Do a colorscript is never easy. Especially on a feature, and "especially-especially" on The Little Prince. The book of the Little Prince already contained some watercolor drawings by Saint-Exupery. So in one hand we had a visual reference we wanted to keep and respect, and in the other hand, a full cg movie to make, a new adaptation among the numerous that already exist. The question was simple : "how to stay close and respectful of the book and at the same time be original?"
So after a month of working in B&W, playing with sequences, light and contrast.
I remember really well, the 1st May 2012, Mark came and (a bit excited and frustrated at the same time) asked me "so are we going colors now?! I can't wait"
"Hell Yes!" So here we go! Here...we...go.... Here........ We.... gooo.... Facing a huge hill to climb. Where to begin... We have three distinct story-lines in the movie : the real world (Little Girl and Aviator), the GrownUp Planet and the Stop Motion (direct adaptation of the book). Real world and stop motion are in a parallel montage and should cut nicely with each other, and the GrownUp World is an extreme version of the Real World. I really wanted to support the maximum I could the story of Mark, be respectful of the original book and be original in the representation of the little prince. I also wanted to avoid the common things happening nowadays in animation : I didn't want any orange/blue contrast in lighting (I'll soon gently traumatized the lighters later on, during the production, with that rule). Constraints were lining up along the road and I still didn't begin any colors.
After two days of intense cups of coffee and worries (yeah you can't mess up with The Little Prince, c'mon!), It's in a really simple way that I did my first color drawing of the movie. I just sat, and asked myself what was the first thing that will come to my mind when I think about the Little prince. It was obvious that it will be some green, yellow, watercolor purple, few red and A LOT OF white.
It was the first obvious and striking idea we will fight for during the whole production. Make the Space white, have a night and day in the space without involving any logical aspect of having a very physical and scientific sun. Like a child, we will have white and yellow for day and blue at night. White and Gold would be the colors of the movie. The next step was to play with colors in thumbnails. Try to represent the whole movie in ten thumbnails max. Try, in a really bold way, to stylize and define a color code for little girl world, aviator world, grown up world. Have a cycle/loop with the Beginning and the End, but enhanced. Try to imagine a night&day in desert. Having a dark and powerful grown up planet (the concept was quite simple for the grown up planet. Any kind of light source will come from the energy of crushed stars. If we say that the pure energy is white, the captured stars will give us a sickly yellow/green light which will light all the environment).
So it gave me something like this (based on the draft script I had at this time).
At this stage, we knew three things. - Stop motion will be the more saturated trunk of the movie with the aviator world. - The little girl world would be a pastel grayish world (not de-saturated! Only pale pastel) - and the GrownUp Planet will be an extreme version of the LG world, with a sickly yellow as source of light.
At the same time that I was pushing the early colorscript, I was preparing some moodboard and gathering references to help design and setup the general mood.
Sometimes, working by environnement, sometimes by potential scenes/sequences and sometimes by mood...
Around July/august 2012, we had a first colroscript, based on that actual script draft.
As I knew, Stop motion will be the more saturated part of the movie, I begun by de-rushing thoses scenes, in order to give me a scale to base the others worlds. And it was super important at that time to involve this idea of white sky. So Below, the early colorscript of StopMotion that I gave to Jamie Caliri (the creative director of the Stop Motion).
Even if we had several thumbnails, it was important to spread them in a filmic time, in order to give us an overview of the general lighting of the movie.
For the past three years, I've worked on the adaptation of The Little Prince, by Mark Osborne. It was an amazing experience and I want to thank everybody for all the good times and the amazing work! The movie premiered at this years’s Cannes Festival, with a French release for July 29th, 2015 (around autumn for North America). You can enjoy the trailer here :
I'll post some images of the work shortly but in the meantime, I would like to share with you two poster concepts that never made the cut.