Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Hunting of The Snark by Lewis Carroll...

The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits) is usually thought of as a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll in 1874, when he was 42 years old. It describes "with infinite humour the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature".

The story follows a crew who after crossing the sea guided by the Bellman's map of the Ocean—a blank sheet of paper— arrive in a strange land. The Baker recalls that his uncle once warned him that, though catching Snarks is all well and good, you must be careful; for, if your Snark is a Boojum, then you will softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again. With this in mind, they split up to hunt. Along the way, the Butcher and Beaver -previously mutually wary for the Butcher's specialty in preparing beavers- become fast friends, the Barrister falls asleep and dreams of a court trial defended by the Snark, and the Banker loses his sanity after being attacked by a frumious Bandersnatch. At the end, the Baker calls out that he has found a Snark; but when the others arrive he has mysteriously disappeared, 'For the Snark was a Boojum, you see'.

Illustrated Works:

When looking through the artwork of Max Ernst, i came across these bold and stylistic illustrations which Ernst himself played a part in creating. The design of the ship and characters in these illustrations have a particularly strong style, adopting a golden-age fairytale feel. Much like transcriptions for films like The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland, I feel that The Hunting of The Snark could also have a very fantastical and magical feel/style that would create a great family animation/film.


  1. Snark is great!

    Have you identified your technical strengths/weaknesses/ambitions yet? Did I miss the post when you outlined what your intentions are for transcription? Environment? Character? let me know.

  2. i spoke to alan, the beginning of last week and he suggested that it would benefit me personally if i really did some deep research and also did some styles research alongside the specific transcription stuff. So i decided to go right back to the suggestions yourself and alan gave to me early on and branch out from there to get a broader range of ideas/styles. As for my intentions, i would like to produce an animation, but if it came down to a choice between environments and characters, i know my strengths at this stage in the course would definitely sway towards producing environments.

  3. okay - so therefore, you;re looking for a story or premise in which environment is specifically important - where the cg artist needs to elaborate upon existing descriptions in a story or text. If environment is the thrust - and I think it should be, specifically if the real test we're looking from you is a much greater confidence in regard to style - then disregard any research/ideas that are character-driven (i.e. useful for a character designer) and focus instead on all the fabulous opportunities presented by places and spaces... environments might also mean props and vehicles (the boat from Snark, for example). Also, as the emphasis is on pre-production for the first weeks, you need to find something that will encourage you to draw, draw, draw. You're also looking for something that will triangulate - for example, you pick a story based on a fantasy island - Snark - great - but then you need a legitimate style to add into the mix, and this might come from looking an artist or illustrator who was working at the same period the poem was written, or you find an artist - like Max Ernst - whose style and approach to the depiction of land-masses - lends itself to the subject. Picking the object of your transcription is one thing, but then you should use it to derive your style. Also - less is more on transcription. It would be far more preferable if you were to produce 1 min 30 of perfectly finessed, properly understood cg design, than take on 5 environments and do them all to a less sophisiticated level. Remember too that this project is all about giving yoursefl authentic confidence for the third year - you DO know how to do this stuff, you ARE good enough to get a 2;1 or above!

    I suggest you start making some choices, Ethan - but be PRACTICAL and be HONEST.