Story Board Practice
Learning How to Story Board
Being introduced to story boarding I found has really aided me in informing my work as it forces one to confront the task at hand by taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. I found this useful as sometimes you can get overwhelmed and all consumed in the smaller details, that the fundamental essence of the piece and what message/ story your trying to tell is lost. Moreover I found story boarding helped to organize my thought process as well as causing me to consider the context of my pieces i.e. is it for film, theatre? etc.
When listening to the Blue Notebooks our group felt like the music was particularly somber yet peaceful. however. after creating our prototype we felt that the music expressed more optimism and mystery and therefore the hanging man was to heavy of an image.
Our initial idea involved creating a set inside a box and using a puppet. We created our set out of clippings from a magazine and place them within a box form. This created a strong shadow of an image that caused an emotional impact. However as a group we decided to use live action shadow movements as it would open up the story as well as using the space effectively.
Developing Our Ideas
Our decision as a group to push our concept further, by moving away from puppetry to live action, caused a huge shift in the story we tried to tell. We moved away from a quiet and sad piece of a man being hung to a more ambiguous story line on the way the imagination forms ideas and stories. I think this sudden change in narrative helped us to create a more powerful piece as it confronted the audience more, as they were forced to form their own ideas and opinions on the ambiguous story line we created. The biggest contributing factor to our performance having an impact, I believe, is that we did a live action performance rather than puppetry as we were able to be more flexible and fluid in our movements, and could therefore reflect the stillness and tranquility of the music, as well as the beauty, more effectively. Also it enabled us to create images that juxtaposed each other i.e. the organic vs the man made, which in turn echoed themes explored in our performance i.e the reality vs the fantasy. Despite the dramatic changes from our original idea the fundamental essence of the atmosphere we aimed to create (one that was somber yet peaceful) remained.
As a group we decided to change the story line whilst still setting it an a forest. the story now depicts the power and process of the imagination; form the birth of an idea like the seed of a plant that grows and expands, exploring worlds. We even explore the concept of writers block and the power the imagination holds.
The cardboard shapes created strong and defined shadows against the light which contrasted with the softness of the real leaves. This as well as the unrealistic shaping of the cardboard cut outs created a relationship between fantasy and reality in our performance.
Reflecting on the feedback we were given I believe, as a group, we created our desired atmosphere. I'm particularly happy that people responded and reflected on the contrasting images of organic vs man made and how it reflected the sense of imagination vs reality. I think one of the main ways we could of improved on our performance is by opening up the space a little as the images were all very crammed causing to lose a certain amount of impact.
- It showed a contrasting relationship between mystical and reality.
- There was a nice juxtaposition between technology and organic.
- There was a sense of being strung along by the story and images.
- Both clear and soft images echoed the sense of imagination vs reality.
- There was a clear sense of literal and metaphorical growth as the story unfolds i.e the limbs coming from the tree.
Rehearsing Final Performance
During our rehearsal period we experimented a lot with our movements and positioning in order to use the space more effectively. For example in order to create a sharper and more impact-full composition we moved Juliana to the center of the screen and had her grow form the bottom center of the screen. We also focused on our speed when rehearsing the piece in order to convey the tone of both the music and the overall performance. Therefore we moved very slowly in our piece in order to illustrate the way our thoughts move and grow. Therefore when Paul slams the computer shut and the image vanishes, it had a greater impact as it contrasted with the stillness of the piece by being quick and sudden.