FMP Production LogFMPBRAINSTORMGraphic Novel/Comic Book,Set in medieval times focuson a hunting story or ascouting missionSet of comic strips over aseries of newspapers ormagazinesElectronic comic strip releasedonline over a period of weeks omonthsGraphic Novel set inthe early 1900’sfocusing on a jazzsinger of importancebefore their fame orrising to their fame3D model of a 1900’s jazz clubenvironmentAdobe Illustration of a series of oldfashioned 1900’s posters displaying jazzmusic and blues instruments to be shown inmusic stores to either attract jazz fans orincrease peoples interest in jazz and blues.3D model of anidea for a newstyle of jazz clubset in town
For my Final Major Project I settled on the idea of creatinga graphic novel based the iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.The main reason I chose this as my final idea is because Ienjoy listening to her kind of music and already knew a lotabout her life and backstory beforehand. This is because Igrew hearing about her from my grandmother andbecame invested in her work later on. Therefore I know Iwould understand the characters and the time and age.I focused on Ella Fitzgerald because she is my favouritejazz singer, and the most relatable for me. I decided toinclude other jazz singers who would make guestappearances or be more involved in the actual plot likeNina Simone, Ethel Waters and Nat King Cole.Settling on an Idea
Gathering ResearchFor my research I went into Manchester Townand entered a few different stores that soldcomics and graphic novels and merchandise likethat.I took previously written up questionnaires andasked as many people as I could about theirpreferences to Graphic Novels genre, make andstyle, and their purpose of being in the store onthat day. I got more than ten responses, includingone from the store owner.
Ideas Generation, using research collectedFrom handing out my questionnaires I havediscovered that the majority of comic and graphicnovel fans prefer hardback books to any otherkind, and would be interested in my idea.Therefore I have decided to continue workingwith my black hardback sketchbook for theGraphic novel and with the general idea of EllaFitzgerald’s rise to fame.
Qualitative and Quantitative ResearchForums and Polls,On carrying out my different types of research (qualitativeand quantitative) I went online to look at statistics of thebest sold kind of graphic novels over the past few years andthe best sold genre and type. This was to get a generaloverlook of the preferences of the community as a wholerather than a close inquiry of specific people’s preferences.I also looked at numerous comics and graphic novel forumsand polls to witness the overall outlook of the specificaudience of people.
Carrying out visual researchVisiting Manchester Art Gallery and Dawson’s Music StoreTo carry out extra research I visitedManchester Art Museum and the Dawson’smusic store to look at 1900’s work moreclosely. I found quite a few pieces from theearly 1900’s time frame and photographedthem including furniture and place settings.When I visited Dawson’s music store to lookfor brass instruments such as saxophonesand trumpets that would have been playedback in the 1920’s time. Unfortunately theydidn’t have anything that matched what Iwas looking for in stock and only had lyricsand note books on jazz music so I wentonline instead when I returned home andcollected images from their website of oldfashioned types of saxophones andtrumpets and uploaded them onto my blog.
Storyline and Character ListThe main focus of the project is the storyline as it is essentially a novel. I would create the project by first creating therough outline of what would happen, usually by using bullet points to convey the story in small parts from the beginning tothe end, and then read over it and check it to make sure that it flowed well. The bullet points therefore provide structureto the project, the basic shell of the idea if you will.I would specifically focus on Ella Fitzgeralds’ life and biography. This would give me a clear idea of what happened in herearly life so I could use the general scenarios in my novel so it appears if only a little realistic and follows most truths ofher life. I would be respectful above all else and show her in a good light so as not to offend anyone, but also becauseshe has been a idol to both me and my grandmother. I would hopefully create unique and interesting characters with astory of their own and their own personality, without veering from the original concept of following Ella.The title ‘Hollow Queen’ came to me because Ella Fitzgerald was originally the Queen of Jazz. I decided on the titlebecause I already had an idea of how I could put a fantastical twist into the storyline to add intrigue.I was thinking that I could add the fictional idea of a temptation which offered her fame and wealth such as aunderhand, back street voodoo character, or demons of some sort beckoning her to accept a deal for glory. This wasmainly because when she was younger she went through a very difficult time which made her vulnerable andunpredictable, including the death of her mother Tempie and her boyfriend Joe, being sent to a rehabilitation school ,being beaten and living rough. So the story would revolve around whether the Queen of Jazz chose to believe a charlatangifted her talent, and that she did not earn it, or that she worked for her passion all her life.• Provide structure• Break up the storyline into smaller main points• Separate storyline into larger chapters so Iunderstand where in the story I am (beginning,middle toward the end)
