Week Three – Supervisor Meeting

In this, the second supervisor meeting, Richard and I began by discussing the learning contract that must be completed and submitted by next week. In it I will give the title of my dissertation, my interim deliverables for week 12 (literature Review), and the final deliverable (short film).

Richard suggested that the title should pose a question rather than a statement in case the title fails to deliver the proposed outcome. I asked if the title could be slightly tongue-in-cheek but Richard advised against it, recommending that my writing style be of a academic nature. So far I am thinking that the title should suggest how I will explore ways of breathing life into inanimate objects using the art of stop motion animation. This title though is a little too focused on the anthropomorphic side of the project and less on the stop motion side of which I really want to research. Over the next week I will come up with different titles and variations and refine my selection to best describe the project.

The literature review section is the bulk of the writing involved in the project and needs to be done by week 12. As it has a maximum word count of 12,000 words I will need to set boundaries within my chapters. As Richard advised, it will be useful for me to establish the scope of my research first and then start writing. There is no need to explain aspects that don’t relate specifically to the title of the project. For example, if I am to explore the area of lighting, it is unnecessary to concern myself with how bulbs are created and the speed of light as these matters are unimportant. For the interim deliverable I will identify topic areas and these will eventually make up the chapters for my literature review. I have mentioned some areas in a previous post which are rough ideas but I have thought of some more which can be added. I feel like storytelling techniques could be valuable if I am to talk about character based animation.

The additional deliverable is still somewhat vague. I know loosely what I will be doing – a short stop motion film featuring the fantastic electronics of the reel-to-reel tape recorder – but it is still unclear of the nature of the actual animation and it’s story. I will first try and figure out how long I want the animation to be. I have done some proof of concept animations and confirmed what I’ve been thinking all along, that stop motion animation is extremely tedious work if it is to be done properly. I will try and be realistic with my timescale in this respect.

During our meeting, Oliver Postgate was mentioned and he will be somebody I will also look into. I also showed Richard a quick proof of concept animation I made a few days earlier. It involves a spiderman toy and a simple green screen set-up. I will talk about this animation in more detail in a later post. Richard gave me some very useful hints in relation to the keying out of the background using Adobe After Effects. I will work on this in my spare time in the near future.

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