This week’s blog from the From Her Point of View programme features an introduction to visual storytelling and a run-down of animation techniques commonly used in film and TV. Catch up with Kerrie, one of the young women taking part in the training who is also acting as Press Agent for the films…
Week Six saw us ladies delve into the realms of visual storytelling and animation. As has been the awesome thing about this course, it’s given us the opportunity to learn so many new skills and once more I was a complete novice (been a bit of a habit this, eh?) to animation beyond appreciating the final product and not really knowing much about the depth of the process it takes to put one together.
First though, we began with visual storytelling. This is essentially about the choices the creative team make and techniques they use that allow them to tell their story and convey their message in the best possible way. For example, do they have dialogue? No dialogue? Music? Do scenes refer to earlier ones, or foreshadow later events?
Shot Choices will often be important to your storytelling and we focused on wide shots and close ups. We explored their significance to a film’s tone (for example, wide shots are useful for comedic scenes) and how such choices affect our reaction to the scene.
Films we looked at in relation to many of these techniques included: Braveheart, No Country For Old Men, Harold & Maude, Up, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. We also looked at a couple of commercials, including one for furniture that threw us all a total emotional curveball!
As an aspiring professional writer, I often find it difficult to think of my work in visual terms instead of words on a page. After this session though, I began to think that if I shift my focus and try to imagine these words on film and how certain “scenes” look rather than just read on the page, I might become a more rounded writer and better storyteller. I was even beginning to think I should try my hand at writing a screenplay, a desire I’d only briefly indulged during our screenwriting session a few weeks back. The session generated some lively discussion of some of our favourite techniques, directors and styles, and once more left me with a raft of works to check out, as it seems I have lived a very sheltered film viewing life to date!
BAFTA winning Bristol-based filmmaker and animator Emma Lazenby joined us a little later on in Thursday’s session, to give us a crash course introduction to animation. This included a little history and a run down of the types:
3D stop motion (everybody say: Wallace & Gromit!)
2D Computer cutout
We also had a practical where we got to try our hands at PIXELATION, which was great fun!
Sadly I was absent for Friday’s session, but team Black Cherry seemed to have a lot of fun experimenting, so I was informed 😉
Next time, it’s Art Department’s time to shine as we are joined by Carrie Love to talk us through Production design!
This programme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, with BFI’s Film Forever National Lottery funds.