Illuminating A Scene

Dear Insane Children, 

As you all know, we use a website called Monday to keep track of all our tasks, communications, and creations for Alice: Asylum pre-production. There’s a ton that goes on there as our team explores ideas for art, design, and narrative. Perhaps we should figure out a way to open up a public “viewing” account for this so you can peek at what we’re up to? Anyway, I thought I would share a thread that does a good job illustrating how we come up with our illustrations.

This all falls under the heading of “RWSS-4 / 1. Narrative Scene – Alice is Expelled By Radcliffe (Art Task)” in Monday… An entry created by Alex (he creates all of the task entries)… based on the narrative or design of the game. 

Art Brief: This scene will showcase Alice being removed from Bumby’s Home for Wayward Children by Radcliffe and the Police. Alice will be thrown out onto the street, and expelled. The home’s resources are cut off to her, and she will not be able to protect the other orphans left behind.

The scene is meant to capture the feeling of “a mother separated from her children, and being unable to protect them”.

We want this scene to focus on the plight and danger the Orphans are in at the HFWC.

We want to show Radcliffe as a threat.
And show the power he commands (by the Police to do his bidding).

Radcliffe will be pointing a finger at Alice from the top of the staircase, bellowing and berating her. 

Radcliffe will be positioned higher up in the scene than Alice, showing a position of power. She will be looking up at him.

The children of the Orphanage will be in danger, positioned behind Radcliffe.
They will be terrified of what is happening to them, and unable to help Alice. 
Alice is desperate to save the children of the orphanage.

Police officers will be preventing the children from getting out, or assisting Alice. The police will physically or cruelly restraining the orphans. 

Imagine a daylight brawl scene. Onlookers in the London streets will do nothing to help Alice or the other Orphans.

Narrative Backstory:
Leading up to this scene, Alice will confront Radcliffe, and as a result will be forcibly removed from the Home For Wayward Children at his order.

Alice will be muscled aside and thrown out violently by a group of threatening, and physically large Police Officers / Bobbys. They will be brutish, and thuggish in appearance.

Alice is attempting to claim her family’s estate. Radcliffe is blocking her way, and always has been. Alice wants to assume control over Bumby’s HFWC after his death, so that no other child will come to harm from Bumby’s previous influence. Radcliffe will stop at nothing to ensure she doesn’t. He is still after her inheritance and blocks it greedily.

I added a bit more reference… 

Thinking about the framing of this scene… I think we might want to explore a setup similar to this…

Where she’s pleading (begging) to see the children again. It’s a question mark. 
But I think without some sort of strongly illustrated emotion reaction… it will be difficult to read the illustration for what it is… Alice desperate to get into the Home and to rescue/take care of The Orphans. 
If we only show her at the bottom of the stairs… how do we know what is going on in the scene. It will help if we include Radcliffe pointing “away”… and the Police are there glaring to reinforce the point. 
But Alice’s reaction to this also needs to be made clear. And the children standing (being kept) Radcliffe and crying will make it even more clear what’s going on. 
PS: In the AMR the kids were kinda dicks to Alice… so we didn’t give Alice much reason to return to them… but she does. Going to need some dialog or backstory to explain that.

Omri digested all that and responded with his own thoughts and an initial sketch of the scene: 

i thought about how we present the police here, i thought about it and i don’t want to make them look “evil” in my mind they are only doing their jobs so less manhandling more seemingly trying to remove Alice from the premises. it also looks more elegant.
i imagine it like they are taking to her, please don’t make a fuss out of this miss style.

the kids- i changed their silhouettes slightly and i’ll work on the faces as i go along.
i’ll keep some of the twistiness but i’ll use it to make us LIKE them instead of detest them. like you said American, if she sees through the illusion she’ll still see them twisted but differently because she’ll understand they are just kids.
i want it to seem that they surround her, kinda not wanting her to leave, like the oldest daughter of the place.

Radcliff really stoic and beyond that in the darkness hints of jabber and bumbi and queeny. i’ll figure that out. i want it sinister.

Generally i want it to look like a Rembrandt painting, i’m attaching my “reference”
i want it to look very dramatic.

I think the initial sketch does a great job of capturing what’s contained in the brief. The framing isn’t exactly as I’d imagined it but it still communicates the critical elements. 

Let us know in the comments below what YOU think. 

And a quick reminder there’s a Discord Chat this morning at 10AM HK Time (about 30 minutes from when I am writing this post) where we’ll hear our Insane Children share ideas about the Asylum Narrative. 

From Shanghai with Illumination,


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