Unfortunately, the 360MC Vimeo group is currently not enabling anyway to add their videos. But I will keep trying.
My final media product will be a Claymation animation, called ‘The Pain to be Thin’. It is a dark and meaningful short film, based on an innocent teenage girl called Lucy. After being bullied at school for her appearance, the film shows her deterioration when she stops eating, starts excessively exercising and making herself vomit.
I decided I wanted to collaborate with Kelly as we have worked together before on projects, so trust each other that the animation will be our best work. Also stop motion animation is very time consuming so a partnership is overall better for this project. Luckily, we both had the same type of ideas, we wanted to same theme, something meaningful, yet quite dark and perverse. Our film will not include any dialog. We thought the audience would connect more to the character if they have to watch every emotion she makes, the props in the background and the actions they are taking. Having no dialog is quite risky, as if we do not tell the story through the characters emotion, then the audience won’t be able to follow the story. We obviously don’t want this to happen. Therefore, Kelly and I will take great care into being sure we are telling the narrative as best we can through everything accept dialog.
The main aim for our short film animation is to raise awareness about eating disorders, primarily anorexia. After the research we have carried out, we know that many people have a general idea about the disorder, but do not entirely know about the symptoms, effects emotionally and physically, the causes and over to overcome the disorder. We will be indirectly asking the audience, ‘How much do you really know about eating disorders?’ We want them to question themselves; do they know someone with these symptoms? Have they just overlooked it? We intent for our audience to think about anyone they may know who has been acting similar to our character Lucy. Our aim for the film is to help as many people as possible, so getting our audience to associate what they have just seen, with their own lives and their own friends and family, is the first step into making a difference.
The Primary research I have carried out includes; watching films, TV series and documentaries surrounding the topic of eating disorders. The documentaries primarily helped, as the told the real life stories of teenage girls and boy with eating disorders. Although some of them were hard to watch, due to their emotion and truthfulness, I will be using the passion I perceived from them and inject it into my own film. As well as researching about the condition itself and Media that is already produced, I have been researching ‘How To’ videos online to help with my animation skills. I already know the basics of stop motion animation, but my research has taught me tricks and shortcuts to help produce this film not only within the schedule, but also to a professional manor. Furthermore, I have also been researching shorts and full length films which also have no dialog. This films include ‘All Is Lost’ and ‘The Artist’. Although so far I have only watched two, I believe I have already gain knowledge and inspiration about how to shoot a no dialog film, while also being able to capture the audiences imagination and use visuals to tell the narrative.
Kelly and I will be carrying out some secondary research by going to meet with a 25-year-old girl, who suffered from anorexia between the ages of 14 and 21. Although she is still recovering, she is happy to tell us about her experience suffering from the eating disorder. From this, we will be hoping to gain some real emotion from her struggle, which we can invest in our character. We have also contacted other suffers from the forums researched, but they are yet to reply. By talking to as many people who have already had the illness, or currently still suffering, we hope to widen our knowledge of the eating disorder to confirm our research and show the true battle with anorexia.
After discussing the type of production we would like to produce, Kelly and I realised we had similar interests in creating a meaningful piece, which could touch the audiences emotion and make a difference in the world today. We both agreed we didn’t want to just to create a typical fictional love story, which wouldn’t raise awareness for a particular cause or help people in any way.
We aim to explore the issues associated with anorexia. Not only for the sufferer, but for their friends and family too. Our topic fits into the current media environment, alongside films and TV series such as; ‘Supersize Vs. Super Skinny’, ‘True Life: I Have An Eating Disorder’, ‘Dying To Be Perfect’ and ‘Sharing The Secret’. These shows and films are either about anorexia or eating disorders in general. Watching these has shown me how to show the in-depth effects of anorexia, without being distasteful. Furthermore, I have found that watching these shows, tells me what media is already been produced involving my topic, as well as inspiring me to compose mine to be even better. So I know what storylines have already been shared, so I can go for something different. I also know that there are no professional stop motion animations that have been made around my topic, so there is a gap in the market for my Media Product.
