Week 9: Body Language (1st Minor Project)

9th Novermber 2015 – This was the day we began our first mini project. The subject of this was body language, and we had 3 weeks to come up with a short video on this. I began on the Monday by brainstorming ideas, styles, and ways in which to create a short yet effective narrative to do with the given theme. The main ideas I came up with were varied. One followed a social reject, mocked at school for avoiding others, and the only way he expressed himself was through music. Another was to do with the idea that life passes by quickly, and was originally inspired by Rosalina’s storybook from Mario Galaxy (one of my all time favourite games). The final idea was simple; a child trying to get some candy from the top shelf in a kitchen and the idea of innocence and adventure to be shown through the bidy language of the child. I decided eventually to go for the second idea which I developed from the original – a girl grabbing a telescope, sneaking out of the house to the top of a hill to go look at the stars, and then showing clips from the rest of her life, ending with her and her husband holding hands in the last shot (maybe done in silhouette) – to a somewhat completely different idea, where instead of the rest of her life, we begin at the countdown to new years, and the video shows her throughout the rest of her year, focusing on the different seasons, and ending with her holding hands with the guy she meets earlier that year. By the Thursday that week I had decided on the finalised story, drawn out the storyboard, and was starting to design the characters, and the colour schemes associated with their clothing, and the different seasons of the year.

16th November 2015 – Over the weekend I finished designing the characters, the backgrounds for the story, and also started the animation itself. As the entire story was to take place on one set – next to a tree atop a hill – I had to give each season a completely different loom so as the audience would not get bored by the unchanging setting. As I was using flash for most of the video, I decided to hand draw and colour the background with felt tip pens and scan them into the computer. Once this was completed I dedicated all my time to the actual animation, spending the next week planning out each of the movements of the characters with sketchy lines, which I would go over, drawing the actual characters when complete. I finished this on the Friday that week (20th), and spent the next 4 days non-stop animating, and though was still unable to finish the entire animation, I did get over half of it done, and put a prototype together for the class critic-ing on Thursday (26th) using adobe Premier pro. Feedback from the rest of the class seemed positive, main things to improve upon were 1) actually finishing it. 2) sorting out one of the running animations that looked a bit dodgy.

Final thoughts: To me, this piece was about learning to let others into your life, and how happiness is relative to how you perseive it. At the beggining of the video, the girl is alone. Even as the clock strikes midnight, she rests her hands behind her head and smiles, not caring she’s alone because she’s comfortable with it and used to it. This continues into the winter scenes, as you can see she’s having fun by herself, seemingly uncaring of anything else. But when she meets the boy in the spring, she lets him into her life, and she’s not alone anymore. She gets used to him always being there, and even though she was fine without him before, she forgets what it was like before meeting him. Then as he has to leave at the end of the summer, she spends the autumn period missing him. Because she let someone into her life, she also let in the chance of heartbreak, begging the question: would it be easier to never love so you never run the risk of being hurt. But the answer is no. The point of this video is not meant to have a depressing message; quite the opposite in fact. Sure the girl had to let him go as she didn’t want to hold him back when he said he had to leave, but he was there exactly when he needed her (on new year’s eve), and that’s what love is in the end – being there for them when they need you, and trusting them not to break your heart. But yeah, enough philosophy. That was out first project!

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