Photoshoped Final Rendition of Ascension Complete

This is the final rendition to refer to the rough storyboards in the previous post.


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A start to the animation stage!

Through much pestering, and reminding, My father and I have made a start to the animation stage. Scaled blueprints have been written up as you can see below:

Drawn up blue prints of the stage’s skeleton. all measurements were written in millimetres.

From today, we have made a start at constructing the stage.

here is a picture of the work so far!:

The Platform is marked up and the frames/beams are connecting and gluing together! The pen or the pen on the left gives some sense of length!
As you can see, the stage is not going to be very large, finding a careful balance in the size of the stage and the props will be the challenge to tackle here. Too big means too heavy to carry and harder or longer to repair. too small and the it will be difficult to navigate props around.


Case Study of existing films: Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)



Through initial research, I came to learn of existing ‘sequel’ film  to the film Elizabeth (1998) which is about Elizabeth’s later years as Queen:


And the first film Elizabeth (1998):

With in mind the two Film, The visual representations of all that is involved in this version of the story telling of Elizabeth during her reign with the events, people and objects of significance involved in her life is very Striking, reading through the accounts of IMDb, The sheer expanse of effort, time and money is highly commendably. With a big budget ($30 million for Elizabeth ((1998)) and $55 million for Elizabeth: the Golden age 2007))), teams and sub teams of people, 9 years between the two film, however the deadlines for each of the two films are unknown.

Gloriana, as an animated, musical Production. Will focus on story telling the such historical epic through emphasis of Music and sound, with the visuals (animations) as a simple ‘vehicle’ to support the music and make the leitmotifs work. Also historically unlike the film, will be four songs to represent the major points in Elizabeth’s reign due to enormous scale if I was to follow the same scale as the film in comparison to the given time and number of people available!

From a research of historical perspective, the film captures the huge complexity of Elizabeth’s reign, thanks to the time, budget and workforce behind the scenes, Perhaps due having a number of people specialising each of the many aspects that went into this film. It is unknown to me extent of research that went into informing the directer (Shekhar Kapur) and his team, however, compare to the process I am going through with Gloriana’s research, the method of reading, generalised (overall accounts), reliable sources first then specialized (specific), reliable sources and log a bibliography, into like a Dissertation or research report, must have been done and used to allow the team to justify any creative decisions made whether for pure accuracy to what actually happened, or ways to bend the truth for either to make the story more sense, due to limitations, or simply because it is high in debate and therefore free to interpret the story or something or someone as you wish for creative purposes.

The music in film from learning about the behind the scenes part of the music for the film, there was a collaboration of two composers, Craig Armstrong ( and A.R. Rahman (, both highly acclaimed composers with different musical styles and a wealth of experience to there names, The type of music they created together for the two films was more western classical in style, using influences from contemporary composers at the time such as William Byrd, incorporating orchestras, bells, and Latin choirs, with support of synthesised percussion and some Indian influences. The score is very rich, and dramatic, blending seamlessly with the visuals.

The Sound (foley and background sounds) world in vibrant, and sound as if the sound depart captured the sound of actual cannon and pistol fire, and with many of  the sounds might have been very accurate replications.

In comparison to my musical Gloriana, as director to my own musical, I am not restricted in my creative decisions to another person as I work for myself. The musical Pallete I will person is stylistically more radical to the films, using heavy metal instruments and ska influences for me give the story more emotional representation of the atmosphere at hand, which are found in ‘To marry or not to marry’, and ‘Bull versus Lioness’, I do take more similar styles to the films with regards to ‘Ascension Complete’ and ‘Cousin under the Axe’. However, reasons to be being that I intend to makes different moods and musical genres, and do to what is available to me in terms of musicians available. Also I will be using Dialogue to support what is going on at times were there needs to be a explanation, with Narration and leitmotifs/themes will be key to glue Gloriana together.

Gloriana’s foley and backgrounds sounds will be much less, and more replicated sounds due keeping costs down, and for creative learning development of a personal library of sounds of my own.

