Homework Day 2

Please provide a script breakdown, a bid and initial concept art for the attached script pages. The work must be turned in by Thursday Feb 27th at Midnight PST (-8 GMT). It MUST be in on time to receive a grade, if it is late the best you can hope for is a certificate of completion, this reflects the reality of the bid/jobs market. 

You are free to ask production questions here about the script that will assist in the breakdown bidding process.


  • edited February 2014
    Hi Shannon,

    Do you have any other scenes that may describe the team (physical attributes, rank or job position), the costumes/uniforms, or the creature in more detail?  Also, is this based on the WWI & WWII ship, the USS Melville, or does this script take place in a different time period/location.
  • Hey Shannon,

    You rock man! This script is awesome! I am so excited my  sculpture / design hand is shaking! I have a question  though, can we submit concept work as we go or just all at once with the bid at the end? Also I am embarrassed to say this but I am not sure what to charge for my self. I get the cost of materials such as clay, paint, ext  but after that I am not sure for my time. Thank you again for this amazing oppertunity, I am going to do my best to leave you with a lasting impression!
  • I'll answer that -

    Assume it is a contemporary ship.  Since no one is called by any rank, assume they are all passengers. I won't describe the creature....that's your job.  I'm keeping it vague on purpose because I want to see what YOU bring to the table.  Trust me, it happens more times than not a writer describes a creature saying: "It is a horrific definition of nightmare that looks like it just crawled up from the bowels of hell itself."

    And.... One arms? Two arms? Eyes? Fangs? WHAT?! 

    That is the dilemma, right?  You have to use your imagination, read the script and design something aesthetically cool that will perform all of the functions it has to.  Don't be afraid to suggest ideas! Remember, I'm looking everything over a week from Friday and issuing notes prior to your final project.  I really, REALLY want to see what you do if the leash is somewhat dropped and you can design ANYTHING that fits within the parameters.

    I purposefully did not tell you the sex of one of the characters, but you should be able to figure out that one of them is a woman.  Race doesn't matter if you are going to incorporate that into your sketch work. Everything is right where that is concerned.

    The bottom line is have fun.  Enjoy this exercise because you are safe and the welfare of your shop/career isn't hanging in the balance. 

  • Sounds great!  And do you have a hopeful shooting schedule/deadline for this project so I can factor in operating expense and manpower needed?
  • This is for everyone - Theoretically, let's say this is going to be a $30 million movie.  Shot in YOUR state/country.  We're 12 weeks out from a 25 day shoot.

    But Charles - You're asking ALL the right questions!
  • Not sure if this is "normal" to ask, but would we usually know how long the script is, or essentially, what percentage of the shoot/budget is this scene and using this set?
  • For now, let's just worry about this scene.  In a real bid situation, once the creature revealed itself in the script (even camouflaged like, the Predator for example), you would bid for the entire creature, and for the rest of the bid, every time it appeared in the script, you would note its appearance (as I showed you, in the bid description) and then add in bold, "Already accounted for." So, just bid the entire creature now, knowing that it won't do much more than it does in this scene for the rest of the picture, except, and I think we all know this, we'll get a much better look at it, later. Don't worry about it's demise.  I just want you to bid the creature and the effects.
  • Everyone okay???

    Any questions???

    Let me know.

  • hey Shannon, I get that my career is not hanging in the balance, I just figured how often do I get to show you my work, I want to do it right! 
  • That's right!  For those of you who just want to "design" and not "build" the creature this is what I suggest:

    I want a weekly rate and HOW MANY PIECES OF ART I can expect in 5 days and what that art is going to look like.

    I want a storyboard bid, how many frames you can draw in a day and a price for that too.

    Since you're bidding art, all you need do is supply one example of the scripted creature.

    That said, I would PREFER if you just bid the entire thing as best you can.  Even if your prices aren't correct.  This is part of the learning process, right?

  • This is a fun script! 

    In regards to the concept design end of things, whether it be the creature, set or prop pieces and costumes etc, should I quote for variations in those departments? ie: a selection of prop designs for the 'Heavy Cresent Wrench' ?  Or, regarding my bid details, should I concentrate more in my own field, in this case creature design work? Should the bid reflect things like supervising on set regarding creature wrangling, green screen prep and lighting, walkthroughs with the actors, animation etc.

    For those of us that may not be up to speed fully on the fabrication processes involved regarding the creature build, ie: sculpting, molding, casting, cleanup, painting etc... is it okay to still bid in those departments for the sake of getting bid practice in? I'd love to give that a shot.

    If in the real world, I was given a bid opportunity, and there was a lot of practical creature effects and makeup involved, props needing designed and a set built, would it be okay to outsource to '3rd party' companies? 

    By that I mean obtaining quote details from all parties involved and putting the relevant numbers into my bid? Inclusive of marking up? Is that legal doing the outsourcing thing, if there are NDA's involved and the SFX specific script pages are for my viewing only? Or might it be a question of giving the companys/artists involved a shopping list of whats needed? Like a need to know basis? Lets assume though, the 3rd parties are people I've worked with already, there is a trust base there and they have all signed the relevant NDAs!

    One other question I have is, if it's okay to bid on different areas of the special effects needed based on quote details acquired from outsourcing, can I mix it up abit regarding the creature scenes, ie: mixing practical with digital?

    Last question, do we need a seq/scene number for this? 

  • Shannon,
    On page 3 a Stevens leg is mentioned as getting "Severed", but in later dialogue among characters is mentioned as maybe just a wound. Can you clarify which it is? Does the whole leg come off from the tentacle hit?

