Monday, 3 October 2011

Narrative Contruction, Adaptation & Interpretation


We have been given a collaborative project with students studying architecture. The project objective is to provide a short film that captures an aspect of Digbeth's community which reflects a sense of identity, its inhabitants and how the community impacts on Digbeth as a whole.

As a group we have decided to give our project the theme of 'street art'. We feel that Digbeth has a strong sense of art culture.

I think some parts of the community within Digbeth may consider street art as vandalism, however I think it's deeper than this. The message we want to convey if that street art is a reflection of creativity in Digbeth. We aim to produce a series of events telling the story of how Digbeth first emerged as a community and how it stands in the present day. Through this we will examine street art and how it has effected Digbeth.

Digbeth first began in the 18th and 19th century when trading began. During the industrial revolution the arrival of railways and canals sparked a huge amount of activity within Digbeth. Due to this factories, warehouses and other businesses started to erupt within the area. A prime example of this is the custard factory which was originally co-founded by Alfred Fredrick Bird who invented an egg free custard and used this factory to manufacture the product.

At first glimpse Digbeth may now seem run down and neglected. However I think it still shows a community with a clear character and a sense of history. New businesses sprout up on every corner mixing old Digbeth with the new. The Irish and Arts quarters are a few of the many developing areas including the new Birmingham coach station development originally built in 1929 and refurbished and opened in 2009. The music and art scene is a significant part of the Digbeth community which will have an impact with our theme inspiring further ideas.

Digbeth is a trendy and inspirational area with huge potential but still shows signs of neglect.


In our project were going to portray the theme of street art in three different forms. First, by telling the story of how Digbeth started to its downfall and present day. This first part of the story will be in 3D. Secondly, we felt it was necessary to get the community involved, therefore we set up interviews with a variety of representatives of the community including members of the art scene. However I feel strongly that it is important to get a wider view on the topic therefore branching out to other small business, residents and commuters is important. This will all be done by film although we intend to bring an exciting twist to the film. Our final input is to add an additional dimension in the form of stop-motion. This will include a local street artist performing an exclusive piece of art as we take a montage of photos from start to end of his live performance.

Mood Board

Sound Board



Here Comes the Neighborhood

This is a video and project I found online. The message these people are trying to portray runs along our theme of street art in the community. When watching and reading about this project it helped influence me on my own work and animation.

Here Comes The Neighborhood’ is a Short-Form documentary series exploring the power of public art to uplift and revitalize urban communities. The Pilot Season revolves around the district of Wynwood Miami, featuring an array of internationally acclaimed and locally respected street artists, graffiti writers and muralists.

HCTN TRAILER from Here Comes the Neighborhood on Vimeo.

‘Here Comes The Neighborhood’ explores a unique juncture in history as a new community emerges and evolves. A progressive urban revitalization campaign is examined in the first person, using this year’s new artists and their commissions as a lens to explore a neighborhood in transition. The Series is framed by colorful overview and concluding episodes, providing the scope of past, present and future. Each episode is accented by images from legendary documentary photographer Martha Cooper, who has been capturing The Walls since they began in 2009. Her photographs will also appear in a Special Edition Art Book “The Wynwood Walls and Doors” released in connection with this years new commissions and Art Basel 2011.


Our interviews will be with a variety of people therefore the types of shots we take will be a key part in producing a viable piece of film. When filming we must remember certain rules and elements so the audience watching may perceive this as a mistake or a distraction.

There are four main topics on the elements of cinematography these include:

Types of shots

  • Extreme wide shot-shows a broad view of the surroundings around the character and conveys scale,distance and geographic location
  • Wide shot-shows an entire character from head to toe.

  • Medium wide shot-shows a character usually cut off across the legs above or below the knees. It is wide enough to show the physical setting in which the action is taking place, yet it is close enough to shot facial expression.

  • Medium shot-shos a character's upper-body,arms and head.

  • Close up shot-shows a character's face and shoulders. it is close enough to show subtle facial expressions clearly.

