Ok guys. So I'm working on a short script with a friend. We finished the script and I got to designing characters. Our main antagonist is described as follows.
"a strange HUMANOID BLACK SILHOUETTE, is crawling as if the gravity shift didn’t affect it. It’s smooth pace resembles an OCTOPUS. Its body, faint against the sky, is defined like a BLACK GEM REFLECTING AN UNKNOWN LIGHT SOURCE."
Does anyone know what kind of material would get this kind of look? The problem I am seeing is that if I use a translucent material (silicone cast) you would be able to see the armature inside. I've been trying to crack this design for the last month and haven't gotten anywhere.
I just want some fresh eyes and minds on it.
Just tint the silicone black
A bit of writing that doesn't actually tell me what it looks like in a concrete way...
Maybe black but with some embedded glitter in the top translucent skin layer? Or just smooth and glossy so it reflects a lot.
A degree of translucency can conceal the armature, but still let some light in. So maybe clear for the first slayer of silicone, then tinted a little with black, then tinted a bit more?
Does "gem" mean it is faceted? Somehow, gemlike and flexible don't quite go together for me. Could it be made from hard sections, and bend only around the joints? I'm thinking of the crystal spider in Krull - it had enough cloudiness around the joints to hide the ball and socket, but was clear for most of the leg sections. This could be a black tinted resin. Or forget about semi transparent, and just go with epoxy and sculpey, gloss painted black.
I think many times writers get a bit carried away in their descriptions, and forget that they need to have concrete information. Instead we get artistic, poetic descriptions, often contradictory, or composed of many different ideas which do not translate well into puppets. The thing to do then is start deciding on what concrete features can be identified, and I think that is basically what Nick is doing in his reply. At least get a compatible, do-able list going, then stick with it, and don't worry about the rest because trying to get it all could 1) be impossible and 2) drive you crazy. Compromises have to be made. If it cannot be drawn, then it probably can't be made.
Reading that description made me picture a sort of boneless slimy thing actually moving like an octopus, though not sure if that means underwater or on dry land? Underwater they can move quite differently, they can actually sprint quite well or of course swim.
But if it's meant to be the boneless look then you could actually cast it from silicone, made very soft, with no armature. Make it sort of slide across itself all slime-like. Though of course this would hardly show up in silouhette - he'd just look like a shapeless lump. So I agree, a better description would be very helpful.
Oh, and I was imagining an unfaceted gem.
I think you need to write a completely different description, ditching the poetry and getting down to the nuts and bolts - like instructions to the character designer. Whoever wrote that should have some idea what they had in mind. If not, put it aside and think about what sort of creature it is.
Bear in mind, a film script should concentrate on telling us what we will see and hear, that is how the story is communicated, not through lyrical descriptive passages of purple prose, with irridescent ideas glistening like new-made pearls tossed in a stormy sea of metaphor (unless you are going to have a narrator read it). And telling us what we are seeing is rarely a good idea.
For example - A humanoid figure, with two arms and two legs, with joints at the usual places (or not) (and in no way resembling an octopus), about 7 feet tall...
Or - A boneless, sack-like body, which moves by means of several tentacles,moving in slow sinuous undulations... not much of the humanoid there that I can see...
Perhaps - Skin is translucent down to a certain depth, and black underneath. Surface is glossy and reflective. (Or it isn't...) Why is it faint against the sky? If it's black, it would likely be strongly silhouetted. Unless it's in the fog. Or maybe the reflections make it bright and confuse things a bit?