Curly Crashed Into a Cuckoos Nest Animation

This piece has been completed by producing an animated sequence of slides in iMovie (a program included with Macintosh computers).

The goal is to use humour to connect with the person viewing the animated sequence, to raise a few points expressing my opinion of public mental health services in Australia, and to encourage the viewer to reconsider perceptions regarding mental illness and public health services, from a person who has used this service. The sequence offers a ‘client’s’ experience of public mental health services, as opposed to opinions of health practitioners, politicians, mainstream media etc.

To experiment with form I used iMovie, a program not previously worked with, to create an animated sequence, another medium I haven’t explored before. To experiment with approach, I played further with pictorial and typographic strategies.

The main challenge of an animated slide sequence is to clearly identify breaks in the story and different scenes, whilst also making images flow and provide an overall seamless visual experience. Pictures of the making of my zine were introduced to signify an end, break, or beginning in the story plot. Colours and graphics were used to ‘soften’ the transition between scenes.

Music is an option in this medium, and would enhance this piece. I imagine more of a soundscape then a musical composition. Limited time excluded this opportunity. There is potential for collaboration with a musician to create sound for this project.

Pictures include hand drawings and photographs of a local plant, adding visual richness to the slides. The majority of plant images are close-ups, offering details of textures and beginning an abstraction of the image. This was done to reduce recognition of the plant by emphasising colours and shapes, making the image more suitable as a background, less competitive with type, and enhancing legibility.

Distinct typefaces were combined with a visual icon to represent each character in the story. This strategy plays with the idea visuals are recognised before text. By combining a visual icon with a distinct typeface, the character is identified and it is clear who is speaking in the story. This negated the need for character’s names to appear each time they spoke, making each slide less cluttered and more easily comprehended.

Legibility was a major issue with this animated sequence. To reduce complexity and aid comprehension I minimised the amount of text appearing in each slide. I also had to make decisions regarding the time frame for each slide. I had to assumed a comprehension level of medium to good with the viewer (otherwise the sequence would be to slow. There is always the pause button for particularly tricky slides).

Credits and References

All work in this animated sequence was created by Michelle Holland.

With the following exceptions,

Sprayvetica, Sound FX and MTF Memory from
Helvetica Neue Ultra Light, Eurostile Medium and Bold, Times New Roman from Linotype.
Chachie from Font-A-Licious.
Cooper Black from Barnhard Brothers.
I was unable to find the designer or type foundry for Arruba, Poplar and Star Caps.

The Armani, Gucci and Prada logos.
Musical Arrangement scanned from an old book with no cover or publishing information.

Comment Scene 1

P.S. ‘The Curly’s Life Pills Poster’ is available as a .pdf to download.

Make ya own !!