Lost & Found Movie??

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Lost & Found Movie??

Postby Milligan on Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:01 am

I thought I'd give this post it's own topic!

In another thread,
CustomDesigned wrote:It wasn't a chart topper, but Garfield was a solid performer. I took my kids and we all enjoyed it. A Lost & Found movie done in the style of the Garfield movie would be good too. I wonder whether studios are interested in requests from fans. Who would you contact?

Discuss.
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Postby AccordionDad on Fri Apr 08, 2005 5:50 pm

Hmm.

I didn't see Garfield; the last movie I saw was LOTR-ROTK, actually, so discount the following set of opinions accordingly.

First, on the subject of Garfield's success: If it wan't a great movie, then its success is probably a function of its safe, reliable, B- kiddie comedy content. Websnark covered point this elegantly some months ago, and I'll direct you there (http://www.websnark.com/archives/2005/01/i_seem_to_be_be.html) for more. L&F isn't safe, reliable B- kiddie comedy, it's film noir meets the robotic generation, and that's not for everyone.

Second, on the subject of who to call? Ugh. You artists know as well or better than we poets that there's a 100-1 ratio of artists to art venues. I don't think "calling" any studio is terribly useful. But I'm reminded of film festivals like Cannes, where even established directors deliver finished products in hope of positioning them to "be discovered" by distributors who will be impressed with their own cleverness and recognizing a good movie through the highly trained skill of watching it.

Which brings me to point three: I love the idea of an L&F movie. And I think there's a market for it. And I think the current model that applies is: create a teaser, bait the hook with it, and land some production money with it. I'm thinking of a teaser in that moving camera, still animation style of the old Marvel Comics show that used to run in the afternoons on local TV channels (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122826/); there's a lot of reasons for this, but the biggest is that our adventures here at L&F are EXTREMELY character-driven, and establishing character rapport through voicework would go a long way to selling the idea. And Matt's excellent still artwork has enough energy, I think, to carry off the format for a short film. And it's a cheap way to experiment, and try it all out.

Or not. What are some other options?
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Postby CustomDesigned on Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:28 am

AccordionDad wrote:First, on the subject of Garfield's success: If it wan't a great movie, then its success is probably a function of its safe, reliable, B- kiddie comedy content.


As one of those parents looking for safe, reliable, B- kiddie comedy, that is
exactly why I like L&F. The movie might be a PG instead of Garfield's G
because the villians are scary (the crime of the Garfield villian is
cruelty to animals and lording it over employees). But L&F has
none of the problematic content that endangers a childs innocence. Any
victory of the villains is temporary. There is no explicit kinky sex, but
plenty of healthy romance for the heroes. The violence is stylized.

Older movies were sometimes masterful in keeping a G rating while providing
an adult subtext. For instance, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" has the "You
are my little Teddy Bear" song/dance routine that to children makes it
clear that the evil King and Queen are extremely childish in the negative
sense. But to adults, it is equally clear what likely goes on between
the two behind closed doors.
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Postby AccordionDad on Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:04 am

CustomDesigned wrote:As one of those parents looking for safe, reliable, B- kiddie comedy, that is
exactly why I like L&F. The movie might be a PG instead of Garfield's G
because the villians are scary (the crime of the Garfield villian is
cruelty to animals and lording it over employees).


Agree to a point. But take vampires, which occupy a surprisingly large fraction of the archive here at L&F: I'm not sure that this is something I'd want to be responsible for introducing the under-10 crowd to. And I don't think it's always necessary for things to be B- to be kiddie-friendly.

CustomDesigned wrote:But L&F has
none of the problematic content that endangers a childs innocence.


Don't disagree, but I think the best features of the strip are targeted slightly over the head of the younguns (Frank's inability to say the right thing around Beth, the pop culture references....) . Many of the one-off strips are great for kids, but I don't think that's what we're talking about here.

CustomDesigned wrote:The violence is stylized.


Personal point here, but I find that any violence delivered by a credibly mean character is disturbing to kids. At least to the kids I know.

But forsaking all that, and thinking that the target audience for any movie is people with a legal right to spend their own money, I still think that the character interaction is what makes the strip, and I think that talented voice actors and pan-and-scan of stills (with minimal animation, maybe) could demonstrate the potential well.

Cartoonists and animators, what are your thoughts there?
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Postby CustomDesigned on Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:36 pm

AccordionDad wrote:Cartoonists and animators, what are your thoughts there?


