What I did: I’m continuing to try to figure out ways to make the tools I’m using work in the way that I want.
Why: So far, I can create an animation, place it in indesign and design a page around it (so basically, add text) and have it function in either a PDF or online. What I want now is to figure out how to get it to replay once it’s run its course so that it can be viewed multiple times. We’ll see how that goes.
The back up plan is to draw the frames myself and either do a stop motion type thing with hand drawings or record a flip book of some sort.
What I Did: Over the past couple of days, I have been trying to fine tune exactly how I’m going to present my story. I discovered that I can create frame-by-frame animations using Illustrator, which was a big win. I’m now in the process of sifting through the internet trying to figure out how to embed a .swf from Illustrator into an InDesign doc.
Why: Ideally, I’d like to create a comic strip or book (depending on how my story turns out content-wise) in which there’s a “frame” that is animated (sort of Harry Potter style) and then the rest of the page includes the text and any other material. I now know that I can create the animations the way I want, with a minimal learning curve, but I’m trying to figure out if I can then place them on a page and design that page around it. I’m sure that it’s possible, I just don’t know if it’s practical for this project, and that’s what I’m in the process of trying to figure out.
I think I might also try designing the animations in Flash instead of Illustrator and seeing if that makes it easier to embed in InDesign and export a functioning file.
What I did: My first source is Beauty and the Beast: visions and revisions of an old tale, by Betsy Gould Hearne.
Why: The book goes follows the story through history from its origins to modern interpretations, finding common elements in character, narration, symbols, etc
What I did: The next source I chose is a read-along of Disney’s print version of Beauty and the Beast that I found on YouTube (here)
Why: It’s an easily accessible, shorter-than-the-movie version of a well-known telling of the story
What I did: My next sources are two stories by Angela Carter, “The Courtship of Mr.Lyon” and “The Tiger’s Bride”
Why: The stories are Carter’s reinterpretations/recreations of the tale. The first one, in essence, follows the classic plot. The second, in contrast, pretty much reverses it. The stories start to point out the ways the message within the classic story fail in today’s society (gender roles, etc)
What I did: My next source is an article, “Beauty and the Beautiful Beast” by Fleur Diamond, that investigates Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga as a Beauty and the Beast story
Why: The article discusses the trilogy as a modern reinterpretation of the story, in which the female character is able to express/pursue her sexual desires. Because of societal expectation and gender roles, she needs the context of a “monster” to do so. The article discusses the social context surrounding the story, how it is in fact a beauty and the beast story, gender roles, etc…
I’ve also read a few of the classic French versions and the Brothers Grimm version in the process of hunting down some sources. If I decide to dig into them more closely, I’ll add specific sources later.
What I did: I chose to remix Beauty and the Beast
Why: I consider it to be a classic fairy tale. The origins of the story can be traced back to the 1700’s, and many versions and reinterpretations have been produced since, giving me a lot of options in terms of resources. The core plot is fairly short and simple, so it won’t be overly complex to recreate.
In terms of the story, I’d like to maintain the core pieces of the story while making it down to earth and modern (possibly more like the typical non-fiction-esque story than a classic fairy tale), pulling from the progression the story has made over time in terms of gender roles, etc.
For the project presentation, I plan to do a sort of comic strip. I have to do some research on it to see how possible it is with the software (Illustrator) I want to use, but I’d really like to animate it as well so that the frames of the comic move. We’ll see how it goes.
This site is the place where I will be documenting my progress through a Writing and Digital Media course. (Woohoo!) I have a pretty solid foundation in design, but I’m not the most technology savvy person that ever existed; so, my goal in creating things for this course is to develop and improve my skills in dealing with digital content, with a pretty significant focus on online content. And posting them here will help track my (hopefully) forward progress.