What is a story? How do you tell it in a logical, compelling way? What are the different components of it? How can audio and video add (or subtract from it)? These were all questions that I started to ponder when I joined DS106. I felt like I had a pretty good decent understanding of storytelling. I had a great storytelling role model in my dad so some may even say that I was pretty good at telling my own yarns. However, this class really pushed me to re-evaluate my definition of storytelling, the structure in which to tell a story and the technical vehicles I could use (most of which were totally foreign to me).
My inspiration for my final project came during Week 3 and 4. My final project is the coming of age short animated film about Calvin Font, a 12 (pt) year old who’s trying to find his place in the Word…I mean world. 🙂 In following the story spine, Calvin needs to write a paper for school about who he’s most like. He approaches his mom who decides to enlist the help of other family members to help Calvin find out. Calvin then starts on a journey across the world to learn more about his family. Throughout these encounters, Calvin learns a little more about his family…and ends up learning a lot more about himself. In drafting the story, I tried to incorporate some of the clues for a great for a story. I also developed based on one of my favorite books growing up, “Are you my mother?” And…since I was working on the project on Mother’s Day, I had to keep off of the moms top of mind. The title of the project came on a twist from the YouTube smash hit, “What does the fox say?” I thought the creative title would spark interest as suggested in DS106’s Blog like a Champ.
In crafting the story, I opted to use an animated movie as my canvas since I had started my DS106 journey analyzing an animated Pixar flick so I thought it was only fitting to return to my roots. Although I appreciate the importance of layering audio, I opted for music only to give it more of a Charley Chaplin-style B&W film. Plus, since the movie is about FONTS, I wanted the audience to pay attention to the subtle nuances between the font types rather than other outside audio. If not, the differences between the characters is hard to understand. The song selected was Kalimba by Mr. Scruff. The movie is about the adventures of Calvin Font so I thought it was fitting with a kind of upbeat but determined sound. Character inspiration came from an article on font types and what they say about you. In placing Calvin’s character, I always made sure he was looking to the right towards his new future with a better sense of belonging. Given some of the tool limitations, I was not able to explore more with the different axis or camera angles.
The short was pulled together using a web tool called Moovly. It is free software that allows users to create animated movies and presentations. Since I had pushed myself to use new tools throughout the semester, I decided to continue the trend. I went to the Moovly website, created an account and downloaded the software. When I had decided to make an animated video, I started with using Crazy Talk Animator but I found the software challenging to use (Note: I’m not technically savvy). Creating content with Moovly was very easy. They had an in-tool tutorial as well as some online videos that I watched before getting started. All of the images and animation options came from the Moovly library and were pre-loaded. They did have an option for me to import pictures but I elected not to. To create the video, I simply dragged and dropped the images. I could then resize, format and animate in a format very similar to working within PowerPoint. I could adjust the timing of the objects and animation very similar to working with Audacity. As the video grew in content, more and more frames with the images/animations were added in. All in all, I would DEFINITELY recommend the Moovly tool. It was really fun to create! Although this may not become an epic clip like Van Damme’s Volvo commercial, I hope you enjoy!