Visually, the live-action films are beautiful, the Actress and actors are very believe-able, landscapes sets are awe inspiring, The props are great and the fashion are certainly fabulous. All aspects appear to be picked carefully, which whatever time was taken to achieve the standards the films set out, it was certainly achieved.

Gloriana’s visuals, will be different as it is animated, due to the struggles of collaboration without financial support, a sort of ‘D.I.Y’ drawn and ‘photoshoped’ artwork created by my parents and I will created, and use stop motion animation styles to help out. Using story boards will guide the direction visual of the project too. The animation is meant not to be perfect, but provide a quirky element to the story especially if drawn like the style of stain glass windows.


Overall, from my perspective, the films existing to tell the story of Elizabeth’s reign make great guides to support the visual aspects of Gloriana.

As far as Audio is concerned, musically I may not achieve the same standards of professionalism fully for having fully performed parts to my songs. The films do make good references to check when making my own sounds to replicate important sounds.

The historically stories used are naturally up to the directer to how he or she interprets, much like as historians do to make a claim of something they believe has happened, so it is important really to justify such claims, well evidenced features of history like for example Elizabeth’s entourage, or something it is open for debate, like Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mary queen of Scots or William Byrd’s Origins.

This therefore, is matter of own research that leads directors or project managers to unique was of telling a story through any creative medium, whether due to limitations, creative and personal choices to simply the sources of information you have to base your work on.

Although Gloriana’s purpose is to entertain, but also to educate a balanced perspective.

It is worth noting that the films do appear to show a element of bias-ness, with regards to the way the Philip II is portrayed and his relationship to Elizabeth directly, due to the fact he appears to wanting to kill Elizabeth, and viewed as being evil, through with my research, I want to portray Philip to be forced to act to defeat Elizabeth, and the conflict to occur due to extrinsic events with both sides hand’s are forced.


Click ——-> Case Study background research for about Elizabeth Films of 1998 and 2007





Animation Inspiration

Over the course of the making of Gloriana so far, much support has been provided by many sources, for both Audio and Visuals.

Initially before much support from people of other disciplines in the School of Digital media in University. I recognised that for my own future career and a composer/musician, versatility is vital. The facilities in the university has been able to help me develop to be versatile.

As of which before working on Gloriana, I was aware of a pitfall to my own music, I have no visual elements, I believed by learning the tools and skills that are necessary enough, I can become self sufficient for my future out of University (as well as my last remaining years).

My parents (who were eager to help out -honest!-) and myself were discussing of making ‘D.I.Y’ Animations of our own basing it on the concepts of use of Victorian toy theatres as a visual ‘vehicle’ in selling my own music much to the professional standards as presented currently.

Also with the help of the research phase that was done early after the project commenced, Artwork of the various characters, events and objects of importance was taken into account to inform all aspects of the team in making Gloriana.

Click on the following link ——>   The History used in Gloriana

For Visuals, initially for support, I have Kylie Boon (Film Technician) shown me how to use Adobe Premier and Adobe Aftereffects, she had also provided me with inspiration I can study, which were:




Lately over the Christmas holidays, my dad (Paul Langston) and I have discovered another advert of inspiration to follow. The 2013 John Lewis Christmas advert:



In response to our inspiration, we believe we can do a similar approach to the design of the stage and props, using Photoshop. The animation would follow suit to similar style of stop motion animation, however, it will be treated like a performance of the props, recorded and tweaked using adobe premier, with the support of adobe Aftereffects when replicating special effects like fire, and cannon fire and impacts.


Visual update and proposed ideas

The team so far that is proposed so far for the animations stage is here as a Word Document:


Click here ——–> Visual support form


Ideas so far:

  • If it is possible, as unique visual style to bring Gloriana more unique,  visually we could design to props or make a ‘Stain glass window filter’, as a medieval style, visual backdrop.
  • With the detail in certain scenes, especially the naval battle, visual areas of interest might be worth to play about, with the support of sound files. This would take the form of Cannon fire, and impacts, pistol fire, and blazing fires
  • Perhaps in the later stages we could look to interest parts much like in War of the Worlds, where the narrator dives in a river, in an attempt to escape the Martians, we could do something similar, using the LFO effect to use, although it might be too much as that it will affect the music.