So here is the finished Mazed animation - Elowen and the Bramble Bush. It still needs sound design by the client but we have completed are part of the project. This was a struggle to complete but I'm pleased with a number of elements of the animation - most particularly the character design. You can see my role in designing the characters here. The script we were given was very complex so I think it's a good achievement to have been able to condense it into a 90 second animation. One of the most important lessons I learnt from this project was to be more demanding and confident in my ideas due to my role as director.
I gave a presentation along with the rest of my team on the history and theory behind this animation, below are my slides and what I said from this presentation:
Our main influence for how to present the story we were given was the Bayeux tapestry. We developed this aesthetic style with Cornish motifs such as the Celtic borders you will see in the final piece. We also adapted it by using local colour schemes influenced by Bodmin moor.
A tapestry style meant we could use cut out animation which was quicker and simpler.
The style was simple enough to be appreciated on the small screen of the iPhone. The scrolling creates an interesting relationship between 11th C tapestries and modern iPhone scrolling.
Using scrolling would make the animation self-reflective, i.e. it would draw attention to the fact it was an animation which makes it interesting and more fun. It's also different to the typical Hollywood style of editing so our animation will be more unique and outstanding.
Scrolling presented a number of problems when I started storyboarding as I could make use of closeups and the characters had to moving constantly left to right. In the end we did not use scrolling except in one scene of the animation but the design elements still remain in the animation and give it a tapestry atmosphere.
As director I made the storyboards. Because we had only 90 seconds to portray a complex story I tried to make the most of misc-en-scene in order to subconsciously communicate plot to the audience. For example, in this scene the king is in the foreground so emphasis is placed on his angry reaction, the two important characters are central.
For this scene I changed the original storyboard to reflect the importance of the princess and prince by placing the in the center, it also creates a more dramatic and lasting ending.
Finally, this scene was again changed in the layout stage to give more information about the plot just by how the characters were placed in the scene. The main character Elowen is central so important, but her physical disconnection from her sister and dad reflect her emotional distance also. The king remains in the foreground and thus still and important character. I employed the rule of thirds throughout the storyboards.