Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Wild Wild West!

When we think of the Wild Wild West the first thing that comes into our mind is cowboys, gunslinging bandits, open plains and Clint Eastwood Movies. But how was the real wild wild west??? I decided to look into that time period to see the truths behind it all and how different it may possibly have been to what is depicted by the entertainment industry.

The character Trinity is considered to be....

- The fastest gun in the west
- A wanted man (not specified whether by the law or criminals)
- Someone who does the work of the devil
- A laid back character without a care in the world, much like the roaming cowboys of the west
- Someone who goes with the flow and takes him wherever life takes him.

Sounds alot like a cliche outlaw of the west.... or does it???

I looked into many of the considered legendary outlaws of the wild west, outlaws such as Billy the Kid, Jesse James, the Dalton gang and various other 'considered' outlaws of the west.

Billy the kid was seen as a notorious outlaw yet he was also considered as a folk hero which means he couldn't possibly have been too bad of a person right???? Like many gunfighters of the "Old West", Billy the Kid enjoyed a reputation built partly on exaggerated accounts of his exploits. He was credited with killing atleast 20 people however the actual figure is said to be closer to 4. A majority of his crimes were armed robberies and escaping from jail. He was also considered to be very popular amongst the hispanic community and seen as a helper of the poor, much like Robin Hood from english folklore.

The settings of the Wild west diminished as the rest of the newly formed United States of America began to move in with the help of the railways and much of the Old West became legend later to be depicted in Hollywood Classics, many of these known to be in the spaghetti western genre.

Clint Eastwood from Fistful of Dollars, an iconic figure in the Western Genre. I can see alot of the character design for our own characters portraying the characters played by Clint Eastwood. How different it is from what was the reality of the West is hard to tell but looking to connect with the audience, this may be a great way of showing that.

HOWEVER it is also important to try and depict the reality to as closely as possible even for the animation. As a group we discussed certain elements we felt would be important to include in the animation.

To depict the reality we had a few points:

- Common among most men of the West, particularly in the saloons was the passtime of playing poker in which we would really like to include, although its not in the script, we decided we would make the bandits play poker as Trinity walks into the saloon.

- We discussed and came to the conclusion that the clothing had to really give the feel of the old west, PARTICULARLY the Strepson hat which is the very thing that defines a western.

- We would have to reference real pictures from the era to try re-create and match that.

These were just a few points we discussed as a group before we all went off to do our character designs.

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