This project needs to be made now, as the number of deaths caused by Anorexia is increasing each year. ‘The Eating Disorders Association estimates that about 165,000 people in the UK have eating disorders with 10% dying as a result, but experts believe it could be higher’ (BBC News, 1999). Girls are feeling more body conscious due to how their friends are pressuring to diet alongside them, the skinny celebrities they see on their computer screens and things that may have affected them in their childhood. Although the exact causes of the eating disorder are unknown, my research tells me that these are some of the main causes include; bullying, their parents splitting up, someone passing or simply that it could run in the family. ‘Many people who develop anorexia share certain personality and behavioural traits that may make them more likely to develop the condition’ (NHS, 2013). Not only does ‘The Pain to be Thin’ need to be made for teenagers, but it also needs to be made for the parents and the older generation, for educational purposes. We hope that the parents will empathise with the film, so their knowledge of the disorder increases. We want them to look out for the symptoms of an eating disorder within their child and their other young family members. The film will tap into the current trends of celebrity culture and issues in our generation with girls thinking they have to be skinny to fit in.
Our work has progressed so far by writing a treatment, shot list, a strict shooting schedule, created floor plans for the sets and buying items we will need to create the sets, props and characters. I am happy with the progress Kelly and I have made so far, I think that potentially we could be more ahead, but I’m not worried and think we can stick to our schedule till shooting. The next step in our pre production stages will be writing a script and creating a storyboard. It will be important to write a script for our film, it will be important write a detailed script so we can follow it during shooting to make sure we get each scene needed. Also we will draw up a storyboard, which will be our guide during the days of shooting, to know how each shot should look, what should be in the shot and it’s duration. Furthermore, we will also complete some screen tests during our practice runs before shooting. These pre production elements are keys to keeping us organised and keep to our professionalism.
BBC News. (1999). Health Eating disorders factfile . Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/medical_notes/187517.stm. Last accessed 20/01/2015.
NHS. (2013). Causes of anorexia. Available: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Anorexia-nervosa/pages/causes.aspx. Last accessed 20/01/2015
We have been contacting lecturers and students from the product design region, to potentially have a lesson in clay making. We want our characters to look as real and professional as we can, so a lesson in Claymation will really help when it comes to making our characters.
Our film will have quite a dark and gloomy tone to it. Although at the beginning it will start bright and happy, when you see her deterioration, the lighting will change to create an aphotic atmosphere. The look of our film will change as Lucy deteriorates, however the end will be brighter and more vivid.
I have inspiration for my film from sources such as Disneys Pixar. Pixar was founded in 1986, founded by Edwin Catmull and each one of the fourteen feature films they have produced, each one gains a higher audience rating then the last. Their films range from ‘feel good’ to ’emotional’ and cover many different subject matters.
We will be using our creative skills to design a typical teenage girls bedroom. We will be concentrating on the props Lucy has in her bedroom, as it will be these that help tell the story. These props will include posters on the wall of ‘skinny models’ and ‘keep fit’ posters. She will so keep a large mirror and exercise equipment in her bedroom, which she will look into every day and use the equipment to excessively exercise.
We will be using various camera shots and lighting to create the mood during our film. For example, we will use different depths of field to show our protagonist and the props or other characters in the background, shots like these will help tell our story. Also gloomy and shadowed lighting will help tell the audience about her dark mood. We will start the film using well light shots, but as time goes on and she deteriorates, the lighting will also change to go duller. This will help tell the audience how they should be feeling. We also plan to do this with the music. It will start quite joyful, and then turn jumpy and sad towards the end.
We are going to be shooting in 20 frames per second. This will be a total of 3,600 shots for a three-minute film. Shooting using 20 frames per second means we will need to shot a minimum of 257 shots per day. Kelly and I have already agreed, that the best way to produce our film would be to take turns with filming. For half a day, one of us will be moving the clay characters and props while the other person shoots, and then swap around half way through the day. This way, we would be producing the best piece of work we can, as neither of us would get bored or tired. Likewise, we will both be having the same amount of input and sharing responsibilities.