The demo could be essentially a storyboard with voice acting. The movie needs to be live action, not animated - perhaps with CGI for characters like talking animals that somehow have hands for wielding tools. That is the main reason I mentioned Garfield. It is live action, with a CGI Garfield and real trained dogs with voice over. That worked well visually for Scooby Doo also - although I disliked the movie for other reasons.

The violence/villain level of L&F is essentially what you'll find in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (PG). The lead characters of L&F are so much more lovable than in Sky Captain, though.
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Screenplay

Postby CustomDesigned on Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:53 pm

It occured to me that the first thing needed for a demo is a screenplay based on the comic. It would be fun to try - but I've never written one before, so I don't think it would help the cause :-)
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Postby Freak on Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:55 am

CustomDesigned wrote:It is live action, with a CGI Garfield and real trained dogs with voice over. That worked well visually for Scooby Doo also - although I disliked the movie for other reasons.


Well, personally I didn't think the CGI Scooby meshed well with the live ation parts, though I did enjoy the movie (once).
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Postby AccordionDad on Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:10 am

Can you expand on why the movie needs to be live action? I haven't thought about a final product, but I think the proof-of-concept step should be true to the characters (as in why I think good voice acting is necessary), and I doubt that can be done at the demo level without significant compromise.

Continuing, I don't know enough about the CGI or animation processes, but I can say with confidence that many of the "effects" implied by the action scenes in L&F would be better served on stage (where my directing expertise lies) with styled implication rather than animated actuality (an animation taken by the other actors to be real. I don't see that any L&F movie should "be real", but rather it should clearly be a cartoon - a comic - that inspires the suspension of disbelief and affection for the characters.

Again, some biases of mine may be peeking through: I much prefer the Batman cartoons to the Batman movies that I've seen, and I haven't seen any of the recent Marvel hero efforts. Maybe I should research those before opining again.

Alternate views?
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Postby CustomDesigned on Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:23 am

AccordionDad wrote:Can you expand on why the movie needs to be live action? ...I haven't seen any of the recent Marvel hero efforts.


I meant the final product. I agree that a demo would be better with voice acting and stills - that is what the story boards look like in some of the 'making of' features on some DVDs.

IMO, if you can only see one superhero movie, see Spiderman 2. It has so many levels that even my wife, who normally hates fantasy, absolutely loved it. That's because the movie deals heavily with real-life consequences of superhero-hood, from holding a job to romance. It also deals masterfully with moral development of the characters, providing visual markers of key moral choices. The villain is masterfully portrayed - superb acting.

After you've seen that, imagine the romance of the principal L&F characters portrayed in an equally compelling manner. Then throw in whatever you have to portray talking dogs and wierd villains. Granted, L&F is not a serious as Spiderman. That is why I compared it to Garfield, where Jon is also bumbling with the girls, but clearly belongs with the pretty vet. L&F is comedy, but the strong romantic component needs live action.
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Postby Johnski333 on Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:39 am

Or Milligan's DreamWork's touch
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Postby AccordionDad on Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:57 am

CustomDesigned wrote:L&F is comedy, but the strong romantic component needs live action.


OK, I get it now: Since L&F is at its heart (sorry) about that relationship, you should select a format that best features it and work the rest of the movie around it. Makes some sense.

As I'm thinking over some of what I consider the best romance-adventures (Lady and the Tramp and Princess Bride leap right to mind for some reason), I sort of see what you're saying, though I do think that it's possible to become attached to any character (CGI, hand-drawn, live-action, invisible) if the context is correct.

But you're right: decide your central them, select the medium for that, then hang the movie around that decision. Good point.

As far as advancing the storyboard idea, perhaps a good approach would be to select a storyline (with some one-off fodder for before the credits and after the denouement), select a target length for the demo, then do a draft speak-through of what dialogue exists plus a draft sound-effects through the schwinngs and KRAAAAACKs, assess the gap in time, then screenplay to fill those gaps.

Thoughts?
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Postby CustomDesigned on Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:32 pm

AccordionDad wrote:As far as advancing the storyboard idea, perhaps a good approach would be to select a storyline (with some one-off fodder for before the credits and after the denouement), select a target length for the demo, then do a draft speak-through of what dialogue exists plus a draft sound-effects through the schwinngs and KRAAAAACKs, assess the gap in time, then screenplay to fill those gaps.


One decision is whether to delay Frank and Beth really getting together until the second movie (like Spiderman did).

