Digital Me – Further Development

Since last week, I have made small developments to all three of my main pieces: the CV, the online portfolio and the PDF portfolio.

In the PDF portfolio, I have added in the text and the images to each of the project pages, although one or two are still missing that I want to add in. I have made sure that they are the same images used in my online portfolio and that the brief and solution are the same too. I have added in navigation buttons on every project so that you can flick through the projects using arrow buttons and also return back to the home page. After a tutorial, I have increased the text size by 1 or 2 points because it was suggested that it was perhaps just a little too small. At the the end of my portfolio, I have added an extra page which is a ‘Contact’ page and also has an ‘About Me’ paragraph, similar to the CV.

For the CV, I have added in work experience and also written the ‘About Me’ section. Like the PDF portfolio, I have developed my CV so that it is now interactive too. It has icons which link to my social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I decided to exclude Facebook because my account is a personal one and I think it is important to keep my CV purely professional and not mix up my personal life with work. I have also added a link to my online portfolio so that employers looking at my CV can get to my work with one easy click.

On my online portfolio, I have gone ahead and removed the ‘Home’ page as I decided that it was not needed – my online portfolio now opens simply with the text saying, “Hello and Welcome!…“. After originally arranging the images on each of the project pages one after each other in a straight line as individual images down the page. I have now arranged them in a more designed layout (image below: I have taken a screenshot from one of the project pages as an example). I have also spread ‘The Solution’ paragraph between these images because I felt that there was too much text to begin with at the top of each project.

screenshot - project layout.png

My next steps are to move on to beginning the Research and Development PDFs for my Subject projects: Persuasion, Penguin and Branding.

Client Meeting and Tutorial

We have one week left until we present our final, finished outcomes to our clients next Thursday 30th March.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my clients in which I showed them the stop-motion scenes that I had filmed so far over last weekend and have put together roughly in iMovie. Before actually showing my clients the animation so far, I had to explain what stop-motion was as they had not seen it before. I was unsure if they would like it beforehand because I was aware that it was in a different style to what they had asked for. Whereas the other members of my group had gone for a vector-style animation created on AfterEffects, my animation is a stop-motion which is very different. However, on showing both of the clients my animation so far, they really enjoyed watching it. They liked how the rough voiceover that I had produced so far was lighthearted and friendly, so not too serious and heavy. Rather than making the viewer scared of the food risks, it just makes them aware of them and that although they are serious, it’s okay if you know how to handle them and obviously, that’s what the video series that I am creating is here to help do. In the voiceover, I have lightened the topic by including short phrases, for example, one particular line in my script is: “…you are more at risk of getting food poisoning, but don’t panic – this is Steve, he’s here to help.” Here the ‘don’t panic‘ works to comfort the viewer, and then the introduction of a helpful character (‘Steve‘) adds to this. The clients admitted that they were at first unsure of the idea of using a character in my animation when I had previously told them this, because they knew from their market research that the viewers from Velindre Cancer Centre had not liked watching and listening to personal stories and actual people talking at them from on-screen. I was aware of this when I decided that I wanted to use a character to create a sense of journey, which is why I chose a stickman. On watching the video, the client agreed with me that my use of the character really worked and they liked how ‘Steve‘ was not human-like: his body (as well as the other stickmen in the animation) are made of single geometric shapes, he has no real facial features – no nose, no mouth – except for a pair of vertical lines for eyes. He is simply an illustration, so is more cartoon-like than human.

At the end of the meeting, I agreed with the client that for our presentation next Thursday, I would finish off the first video, “Food Wellbeing during Chemotherapy”, and have it perfected to present to them next Thursday. I also agreed that I would have all four storyboards finished too. This way it means I can concentrate on getting one video to an excellent standard, rather than having four completed to a rough and poor standard.

