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