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Making the animated trailer #2 – the pitch Friday, 22 January 2010

Posted by Helen in Animation, Behind the Scenes.
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Previous instalment: Making the animated trailer #1 – the brief

In early November 2009 we received the first Carry a Poem sketches by illustrator Emily Isles – showing the logo design, sample page layouts, and a series of Emily’s lovely illustrations. The branding came across very clearly, so we could see exactly what we needed to work with. We had two days to come up with a concept to pitch.

The illustrations immediately started us thinking about a hand-drawn look and feel to the animation, with plenty of white space. The letters and paint splodges (which we started calling the poetry cloud) looked dynamic, so we could imagine them floating around, and maybe spelling out poems… wouldn’t that be pretty?

Bike - line drawing with letters and coloured paint splodges escaping from the basket

And, there was the problem. Prettiness wasn’t what we needed. The brief had identified that the animation needed to be playful and a bit subversive. We needed to break away from the obvious.

We agonised.

Adam and I had some very robust discussions. Well, arguments. We couldn’t come up with the right approach, and we had very different ideas.

We agonised some more.

Then… Eureka!

We started thinking about urban art as a visually rich way of presenting words. Supposing, we thought to ourselves, someone carried a poem down the street but the poetry broke out in letters and paint splodges – where would that poetry cloud go? Could it splash the walls and leave murals behind?

We liked the idea of creating a literal interpretation of the effect of someone carrying a poem – showing that it could change the world around them. We also thought it would look great to take the poetry cloud from the book illustrations and put it into the real world.

Our pitch to the City of Literature went down well. We all got terribly excited about places that could be transformed, ways of carrying poems, and poetry that would make great murals. Next step: concept art and poetry selection.

Helen Jackson will be writing each week until the end of February about the production of the Carry a Poem trailer. For more blog posts about animation, take a look at Binary Fable’s blog.

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