We are planning to edit on Premiere, as this is the software we work best on, however this may change later on in the pre production stages, depending if we were to make any changes in the way we are shooting. We are planning some test shoots the week before our scheduled shoot, therefore it will be determined at that point if Premiere is our definite editing software.
The core target audience for ‘The Pain to be Thin’ is young teenage girls, specifically ages between 12 and 19. We’re going to aim to this group in particular, as Kelly and I predict that young girls who are going through similar experiences, will connect emotionally to the main character or if the viewer knows another person who is going through these experiences, it will help them help that person. Furthermore, it will also raise awareness to teenage girls about the eating disorder and mental health condition.
Our secondary target audience is the parents of these young girls. Our research has told us that, in many cases, the parents do not understand the disorder. If their child stops eating, they think they’re showing off or craving attention, so they try force their child to eat. This makes the sufferer worse. If the parents and older generation have a greater knowledge about the condition, they will know what to look out for in the future and try stop it from happening in the first place.
We will be finding our audience by promoting our film on the eating disorder forums and social networking sites we researched. The film will be free to watch by everyone; therefore we will be distributing it to social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, Newspapers, Magazines, Schools, Colleges and Universities. We will email the department in charge of promotions and advertisement in each of these sectors, to ask them to post our trailer of their websites and make their viewers aware of our film. I am certain we will find our audience this way, as also all teenage girls are on social media, reading magazines and are in education to see our promotions. I am also trusting that the girls who view the film, will also tell and show it to their parents, who will tell other parents, etc. Also parents will see it in Newspapers and Magazines, as well as the social networking sites, if they use them.
Our film isn’t for the audience’s pleasure or entertainment, but to send a message to the people unaware of the eating disorder. Anorexia is an issue in most countries across the country, especially the UK and America. This is why Kelly and I have decided to make our film accessible to everyone around the country, free of charge. By doing this, we hope our film will go international and connect to a wider audience. We will be relying on donations from members of the public to help towards to the cost of filming as well as for promotional uses once filming is completed.
The press will want to write about my project, as it is different to anything else in the media environment today. They will potentially be writing about the impact our film has made on the audience. If they were to write articles about me, I am hoping it would be able my passion for the topic and my hope it will be watched internationally, to help people with the illness. In recent years, there have been partitions in the news to stop the size zero models; so far this hasn’t entirely made much of a difference. However, I think our approach will grab the audience’s attention, by capturing them emotionally.
‘The Pain to be Thin’ will be different and original as there is not a known film out there like this. I evident this in the research I have undertaken. Our film is an educational stop motion animation, which is created to make a difference and raise awareness about Anorexia. There are many films and TV series, which are fictional, stories about anorexia, but none are like our idea. Documentaries are usually made to raise awareness about a certain topic, however most of the ones I have watched are similar to each other, we hope ours will stand out from the rest.
Kelly and I have created a strict schedule, covering what we will be doing each day until the first filming day, what will happen each day of filming, minimum number of shots each day to stay on target and how long the post production and editing will take. We have tried to be as realist as possible, although due to previous experience, we know sometimes there are last minute changes which could slightly change our schedule, however we will try our best to work around any hiccups which may occur to stay on schedule.
We have already started to order and purchase the goods we will need to create our sets and characters. We have found that Ebay is the cheapest for our products, however it is slightly risky, as we don’t know 100% what we will be getting and what it will look like.
The budget for our film will be £300. We have logically worked out the average prices of what we will be able to spend to make our film the best it can be. This price will cover the costs of;
- Wooden mannequins x3 (Ebay) – £16.40
- Character Clothes – £15
- Facial features (eyes) (Amazon) – £1.33
- Set props (bed, table, mirror, desk, chairs, carpet, wallpaper etc.) – £50
- Plasticine – £30
- Clay Sculpting Tools (Amazon) – £2.45
- Poster Printing – £40
- Software – £30
If there is money left over at the end of filming, we will use this money to cover the cost of festival entry as Kelly and I are very ambitious and think our film will make a great impact; therefore we will be entering into as many film festivals as we can. We will still keep fundraising and asking for donations throughout the filming and post-production of the film. We have already started to order and purchase the goods we will need to create our sets and characters. We have found that Ebay is the cheapest for our products, however it is slightly risky, as we don’t know 100% what we will be getting and what it will look like. We will not be cutting any corners with the quality of the goods we buy; however if we are able to gain items for me, this will be in our favor.
