First Meeting- Ideation

So, today we had our first meeting, coming up with simple ideas on what we could do for our animation. Lorna, Cassie, Hollie and I will be working together over the next number of weeks, hopefully it will run fairly smoothly.

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We realised pretty quickly that we wanted to have kind of an implicit meaning to our animation- as mention in Yuan’s lectures. Or even a representational meaning in our animation- something like an Idiom or phrase of even a poem brought out.

We considered the possibility of incorporating some sort of issue that is common in Belfast currently. Mental health and Homelessness seemed to be main issues explored in some of the animations we looked into and we wanted to explore maybe our own take on these.

We also wanted to keep the setting simplistic- this ‘white room principle’ that we dubbed is common in a lot of kids television shows (for example Pocoyo (2005)).

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Pocoyo’s set is completely white- like that from a photo shoot set up. Although we may not completely have a white room as our setting- basic objects could be used to explicitly note where the animation is taking place. (Lh3.googleusercontent.com, 2016). 

We also discussed the significance of colour in our animation- how could we use it to the advantage in our animation? Lorna had suggested that we look into visual comedy as expressed by old silent films, like Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Could we try and create a huge emotional feel with just black and white as our two tones?

Back to the colour situation, we discussed how how we could have one prominent colour in our animation – much like those implied in the Pixar shorts Blue Umbrella (2013) and Disney short Paper Man (2012.)

In the Blue Umbrella the colours in both the red and blue umbrella contrast to the black dreary ones around them, and the actual mood get in the drizzly rain. I love how the objects personify the characters who are holding them (seen at the end of the short).

In Paperman the most prominent colour is the red lipstick on Megan.

Some of the ideas that went through my head following this meeting were pretty prominent, one really being my favourite, and that I want to do over the summer if it is not chosen.

My first was a child or even something representing a child, hiding in a corner, with a huge shadow growing over them. The shadow would then deflate and fly away, like a balloon. The room itself would be small and allow the character to be compressed into the tight space, adding to the unease.

The next was playing back to the hidden message meaning, an ode to an old childhood pass time- card board boxes. What if there was a character in a box, flying side to side, clouds etc beside him. A voice, that of a parent interrupts and it is revealed he is in a cardboard box. Very much like Ellie’s Spirit of Adventure in UP (2009).

Ellie’s ship in a house from UP.

Another idea I had thought of while on the bus. Keeping in mind Conánn’s idea of simplifying or using Beans, I want to adapt this story a bit better for conveying to my group. While on the bus I had heard two elderly men, both of which had had a few too many, and were giggling to themselves in that old whispy laugh gentlemen of this have. One of their wives called and the man had to answer while the other egged him on and pulled faces. It was very funny to watch. As one of the two got off the bus I couldn’t help how lost and forlorn the other looked, now he was alone. This got me thinking on the forgotten elderly articles that have appeared in the news quite a lot. In the UK over 7 million adults over 65 suffer depression and the main cause is isolation or loneliness.

In my story I wanted to convey both this and the two men characters whom were on the bus that day. The camera would start watching these two laughing to themselves, either some sort of lighting cue would happen of a person’s shadow would cross the characters and in the next frame on of the men would have left. The next frame another person would  pass and the man would not longer be on his own, but in a hospital or care home. In each frame, the colours would desaturate more, and the character would age more.

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The final idea was my favourite. I was heavily inspired by the short One More Beer (2012) and the 2nd Years Wide Open (2016) animation, showing the character only from the torso upward.

One More Beer. The gag is easily delivered in this short and is very beautifully displayed.

I didn’t have access to the full animation so here is the animatic for Open Wide.

This idea can in a dream- weird I know. It was following the homelessness crisis ongoing in Belfast and wanted to address this.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 13.52.13.pngFive people have died within two months. (BBC News, 2016).

What I imagine is a boy character eating say peas, rejecting it, pulling faces and pushing it around the plate. He finally slides the plate, knocking off a pea which rolls away on a journey. It finally lands on another plate, the camera then zooms out to reveal a rougher, worn man, his clothes mirroring the boys. The character happily eats the food, possibly with hands rather than the fork, mannerisms aside.

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I’ll bring these ideas to our group- hopefully they’ll like one of them.

References

Lh3.googleusercontent.com. (2016). [online] Available at: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TUxgkLHUEIj6jcwEeNy9hBzNaqtmf0jsLYOusi5-DfJCrx2U1TdaY-7yeq7xaIBoHee5_1_VLa1pxLfd=h1264 [Accessed 7 May 2016].

BBC News. (2016). Belfast city centre: Death of homeless woman ‘a tragedy’ – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35851021 [Accessed 7 May 2016].

BBC News. (2016). Belfast city centre: Death of homeless woman ‘a tragedy’ – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-35851021 [Accessed 7 May 2016].

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