The Animated Documentary – The Idea Stage

As part of the requirement of this assignment, I have to keep a visual diary, which I do anyhow in a ‘real life’ book I will also keep it here. I actually started this in a word document with the caveat that I would put it here too if I could figure out why my WordPress was giving me the white screen of death in the admin section (news flash, it a broken plugin).

I have actually had this idea in my head for a while, to record my 7-year-old twins talking and animated a segment, so I guess it stands to reason that this is the first thing I would think of when given the assignment to animate a documentary. In the interest of covering all basis’s I will be coming up with a few alternative ideas, such as interviewing my Father about experience of being a Romany Gypsy, my Mother in laws quilt group, my husband’s job as an IT professional,  my sister’s job as a high school teacher, how my son feels about having Asperger’s and ADHD.

I decided to focus on someone in my immediate family group, as I know they will be willing participants. Mostly though, I want to talk to my twins about a situation that happened in their school at the end of the last term.  My girls it seems are crime stoppers. They caught a group of 11 and 12-year-old boys stealing speakers from outside their class room and managed to chase them off and provide information that leads directly to the boys being identified, and dealt with. Here are some other questions I will be asking them: What is like being a twin, what is a bully, what do you do if someone is bullying you, tell me about Cub Scouts.
Here are a few notes that I wrote in my physical journal about ideas that I have been generating. I love the idea of also including the girl’s art work in some way.

My girls may be twins, but they both have a very distinct style when it comes to their art work and how they express them selves. If I got ahead with this idea then I would like to incorporate that individualism into my animation as both girls talk.

The top two images are drawn by Violette, who loves reading, writing, and mathematics, the bottom two are drawn and created by Erynn, who says she hates reading and writing but loves to create art work, draw and colour.

Violette’s art work tends towards the two dimensional with written subtitles. Erynn likes to use the scissors to create 3d works of art, she uses a lot of mixed medias and has a very interesting take on the use of perspective.

Resources looked at: 

Part of the creative process is watching other animated documentaries in an effort to identify styles that we liked and methods used.

After watching the suggested documentary and personal narratives, I made the following notes what aspects I liked:

Baba, by Joel Kefali – Painterly, great transitions, painted look, always I motion, childlike, use of typography to emphasise mispronounced words. The simple block colouring tied the story together without confusing the eye.

Coi Army Learning – Why Not Associates – White board look, hand drawn, great transitions.

Storm Whale, Moth Collective – Nice texture and feel

The Wiki Man, Moth Collective – Loose animation style, animated word, not overly complicated or confusing, not too much to look at, vision not confused, I liked it, the idea of rebranding potatoes.

Sarah’s Story, Moth Collective – Childlike drawings, but not childlike, the view reflects Sarah’s feelings and thoughts rather than focusing on the story she is telling about what happened to her. Its meaning was much more metaphorical. Every day is a gift.

 

My Mothers Coat, Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits – I like the sound effects in the background, the simple lines. This is possibly rotoscoped. The lines were minimal as were the use of colour. Life should be a walk you share, share everything, do not waste time. I found something mesmerising in this.

Liars need a good memory, James Heredia – Collage, paint, digital. Nice integration of video and collage.

Keona + Chantelle – The Wrong Trainers, Arthur Cox Animation – I LOVE the cardboard box cut-outs and childlike drawings. I really love the child perspective in this animation; how they tell about the time, she fell out the window and described how far she fell. I like the way the children talk about their parents, and how they want to help them. ‘Small crushed up houses”
And in the interest of not spending the rest of the day copying links and posting the other pictures that I promise are in the word document here are some other animations I watched:

A is for Autism, Tim Webb – Childlike, hand drawn, dealing with a subject matter important to me as I have an autistic child and brother, I like the integration of the live action and animation.

Asperger’s Syndrome – Stop Motion. Music Matters, Nick Cave – Really love the line drawing and use of typography.

This Land is Mine, Nina Paley – I like the simple vector like graphics used in this animation, I also like how it feels as if it is portrayed as platform shoot’em up game.

Mound, Allison Schulnik – Pencil titles, simple uniform colour pallet, great depth of field, all characters are similar, but yet unique.

A-Z Clip, Sarah Cox – Great childlike perspective. Cut out, paper texture, some great transitions and cuts.

Oregonian ‘Transformation’ Bent Image Lab – I like the origami look and the fact that they took a newspaper and turned it into something else.

Lesley Barnes Herzog and the Monsters, GSA DDS MDes Animation – I like the cut out feel, almost like it could be a pop-up book. The incorporation of typography and books, and the 3d effect created with a drop shadow. I like the interesting perspective.

Shofar, JNFA Dancing Diablo – I like the hand drawn doodles circling the live action.

Creative Freedom, John Kelly – Great integration of live action and 3d, and hand-drawn.

Back to the start, John Kelly – Cute 3d animations, really love the way the camera pans from left to right as the buildings are created. Surprisingly moving, but I suspect it has a lot to do with the emotive music too. The models are very textural, which grounds them. Despite the non-organic shapes.

Josh Pyke middle of the hill video – I liked the cutout view and the integration of the live action with the animation.

The Thomas Beale Cipher, Andrew S Allen – Integration of newsprint, fabric, collage, and live action, textures used to create animation.

Pam’s advertisement, AssemblyLtd – I really like the use of texture in this adverts, the way the 3d models have been almost flattened, lots of Kiwiana.

Next up, recording the audio! Check out the next blog post for more on this.

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