In the Spring of 2004, the family drove from Ohio to Florida to visit their Great-Grandmother and I flew in from California. I decided to make a film with them incorporating Robot Man, which was originally created by Danny out of construction paper. I used an old 16mm motion picture camera and filmed them home movie style on the beach. At this point there was no real story idea accept that I knew they would be attacked by a monster of some sort and Robot Man would come to the rescue and save them.
It became very apparent on "location" that my stars would take only so much direction before filming itself became very tiresome and tedious to them. We had no script and for the most part the story would unfold in the editing room based off of the footage of them playing at the beach during their vacation. This was improvisation and guerilla style all the way around, even down to the animation!
I asked both of them to come up with ideas for the kind of monster that Robot Man might battle on the beach and Raven came up with the notion of a giant octopus, Ochomonster. She drew a sketch of the monster from which the final animated rendering was conceived.
For the actual beach battle scene between Robot Man and Ochomonster, I went to Venice Beach in California and took a panorama shot of the setting with a digital still camera and then stitched all of the shots together so I could have a "set" for the animated confrontation.
I expected the whole animation, editing and compositing process would take a couple of weeks of spare time. Over six months later, the film was finally complete.
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