    Will we be receiving any storyboards for scenes? Specifically page 3 where the tentacle and charlie intertact... " Yanking him off his feet and dragging him to the creature's disgusting maw.". Will this be on camera in full view or will strategic camera cuts be used? 
  • I LOVE doing this!  You are finding all of the "clues" I've left for you!  Nancy, good eye!  YES, which is it?  Read the script and make SUGGESTIONS (I think it is fair to say that her leg isn't off). 

    Okay, okay, here's another clue: The more things you put in your bid, the more things can be cut out to bring the cost down when the producer balks.  So, if you have an appliance that "bleeds" via tubing and it comes with a cost, and it is superfluous to the scene, it can go away and a lower cost, simpler alternative suggested.  See? It's kind of a game which is why I do want you not to stress but have fun.

    But...good eye, Nancy.  Keep the questions coming.

  • Peter -

    I think you should go for it.  Imagine how you would build the creature, hiring people to do the sculpting, molding, etc. based on how much YOU would charge to do the job.  It's an exercise to get you used to reading scripts, looking for clues, contradictions, and your imagination, skills, and resourcefulness to help a production get the shots they need to tell their story.

    Ask questions!

  • Hello Everyone!

    So one week from tomorrow your bid/design assignment is due.  Those of you who have been working and feel you are ready for a "review" prior to your submission next week should feel free to either send me a message on the board here, or ASK QUESTIONS.

    Personally I WOULD NOT POST ART here yet.  We can do that a week from this Saturday.  But if you have bid/breakdown questions....ask, ask, ask.

    Okay?  I'm very eager to see what you're all up to!

  • As far as concept art goes, that is probably not the main focus for our bid, as BRS usually focuses more on the fabrication.  However, in this instance, would we be able to submit a quote for a "creature" without providing a concept of what we believe it would look like?  Would a written description of possible size, height, material etc suffice?
  • If we art bidding on the set, do you want concept sketches or something more detailed?
  • Charles - YES.  Please.

    Nancy - Make the set a separate bid and you don't have to submit art, but submit reference photos (that you find in books or on-line) to give an idea of what you think you can do.

    Does that make sense?

  • Hi Shannon, I hope you're keeping well! 

    I've a question regarding the bidding process.
    If there are several scene descriptions in a script, that are potentially part of one bid item, do I need to include all the scene descriptions relating to that specific bid item, ie consolidate ? Or do I list out the scene descriptions as instructed and 'reference' a previous bid item? I hope I'm making sense and not asking a silly question.  :)
  • Hey Peter -  Good question. So to be clear, if you are including all of the specialty pieces of the creature in your bid you can and just say "already allotted for" in your bid when you are describing scenes that require the creature. (HINT:) I would bid out "specialty appendages" just to be safe.  Why? 1.) they will be easier to handle on set without a huge creature connected to it 2.) another chance to make $$$ 3) something to cut out when the producer tells you you've bid too high.

    Does that answer the question?

  • Hi Shannon, thanks for your advice on that, really good tips. That answers my question for now. I love the sound of Specialty appendages! It's difficult to consolidate too much for what its worth, with the way I'm going regarding this script, lots of different tentacle setups are going to be needed! 

    Another question I have is regarding creature makeup. (I'm not sure if that's the correct term.) 
    Is on set makeup FX for the creature (ie: slime, goo, blood, sweat and perspiration etc)  Is that taken care of more so by the creature FX team? Or does the makeup FX team that would be working with the actors have a part in this aswell? Does creature maintenance and makeup FX work need to be factored into my bid as a separate item? Or is it part and parcel of the overall creature build?

  • Set work is always budgeted separately.
    Figure that you and 'your team' are going to goo, maintain, move, puppeteer the creature, so
    try to project how many folks your department is going to need (include a makeup artist - remember how
    I showed you how to do that?). and put that at the bottom of your bid. 

    So - Quick Review - your bid should look like this:

    1) Top Sheet with bottom line CONSTRUCTION costs of the creature (not SET cost)
    2.) Detailed "breakdown" of the script with effects budgeted
    3.) A "total" for the amount of the build


    4.) A breakdown of what your department will need on set - How many people working for how much money - etc.


  • Hi Shannon, thank you so much for your help on that,  it clarified a lot. I'm learning as I go.

    All the best for now,  


  • Shannon,

    I sent you my bid in a private message.  I assume that's how you'd like it so that we aren't all seeing each other's homework.  :)

    If there's another way you'd prefer to receive it, please let me know.
  • Hi Shannon,
    When talking about prosthetics, I'm figuring you put something like 
    "X makeup effect prosthetic – sculpt, mold, cast.  Allow 1 at $xx plus one per additional shooting day at $xx"
    If you don't know how many days they'll be shooting with that makeup, would you just put a guess so you can make a total?

    Also, does anyone use software like Movie Magic Scheduling/Budgeting in the FX world?

  • That is correct Jasper.
    As for Movie Magic Scheduling, I know that most of the
    VFX folks I've worked with use Filemaker Pro.

    But the bottom line is the bottom line.  You can use any
    program provided the final is in .pdf or a Word Document.

    You can't assume every producer/production company is using a
    specific type of software.  Personally, I often use Microsoft Excel.

    But that's me.

    See you Saturday?

  • I got it Shelly - VERY nicely done!

    You'll get your critique Saturday, but I will say for the record it is all there and presented
    very professionally.

    Before the rest of you start sending your bids in, let me contact Chris Vaughn to see if there is a
    better way I can receive them.  Okay?

    Thanks again Shelly!

  • Awesome! :)  Working on creature design sketches today.
  • Shannon or Chris Vaughan ,

    where do we submit our Bid exactly?

  • Christopher VaughanChristopher Vaughan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    Hi Nancy,

    Everyone please submit your bids to [email protected], put "BID SHANNON SHEA BUSINESS OF MAKING MONSTERS" in the subject line so that you will be easy to spot and i will forward them to Shannon as i receive them. 

    Thanks everyone!
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