Basic Storyline1931 Begins with Ella living with her mother Tempie, step father Joe and half-sister Frances who was around 8years old. 1932 Tempie died from serious injuries, attained in a car accident, Tempie’s presence is there at thefuneral. Virginia, Tempie’s sister takes Ella home with her. Unable to adjust, Ella became unhappy andunpredictable, her grades dropped dramatically and she frequently skipped school. After getting in trouble withthe police she was taken into a reforming school where her caretakers beat her badly, eventually at 15 years ofage she escaped the reformatory, broke and alone she strove to survive. A predatory trickster character noticesher crying alone in the street running away and follows her, offering her glory, fame and talent. She is of coursereluctant and refuses at first, but he convinces her. He states there is no catch but his intention is less thanhonourable. Tempie looks on. Vulnerable with no way to take care of herself or ensure her survival she acceptsthe deal. She soon rises to fame and acquires a band under Chick Webb, who unfortunately dies later on.The band go to Coney Island to the fairground attraction on the boardwalk in the snow. Flash of lightning in theclouds, the demon he made a pact with appears from a lightning strike, wants its’ payment. Trickster shows upat the Grappler, ‘journalism, newspaper printing place’ where the interview is, grabs Ella before she goes in theroom to join the others, he’s degraded even more, can see his true face showing through. Demon stormsthrough the door, still hasn’t received her payment, last chance for her soul. Ella steps back Tempie stands infront of her daughter protectively and refuses her. She tears Tricksters soul from his body, falls limp and setsalight. As if nothing had ever happened she composes herself and tips her hat, then leaves. Ella says goodbye toTempie and then there is a narrative summary.Due to restraints of time, I have had to make some changes to the storyline and cut some of the scenes out orshortened them.Main CharactersElla Fitzgerald, Temperance F, Virginia F, Frances Da Silva, Joseph Da Silva, Chick Webb, Charlie Linton, BennyCarter, Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Ray Brown,the Trickster, the Demon,
Pre ProductionThe main materials I would require to complete this project I fortunately have easy access to. Theseresources include a good quality pencil, and hardback sketchbook, and accompanying drawing tools such asrulers, erasers, sharpeners etc. Once the novel is sketched out, I will decide whether or not to ink it with fineliners and Indian ink to make it stand out, or leave the original work and scan it in to add black tone as wellas hints of colour. If I decided to add colour to the novel I would use Photoshop or another computerprogram to add hints of light colour in a mainly black and white world.I also worked out what Copyright Issues could arise with the creation of my projectI should presume that any work published after 1922 will be protected under the US. Copyright law. A workthat isn’t protected by the copyright law is known as public domain and is available to be used freely. If it isunder intellectual properties law then unauthorised use may be okay. A principle known as “fair use” allowsme to copy small parts or pieces of a work without obtaining permission but as is left to interpretation, canbe a risk.The obvious risk of not requesting permission would be being sued. It is recommended that I seekpermission if I am unsure whether it is public domain or not. A fee may be required to continue workingwith permission depending on the factors.To seek permission I must identify the owner of the rights of the work that I wish to use. For my graphicnovel I wish to use a fictional representation of somebody who actually existed Ella Fitzgerald. Sadly theQueen of Jazz passed away June 15th 1996 in Beverly Hills, USA; therefore I would have to search for herpredecessor who would be the owner of her estate in the present. I would have to do this for any otherperson I wish to use as well.
Carried Out Visual Research Reference Images For CharactersTemperenceFitzgerald(Tempie- Ella’s mother)Dizzy Gillespies bandChick WebbRay BrownElla Fitzgerald Ethel Waters Billie HolidayBenny CarterPaulRobesonDukeEllington
Character Sketches and drawing stylesElla FitzgeraldStudiesCharacterIdeas
Carried Out Visual Research for CharactersTaken from Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge
Sneaky and dishonest, disreputableamongst the dead, which is howTempie knows of himChanges over time,becomes thinner andmore skeletal andderanged, his trueself begins to showthrough as theDemon slowly takeshis youth and healthbecause he is notbeing paid the fullamount.Like how the Beldamfrom Coralinechanges over timebecause Coralinedisobeys her anddoesn’t believe her.Dresses refined to fit in with the time andeveryone else, is conniving and calculating whenit comes to deals, there is always a catch,usually payment for the demonCarried Out Visual Research and Inspiration for the Trickster
Carried Out Visual Research and Inspiration for the DemonDiscolouration of the eyes, red, yellow, black,white, an abnormal colour with no showingpupils or iris, just one whole abnormal colourAppears mainlyhuman so she canblend in when inpublic but canchange her face,remove her covereasilyTaken from popular American television show Supernatural, Dragon Age cinematic trailer ‘Sacred Ashes and Concept Art World
Beginning ProductionVisual Research, Graphic Novel Styles and Covers
Some of My favourite InspiringArtistsJo ChenDraws for Buffy the Vampire Slayercomics and Graphic Novels. Her workmainly Focuses on Buffy, but she hasAlso contributed works to Othercomics. I love her style of art andcomposition of the pages she creates,the soft melding colours provide asoothing tone, and realistic feel to allthe characters portrayed.