We will be doing some basic fundraising for our project, to help fund for our set, props, clay etc. This will include a bake sale, bagging at the supermarket and a raffle. We will also be setting up an ‘Indiegogo’ page where our friends, family and others supporting the film will be able to donate towards our project. We will be posting the link to the donation page on the films Facebook page, our personal social networking pages and on forums for the eating disorder.
I believe I am the right person to be making this film, as I am extremely passionate about raising awareness for Anorexia and bullying. They are both awful issues which affect a lot of people each year and that number is rising. Due to my passionate connection with the film, I will do my best to portray the issues in the right way, for the audience to connect with them emotionally and think about people they may know going through them. I also think I am the right person to make this film, as I believe I have creative skills to keep the audience interested throughout the film and keep them wanting more. I also have previous knowledge of animation, so I will be using this knowledge to create it as best I can and tell the story well. I will be using this past experience to make sure to production runs smoothly.
Kelly and I plan to make our own sound effects for the film. This includes eating noises, vomiting, crying etc. By creating these ourselves, we will truly be able to get the sounds we want, get them instantly and we will have money within the budget so we wouldn’t have to pay for them. Nearly the time of shooting, we plan to contact music students to see if it is possible to collaborate with them. By contacting them, we will be creating a unique, copyright free piece of music. We will tell them what our film is about, tell when the type of music we would lie and give them our script and see what they can come up with. We will either offer them payment for their time and creativity or offer them our help if they ever need it in the future. Although this is the easier route to take, it will also mean that we won’t have much control over what they do, which means it could be a waste of valuable time if they create something which isn’t quite right.
As a Media Producer, I have a duty of care to protect the audience and general public from any ethical issues, which may be found in this film. We want this film to connect to people emotionally, but not to offend or patronize. Not only do we have our own reputation to think off, but also the Universities too. So it is important that we do not offend and make our film tasteful. I will be approaching the film with sensitivity and an ethical concept, to be sure not to offend anyone with an eating disorder.
Due to the fact we won’t be shooting in a location that is our own property, do not include any child, pets or actors in our film and hold any artist work created by another person, we therefore will not have to complete any of the necessary paperwork for these things. Furthermore, there is still fundamental paperwork we will need to fill out, which will be one of our priorities before filming. This paperwork includes forms for Ethics, Permission and Copyright.
Kelly and myself will be filling out a healthy and safety hazard form. As we are filming at our house, in our spacious living room, we will need to make sure we keep it safe for our housemates and ourselves. We will start by blocking off the living area to everyone for the duration of filming. This is not only to disturb our set, but to sure no one gets hurt. As we set up our location for the shot, Kelly and I will remove all unnecessary items from the living area, make sure our set is safely secured on to the table, set up and tripod in a safe place, make sure all legs are equally balanced on the floor, tape down all wires so no one trips over them and only turn the lights on when they are in use so they do not get too hot. We will also use gloves if we need to move the lights, so we do not burn our hands.
In conclusion, I am very excited to create our stop motion animation ‘The pain of being thin’. I believe that if we distribute and promote the film correctly and to be best of our ability, to reach our target audience, our film can truly raise awareness and make a difference. Not only are we passionate about animation itself, but also we are just a passionate about our subject matter and think that our film has the ability to reach a wide audience and make a difference to increase the public’s knowledge of our issues raised. These are just a few of the films good points. To make our film perfect, Kelly and I will need to work on making sure the audience understand what is happening and feel our characters emotion. To do this, we will take great time and care with writing a script and rewriting as many times as it needs to be to make it perfect. Our aim is not to make an entertainment piece, but to make a difference and I truly believe we can do this. The thought of making something meaningful, which could make a difference to just one persons life is what is keeping me motivated throughout this project.