I have created an animation for my final piece this project, it goes alongside a flipbook they both explore the phrase “Cellar door” and how it is considered as the most beautiful phrase in the English language.
My main aim for this project was to do something that generally I would never attempt to do. In the first stages of this unit I was looking to do a re-branding project, as I want to improve my design skills within brand identity and working with colour schemes. When researching into what it could lead on to I brought up what peoples favourite words were. This was just a random conversation that ended up being the driving force for this project. I found it very interesting to find out everyone’s favourite as sometimes I felt like it gave a little insight into what kind of person they are. I started off my research into what I could potentially produce by looking at infographics, but at this stage I felt I needed to solidify my idea before thinking of results.
I collected lists of words from people that I know and I also found online resources that claim to have a list of 100 of the most beautiful words. I experimented with a few of the words and put them against pictures that are the opposite to try and create a series of images that would intrigue the viewer. I placed an “ugly” word onto of a beautiful setting and vice versa, although I thought these experiments worked quite well I struggled to find words that are universally seen in the way that I had suggested.
J.R.R. Tolkien proclaimed cellar door as a combination of English words that have an especially beautiful sound, independent of their meaning. This new piece of information that I found whilst researching about phonaesthetics really interested me and made me wonder if I could conduct some experiments into testing if it is as beautiful as claimed.
I started my experiments with voice recordings of various different people saying the phrase and then analysing how I could turn it into a piece of kinetic typography taking into consideration the accent and way the person pronounced the phrase. When trying out small experiments for this idea I realised how hard it would be to make a successful piece of animation and how difficult it would be matching voices with different typefaces. I moved onto using video footage of people, which worked better as you could see the movement of the mouth and examine the different parts in the phrase that is an interesting focus point.
After many different tries at getting my animation perfect and holding the viewers attention I have come up with a 54 second piece that has animated the mouths through both Photoshop and After Effects so that the shapes made can be defined clearly. I think it is an interesting study that will make viewers second-guess the power of speech. To go alongside the animation I have hand bound a flipbook of one of the mouths. In an exhibition space the flipbook would be next to the animation playing so that you can take a closer and slower look at the changes in the shape of the mouth. It also makes you guess when the mouth is saying the phrase when you look through the flipbook. I realised this when watching classmates look at it.
I have never embarked on such a conceptual piece of work in my time in Visual Communication or any other course, so for me this was really out of my comfort zone. I am happy with my final work, but unlike past project I feel that there is something missing as it has not fully solved a problem, which for me is something that I am used to doing in my work. I believe the animation I have created is quite appealing to watch, as there is nothing to complex about it so you can fully focus into the phrase, the different accents and the mouths. In an exhibition I would have the animation playing on repeat and it being projected on either a white plastic or polystyrene hat stand head or on a wall with an outline of a head and shoulders.