Spycat: Behind the Scenes! Week 3

We’re back with Week 3 of our journey through Spycat history! Go back in time with us as we take a look at Spycat animatics from way back when.

Animatics are basically timed storyboards with little to no animation. They are used to check story flow, estimate the film’s duration and give a glimpse of how the final film might look like.

The Spycat animatic went through many revisions before being finalised. In fact, the film was based on the sixteenth version of the animatic! To give you an idea of how much has changed since the beginning, we’ll be showing you Versions 1, 2 and 9 of the Spycat animatic.

Animatic of Spycat and the Paper Chase (Version 1)

Ashley and Spycat are the only two characters that date back to the original animatic! In Version 1, Spycat’s superior is a mustachioed cat named Bosscat, while the antagonist is one Doctor Dogbane – an evil genius who is assisted by a ragtag bunch of ruffians. Unlike the final film, Version 1’s third act takes place in Spycat’s conveniently-equipped prison cell aboard Doctor Dogbane’s blimp.

 

Animatic of Spycat and the Paper Chase (Version 2)

Eager to beef up the scant story in Version 1, we set about to do some major retooling!

Honeycat replaces Bosscat as Spycat’s superior, as we felt that a female agent would serve as a better foil (and a possible love interest!) to Spycat. The rather bland Doctor Dogbane is reinvented as Captain Chico, while his henchmen are replaced by an army of robots.

The third act was totally revamped in order to have greater hero-villain interaction and plot complexity.  We’re particularly fond of the Post-it note plot device in Version 2!

Unfortunately, our enthusiasm resulted in an animatic that clocks in at almost 9 minutes! An animated film of this length would have been undoable given our deadline, so reducing the film’s duration became a top priority in the animatics that followed.

 

Animatic of Spycat and the Paper Chase (Version 9)

Version 9 lies at the midpoint between Version 2 and the final animatic (Version 16). Here, the animatic begins its conversion into a Leica reel, in which animated or partially-animated shots replace still images.

The story has been trimmed down considerably from Version 2. It was good to see unnecessary scenes go, but we lost a number of gags as well. Version 9 is rather close to the final cut, but you will probably notice some action sequences that are missing from the actual film.

Version 9 also features actual lines from our voice actors, except for Ashley’s parents. Filler music and sound effects are used here too.

 

That’s all we have for you this week, Spycat fans! See you next Wednesday for the final chapter in our Spycat retrospective!

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