Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Minor Project Mind map

Yesterday I created a mind map for the words knitting, memory loss and dementia/ Alzheimer, as Phil suggested that I should look into the synonyms and different meanings of the words. I have looked up their definitions and also associations, combined with what I personally connect with them, I have also read personal stories about dealing with memory loss diseases and have added those views to my mind map.

Minor Project I have a personal story!

 In my tutorial with Phil on Monday we talked about me using a personal story about memory loss, so I asked a friend of mine if she would be willing to talk about her dad having dementia, and she immediately said yes! So in addition to the style for my world (knitted) I also have a story now :).

 So, yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to interview my friend, let's call her Sophie, about her dad's dementia. She is 20, her dad is in his early 60's and was diagnosed last year, and Sophie told me about her feelings and daily struggles that she, her mum and brother face caring for him, like him having slowed down in motoric abilities, that he needs his food cut, he can't read well anymore and detests a messy household, but also his newfound love for dogs, especially puppies and generally himself almost reverting back into a child.

 I have recorded the 8-minute interview and will now focus on extracting the visuals, as for example one time Sophie's dad was supposed to fill the iron with water, but accidentally completely missed the hole and splashed all the water on the dog (it was cold water, luckily). Or him nagging at his family for a half full glass still standing on the dining table, as he sees it as untidy and can't bear to see it now.

I loved listening to her story, even though it made me very sad as there is nothing anyone can do against the brain deteriorating like that, and it is also hereditary so Sophie is very likely to suffer from dementia herself some day, as her Nan did before her dad. But Sophie herself said that joking and keeping in good humour is essential, as the only alternative to laughing is crying.

I would love to transform her words into an animation that does her story justice and inspires.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Minor Project update

 After my tutorial with Phil yesterday, we decided that my minor project will be presented in a knitted style, as an animation with a relatable, personal story with the basis of the whole world being 'knitting', or 'knit together'.

 The story will be personal, likely about memory loss, amnesia, knitting memories back together, or maybe loss of a family heirloom with a rich history.

 I will try and talk to someone who has suffered some sort of memory loss or someone who is close to them is suffering this fate.

 I want to create an animation where the viewer can feel the loss as the story unravels, and I have looked into personal blogs that have memory loss stories, most seem very interesting and contain material that I could easily use for this project, but I want to have a voice over of a person speaking freely rather than someone reading someone else's writing (which can be nice too, but maybe not for this project).

 So far I have learned a bunch about coping techniques (that might or might not work, mostly not in older people), that in most cases family and friends of the affected person are most disgusted by a person's loss of morals, and that real cases of amnesia are very rare and severely romanticized in films.

 If possible, I want to find a story of a person who has slowly regained their memory as I would love to go for the "knitting the world back together" theme, but that is probably just as hopelessly romantic as the films, so ideally something I should stay away from. I will have to think about this.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Minor Project first ideas

For my minor project I intend to create an animated environment or object(s).

My first idea is to create a witch's hut which combines the classic but also modern definitions, for example black and white magic, knowledge of herbs and plants, dipping into paganism and new age witches. I would like to animate it in an app game style, where the player moves around the hut and clicks on the various objects to learn about and interact with them, possibly with mini games as well (for example: brew your own potion) and quizzes.

My next idea was to put the style first and create a world that is entirely knitted, with inspiration from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
but the characters (if any present) would be more in a stick man style with influence from Shrek's gingerbread man:
But in a more simplistic style like Snow White here:

 This time I was not asking what topics I like, but what history my family has, which they have told me about.

 The first thing that came to mind was one of the big floods in Hamburg, as my grandad used to have a fuel station for boats in the Harbour in Hamburg, so he was affected first hand by the North Sea flood in 1962 and I thought it might be interesting to have knitted waves crushing into a knitted city, possibly destroying landmarks on the way. The animation could be presented with a "My grandad once told me about..." voice over which dips into the history of the city I was born in but also my own.

 The next idea is about my nan's history, as she was deported from Poland into a refugee camp on Fehmarn (a German island in the Baltic sea) at the age of 10 in 1945 and lived there for 5 years with her mother and brother before moving to Hamburg. I've interviewed her once for a school project, so I have a recording of her telling me what the camp looked like, what the general living situation had been like and how they dealt with daily life and not so daily diseases and injuries (my nan had Tuberculosis while living there). I think this could be an interesting animation if it's paired with a crackly voice over in German with subtitles and maybe a time lapse effect with everything moving very fast but then slowing down if something is described in more detail. I would use the same knitted style as described above, but with muted colours or entirely in black and white.

 Some other knitted objects I've though about were a motorbike and a Buddhist temple, but I haven't thought about the animation aspect of both of them yet.

 One idea was to have the lifelines as threads coming out of the people as they go about their day to day business, they have the yarn behind them intertwining and throughout the day knitting a grand pattern, which vanishes overnight, but it reminded me a lot of one of the invisible cities the first years are working on (collaboration with a first year? :p why not!)

 And the last idea was that a person gets up in the morning and absorbs everything they consume,creating the character from toes to head, for example the coffee turns into socks, the apple builds the hem of the trousers, the pages of the newspaper turn into trousers/skirt, the shower water turns into a t-shirt and so on. It would be in a first person perspective with sounds creating a lot of the story, person gets up in the morning, yawns, looks down and sees nothing, grunts maybe, gets up and drinks coffee, looks down and sees socks! Accompanied by a happy sound, eats apple, looks down to find hem, reads the newspaper and watches the trousers climb up the legs and so on.

 I love knitting, I've only learned it fairly recently and would like to explore the opportunities it gives me.