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Ngā Tapuwae Case Study

  • April 24, 2017

The Discovery

The Ministry of Culture and heritage read our article last year on Anzac Day and invited us to concept for a 20-second animation. After seeing our idea of making a video project, they realised that it did not fit in completely with their brand. However, they liked the concept so much that they chose to take us on for a new project. Though we weren’t ultimately selected as the winner, they remembered our work and approached us with a video package for their new app, “Ngā Tapuwae Western Front.” It just goes to show, sometimes projects can just land at your feet..

The Mission

Last year they created an app called “Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli.” This app served to trace the steps of the Anzacs’ experience at Gallipoli during the first world war.Their new app, “Ngā Tapuwae Western Front” serves as an extension of their last app with more interactive trails and information to uncover, but this time focusing on the Western Front. A lot of New Zealand soldiers died during the Western Front, but unfortunately this part of our history is overlooked. They hope to spread more awareness about this event. To advertise for this, our client approached us with the concept of a five-part video package with each video telling a different story of those involved in World War I.

What’s the Word?

Initially, the plan was to have each video be 15 seconds. Our team felt that stories as important as the ones that were going to be featured needed a little more time to breathe. Our client agreed and we extended each run time to around 30 seconds. Furthermore, upon receiving long passages of transcriptions we picked out several excerpts and determined which phrases should be written out across the screen, and from that completed a script. This composition of the dialogue helped create more of an emotional impact to the audience by making a story out of the words spoken by the people that lived at that time. After getting the go-ahead, we went straight to work.

Don’t Get Too Moody

Oftentimes when there’s a completely new project at hand, we will have the most influence over the generation of the piece’s overall aesthetic. This was most definitely the case with this project because the product associated with it was so new. We knew it would be a moody piece with lots of parallax and sketched out feel. To organise our thoughts, we’ll typically take to Pinterest and create mood boards that consist of art we feel parallels what we’re going for.

Never Bored With A Storyboard

Being visually minded people, we approach storyboarding through pictures. In our proposal to the Ministry we presented sketches that plotted out how each shot would look. This project demanded a more cinematic look, so as we sketched out the story we noted to our client how many seconds each “scene” would have and what sort of camera movements would be associated at each segment. We did the 2.5D approach parallax (animation style) which essentially allowed us to capture a single moment but also allowed us to have a “camera”. They liked what we had so far, so we put our thinking caps on and kept brainstorming!

Time to Work

One advantage that we had with this project was our ability to sit with it for a long time and determine what did and did not work. This process lasted from August, 2016 – March, 2017. We used this time to converse with the ministry in a continuous creative communication loop. Through trial and error, we eliminated what didn’t work and added things that made these videos even more moving. For example, one episode we absolutely loved didn’t fit in with the cohesive narrative we were looking into creating. Despite being attached to the idea of that video concept, we valued first and foremost the overall feel of the narrative.

Conclusion: Mapping Out The Future

As kiwis, we can’t help but notice the legacy World War I carries on our nation. This is why we feel so honoured to have this opportunity to help educate about this time period. Design tells stories, and we hope that through our videos this narrative will both stay in tact and spread to historians all over the world.

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