During the earlier stages of the week, the team gathered together to create draft storyboards to try and discover the narrative tone of the animated short. We were in agreement as to what message we wanted to communicate with the audience, but the real challenge was how.
(E.1 – Shown above, the storyboard development process)
We congregated as a team to work on the initial thumbnailing process. This was an excellent place to work out the nitty-gritty details – and the approach had proven effective last year when PJ Holden recommended it to Katie and I during our comic development stages, so I was delighted that we were able to implement that within the ideation stages of the three-dimensional project too.
The process was…challenging, to say the least. The issue with larger groups is that it is quite difficult to get all of the team members to agree unanimously on a choice, so as we went through the pacing frame by frame, the time began to amount up.
Eventually, we were able to establish a beginning, a middle, and a climax to the piece. From our initial impressions, the themes of reliance, anxiety and fear were communicating nicely through the actions of the two characters.
The premise of the story focuses on the relationship of a boy and bear as they proceed through a forest area, captivated by their surroundings that evokes sensations of comfort and tranquillity. The reassurance encourages a period of play between the two characters, allowing the audience to witness the significant relationship between the boy and his bear.
The tone of the animated short changes as they approach a cliff edge – the friends are presented with a challenge. They have to cross the log bridge in order to cross to the other side and continue their journey, but in order to do so, they risk falling into the depths below. The boy is able to cross with great encouragement from his bear companion, but as he crosses and turns to wait for his friend to follow him, the bear is consumed by the fear that had once prevented progress within the boy.
Ultimately, the bear succumbs to the anxiety that he is experiencing. It is at that point that it is revealed that the boy is actually participating in a therapy session, and is exploring his emotions through the assistance of his toy bear – a physical representation of the bear character that featured within the fantasy, forest-like world that they had occupied previously.
Once the narrative had been decided, the task of producing better quality thumbnails was delegated to myself and Katie to produce for the presentation. We worked collaboratively, splitting the thumbnails evenly before embarking on the task at hand.
(E. 2 – Shown above, the storyboards that Katie and I created as a collaborative effort)
Featured above is the result of our collaborative effort. I feel that the storyboards show the narrative with much more clarity than our thumbnails contained, which should hopefully communicate the story in a concise way for our audience.
Whilst they could benefit from some additional clarity, I believe that they are efficient for the upcoming presentation. The intention is that once we recieve some feedback, we will proceed to convert the storyboards into an animatic format.