An Introduction to Annette Kaufman
Motion / Storytelling / Research
For my final project in my "Time, Motion, and Communication" course with Dan Boyarski, we were given a few prompts as suggestions but were told to use this as an opportunity to experiment. I chose the "Introduction" prompt and made a video that is a story about my Grandma Annette.
I had a little less than a month to make this.
The final piece is a motion graphics video about the early part of her life. The process was challenging, but also a labor of love.
This project was selected to be in the AIGA PGH365 2017 Design Competition gallery.
An introduction to my grandmother, someone I truly look up to. The emphasis is on the early part of her life–things that happened before I was born, that I have only heard through stories about her.
Please click here to see my full process documentation.
For motion graphics, I always find I work best when I figure out my audio or script first. It helps a lot with timing, in my opinion. So my first step to this project was writing the script.
For the story, I could not just look up facts online. I talked to my grandmother, father, uncle, and cousin to learn different things and stories. I also used memories that I had gathered over the years. A challenge I faced was putting this all together into a concise story that represented my grandmother correctly. There were so many great things I could tell about her life, but I chose to focus on the early part since that is the part I've heard the most stories about.I was able to tie in some of her phrases. I sent the script to my dad and uncle to check for accuracy. I later recorded it in a sound booth on campus and matched it with a song.
My main source of inspiration was a video I watched about Coco Chanel. I also took inspiration from my Grandma's style: her favorite color, blue, and patterns that remind me of her. Blue is also a color that represents our Jewish culture, which is brought up a lot in the story. My only source imagery were a few family photos, so I supplemented this with images I found online. The focus of my video is on the young adult coming-of-age time of my grandmother's life which took place in the 40s-50s. Therefore, I blended photos from this period with the ones I had from my grandmother. I added blue accents to tie everything together and make the photographs come to life.
The photographic characters of the story move like paper dolls as they act out the stories that I have only heard through family members.
Proof of Concept
To see if the visual style would work, I created a short video animating a few lines from the script. I was excited that it worked and continued with the idea.
For this style of animation, I started with crafting my script through talking to family members and finding a story. I then created a very in-depth storyboard and set it to the words to show how they would appear. So much of the animation is just the way the assets and characters appear on the stage. So this part of the process was very important.