Sunday, 1 March 2015

Food Module - Narrowing down the ideas to the theme of 'Cake'

After generating ideas for the desserts theme and narrowing down the choice to the theme of cake, we began to generate more ideas for the main narrative of the documentary based animation. As the animation was going to be aimed at a young audience, roughly 7 - 12 year olds, much like the target audience that Cartoon Network appeal to, the documentary needed to be informative but not to be presented like an info-graphic, as this would not be appealing to the younger audience compared to an older audience that would want to retain the information that would be shown on screen. The information needed to be portrayed in such a way that the young audience would be able to understand and enjoy the visuals that would be shown with the dialogue. Therefore we decided that the information should be depicted through narrative, much like a narration over the top of the visuals. From this we were able to visualise the characters that would be involved with in the animation, we wanted a baker or a market stall vender to be the character that would give the information on the cake however we wanted his personality to stand out, to be cheesy and eccentric, quirky, to add humour to the animation.

The humour was inspired by the CBBC presentation we attended at Leeds College of Art, through how they emphasised how the humour had to be appealing to an older audience, as the young audience understand and find a slightly older sense of humour to be funny. The main point which I found interesting is that the age range that we are aiming at find that a younger style of humour to be patronizing. I felt that with the humour that we include with the animation needs to include something that we as a team find amusing and would work with a slightly older audience.

An example of a Cartoon Network animation - 'The Amazing World of Gumball'

For the main character that the audience would relate to and follow through the animation, we wanted a character that would reflect the age range of the viewer, whether the character would be female or male. After debating the gender, we decided to choose a male character, even though the majority of the programs have a male main character, the use of the male character within a food documentary would show how its not just females that should be associated with food. We wanted to show that both male and females should have an interest with in food, and showing this through just using a male character to the audience at the young age they are should hopefully render the stereotypical association of women being the cook at home. Showing the character to be at a healthy weight would hopefully reflect the idea of cake being a treat on certain occasions rather than to eat cake everyday as that would not be a healthy lifestyle. I believe that we may have to emphasise this fact further and have in the dialogue that cake should be eaten every so often.

In order to keep the animation simple and not busy to detract from the information that would be spoken, the use of two characters would have to be the maximum amount. Adding just one more character could make the animation and narrative too cluttered for the target audience, especially as we want the characters with in the animation to have personality with their own iconic traits that would identify as that specific character.

After considering the characters for the narrative, we decided to go along with a historical theme towards cake, portraying the origin of cake and how we use cake in modern day. A heavy influence for our style of portraying the information was from the old Nickelodeon fat files shorts that would play before or after the main cartoon had been shown. We felt that this style of animation and how they presented the information would work well with our initial thoughts for the project and allow us to create a cartoon network inspired animation with the style of characters and the backgrounds.

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