Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Live Brief: Restorative Justice

Our live brief on the course for this semester involves working with RJ Working to create a short animated clip that clearly explains the concept of Restorative Justice and how it can benefit both the victim and offender.
To begin the project I attended a workshop which helped to explain to me what Restorative Justice actually was, our class also attended a theatrical production which helped our understanding even more.
In a nutshell Restorative Justice is when an offender and a victim (or victim's family) meet after the incident has taken place, in a secure and safe manner, to talk and express themselves to one another. It can help provide each party with a chance to say how they feel about the incident, to get answers or to understand each other as humans. It's an emotional process and has varying results for each individual case  - although has been proven to lower re-offending rates and provide satisfactory results for the majority of victims involved.

Our brief to explain this all in a clear, engaging and concise way. We've had a week so far on this project to start developing our ideas and put them down on paper. Currently I am working as an individual but I would like to start getting a team of people together to help me take the idea further - I had a positive response from presenting my concepts below to the class which is encouraging.


Central to my idea is these characters filled with 'liquid emotions'. I've had this concept for a while, inspired by feeling sad and close to tears - as if the tears fill me up and need to spill out. The emotions of the characters can be shown by: 
1) the colour of the water 
2) the height of the water - how strong and overwhelming the feelings are
3) the turbulence of the water


Here's an example of how the liquid emotions work. The victim tries to calm their fraught feelings by having a cup of tea, although it works to some extent it is only temporary as an everyday occurrence such as the phone ringing disrupts them again. 


These are my initial notes on how the story of the clip might go. I highlight 5 main 'chapters' and think about how the visuals change in each chapter to reflect what is emotionally happening. The incident causes the background to go black and hence make the coloured emotions more vivid, here the emotions are also more disrupted and don't settle to calm very easily. The meeting sees both the victim and offender experience huge turbulence and colour changes, which spill over from their bodies and are projected all around them as they finally get the chance to express how they are feeling. After the meeting, emotions are more calm but also the world is slightly coloured to show they understand that life is not black and white.


Here is an example of how the victim's liquid emotions react and settle BEFORE the incident by and everyday occurrence such as catching the bus.

Then there is the incident. The victim and offender's emotions are permanently disrupted at this point and new colours (emotions) are introduced. The background becomes black which makes the emotions more vivid and consuming.


Here is the victim catching the bus AFTER the incident. Their reactions do no settle - they are on edge and easily upset or reminded of the incident.


During the period after the incident, I can show how others' emotions are affected by the victim's presence - there is a ripple effect. When close to the victim they are disrupted, but by staying away they can keep their liquid calm. You can see the victim is agitated and worried by the turbulence, height and colour of their liquid emotions.


This concept is unfinished. I want to introduce a lot more colour into it to show how emotional and mixed-up the MEETING will be. This will be a very colurful scene where each character expresses their emotions with big liquid storms and projections - very messy but ultimately it allows them to say everything they need say (the good and the bad, negative and positive).


The last piece of concept I did is of AFTER THE MEETING. It needs some more work as I haven't had time to think much about the resolution. The victim's emotions are once again able to react and then settle, and also they are much calmer. The world is not black anymore, but has subtle colour to show they are understand life is not black and white. I think it is useful to have the victim take the bus pre-incident, post-incident and post-meeting to show how living has changed for them - the world is the same but they perceive it and react to it differently each time.

I'm pleased with my initial idea and am keen to develop it further, the next step is to get a team to help and perhaps start looking at story / plot (maybe change the order so that incident occurs first).


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