Below are a few screenshots taken from my stop-motion animation so far that I showed to my clients today:

Today I had a tutorial with Neil Angove who was really helpful to talk to after my client meeting yesterday, because he gave me several ideas to help improve my stop-motion. He noticed that there were a few long blank spaces in the video which had no visuals, just voiceover. This was because I had had to add in some time where the animated parts of the video had not been quite long enough to fit my voiceover. He said that I could think about my audience, such as viewers who could potentially be hard of hearing – I am going to back up my voiceover with on-screen text, which will also help to fill these blank spaces. Obviously it would better if my text was handwritten and part of the actual original stop-motion, but because this is already completed, I am going to have to add it using other software such as AfterEffects – I am going to attempt to make it as close to hand-written as possible though.

Ideation Stage Tutorial

This morning, my group had a tutorial with Ian in order to discuss our ideas so far and what the next stages for us were.

Although I do not yet have any proper visuals, I have been brainstorming a range of different ideas over the weekend and making notes on each to find which ones have the most promise and would work best for what I want and need to do. I do not want my video to be too serious. Because obviously cancer is so much of a serious issue already, I feel that any more deadpan-style information being give, would be almost scary and could frighten viewers off. I want my videos to be light-hearted and friendly, even though they are there to address a serious issue and people need to know this. Considering the time constraint we had, but wanting to do an animation rather than photographic film, I have decided to create a stop-motion film.

Looking back over my notes from our client meeting last week, I picked out a key bit of information that they had mentioned. They said that from their market research, in which they visited Velindre Cancer Centre and showed patients a range of existing campaigns and videos, they discovered that the viewers seemed to really engage with a sense of journey. I decided that I’d take this idea of a ‘journey’ and create a video which tells a story and has a narrative which the viewers can relate to. Deciding that I wanted to create a journey, my next step was to create a character to take this journey. I had to keep in mind that we only have about 4 weeks do create and finish 4 videos for our clients, so my character could not be too overly complicated. I have decided on a stickman.

After testing out a range of designs for my stick man character, including a variety of different hairstyles, in the end, I came back to one of my more simple stick man designs. I created some short strips to test out movements, such as walking.

My next step from here is to  write a script for each of the 4 videos and create a storyboard for each too. I am going to work on one at a time, starting with the top 10 food safety tips. By doing it this way, I will hopefully have a full script, list of scenes, and storyboard for at least one full film by next Tuesday 14th, because this is the day that we next meet our clients to show them how we are coming along with our ideas. As well as my written and drawn visuals, I hope to also have a very short moving image example that I will create on the iStopMotion software and machines that we have available to us in university, to show my clients so that they can get a better and clearer idea of what I am going for and what it will look like on-screen. In today’s tutorial, Ian suggested that before I begin the actually making of the video, that I have a recorded version of my voiceover script, so that I can then make my video around it – this means that I will be able to see where each bit of animation needs to go and also how long each part needs to be, depending on the voiceover length and timing. The voiceover will act by filling in any gaps in the visuals of my film, audibly – this means that I can afford to miss out some details in my visuals as the voiceover can make up for it – this will be necessary, again, because of our time constraints.

For our coming client meeting, as well as individual ideas, we also intend to have a mini-exhibition set up as a group to display a range of campaign examples all based around our given ‘side-topic’ of racism. We have decided that we are going to display examples of anti-racism campaigns, grouped by theme. For example, wit, aggression, emotive and informative. We will show a range of different styles of campaign, for example, posters, videos. We are hoping to relate our display to our clients by showing them how we feel that a theme of aggression would not work for their brief, whereas a light-hearted form of wit, would. After showing our exhibition, we will then go into individually showing our ideas and how we are developing them.

First Client Meeting

After contacting our clients, today we had a meeting with them to introduce ourselves and to talk over their brief.

After our first tutorial on Tuesday, Ian suggested that rather than just send a list of questions to our clients over email, that we reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in actually meeting us face to face to have a proper discussion. The same day, I sent our clients an email on behalf of myself and the rest of the Food Safety group. They quickly replied, seeming keen to meet up, and arranged a meeting almost immediately, which was of course, great for all of us.

