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sylphx avatar 4:56 PM on 01.31.2009  (server time)
Developer Diary: Persona Live action trailer pt.1

Hey Guys,

So after slaving my way through 4 years of art school I decided for my graduating project I wanted to do something really awesome, challenging, and fun. I have recently finished playing through Persona 4 and have become inspired to create a high production value movie trailer based on the series. I don't expect this project to be easy by any means, but I hope to learn a lot and to share my experiences with everyone.

So with that in mind I have decided to post the development of my project into a series of blog posts that show what I'm currently working on right now and what I will be doing next. I am pretty open to any suggestions you guys may have so if you think you have a great idea that would enhance my project feel free to spill it out.

With that said for my first post I am going to post the plot synopsis of the trailer

Persona Teaser Project Synopsis:
My project is to create a high production value movie trailer set in the world of the “Shin Megami Tensei: Persona” video game series by incorporating the different identifiable elements that make up the awakening scenes found in the video games. This project is only a teaser “what if” scenario, It isn’t my intention to make a full length film based on the persona series at this time.

An example of an "awakening" scene

Plot Synopsis:
A High School student wearing a school uniform is seen being chased down a dark hallway, as the student traverses down the hallway, his surroundings become warped and consumed by dark shadows. Lights begin to flicker and later are ‘consumed’ by the darkness. The audience isn’t able to directly see what is chasing the protagonist but there are visible effects of the hidden villain in the form of footsteps that break the floor and objects that are pushed over as he chases the protagonist. The chase progresses to the point where the character gets to a dead end and can’t escape further.

The character turns around to see the darkness (in the form of shadowy tendrils) trapping him as it seeps down the hall way. It’s at this point where we briefly see the form of the antagonist as an iconic blue mask of the series seeps its way to the surface of the shadow. We see the protagonists face succumbed by distress and horror. As the camera focuses on his face a tarot card (a reoccurring thematic object to the series) materializes and floats in a spinning downward motion in front of the protagonist’s face.

The card lands in the character's hand and his disposition suddenly changes to that of a smile and confidence. The camera then focuses on the close up of the characters lips saying the word “persona”. Suddenly a bright blue light surrounds the character; the card and an area behind the characters head erupt into shards of glowing blue glass, with the ambiguous figure of the character’s persona showing up behind him. The scene cuts to black as the title “Persona” fades on the screen.

Element breakdown:
This project incorporates live action film with 3D animation and After Effects elements to create the narrative and supernatural elements present in the various scenes.

3D elements:
- Glass shattering effect
- Shadow antagonist’s mask
- The persona as it rises from the protagonist
- Broken floor footsteps
- Floating tarot card

After Effects elements:
- Encroaching shadow in hallway
- Shadow tendrils
- Glass shattering effect (compositing)
- Persona rising (compositing)
- Broken floor footsteps (compositing)
- Floating tarot card (compositing)

What I'm working on next:

This week I'll be working on the storyboards for the film and starting some of the special effects.
Expect a new post next week. Also, does anyone know how to upload video files? I can't seem to get it to work.

Here is a little something I've been working on.

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