  • Extreme close-up shot-shows only a part of a character's face. It fills the screen with the details of a subject.

I've used these two videos as inspiration for the style of interview I would like to take place with locals in the community. I think the camera angles and use of music works well to highlight the subject of the videos.

Character design

Once we designed our final characters we decided to spilt each limb at the joint to enable a smooth walk cycle when animating. We first thought of using split pins. However they turned out to be to visible on our characters. Our second attempt to attach the limbs was with needle and thread which also proved a problem as the thread was too delicate and kept breaking. For our third and final attempt used blue-tack. This seemed to work well as each joint movement came out smoothly and animated well.

Our final animation consists of three different scenes, which all came out well. To develop our animation further we could have taken it from its original 2D form into 3D which would have given it a more profound message in relation to our theme. In this sense I feel the practical side of our animation could have been clearer.

Final Animation

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Narrative Construction, Adaptation & Interpretation

The Most Significant Moment in My life

By far the most significant event of my short life was starting secondary school. this event created a mixture of emotions and feelings, ranging from anxiety, anticipation and excitement. These feelings were evoked and triggered as I put on a uniform for the first time in my life. My blazer was too sizes to big and my tie tied to tight. As I approached the building for the first time it towered over me like a mountain compared to my last school. This released a wave of anxiety and it finally daunted on me that I had left the nest. On arrival I was summoned to my new form 7S. My tutor was called Mr Smith, a balding man who made us all feel welcome. We were asked individually to stand up and identify our selves.

My first lesson was French which was an exotic experience. I was extremely excited about learning a new language. Walking round the school amongst giants was an intimidating and truly unforgettable experience. I seemed to be lost, bounced and barged between classes for the first week. This traumatic experience was one of the most significant mile stones in my life.

Joyride Task

This Side Up

This short animation film is about a middle aged man who is desperate to get the latest music hits. The film goes through a number of different tasks which he has to do to ensure he gets the music. This invloves a number of problems when trying to download the music. The character in the film seems like a nervous man who throughout the film is trying to impress his idol Elvis Presley in which he has a picture of him hung on the wall looking over him. His character seems to be disorganized by the look of his house in his living environment. His un-manicured appearance and character is obvious from the way he's dressed. With no company in the house it would suggest the character has no real companionship. This mite be over compensated with his relationship with Elvis. The film keeps the audience engaged through frustration as we want the character to succeed. It could be understood that the character believes the computer will bring him closer to his idol. The film ends by us thinking he has concured the task of downloading his music, However our frustration is reconfirmed at the end with a manipulated cliff hanger.

Synopsis of Story board and script.

The story is about a young boy living in a small rural town. The character starts his day like any other day oblivious to the effects caused by the big flash effecting the gravitational pull. His morning consists of a normal routine however he is unaware due to his sleepy state of mind, thus not noticing a fundamental change in the environment. As a result of all these mishaps and confusion he loses track of time a realises he is late for work. Finally he attempts to dash to the door which seems to happen in slow motion. He bursts through the door and like a balloon he floats off into infinity and beyond.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Critical Studies

I am going to base my critical studies on stop frame animation as this is something I am very passionate about and intend to further my knowledge on it.

Stop motion animation is a classic animation in which the objects you are animating are real, objects or three dimensional objects. the basic principal of this type of animating is to position what ever you animating shoot a frame of whatever medium or animation your working in, make a change to the objects then shoot another frame, you do this over and over. Character sculptures and sets are usually smaller than life size, and may be built on armatures that give them a defined skeleton. Thar armature helps you create realistic motion also providing support for the body and accessories on the figure if there are any.

Whenever someone thinks about stop-motion animation or talks about it people tend to think of such films as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach or Chicken Run. Although most of those films a recent, stop-motion has been around in different forms for more than a hundred years.

