Design Brief 9/24/08

26 09 2008

1.    Current thesis concept

A.    My current thesis concept is to create a 3D animated short based on the subject of Gentrification.

B.    This concept is derived from my passions of animated films and community outreach.  The history of gentrification in New York City neighborhoods is seemly endless and recurrent. Thus making my target audience a broad spectrum of avid film buffs and the truth New Yorkers. The importance of this concept in regard to others is the relatable notion of community.  Community is a word that everyone can interpret and realize for myself.  Gentrification is about community, money and political agendas.

2.   Experiments and Research Objective
A.    My first thoughts about gentrification dealt with race relations.  Films like Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and “Flag Wars” a documentary produced by P.O.V had become my precedents.  These precedents made me reflect on the script and story plot of my animation process. I decided to create a treatment and test it with a mixed demographic.  The group would consist of two males, four females all ranging in age and ethnicity.

B.    The goal of this experiment was the development of a script that would translate clearly with a demographic of different people.  This is very important because my target audience is also a diverse  population.

3. Design Questions
A.  The questions asked in this process were of my treatments appropriateness and how it translated to reader?

4. Experiment and research description

A.    After posting the treatment online and sending links to my testers. My experiment had taken full flight and development.  The treatment was regarded as clear, but some testers thought the characters needed  development. Questions of why cockroaches as the main characters? What is the significance of a Monarchy to represent order?
B.    The female readers wanted to know more about the princess and the B character. Giving some creative feedback with plot points, name suggestions and character traits. My male reader wanted to known more about the background story and it’s relevance to the gentrification.
C.    The effect of this experiment led to the revision of the treatment and full development of the current script.

5.  Results and Conclusions

A.   The question of the script’s appropriateness was confirmed. It translated pretty clearly and the user gave excellent feedback. The first character designs didn’t really translate as well.  The designs were thought of as generic and very general.
B. The qualitative approach made for this experiment made for a better analysis.  My anticipation was that the treatment needed improvement and wanted to confirm this by letting others read it.  The feedback I received was what I anticipated very helpful.
C.  New questions that arose from users about my story idea after this prototype. Who is ruling Patiyala if the princess refuses to? Is there any significance to the name “Genie”?  You’ve got a lot of back-story; how much are you going to show onscreen if any at all? Is this information just going to be relayed by a character through speech or are you going to show a montage of sorts?
D.  The results of my prototype impacted my production decisions. I want to develop the story more adamantly and begin the stages of a animatic.
Animatics are important because there you can visually make smart decisions about ideas.
E.   My thesis concept hasn’t changed from it’s original concept of an animation.  This prototype was about testing with an audience from the same demographic.  I wanted to analyze the concepts to develop and the concepts which were not effective.

6.    Next Steps

A.    The next question to address is the visual feel of this project.  How is this world going to look? Will the user tests results in two very different interpretations of Wellstone’s Utopia?  Can I pull off a script that is action based instead of being very dialogue driven?
B.    I’m definitely on the right to creating a unique experience.   All of my testing has been very helpful and constructive.   Good references were given to help organize my process.  I examine everything user wrote down and researched their criticisms with objectivity.

7.    Other sources consulted

Delirious New York – A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan
By Rem Koolhaas, published 1978

Al Dente (animation)
Directed by Jean-François Barthélémy, created 2008

Waking Life (film)
Directed by Richard Linklater, created 2001

Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community
By Steven Gregory, published by Princeton University Press, 1998

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