Omar FranciaBioware, Marvel and Dark HorseArtist. Mainly draws for Mass Effectand superhero comics. I probablylike the simplistic line sketches,overlapped and worked into tolook realistic and complex most. Ilove the way he layouts thedifferent panels and the movesswiftly from scene to scenecapturing expressive faces andemotion.
Tony MooreHe currently works on interior designs for comicbooks including the Walking Dead, probably themost popular of his work following the broaderfan base drawn in with the TV series.I love his use of shading and mix of realism andcartoonish styles. My favourite work of his is theconcept of Michonne one of the main charactersin the Walking Dead, and my favourite characteras well.
Claire HummelClaire Hummel is a professional Concept artist andillustrator and has released concept art that shecreated for Bioshock : Infinite, while working as theVisual Development Artist at Irrational Games. She iscurrently working as the Associate ProductionDesigner at Microsoft Studios.My favourite aspect of her work is the way shesketches people’s faces and clothing, semi realisticand colourful for the most part, retaining individualstriking qualities and bringing characters to life.
Michael Komarck is an professional illustrator currently located inMichigan, USA. Michael has created illustrations for companies suchas Blizzard Entertainment, Blur Studios, Electronic Arts, and manymore.
Emily FiegenschuhThe main works of Emily’s I am aware of is theexplorers guide to drawing fantasy creatureswhich is a book of hers. The intense detail andimagination put into her work provides delicate,surreal, intriguing characters and creatures.
AkreonIs a brilliant artist I came across whilesearching art website Deviant Art.My favourite aspects of the workinclude the beautiful studies ofanimals, particularly, canines andhorses. I love the intense attention todetail and sophisticated, charmingpersonality that Akreon gives to eachpiece.
A4 SizePaperProduction, page sizes and cuttingThe original size of the paper I will be using for the actual base of the artwork will beclassic A4. This is mainly because of the simple fact, the sketchbook being used forthe bind of the graphic novel is just large enough to fit a specific cut size of A4.Before beginning production on whole, I figured out the size all the A4 pieces wouldneed to be cut to, I started by editing the page for the cover, which would slide insidethe front bind and the first page. The cartridge quality paper, was cut along the lengthand width, one centimetre across for both, to make enough room for each page tofit, and to ensure the sizes were continuously identical and professional looking.A4 SizePaperCut Size New FitSizeBind BindNew FitSize
Evaluation of ProjectPost project evaluation of work.I thoroughly enjoyed the project for numerous reasons, the main one being that I was able to focus on an area of work I wanted to,and was not confined by rules or lists of choices made for me. This allowed me to explore many options, including a varied range ofproject idea such as comics, posters, game environments and characters and 3D models. Clearly I decided to choose a more artbased path, but within this category I was also allowed to control which way my project was going.I understand that Scope management is a key element to any project, where all resources and support are anchored and placed. Ibelieve that I achieved a balance between the time, cost and quality of the project and did not squander or ignore any crucial partof the production process, which is why I also think that my project was viable for completion to begin with.I did run into complications throughout the project. This main issue was the timeframe and the amount of work I had to finishwithin it. Compromising, due to the amount of time I had left in the last few weeks of term, I decided the wise thing to do would beto edit the storyline of the project and shorten it as aforementioned earlier in the production log, storyline slide. In doing this Iwould focus only on the main points in the story and cut out a large chunk of time it would have taken me to complete the bookand save that time to go back over the graphic novel and add improvements to the drawings and final touches that would all in allmake the novel complete to a noticeably better standard.All this being said, I think overall I that I have worked well and to as high a standard possible for me, and that my project wassuccessful.