Object manipulation is the first form of stop-motion animation the first example of this was in 1898 which was a short film by called The 'Humpty Dumpty Circus' by Stuart Blackton and Albert E Smith. However since then the film cannot be found and only information in writing is left of it today. The Earliest work that is still around today is a short film 'Fun in a Bakery Shop' directed by Edwin S porter and released in 1902.

Direct manipulation animation is when a part of the image is taken away or added the middle of each frame. The first evidence of this type of animation was another short film called 'Humorous Phases of Funny Faces' from J Stuart Blackton and put out in 1906. The film involves photographing and image adding to it and taking the picture again. This was all drawn by chalk and seen as the first animated film.

Soon after that animators wanted to try with different media and experiment with different objects such as puppets which were easier to manipulate. This began and was known as stop-motion animation. A good example of this is 'Street of Crocodile' in 1986 and 'The Sand Castle' (Le chateau de sable, 1977)

All these Stop Motion films were very important as they introduced a legendary filmmaker Willis O'Brien who helped develop stop-motion animation with special effects. Another filmmaker who played a huge part was Ray Harryhausen who further developed stop motion animation with models and puppets. His best piece of work 'Jason and the Argonauts' which involved a fight between skeletons and humans was all done by stop-motion and done in 1963. The final scene was a huge achievement in those times.

A film that I think is very interesting is 'The secret Adventures of Tom Thumb' done in 1993. This film uses a form of stop motion which uses real people and they move frame by frame in stead of puppets, objects or drawings etc. The film comes across very creepy and almost has a dark sensation to it. I Enjoyed watching the film and felt the nightmarish impression, along with stop-motion combined with live action was very clever and effective.

A film I really enjoyed watching was zero. Zero is a stop-motion film about a small town with characters who vary in hierarchi according to there number 1 the lowest and the higher the number the more important etc, However there is one group of people in this community (zeros) who are seen as unwanted and deemed to be ignored and bullied in the society. This short film 'zero' tells the story of one of the zero people life. The zero character goes through a lonely life constantly held with abuse and prejudice however until a chance encounter changes his life and he meets a female zero. Together they prove that through there love and determination to be seen as normal people nothing can be truly something.

I think the story puts forward a strong theme of racism and underlines how dark it can be. I think this is a good bases for the story as in society today people forget how much racism still affects out communities and lives around us. The ending shows with a little understanding a courage there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The characters in the film are built on armature structures and covered with cotton string resembling a string ball of cotton as first seen as and embryo in the mothers whom at the start the forming to a human like figure. The zero characters are a different color to the other higher numbered chracters again bringing up the sense of racism 'being different is wrong'.

Zero from Zealous Creative on Vimeo.

Zero: Behind the Scenes from Zealous Creative on Vimeo.

I think people in today's society see animation as just 'CGI' and seem to forget about were the roots of it came from. Stop-motion animation I feel is the only way were you can get a real feel for it and get under neath the skin of animating. Stop-motion is more recognized and perceived as film for youth and children. However there is more to stop-motion than kids films.

Steven Warne who is in the world of stop-motion film making and has made such film as 'Wallace and Gromit' put huge amounts of time and effort into making these amazing films. I looked at some interviews with Steven Warne which helped me get a wider perspective and professional knowledge on stop-motion.


There were a few important steps in my childhood and teenage years that lead me along this path; I think like a lot of children, creating small worlds in which you can invent and control whatever you imagined always appealed to me. It’s natural for children to try to make sense of the world through playing, and I just see animation – or any art form for that matter – as an extension of this.

When I saw Wallace and Gromit at a young age something sparked inside of me; it was just so expressive and believable, yet the technique (as refined as it was) was also quite visible. You could see that it was made painstakingly by hand and I think I was drawn to that aspect of it. The idea that it was possible to create something so cinematic and full of life in miniature. I loved the characters, the world, and it seemed like a very accessible form of film making too, the fact that you could make a film on the kitchen table. That was quite a revelation!

