Monday, 27 March 2017

Detailed Timeline of Louisa May Alcott

I  have been researching heavily and expanded the initial timeline based on the Louisa May Alcott encyclopedia. From this I'm going to extract scenes to dramatise for the animation that show the relationship between Louisa and her niece Lulu and show their personalities and give an illustration of the time period. 


Friday, 17 March 2017

New plans

As the Masters evolves the plans need updating. I now have the welcome addition of both a Storyboard Artist, Larvi and a 2d ToonBoom animator to help me. The storyline has changed and is now based solely on a realistic account of the last 10 years of Louisa May Alcott's life and therefore the scenes and characters have changed.

So here's the updated plan!

As ever, I also have a more detailed version with estimated hours and marking what has already been completed or started.

Monday, 13 March 2017

The Hippopotamus in the Room

Eva Goldman Hippo
Walking back from work to Manchester train station late yesterday evening I received an email suggesting ‘Links-Friday'. I confess, I am guilty of often ignoring links I’m sent while sending too many in return - a frustration in both directions. 

The idea of Links-Friday was to put aside Friday evening for the exchange of a few well chosen links that I would make the effort to actually watch or listen to. Despite barely being able to keep my eyes open at this point having been staring at an Excel version of corporate credit risk for the last three hours I felt inclined to agree. 

"Knock yourself out" I said.


I use a variety of media from pencil and ink to acrylics, oil and water paints. Here are a selection of paintings and drawings covering a variety of subjects.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Lulu Nieriker - Reference Pictures

One of the great sources of information for me has been Susan Bailey and her marvellous website:-

Louisa May Alcott is my passion 

Susan has researched and written extensively on Louisa and her family. She has often been kind enough to personally answer my questions and to point me in the right direction as far as my own research is concerned. 

Recently I was trying to find reference pictures for Lulu Nieriker, the daughter of May Alcott, Louisa's younger sister. Lulu came to live with Louisa when she was 10 months old, on the dying wishes of her mother, who died when she was 6 weeks old. There aren't many in existence! Susan was kind to point me in the direction of research for Lulu , including one book containing an interview with her at the age of 95 and for sending me these wonderful photographs.

I just love this one of Lulu on the bicycle, and I've not see it anywhere else despite extensive searching for my Pinterest boards.

Monday, 6 March 2017

External Scene 2 - Lulu runs up to the front door of Orchard House

In scene 2 we see little Lulu, skates flung over her shoulder, running through the snow up to the front door of Orchard House. I've put together Pinterest board of skating pictures and costumes. Originally I was thinking that dark red with white trim like the picture above would look good but I've decided Lulu will wear blue. Her mother had a deep fondness for blue clothes and they both had blonde hair and I imagine Louisa would often have dressed Lulu in blue as nod to her late mother.

By this stage in her life Louisa had published the first part of the book 'Little Women' and had become considerably wealthy so would have been able to afford many gifts and outfits for Lulu.

Here is Larvi's first version of Scene 2:-

This already looks great so we've obviously working on the same wavelength now! I didn't have much I wanted to change other than the trees around Orchard House (other than orchard trees) are larch trees which are deciduous so would look decidedly less leafy in winter. 

So here is Larvi's second version which I'm very happy with.

We've going to continue to make all of the thumbnails before getting some colour on them and putting together the storyboard. This will give me time to decide on which scenes in the last 10 years of Louisa's life I want to dramatise and which ones will be in stop motion along with an outline of a script. 

The next scene we're going to look at is the interior of May and Ernest's house in Paris...

Friday, 3 March 2017

Louisa and Lulu - Film Timeline

In order to decide on the main plot of the film, which I wanted to be as historically accurate as possible, I have been undertaking a large amount of research on what actually happened in Louisa's life from just before Lulu came to stay with her until Louisa's death. 

My first point of call was the Louisa May Alcott Encyclopedia (Eiselein, 2001, pg xv Chronology of the Life, Times and Writings of Louisa May Alcott). The following is a modified exert detailing the time period of Lulu's stay with Louisa and concentrating on the relationship between them and their location in various residences in and around Boston and Concord, MA.

Secondly I found this quick summary from 

a website about Alcott in Germany):-

1. October1868-Little Women (Part 1) is published
14. April1869-Little Women (Part 2) is published
25. November1877-Louisa´s mother Abba Alcott dies
22. March1878-May marries Ernest Nieriker in London
8. November1879-Mays daughter Louisa May (Lulu) is born in Paris
29. December1879-May dies (The booklet "The Aclotts and Orchard House" says
November, which is wrong)
19. September1880-Lulu Nieriker arrives in Boston
4. March1888-Louisas father, Bronson Alcott, dies
6. March1888-Louisa May Alcott dies
1889-Lulu returns to Europa
13. July1893-Anna Alcott Pratt dies
1975-Lulu (Louisa May Nieriker Rasim) dies Gerrmany

1832: Louisa May Alcott (LMA) is born on 29 November in Germantown, Pennsylvania. She is the second daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail “ Abba ” May Alcott. Their first daughter, Anna Bronson Alcott, was born on 16 March 1831.

1840: Abby May Alcott is born on 26 July (Lulu's mother)

1851: LMA works, for the first time, as a governess for the family of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph S. Lovering of Boston (relevant to show Louisa's experience with children)

1852: LMA and Anna start a small school in their home
the wayside

1853: LMA teaches school during the winter and spring.

1855: In November and December LMA teaches school in Boston. 

1857: The Alcotts buy the John Moore house in Concord, rename it Orchard House, and move into it in October. Lizzie’s (the youngest of the four sisters) health declines

1863: Louisa contracts typhoid fever while working as a nurse during the American civil war. She is treated with mercury which had an effect on her health in later life.

1870: A year after Little Women is published LMA sails to Europe with her sister May and Alice Bartlett. This trip takes them through France, Switzerland, and Italy, and it becomes the basis for Shawl-Straps. On 27 November John Bridge Pratt (Anna's husband, Louisa's dear brother in law) dies; on 23 December LMA learns of his death. (Little Women had made Louisa extremely rich, one of the highest paid writers of her time. By today's standards she would be classed as a multi-millionaire (PBS American Masters)