Friday, January 25, 2013

Please leave a Message

Just make sure you know who you are leaving the message for!

Wow... this may be the story of why you don't add to a quick fun idea.  Earlier today I had an idea for a cap out of the blue.  Someone would call up to his friend at home and leave a message on the answering machine.  He would tell his friend not to drink the potion that he left in a soda bottle in the fridge, otherwise he'd turn into a buxom wanton woman.  He'd end the message by telling him that he had set up an appointment with a plumber to come over and that he should be there at any time.

That's it.  That was the whole idea.  I figured all I would need is an image of a man and a woman fucking.  The whole story would be told via the answering machine, so it could match just about any image.  Hell, it could even be a lone woman (preferably nude) or two women!

I thought it would be a fun quick little cap.  But as I was searching for an image I kept adding to the original idea.  What if instead of a friend, it was a wife?  What if instead of an accident, it was a punishment.  I could even add a twist by making the punishment just being a girl, and the part about the plumber is a warning to not answer the door.  OH!! What about making the husband leave early, and this actually happens to HIS friend... making it not only an accidentally harsh punishment, but to someone that doesn't even deserve it.  HEY!!! I could even set up the wife and husband to leave him message ssaying that they'll be out of town for the weekend!!!

Yeah... it got out of hand.

Now don't get me wrong... each twist and turn that I added I liked.  I thought it would be funnier and funnier.   But just writing out all the details and trying to leave enough zingers for the end took a long time.  And then came the design...

My original thought was to have the text laying over the image without adding any border space.  I would add some graphics for the sounds (RING RING, BEEP, and CLICK), have the greeting be free floating text in one font, and have the messages be in another font and in a text box.   But having the answering machine greeting be free floating was pure folly.  If I only had it once, I could probably have made it work, but having it three times meant it had to be over several different area's of the background.  To keep them all looking the same I just through an alternate color text box behind it.  I even dropped out some of the sound effects just to get it to flow... but it just didn't work.  I was about to post it anyway, since I had already put over an hour into what was supposed to be a quick fun cap, but it just looked awful.  Here it is:

The text boxes were all sized in unusual ways to leave the image viewable, but that also left some odd negative space.  The space above the first message was particularly bothering me.  And overall it was just a jumbled mess.  Having the 'Ring Ring' as separate graphics now looked silly, and with all the different fonts.. well... I disliked it enough to try it all over.  I (thankfully) saved this version, then deleted out everything except for the photo, the background image and the title.  I then worked at making the text fill up the space better.  I knew there would still be an open area between the title and her hands, but I figured I would take care of it once I saw how bad it looked.

I put all the sound effects back in, and just had them be bold and italicized.  The sound effects as well as the greeting would be in black, while the messages themselves would be in a dark blue.  Picking out those colors let me have the text boxes be a far lighter color so that you could see more of the image under it which helped me by letting me 'cover up' more of the photo.

The last thing I did was to add some more to the title and finally add my watermark over the blank space.  It's still a bit of a hodge podge as I was following the layout from the original attempt, but it was A LOT better.

If I had the urge or inlking, I would try it again from scratch.  Not just from the point where I cropped it and tilted it, but start new from the raw photo.  It was actually big enough that I probably could have had more space for the text.... but after spending 2.5 hours on a cap that I intended to take less than an hour, I'm just done with it.

Hope you like it, and I hope after such a long write up that you can still get a giggle out of it.


  1. I can see why you had such a hard time with the cap! That is a high text to picture ratio. The final version looks good, if a little crowded. The earlier version though looks really cluttered.

    That being said, I think the story is really good! I like the narration device of the answering machine messages. Each one helps build into a truly devious and completely accidental trap for poor Calvin!

    I know it's most likely too late, but did you consider the messages being played back instead of recorded? I'm sure with all the wild rutting Calving and the plumber are doing, they might have hit the answering machine and it would cut down on the text by eliminating the repeating greeting. Just a thought ^_^

  2. So, here is my stunning analysis of this cap. Poetic even. Fuckinnnnnn' awesommmmmme!!!!!!

  3. A very clever bit of storytelling via the messages. You have done a really good job of fitting it all in while not overpowering the image that is its basis.

  4. Well worth all the effort. Enjoyed this caption.

  5. Another great cap :)

  6. I liked it, but I think it would have worked better with your original idea. This one worked, but felt a little sporadic. It was hard to feel what it would have been like for the girl caught in the middle of the husband and wife until the very end.

    It's not to say it wasn't enjoyable, because it was! I just think it would have zeroed in on that accidental transformation fantasy if it followed your first thoughts a bit more closely.

  7. Thanks everybody!

    After letting this stew for a bit, I actually like it a little more. I'm still not happy with the layout, and agree with Kyra AND Jennifer... It would probably be better either without the repeated intro message, or as a three panel cap with the original graphic idea.

  8. Ummm...hi, Caitlyn...It's uhhh Jeff...uhmmm...I know that when you left me to sit your house for two weeks I told you I didn't drink coffee...It just smelled sooo good after you left...I...well, I totally love coffee after I tried a sip. The problem is that I ran out, and I can't find your brand anywhere...I don't think I can get through the day without at least one cup #sob#...I'm just a wreck...please call me as soon as you get this...hugs, Jenna.