph 2005 report: “No need to bring Blender into the movie industry if we can instead bring movie creation into Blender for everyone!”. This includes the communication with Gimp developers which has been reported here etc. And of course the documentation, tutorials etc. that we’ll produce (the the movie project files itself being the ultimate source for learning).

    Secondly, in parallel to work here at Orange, other open movie projects have started which are (i think) totally open in the creative process, and rely solely on networked collaboration. I’m referring to Blenderprojects with Crosswalk in the making. Hopefully they also find the enchancements in Blender that we are pushing for as useful! And certainly they are gaining experience of that sort of collaboration right now. So with the different natures of these two Blender-using open movie projects I think we have well complementary processes going on now.

    One succesful ‘internet movie project’ already finished(?) is Starwreck, coordinated from dear Finland, but with ~300 online contributors. They were/are not an open source project, but lessons from networked collaboration probably still apply.

    Our network collaboration strategy is still not finished, ’cause we have had to finish the basic concepts, the script, and now the animatic according to the schedule. Before those, attempts to ‘call for content’ would probably have lead to too much miscommunication. I guess after the Blender conference, when we’ll publish the teaser, revealing more of the style of the movie, there are chances .. but don’t know yet what will be wise then. Feedback and ideas are of course always welcome.


    P.S. and we are indeed now using a version control system for 3d models, textures etc., Subversion that is. I’ll blog about that tomorrow.

  32. Enriq766 said on 3 Oct, 2005:

    I have posted a short explination of what it is we do over at blenderprojects.com