1) How did thinking in terms of shots and scenes influence your approach to communicating your design concept?
By thinking in terms of shots, I was able to more clearly identify the purpose of each shot. Rather than trying to include too many concepts for a given shot, shots enable me to think “what is the purpose of this shot?”, “who is this shot about?”, “what are they doing?”, “where are they doing it?” and when in the sequence?. It also enabled me to break a narrative down into it’s core simple elements, and ask – “what are the minimum set of scenes I need to effectively, engagingly and clearly communicate an idea?”. By breaking it down, I was also able to more clearly identify the objective of each scene, and identify a single camera technique to *most effectively* communicate that idea.
2) What motivated your choice of storyline structure? Can you think of an exemplar from a film that uses the same structure?
I was motivated by traditional short films – setting introductory scenes to create context, but not filling in details as to what the toy bear actually did, leaving these answers for later in the scene to create suspense, to keep the viewer engaged and wondering what the purpose of the bear is and why it’s the centre of attention. The answer to this comes mid way though the narrative. One example of this is in Ex Machina – where the cause of the blackouts is not known. In combination with the foreboding sounds, camera angles, lighting and general aesthetic, the effect this unknown creates is significant. It creates an emotion within the viewer, that helps reinforce the directors desire to make the sense of unknown resonate within the viewer and stand out as a key theme. This effect will be utilised to a much softer degree in our film – we still want to create curiosity, but NOT use fear as the emotional stimulant, we’d rather promote curiosity by allowing the viewer to appreciate the *CHILDS* curiosity in the toy – even the Child doesn’t know what its for in early stages or how it works, the viewer discovers the toy alongside the child.
3) What choices did you make about audience and style? Were they related?
Audience choices involved people who are a stakeholder of our project group’s design solution. This includes psychologists, children, parents and teachers. Any user who has the potential to interact with the system, and has some interest in being informed about it. Stylistic choices involved choosing locations that are familiar to these stakeholders, using gentle camera movements to convey peace – as our solution is in the therapy space we want our camera movements and vibe created from this film to be representative and appropriate for a therapeutic environment. Additionally, we do not want to scare or frighten viewers in terms of the unknown (the unknown being what the bear’s actual purpose is), we want the atmosphere to be one of curiosity and safety. Therefore, the style choices are definitely related to the viewer, we are not producing a thriller or action movie, we’re aiming to educate and promote this through creating curiosity in the viewer, via the childs curiosity in the bear. To establish this curiosity we need to create a calming atmosphere, in terms of camera shot choice, camera movement choice, and camera environment (context) choice. Additionally, this interest could come in the form of shots and music to build rapport with the child, have them convey emotions for which the viewer feels sorry for them (complication), and then follow on through the narrative (suspense) to the solution where the bear improves the condition of the child. A viewer who can empathise with this scenario is more likely to engage, therefore audience type is a crucial factor. It’s just like “who are we designing for?” and “what are their needs?” Our solution space in this case is the video, and therefore it’s style needs to satisfy the needs and wants audience (like how we satisfy the needs of personas).