Fortunately, our clients are two members of the health science staff that work on Llandaff campus at Cardiff Met, which certainly makes our lives easier when it comes to meeting with them – we barely had to step outside the front door. After going through the brief that we had been given in advance, we picked out any information that we felt might be useful but wasn’t included in the brief. We went in prepared with several questions that we wanted to ask them based on this. The first and foremost thing that we wanted to do was to ask for the booklet mentioned in the brief that contains all of the information. The other questions included: how many videos were they wanting and how long would they want each one to be; where would the finished videos be shown and displayed; is the target audience specifically just for the Velindre Cancer Centre or a more wide audience; do the videos need branding, for example, to Cardiff Met or Velindre Cancer Centre.

Today’s meeting was really helpful and definitely worthwhile – we gathered plenty of useful information from them. On receiving the current information booklet that they had, we all realised that they were asking for quite a lot from us considering the time constraint we have – the information booklet was bigger than I expected and was full to the rim with information. The booklet was broken down into six main sections, with separate ‘top tips’ sections on top – the client’s seemed to want everything included and explained that they want a separate video for each section. Unfortunately, we had to admit to them that this big of a request was simply not possible for us to undertake with only 4 weeks to create a finished outcome. We managed to meet half-way, agreeing to make them 4 very short videos, no longer than 1.5 minutes each. To reach this conclusion, we combined and condensed the existing sections, and were left with the following four:

  • General and background information – why there’s a need for food safety for the patients
  • Top 10 tips on food safety
  • The risked foods and the alternatives for them
  • Top 10 tips on nutritional advice

Research Stage Tutorial

Today was our first tutorial during this project, to talk about our research so far.

Our group’s tutorial today was with Ian Weir. We showed the research that we had collected so far, including our creative briefs at the stage that they’re currently at. My research included what the food safety risks are for cancer patients and what some of the foods are that they should avoid. I also looked into who both, the Velindre Cancer Centre and ZERO2FIVE are, and what they do.

As a group, we made a list of questions that we had put together for the client – the questions covered what we found was missing from the brief that we believe would be useful to know. The questions included:

  • Ask for the booklet.
  • How long a video would you consider suitable?
  • Where will the videos be shown? – on your website? on social media? etc.
  • Is our target audience purely those who visit and are caregivers to patients at the Velindre Cancer Cancer, or is it a wider audience?
  • When should we expect to receive the nutrition and food safety messages for the video from the researchers at ZERO2FIVE?
  • How many videos do you want in the series?
  • Is there a brand? – for example, Cardiff Met or Velindre Cancer Centre?

After showing Ian the questions that we intended to email through to our clients, Ian suggested, why not meet them? – after all, they are located literally on the university campus. Ian also made clear that he personally felt that, the clients were possibly asking for and expecting a bit too much by asking for a series of videos – he suggested that just one single video would be more realistic considering the time constraints that we have. The clients, not being designers themselves, would most likely have very little, if any, knowledge of how to make a video and how long the video-making process takes. We will need to see if we can come to a compromise with the clients to create a more doable outcome for them.

From here, we plan to contact the clients in order to ask if we can meet up to introduce ourselves and talk over the brief with them.


Significance of Info – Development

Today I had an individual tutorial with David to show him what progress I have made with my concepts up to this point.

Since our last tutorial, I had mocked up a rough, short film using iMovie, just to act as a taster of what the finished film could look like. The film is meant to a documentary-style study of Donald Trump’s body language.

After watching  lots and lots of Trump’s speeches, I chose three speeches from three different time periods of his journey to presidency to analyse more thoroughly. The three speeches that I analysed were:

  • Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement: 16th June 2015
  • Donald Trump Rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona: 19th March 2016
  • Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address: 20th January 2017

Using four of what I had found to be Trump’s most commonly used gestures, I tallied how many times each gesture was carried out throughout each speech. The four gestures are:

  • ‘OK sign’/’Air pinch’
  • ‘The point’
  • ‘The stop and slice’
  • ‘Open palms’/’The Wall’

I put the tallies into a bar charts, but due to the speeches being different lengths, meaning obviously, the longer speech would have more gestures, it would make it unfair if I were to use a pure straight count. Because of this, I converted the data into pie charts which arrange the data by percentage instead, making it fair. From the charts, I was able to tell which gestures were his most popular, but more interestingly, I was able to analyse the change of his gesture-use over the years.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 17.53.36.png

