BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts, UCA
OGR 23/01/2017Hi Dave,I think you're onto something here - a very dark story - and the ending 'You have potential' is chilling. I do have some suggestions for your consideration. I think you should forget the zoo as an actual zoo and instead use it as the name Dr Green gives his laboratory. It doesn't make story-sense that this lab is in anyway connected to an actual zoo - rather it's some military establishment or similar wherein animals are being tested for their intelligence. Given the tone of your story, the idea of 'talking' animals doesn't sit with me either.So, it could begin with your mouse character 'coming to' to find itself in an enclosure - Dr Green, who is peering into the enclosure says something like 'Welcome to the Zoo' - and we're shown an establishing shot as you describe - and now we know the poor mouse is in dire straits etc.I just want to talk about the ending; let's imagine that during the course of the film, the mouse has come to understand that there is a button that emits the poisonous gas incase of any animal escaping into the lab. We see the mouse working this out because he witnesses an incident with the gas release, but we also see the other animals calming down and behaving themselves when Dr Green goes to push the button: the other thing the mouse has worked out is that there is a switch which toggles the gas release between the individual glassed-off enclosures of the animal pens and the laboratory itself - so Dr Green can kill anything that escapes, but also kill any individual animal at any time. So, the mouse knows all this - and when it gets the chance it escapes its enclosure, activates the lab-gas, and gets back into its enclosure, while outside Dr Green perishes and dies... We see this last bit as if recorded on another camera - i.e. the lab has been under surveillance - by someone else. We cut to the mouse, who is happy etc, then suddenly, he glances around as all the other animal enclosures are gassed and the animals die. A shadowy figure in a biohazard suite peers into the mouse's enclosure - its gas-masked face filling the picture. 'You have potential' the figure says - the end.The point being that the killing of Dr Green was the initiative test - a test the mouse passed, thus confirming its intelligence and 'potential' to the weapons division (or whatever).This slight reframing of your idea just means that the idea of surveillance and the camera is right there at the end again and you get a sense of 'traps inside traps' or rather 'experiments in experiments' - and it's even more chilling that this shadowy organisation is as happy to see one of its own employees killed to satisfy its curiosity and nefarious agenda!So, for me - get rid of the zoo as a 'zoo' and turn it into a nickname for Dr Green's lab of cruelty; get rid of the 'talking animal' universe, because I think it will work against the tone and suspension of disbelief, and re-consider the resurrection of Dr Green, in favour of the suggestion that the real experiment we've been watching is 'will any of these animals show enough intelligence to execute the executioner?'.Oh - and few more like for like panels please!
Wow. I admit i wasn't expecting this much feedback and with so much gusto haha! I'm glad you like my idea, as for what you've said i agree that the whole "lab under a zoo" thing was a little desperate so the idea of Dr.Green calling his lab the zoo sounds much better!Your idea on the animals not talking is an interesting idea, i agree talking animals seem a little too happy for this sort of movie but it shortened the run time of said movie... i fear trying to show everything you mentioned would use up a lot of my 2 minutes, depending on how much leway we have i may be able to fit in if i go over 2 minutes.As much as i love Dr.Green his death does serve a greater purpose... i could imagine "The ministry of Joy" (the shadowy organisation) killing off Dr.Green to find a better subject.I would have to redesign Dr.Green without his gasmask or think of a reason he wouldn't have his gasmask on but that shouldn't be too difficult.More like for like panels coming up!Thanks for the amazing feedback phil, i loved reading it and it's given me a lot of good ideas.