The Impact of Storytelling on a Generation Overwhelmed with Technology
The continuous and fast advances of the technological platforms and motion design software have produced an overly enthusiastic generation of student in the past years, students that are commonly mesmerized by the endless creative possibilities that these advances offer, in a fast, democratic and easy to learn way. These advances in the technique have created, many times, an imbalance in the approach to academic projects, focusing on achieving excellence in the crafting of the piece, or exploring new visual effects, to the detriment of content and the message underlying their work. It seems that along the way our students forgot the importance of the narrative.
As a consequence their projects lost part of their communicative nature, the acknowledgement of an audience, and an effort to affect it; and they have become design pieces that through pyrotechniques aim to reach their target, trusting on the surprise and “wow factor”, that, most of the times, but not always, achieve a low memorability or a poor communication of the ideas that constitute the message.
Taking this observation as the starting point, in this motion design workshop for 4th year students, we tried to encourage the discussion and exploration of the narrative dimension in motion design, and the storytelling principles common to every time-based work, so that the projects developed during the semesters –whether they are animations, films, stop-motion, or any other technique– have solid narrative foundations, making the technique and visual form a result of a reflection about what is being communicated; in other words, message before form.
Through the study of concepts and theories from different fields such as neuroeconomics and film theory, the course has attempted to explore different strategies to transform data and information into audiovisual narratives, with different degrees of success. This exploration has also covered different types of motion design pieces and application fields, from the abstract and experimental –like concert visuals–, to the more practical –like educational infographics.