Thoughts from Designer Michelle De Alva
Two weeks ago, a video came out of the FIVE2NINE studio that was the first video we’ve done like it. It was a fully animated video for William Amos. It was the first of two videos we produced for William Amos. Our very talented graphic artist Michelle De Alva put the piece together and as as always, it was everything everyone could have hoped for, and more. In this blogpost, Michelle shares her thoughts about the piece both before and after the completion of the project.
Thoughts from Michelle:
Before starting this project, there were three main concerns I had with the project.
My primary concern was the political involvement of the client. Political candidates, have a very large target audience and strive to reach a large number of people. This is amplified in the Case of William Amos as he is the MP for such a large riding. The geographical expansiveness also means that there are a variety of sub-cultures and difference in opinions even within the same riding. I was worried about this as I wanted the video to appeal to everyone and be something that people of all ages and backgrounds could connect with.
My second concern was rooted in the fact that I have not lived in the region for very long. Therefore I felt that, despite my research I did and the limited time I have spent working in the region, I did not now the area that well. Therefore I was concerned about misrepresenting the area and the people who call it home.
My final large concern was the style of the video. Before sitting down to start animating the video, it had to be decided what the style of the entire project would be. The region of the Pontiac is largely rural. Therefore, I felt that an informal style was most appropriate in order to cater to the most viewers possible. This style was a very important part in addressing my first concern of reaching a variety of people. However, I had to be very careful as to not make it feel too informal since this could be interpreted as making a mockery of the subject or even the region. This, I felt, was a tight line to walk but I am very happy with the final result and I believe that the client is as well, which is the ultimate goal.
It was not all concerns obviously going into the project. I was very excited to get started on this project because it was a project that really allowed me to flex my creative muscles. The client gave me a lot of creative freedom. This is really nice because it means that they trust your creative opinion and you can focus on doing something that you think is nice and trust that they will too. This is not always that case. It was nice to be as involved as I was.
Throughout the project, there were many small decisions to be made at the creative level and these small decisions were what ultimately helped overcome the original concerns that I had. For example, this screenshot here of the cyclist commuting from Gatineau to Ottawa. It could very well have been a car or a bus, but I felt that the choice of cyclist was better suited to connect with the people of the region.
Another way that I tried to connect with the community and the viewers was including in the video recent events that were happening in the community and were important to the people of the region. As I mentioned before, not have having spent that much time in the community, this was something I worried about beforehand. After some research and help from both my team and William Amos’ team, the two events that can be seen below were included, the agreement on 29 specific claims, and the flood relief efforts of the entire community. These were events that were huge from the community and I’m very happy they were included in the project.
From a technical perspective, I draw and animate each individual scene in Adobe After effects. Once rendered, sound and other final touches are made in Adobe Premiere Pro before the final rendered is made. Below are two screenshots of the animation process. Each character Is made from scratch and animated individually.
This project was one that very much enjoyed doing and all my concerns proved to be just that, concerns. With the help of a good team, and a great client, the final product was one that everyone involved can look back on and enjoy the result. I look forward to working on more projects like this one with clients both new and old.
This project featuring William Amos’ accomplishments is the first of two videos we are working on for William Amos and his team. The second video is too be released soon and is a very different style than this one. Stay tuned to the website to catch the next blog post about the creative process behind that piece and everything that went into it.