Later on I realised that there was of course a lot more involved in the production of a stop-motion film, especially at a professional level. But I still feel that the childlike enthusiasm I had
to create life from something that isn’t real is what drives me. At the heart of it all should be good storytelling. That’s the

George Melies

While shooting one of his life scenes, the camera jammed. It took about a minute to clear the problem and resume shooting. When the film was processed and screened, Melies saw a bus suddenly turn into a hearse. People also in the scene suddenly appeared or disappeared. This accident led to his discovery of stop motion trickery which became his first film with this special effects technique.

A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French black and white film. It is loosely based on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells

The film was written and directed by Georges Melies, assisted by his brother Gaston. The film lasts for 14 minutes at 16 frames per second, which was the standard amount of frames at the time the film was made. It was extremely popular at the time of its release and is one of the best known films made by George Melies. A Trip to the Moon is the first science fiction film, and shows amazing animation and special effects for that time period, including the iconic shot of the rocket landing in the moon's eye.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stop Motion

Stop motion animation is a classic animation in which the objects you are animating are real, objects or three dimensional objects. the basic principal of this type of animating is to position what ever you animating shoot a frame of whatever medium or animation your working in, make a change to the objects then shoot another frame, you do this over and over. Character sculptures and sets are usually smaller than life size, and may be built on armatures that give them a defined skeleton. Thar armature helps you create realistic motion also providing support for the body and accessories on the figure if there are any.


Henry Selick is a stop motion director and has produced some of the most well known animation films, such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Caroline. I think his style of animating is very similar throughout the three different films each one showing a sense of horror and dark atmosphere. I think his armatures and models made for the films individually show huge character, and he very cleverly manages to bring animals and other creatures to a human like form which can be difficult.

Communication with Groups

I was unable to work directly with an L6 partner, However I tried communicating with other Animators to see if they needed any support or help with there work. Unfortunately none of the L6 Animators needed help from me so I concentrated on my Stop motion ideas and research.



Week 1

Module and project breifing

Produce own brief to present

to L6 Students.

Week 2

Trying to contact L6 student

Sending emails and contacting

on facebook etc

Week 3

Reserch into Stop motion

How Stop motion works, what

is it.

Week 4

Studying practitioners

Week 5

Blog work

Stop Motion

Week 6

Research into Stop motion

Looking at my own stop motion

Week 7

Evaluating work and blog work

Week 8

Stop motion

Stop motion

My Stop motion

Character Design

Scene from my stop motion

Background set

Kolbs Cycle

Evaluation of Sto
p motion

I really enjoyed this project and working with stop motion is something I'm passionate about. When animating I found trying to keep it smooth and in sync a bit of a problem as some parts of the animation needed to be slower than others, this is something I need to take into consideration next time. Another problem I ran into when animating was the surface I did it on, which was carpet. I used butterfly clips to enable my characters limbs to move. This became a problem as they were catching on the carpet and preventing a smooth transaction to the next frame. Producing my own animation and learning from my mistakes has made me take into consideration improvements when producing my next stop motion. For example the materials I used and which ones best suit the conditions your working in, such as the set and how the characters will animate on it. I think this being my first stop motion done on my own it was a success. I managed to produce a solid and convincing concept with a good outcome. I have come out with a broader idea of stop motion and how it works. I think further experimentation into stop motion will help me in the future when deciding my own personal style of animating. I would like to use clay in my next stop motion as I am very fond of and feel it gives a good effect and outcome therefore this will defiantly be something I experiment with in the future.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Flake Advert

Group Project

In this project we were assigned a group with fellow students on our animation class, however, we also joined with the illustrators and advertisers. we were asked to produce an advert for a sweet and we decided to choose the flake chocolate bar.

