Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Underwater Concept Art

I seem to be leaning more and more to the rising sea level and flooding scenarios more than any of the other possible outcomes of global warming. I think the main reason for this is that the underwater world is so much more interesting and colourful than a dry and arid desert. Anyhoo, I had play with some scissors and glue and have come up with a few underwater themed images to help with ideas.

Melting ice caps

Flooded Cities

Strange breathing aparatuses

Human evolution?

Friday, 19 February 2010

Ed Hooks- Acting for animators notes Part 1

Ed hooks, author of ‘Acting for Animators’ has a Stockpile of tips regarding how acting skills can be implemented into animation. If you can’t attend one of his master classes, I’d recommend you take a look at his book and sign up to his monthly newsletter, where you can read his craft notes on new releases.

Stage actors work in the present movement, animators work in an illusion of the present moment, but the acting principles are the same.

Emotion and empathy

Ed Hooks describes emotion as an ‘Automatic Value Response’. While thinking tends to lead to conclusions, emotion tends to lead to action. Humans only empathise with emotion. Empathy literally translates as ‘Feeling into’ unlike Sympathy where the audience ‘feels for’ the character. While sympathy can work for short periods of time, ultimately you want the audience to relate to your character, that’s where empathy comes in. Ed had the example of the opening scene in ‘The Emperors New Groove’ to illustrate the use of sympathy where there should have been empathy. When a character stops making an effort to secure his or her own survival, the audience cannot empathise with them.

Empathy doesn’t work for characters you can control completely; it requires a certain amount of distance. In games when you have full control, you can’t empathise with the character. If it gets eaten by a zombie as it was you that made it happen. In The Sims however, the user has a certain amount of control but the characters ultimately have their own free will, their own personality, motives and reactions to your influences. The audience could feel empathy in the right situations. While they can take away all the windows and doors to a room, they cannot stop the Sim inside from crying or complaining of hunger. Read my review on The Sims 3 here.

Moving illustration vs. performance

Reality is very different from theatrical reality. In reality, you get 100% of everything, boring or not. In theatrical reality scenes are constructed for the purpose of telling a story, each scene has form.

If you can freeze frame a character at any given moment and understand what they are doing at that moment in time, then you have a good scene. Good performance is the following:

An action in pursuit of an objective, overcoming an obstacle

A character plays an action until something happens to make them play a different action. Obstacles= Conflict, there are three types:

• Conflict with self
• Conflict with a situation
• Conflict with a person

A child character mostly encounters conflicts with their situation, even if that involves another person. For example when Coralline wants to plant seeds in the rain and her mother doesn’t allow her to, this is conflict with her situation. Coralline, like most young children, accepts the authority of her mother so her conflict is with her situation, the rain outside more than anything else.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Cats Hate Water

Thinking more on the contrast of cats and water, I've come up with a couple of other stings, one is another reveal gag, the other is simply a cat in water. I'm not sure of the slogan for these, the end frame would need to direct the audience to somewhere with more information such as a website, otherwise they'd be meaningless, just a source of entertainment.

I think its the best solution to hook the audience in with something funny then save the more serious stuff (like what you can do to make a difference) for the website they're directed to. otherwise there is a risk that the advert would become too preachy, no audience likes being told what to do and what not to do. I think that by giving them the freedom to seek the information out for themselves, the message is more likely to sink in. If I create the website myself as another project asset then I can control the information that the audience sees.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Make a difference

Here's a slogan that I could play around with 'Make a difference before things get to different'. It takes scare tactics to the extreme- How different can things really get if we don't do anything? The worst case scenarios include widespread flooding, rising sea levels, drought, heatwaves and extreme weather. I think reveal gags could be a good source of humor for this one, the audience believes one thing but in the end it's revealed to be something else, something completely different.

Here's the first storyboard I made:

So the idea is that underwater life is as difficult and different as living on the moon. Though I thought the imagery would be pretty clear, it appears not as many people get the references (moon landing imagery and playing golf on the moon) as I'd hoped. Neither of my tutors got it without me explaining, I think my boyfriend was the only one that did and he's a physicist so would definitely get the reference. As I want to target these short ads to as many people as I can I don't think this storyboard is the best way to do it.

My second storyboard had a little more success...

Everyone that I showed this video to laughed and seemed to get it. The 'fish tank' to window reveal. I think it also has added humor with the contrast of cats and water and hopefully the cat's antics while trying to catch the fish on the other side of the glass will gain additional laughs.

It's estimated that 26% of UK households own cats and even more have seen cats in their funny antics. Funny cat and dog videos are some of the most watched on YouTube so an advert involving funny cats could have increased viral advertising potential. I'm going to expand more on the idea of combining cats and climate change.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

More Ideas

Alternative transportation

An idea to create visual humor while also having an underlying message

Could also have the contrasting...

Just for fun

Contrasting room mates

One can be really eco unaware (or doesn't care), the other really eco friendly. Good vs bad, showing what to do and what not to do. Comedy could be introduced with the frustration of the eco guy as he follows after the other, turning everything off behind him. Could expand to contrasting homes, contrasting cities or worlds.

Poking fun at climate change denialists

There are those that don't believe, when the evidence is all around them...

Inspired by banksy:

Change for climate change

Simmilar in concept to the 'think new' animation, this short animation is aimed at prompting change in peoples everyday lives. It starts off by demonstrating ways in which you may already have changed in your life, big life changes to illustrate the point that little changes to your habits don't have to be as major.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Target Audience Defined

Narrowing down a target audience

As climate change is a very current and global issue, the possible target audience is quite wide. I could attempt to simply target 'as many people as possible' but I would probably find that very difficult.

Around the world, the climate change impacts and effects vary greatly, to try and cover them all, and all the languages involved would be nigh impossible for a short student film. That's why I'm targeting a UK audience.

There are a few skeptics out there who have already made up their mind about climate change. Any attempt to convince them otherwise would probably be wasted, they won't listen, they will probably see anything I make propaganda. I don't want to try and convince an audience of climate change, it's commonly accepted by scientists that it is happening. I'd rather focus on those who have the potential to help out.

As for age range the audience would need to be old enough to act responsibly. They'd need to be old enough to grasp the concept and act on it. Ages 13+ should be able to do this. A wide variety of people use the Internet, and as this is my chosen and most convenient delivery method for providing the audience with information, I'll need to consider the age ranges of people who use the Internet.

I found a very useful source on Internet usage according to a variety of different factors. Looking at this, I decided upon the age range of 13-50.

I downloaded the Act on CO2 Toolkit to see the official climate change recommendations from the government. It had some useful notes on the campaign's target audiences.

Target audiences

campaign's main goals:

With all this in mind, I defined my target audience as:

  • Internet users age 13-50
  • People who are willing to help but need more information on how they can do so.
  • People who know, at least vaguely, what they should do but may need more motivation to actually do it.