Archive for November 22, 2014

Animation: Bringing Your Story to Life

amimationcartoonsHave you ever made a story come to life in video?  If you are a creative person, you haven’t lived until your stories have lived as well.

I was never content with just watching cartoons.  I made my friends act out little cartoons I made up myself or sat with a pencil in hand and jotted down every event within the cartoon that could not be done in real life.  Or, I would get upset with the plot and proceed to write my own, in my head at first and later on paper when I got old enough to write.

Yeah, I was a peculiar child.  The creative ones usually are.  But it has made for an interesting and actually fairly profitable adulthood.  People love to watch animation, good animation that is.  Once you use your skills correctly, your audience will be a captive one.  That works out well for a marketer such as myself.

If you want to make an animated video, even if it’s just a short one like for a mini-commercial or an explainer video, you will need to know some basics.  You will need to create a story that includes a past, present and future.  Although the character may have only one small line, you yourself will want to give him or her a story.  Decide where they are from and where they are going.

The plot itself needs to go somewhere and have a message even if the message is that there is no message at all.  Ideally, you will want a good guy and a bad guy or a protagonist and antagonist.  They don’t even have to be people.

If you are doing a commercial about a product, you will want to do the same.  Take for instance if you are promoting an acne remedy, you can have the teen-age boy be the main character.  The audience should related to the poor kid who has unsightly pimples all over his face and it’s the day before the prom.  How dare the acne do such a thing!  Acne becomes the antagonist.  The protagonist is actually the acne medicine in this story as it saves the day for our main character.  Doesn’t it make you want to run out and purchase some?

If you are creating a longer video, don’t forget the effectiveness of some good rug-pulling.  That means that you fake a good ending.  The main character has a problem and just when it appears that the problem is solved, the worst happens.  Then the story has to rebuild again until it is closed in a different manner.

A writer loves to see his or her work in print.  There is nothing like it.  Imagine the feeling when that writing actually comes to life by way of animation.  If it wasn’t for the thrill and effectiveness of exactly that, I would never have attempted to learn the art of animation.  I am so not into technical arts such as stop motion or effects that are a painstaking process.  I lack the patience and the gift of geekiness.

But the day came when I needed to put my thoughts into animation and the desire to do so led the way for me to learn.  The first time I saw the pictures in my head could take life on screen, I was hooked.  If writing a story to life is heaven, animating it to life is indeed the seventh heaven.