Before the flake idea we also came up with
other chocolate bar ideas and thought about the different color schemes
  • Aero (brown)
  • Crunchie (Gold)
  • Dairy Milk (purple)
  • Minstrels (dark brown)
  • Malteasers (red)

  • Flakey
  • Stick
  • Multiple Layers
  • Crumbly

Target Audience
  • women
  • ages 25-35
Advert Themes
  • Working mum
  • Reward for working so hard
  • 5 minutes of happiness to them selves
  • Flake away
  • Break
  • Flake out
  • Accessories for girls
  • Always have one on you
  • Every thing chocolate
  • Trees
  • Houses etc
  • Turning into chocolate
About The Flake

Flake chocolate bar is a crumbly milk chocolate bar. The first flake was made in 1920 when an emplyee at one of the factorys liked the texture of the chocolate folding backwards. The Flake is produced in a factory in Ireland, Dublin.

Flake remained as two variants until 2000 when Cadbury launched Snow Flake, a white chocolate version of Flake. In 2003, Flake introduced a version coated in dipped chocolate, followed by a Praline coated version in 2004. Flake Moments were also introduced in 2004 with bite size pieces perfect for sharing.

The Flake Girl is an enduring sight of the large and the small screen. She was first advertised as a ‘Sixpence-worth of Heaven’ in the 1950s and 60s, known as one of the most sensual sights on TV for the era. Iconic Flake advertisements are well-known for their seductive undertones as the Flake Girl slowly unwraps and enjoys her ‘Flake moment’. The latest additions to the Flake Girl alumni are Australian model Alyssa Sutherland in 2007 and musician Joss Stone in 2008.

In June 2010, Flake launched a new TV ad. Gone are the familiar dulcet tones of the "Only the Crumbliest, Flakiest" jingle and the famous "Flake Girl" succumbing to the mouth-watering chocolate. Instead the beauty and delicacy of the Cadbury product take centre stage in the mesmerizing execution, represented simply by one girl and her yellow dress.

Taking three weeks to create with 200 metres of fabric, the yellow dress becomes an analogy for the beautiful folds of the Flake chocolate itself. As the model spins slowly, the ruffles of her yellow dress swirl around her and delicately envelope her.

History of Chocolate

Cocoa trees grew wild in the jungle, and they used them to make a spicy, rather bitter drink for special occasions. Centuries later the Aztec Empire fell, and the Conquistador Hernan Cortés brought cocoa beans back across the ocean to Spain.

Gradually chocolate spread across Europe – it was the fashionable choice of Kings and Queens, the nobility and the rich, just like caviar or champagne today. At the end of the 19th Century milk was added, and at last someone devised a way of making chocolate to eat as well as to drink. But it wasn’t until the 20th century that chocolate became affordable for everyone.

So chocolate has been on an epic journey, but its popularity is enduring: prized once by Aztec warriors and today by millions of people around the world.

Previous Flake Adverts

Once i had done some good background information into the Flake I decided to look into the advertisement of flake and research the old an new adverts from Flake chocolate bar.

Story Boards

Once we had all done background information on the chosen chocolate bar flake we had to all come up with a storyboard of an advert idea.


For my story board I have chosen yo go with the catch phrase or theme 'flake out'

  • My character who I have made a young man which was not the original Target audience, however I thought trying out a different age group my help or come in handy for the group when sharing ideas in the future.
  • The basic story is the young man goes through a very unfortunate day and runs into a whole cycle of bad luck when doing his normal day routine.
  • It comes to the end of the day when he is completely shattered and stressed from his day to find a flake bar on the table and he goes to his arm chair and forgets about his worry's and 'flakes out'.

Once we had all come up with our ideas we came up with the three best ideas we thought were suitable for the advert and started work on them
  • Story boards
  • Character designs
  • Posters
  • Color schemes
  • Animatics etc


Character Design

Animation and Sounds

Once we were ready to start the animating Claire and Rebecca took control of the 3D as they are a lot better and more confident using the programs. However I still played a part, suggesting and commenting on how to make the animation better. I was also enrolled to take care of sound effects and voice overs for the animation and began my research.

  • Plains
  • Crowds talking
  • Voice overs
  • Sound effects
All audios and sound effects are on a usb.


Wednesday, 2 February 2011