Will also need to select a Creative Commons license for the opensource style collaborative development we seem to have started talking about. Something that Matt would like (so that he gets most of the fame and fortune if it ever gets to hollywood), but that protects contributors from being exploited. I'm thinking "Share Alike, Non Commercial, Give Credit". That way, any contributions that studios want to use still get negotiated (unlikely, but hey), and contributors keep their own stuff, and get to use others under the "share alike, non-commercial, credit" restrictions. There would need to be special treatment for Matts work, however, since he might not want to put it under CC, and it is the main item. IANAL, so I'm not sure how to handle that.

I will trying composing some theme music.
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Postby Johnski333 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:37 pm

I always see the position of Key Grip on movie credits so I volunteer my self for that position on the set. I know I'm qualified because the lock on my apartment is getting pretty old and kinda hard to turn.
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Grip this!

Postby miK. on Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:14 pm

See below... I never knew what a key grip's job was.
I particularly like the term "theatrical ballistics".
I need to see that in a poem (Are you listening A-Dad?). :)

peace-
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From Wikipedia:

key grip (ke-grip); In American film-making, the
key grip is the chief grip on the set. Like a foreman, the key
grip directs a crew of grips, some with specialized skills such
as dolly grips, crane operators, camera car operators, etc. Grips'
responsibilities bridge several departments on a film set including
camera, lighting and art departments through the use of rigging,
as in unusual camera positions, overhead lighting positions and
overhead set dressing.

Grips are also skilled lighting designers, working closely with
the gaffer and director of photography to create shadow, diffu-
sion and other lighting effects. Additionally the key grip is often
the safety monitor of the film set, responsible for maintaining safe
working conditions across all departments, including overseeing
the safe use of theatrical ballistics, pyrotechnics, stunts, etc.

The term grip is used in slightly different ways in the British or
Australian film making. In the British and Australian film industries,
a grip is responsible for camera mounting and support, which can
include anything beyond a basic tripod. Lighting in British and
Australian film-making is headed by the gaffer, who is also part
of the camera department.
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Sitcom

Postby CustomDesigned on Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:43 pm

It just occured to me. L&F would make a great Sitcom.
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Theme Song

Postby CustomDesigned on Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:08 am

As promised, here is my first cut at a theme song.
Here is a MIDI and a PDF. Lyrics are not my strong point, so additional verses/improvements are welcome. Here is the first verse for those who can't read the above:

Lost and Found,
Snoopin' 'round
with a talking sleuthing hound.
His success,
Keeps him poor,
Him and that nice girl next door.
... vamp ...[/url]
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Quickie MP3

Postby CustomDesigned on Fri May 06, 2005 6:58 pm

Did a quickie MP3 of the theme song. Sang the one verse twice. Haven't had any inspirations for additional verses.
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2nd verse idea

Postby CustomDesigned on Wed May 11, 2005 4:40 am

How about this for a second verse:

Lost and found, on the go,
Searching high and searching low.
When they find what they seek,
They'll be rescued by some freak.

or pehaps the last two lines should be:

When they find what he seeks,
They'll need rescuing by freaks.
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Postby Johnski333 on Wed May 11, 2005 5:31 am

That track sounds a little too "Mr Belvedere-ish" If these stories were to ever be made into a sitcom it sounds great. We'd just need to get Leon Redbones voice for the track.

I always hear an up-front horn section kinda 007 or Mission Impossible style when I dream of movie titling for Lost and Found.

Or maybe a Basie meets Bond kinda feel -
I just found this album while writing this post -

>Amazon Link<
Last edited by Johnski333 on Tue May 17, 2005 3:19 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Postby AccordionDad on Wed May 11, 2005 5:35 am

I agree on Leon Redbone. Here's how it sounds in my ehad: If it's to be a lyricked intro, I hear something like "Secret Agent Man" - simple, rocking, and introductory to the characters. But I really heard something like the end credits to The Incredibles - high energy with a lot of stings to highlight particular scenes.

Yes, boys-who-introduced-me-to-that-piece-of-modern-filmmaking, I was paying attention....
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Postby Freak on Sun May 15, 2005 6:54 pm

Johnski333, when posting Amazon URLs in the future, you don't need all that; also, for very long URLs, it helps if you change the URL text from the destination like Amazon Linkwill do, and at that width, it won't mess up the page.

So, could you edit your post to fix it?
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