I have written out a full script of what I want to be said in the voiceover for the ‘Trump documentary’. I was struggling to start the film image-wise, so rather than start from the introduction, I went straight into creating the middle sections of it and then would work outwards – this way has seemed to work well so far because I can now see what the film will more or less look like and where I need to go from here. From looking at so many of Trump’s speeches, I have taken hundreds of screenshots of his gestures, so I started by simply inserting them in order, each for about 0.3 seconds each – when the film is played, it flashes through the images, much like a stop motion. Over the flashing images, I added a few pieces of short voiceover from my script, just to test out my voice and see how it sounded.

I showed several of my peers my short rough film so far, and they thought it was hilarious how posh I sounded in my voiceover, like a weather girl – the voiceover sounded nothing like my normal speaking voice and I think they were finding it hard to believe that it was actually me at all. The only worry they had was that I sounded almost too posh; all emotion from my voice seemed to have disappeared.

My tutorial with David:

When I showed David the video in my tutorial, although the video itself was nothing much yet, he said the documentary style worked well. Like my peers, he thought the voiceover that I had done was very amusing. He pointed out that I sounded like a female David Attenborough doing a wild life documentary. On saying this, he then went on to say, that this was actually what made it great – it just needs a little more sarcasm in the voice to make it work.

After my tutorial with David, I am going to continue with the documentary-style film on ‘How to speak Trump’, however I am going to really milk the David Attenborough wildlife idea, as I feel that this would work as fantastic irony and could create a strong comedic effect for the film – which is what it needs at this point, considering my aim was to make the theme light-hearted and humorous.

Significance of Info – Initial Ideas and Visuals

After our first group tutorials on Tuesday, in which we showed our initial concepts and research, today we presented and got critiqued on our first visuals of our ideas.

Earlier on in the week, I had several ideas, all with a running theme of one character: Donald Trump. It was clear from the beginning that ‘he’ was the direction that I wanted to take this project in. Some of my initial ideas included:

  • Trump vs. Obama (in which I would look at what both did, each in their first week of presidency)
  • Trump’s first week of Presidency (full timeline included)
  • Trump’s Quotes (focusing on the most outrageous)
  • A Trump Timeline (from his DOB to presidency)

Since my first tutorial on Tuesday, although I am sticking with Mr Donald Trump, my idea has evolved.

It was great seeing all sorts of different ideas and visuals from my peers today – it was really interesting seeing everybody’s visual concepts. I felt that mine was very different and at first was quite unsure because of this. However, after presenting my Donald Trump idea and visuals so far – I felt much more confident with where I was going to head next, as I received plenty of positive feedback with several further ideas and developments suggested as well.

There was a lot of very serious issues being looked at among the group, such as woman’s rights, protesting, black killings, environmental issues, etc, and although mine is a rather serious issue as well – being Donald Trump – I have taken a more light-hearted, humorous approach towards the topic. I have decided on taking this approach because I feel that the issue is already actually rather frightening, especially now that Trump is officially the President of the United States, so instead of adding to this already existing worldwide fear, I decided to take a more cheery and comical direction with the matter.

I have named my project: How to speak Donald Trump.

I have looked at and really analysed Trump’s behavioural traits, his speech and hugely, his hand gestures and movements. I have had to watch endless amounts of his speeches, particularly his presidential rally that he gave across the whole of the US, and which ran throughout both 2015 and 2016 – and although I am sick of hearing his ‘stupid’ raving about how he’s going to “make America great again”, I am beginning to understand just how important his traits and habits are and have been for him throughout his campaign – the way in which he speaks and acts so energetically, excitably and enthusiastically, manages to really tap a vein of nationalism among Americans.

Although I really still don’t like the guy and I really can’t believe that I’m actually saying this, but after all of my speech analysing, it’s hard not to be almost inspired by him, or his aura at very least. I can just about see and understand how and why all of his American supporters have been brainwashed by him.