(1.1 Shown Above – Opening slide from PETHOOD Pitch Presentation. Design created by Katie Noble)
The pitch presentation which was shown during the presentation today can be located here. This document is a result of a collaborative effort as a team, with each member contributing information regarding their delegated areas, and other elements of work, towards the proposal.
In addition to the presentation, the team produced a project overview document which can be located here. The document describes the project intentions in an eloquent and informed manner, providing an in-depth discussion that contains information that was absent from the class presentation as a result of editing, limiting the pitch to a respectable ten-minute duration.
(1.2 Shown Above – A segment snippet with Attracta. The interview was conducted by Ryan Hollinger and Jess Campbell.)
The pitch contained a video introduction that explored the documentary element of the project. This video featured a snippet segment of the interview with Attracta, Jess’ grandmother, and was edited to remove the emotional reaction that occurred from discussing the pivotal moment in time that signified the difficult choice that had to be made, resulting in Zara being put to sleep as the treatment to improve her debilitating heart condition had been unsuccessful. The link shown above in figure 1.2 is an unedited sequence that contains elements that the viewer may find emotionally distressing.
There has been a vast amount of initial research covered by the entire team through the past week or so. The research has been shared through the collaboration website, Trello, enabling the rest of the team to view the information that is being gathered by other team members. The excerpts featured below are paragraphs taken from the research investigations that I have conducted as part of my contribution to strengthening the conviction for the concept of the animated documentary – presenting a universal experience, explored through one story.
“The team uses the space of the National Theatre to full potential – creating their scenes from set boxes which have been designed to fit within the perimeters, or window, of the stage. The audience views the play through a frame that has been created the stage, with curtains to either side, that is boxed-in by the physical presence of the roof above. The positioning and design of these elements creates a natural viewport through which the audience may experience The Red Barn.”
Limitations of Coriolanus:
“The limited staging encourages the set designer to identify the key elements that are needed in order to depict the story, and use that as the foundation through which the rest of the scene can be measured. For the animated documentary, it is my opinion that this is where the challenge shall present itself.”
Atmosphere of Frankenstein:
“In particular, the strong use of colour enables the audience to connect with Frankenstein’s monster from a human perspective – a creative choice was ruled that he would resemble man, separating from the original text to explore this primitive state of human existence. Similarly to the reconstruction of his body, the monster’s reintroduction to society is aided somewhat by the ability for society to identify familiar traits within their own lives.”
The Current Market
“The focus of research investigation has now directed towards identifying whether there is a platform that exists within the niche market that we intend to explore through the animated documentary. Whilst animal stories had been featured on the other websites, those articles have been written and catered towards the perspective of the animal rather than the experience of the owner.”
The Psychological Reasoning
“To gain an informed understanding of the psychological rationale that influences the decision to adopt an animal into the family home, it felt an appropriate choice to research for scientific experiments that explore the psychological and physical impact that occurs from the presence of an animal companion within the daily experience of the owner.”
My area of delegation focuses specifically on environmental design. The overall artistic ambition of the team is mentioned within the pitch presentation and project overview which is included in the links at the beginning of this post.
As the environment artist, my perception was to focus this segment of the post specifically on the intended visual outcome for the animated documentary. The notes featured below in bold provide a coherent explanation towards the approach.
(1.2 Shown Above – a painted concept of the environment, incorporating the key elements of the responsive art study and artistic influences)
The focus of the animation is directed towards the dog, Zara. The environment evolves around her, rather than existing as a static background.
The setting provides context to specific stories within Zara’s life. In fragmented memories, the key points are not forgotten. Objects that have strong connotation to the dog would have prevalence within the scene. The focus is identifying what elements/assets are needed in order to tell the story.
The imagery is surrounded by physical ‘boundaries’ in the composition. Negative space frames the subjects of the animation to convey the fragmented nature of the memories to the audience.
The ‘negative’ space can be explored through other aspects of environmental design, such as lighting and audio, that shall emphasise the atmospheric intentions.
The hesitation and uncertainty of the human memory is presented through the construction of the environment – it is simulated as pieces rather than the character transporting from one scene to the next.
In scenes that are not influenced by the story narrative, there is creative ambiguity with the environment and staging – providing an opportunity for explorative design that assists in the execution of causing an emotional reaction within the audience.
The transitions from scene to scene follow a one-take camera approach. The environment has to follow a linear flow that evolves fluently with the story progression.
Further research potential to explore the techniques and methodology of theatre design – investigate the utilisation of space, the restriction of props and assets, and how transitions can be used to drive the narrative of the piece.
The environmental concepts that have been designed so far during the production of this project can be located through the link included below:
The inspiration mood-board and inspiration that has been gathered so far during production can be located through the link included below:
Regarding the environment, there are two specific challenges that will require rigorous testing in order to analyse whether or not the team’s artistic ambitions are feasibly achievable. The two challenges is firstly, the transitioning from scene-to-scene, and secondly, constructing an environment in small grouped segments of mesh that conjoin together to establish a scene.
(1.3 Shown Above – An animation test that explores the transition from scene to scene)
In preparation for the pitch presentation, an animation test was conducted using a basic Maya scene that was promptly blocked together. The process is described in the post linked below.
The initial research investigations have provided a promising direction for further exploration, reducing the broad spectrum of sources to specific areas. As the project proceeds towards the next stage of production, further investigation is required to understand the next approach to achieve the artistic ambitions.
- Literature investigation into the techniques and methodology of theatre design.
- Research into how an environment impacts/influences the audience.
- Why do people like to share their personal stories?
- The production approach to the HBO series ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’
- The transition layout of Newt Scamander’s case as shown in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’
- Cinematography of the ‘one shot’ camera movement – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Bird Man.