Big Screens so far...

Concepting

Danni Huang, Yasmin Schoennman, and I are working on a Big Screens piece together, incorporating dance with a visually-stimulating graphical world to tell a story.

We want to tell a story about how the emotional scars in our lives define who are and only by accepting the inherent value of these scars will we be free. We worked on this concept over the summer, and we will continue to hone our story until the end of the first week of October.

We are interested in creating an immersive multi-sensory experience with sight, sound, smells, and touch as well.

Story

Our piece involves three main sections:

1) An introduction and first conflict in which the audience is introduced to our main character. He is running away from trails that are following him, but these trails eventually catch up to him as he falls. The trails surround him and one trail makes contact with his head.

2) The moment the trail hits his head, we zoom into our main character’s mind. We have left this section open for choreography, but we hope to establish the main conflict and resolution of our piece here. The resolution should involve other dancers, along with the audience, lifting our main character up from despair and up to a place of empowerment and hope.

3) We zoom out of our main character’s mind and back to the world where the trails that had encapsulated our main character explode and fall to the wayside. The main character, now calm and at peace with his surroundings, begins to play with these exploded trails and dances with hope off screen.

Improv Storyboard

Improv storyboards

Our improv storyboards inspired our story in unexpected ways. We ended up exploring the use of birds or the idea of building up a main character and incorporating some of these ideas into our story.

Storygraph Analysis & Feedback So Far

For our storygraph analyses, we looked at a scene from the movie Gladiator as well as a piece from the soundtrack of Inception called Time.

Gladiator - analysis | storygraph
Time - analysis | storygraph

We knew that our piece would probably have some drama associated with it, so we wanted to find scenes that built on emotions. The Gladiator scene actually turned out to be perfect, as the story graph mimicked the emotional arc that we wanted to achieve with our piece.

Using images that Danni had prepared for our piece, we tracked how our piece would feel using the timegraphs of both Time and the scene from Gladiator. These storygraphs can be found here.

We did not really like how our story felt under the timing of the Hans Zimmer piece. It felt long to us, but we received interesting feedback that the slow timing was actually more compelling. Viewers also liked the scene where our dancer was alone on the stage. We will continue to explore these paths as we finalize our story.

Interaction

As of this moment, Danni, Yasmin, and I all like the direction of our story, and we believe we have the foundations of a strong narrative piece for the Big Screens show. We have been playing with the idea of adding interaction to our piece for a couple weeks now, and while we all love the idea of an interactive piece over a non-interactive piece, we want to make sure that the interaction does not feel superfluous and forced.

We like two main ideas for interaction. One involves extending a long connected piece of fabric across the audience for them to grab in order to build a sense of connection between the piece, the space, and to one another. We haven’t come up with a great reason for adding this part to our piece yet though.

The other idea involves distributing bubbles to the stage. In our story, our main character needs to be lifted, both figuratively and literally, and we were playing with the idea of bubbles doing this. At a certain moment in the piece, bubbles would form and lift our main character, and this would serve as a clue for our audience to also blow bubbles. We are still working on cementing the story around this participatory act, as we want to stay cognizant of the connotation that the act of blowing bubbles implies.

Project Plan

Over the next week, we have broken our tasks as follows:

Yasmin – continue to choreograph the dream sequence and the solo piece.
Jeff – finalize story and interaction. Prepare motions for Yasmin for Motion Capture
Danni – begin Character Design

Project Plan
Shot List

We will use Cinema4D for a large portion of our asset and world creation. We will most likely use After Effects for any post-production work.