Thursday, 7 July 2011

inform.Animation IP

For the past 2 and a half weeks I've been in Sardinia, Italy on an intensive animation course called Inform.Animation

Quote from the website:
"InformAnimation is a Summer School organized within the Erasmus Intensive Programme, by the Alghero School of Architecture of the University of Sassari in collaboration with a consortium of European academic partners"

It was a great experience working with students from other countries including Greece, Spain and Italy. There was a bit of a language barrier which again was an experience as I had to try and get my point across through simple language. I definitely learnt a lot when it came to working with others with different languages and methods of working.

The project was aimed towards using animation to inform members of the public or other social groups of a specific cause. We had 6 different briefs and were separated into 6 different groups ranging from 3-4 people per group. I worked in a group of 3 (1 Greek girl and an Italian boy) My project was for the Archipelagos which is an institute of marine conservation. Our brief was to inform about the importance of Posidonia Oceanica which is a seagrass meadow in the Mediterranean. It is a habitat for over a thousand different species of fish and works as a shelter and a place to reproduce. We had to inform the viewers of this and
also the dangers that humans place on the seagrass, and the consequences it will have on the beach, as the seagrass protects it from beach erosion. The short animation was aimed towards schools in the Aegean, local communities, as well as tourists that visit the Aegean islands and the wider public in Greece and abroad.

In the brief, the animation was aimed towards a wide range of social groups so we tried to mix facts about how much seagrass there is in a square metre etc. (for the adults) with cartoony animations (for the school children) This way we thought we could keep both age groups entertained while still being informative.
Each group was supposed to have constant feedback from their contact providers, but unfortunately for our group, we had no contact at all from ours. This made things difficult as we had no contact from the people who we were making the animations for, so the tutors running the project got involved and advised us to split our project in 2 as they thought our idea would work better this way, one targetted towards adults with facts and figures, and the other towards children, with metaphorical images telling the information. This spilt happened on the Monday and the deadline was the following Saturday

We all agreed to split into 2 projects, so I would work on the children's project, the Italian guy would work on the adult project while the Greek girl would help out on both. Everything was going well until the stress within the group started kicking in, so we decided to work as 1 proper team again and work on 1 project. Unfortunately that didn't work because of personal feelings from another member in the group, so we had to split the group completely, and I ended up working on my own. Because of what happened, I had to ask for some help from 2 of my friends, just so it could be finished in time for the Saturday deadline

I really enjoyed my experience in Italy. I learnt a lot in my 2 and a half weeks on the intensive course, and gained a lot of valuable experience, it's just a shame the group divided like it did

After less than 5 days of work, this is the end result. I wanted the piece to have a narration over the top so that there would be no words on screen, only images so that the children would keep interested, as I felt that too much text on screen could lose their concentration. Unfortunately I didn't have time to record the narration, so instead, the version you see here has subtitles to represent what I wanted the narrator to say. The music is also there as a placeholder
I characterised the fish and gave it a style so it was bold and colourful for the children's appeal. I tried keeping everything simple and metaphorical so that the images could help tell the story
And here's the result:
  • Danielle Parness helped me with the animation for the 2 shots with the Pollution barrels on the boat
  • Stephanie Seed made the countdown timer on the last shot

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