Starting my project I was advised to decide on a mode of documentary first but didn’t see that as the right path as it would not make sense to decide on creating an observational documentary on the adversities felt by a world war two veteran as that happened in the past and I would have access to any new footage. They are two topics that would not fit well together. So I decided on my topic first. My favourite films all follow one specific theme, adversity. So I knew that I wanted to focus on adversity and listed people in my family I could focus my project around. My dad and his Multiple Sclerosis, my uncle’s experiences at boarding school, my grandmother moving to England as a child with the church and my mother with her dyslexia. I decided on my mother’s dyslexia as the focus.
The project was targeted to fit into the poetic mode of documentary using aspects of observational documentary with the animation acting as a set for the audience to be the fly on the wall in. I think this was done in a spectacular fashion in my project.
When I set out to create this documentary I initially saw myself creating something much more extensive. In the first week of planning, I thought I’d be creating a 15-minute documentary focusing on the adversities my mother faced with dyslexia. Of course, the hope for an extended version was dashed when I realised how time-consuming animation is, thus turning a 15-minute project into a 3-minute project.
Additionally, I had hoped to have drastically different forms of animation visualising the narration from my mother depending on the type of story being told. Dark colours for negative stories, bright colours for the positive stories and a soft pallet for stories with neutral tones. Needless to say, I had hoped for the colour to be much more of a dynamic factor in my product. Instead, I went for a black and white scribbled art form simply due to the speed and effectiveness of the art style.
Preproduction was simple enough. I initially gave a list the topics of the project to the interviewee but told them that it would be loosely focused on the list and would be a conversation between the two of us. Since the set was my sitting room I knew the rough dimensions and what equipment I could and could not fit in there but made a floor plan none the less. I started the storyboards the same day of the shoot knowing what points I would be animating and had the storyboards for the entire interview done by the end of the week. Sadly I did not get to use the majority of the storyboards because of time restraints but the preproduction itself was very effective.
As mentioned before production had its setbacks. With time restraints I was not able to do have the project the length would have liked. By all means, I could have separated the animation across the 15-minute interview but I found that even after a minute of not having animation on screen people’s attention wavered greatly. The day of the shoot went very well due to the success of my pre-production. And editing went by without a problem. The major problem with production was that my animation workload was just too great for the time I had.
The product itself aligned with the proposal well apart from the length if I could have animated more it would have at least be suitable for a spotlight in BBC 1 radios website spotlight section as similar pieces can be found there. My aim was to create a compelling piece of media that was informative and allowed an empathetic window for the view into the life of someone with dyslexia. The quality of the project was made to a high standard and it was clear where my influences came from if you look into my research.
In conclusion, I believe that most aspects of my project were a success perhaps more research into the time it takes to animate would have aided in my expectations but preproduction production and post production all were a success. I’ll be cautious to do even further extensive research into production in my next production.