I want to start with saying how much I enjoyed doing this. It was a fun project and the people in my group were fantastic human beings. We quickly dubbed ourselves ‘Team Alpaca’. Although at the beginning I was scared because we couldn’t choose our partners. I am a bit afraid of talking to strangers. So not getting to choose our partners possibly meant being in a group where I didn’t know anyone. (Which was very frustrating as I had pushed myself so hard to get some friends.) Fortunately, I got paired with one of my friends. Which made it easier for me to talk in a group.
Okay now let’s talk about this case. I’ll have to warn you, I can be a bit messy while writing. I like to include details that seem important to me and the story that I’m telling. So be warned, this is a long post.
The first day we went to school without knowing anything. We didn’t know who we would work with or what this whole case/ project even was. I remember everyone asking around, trying to find out what we had to do. We would get an explanation on the first day, but it would have been nice to be a little bit prepared. I wasn’t even sure which room we had to go to. Luckily everyone got there in time. So after everyone was seated, the teachers began explaining several things. Basically, we needed to create a projection based on ‘hidden poverty’.
Our group, Team Alpaca, was kinda stumped at first. The first evaluation was a bummer. We only had one good idea and the teachers weren’t that enthusiastic about it. Our idea was good, but not good enough it seemed. It needed to be less cliché. However Team Alpaca was very stubborn and we stuck with the plan. Although we did change little things that eventually made it much better. At first we wanted to make this whole projection digitally. But no one of our group really knew how to do that. Someone had a vague idea how to do it. However we didn’t have the time to learn more about this. Luckily one of our fellow group members thought of a great solution. One that would look even better than digital animation. She showed us a video about indian shadow puppet shows. The video easily convinced us to give it a shot. You can see on the pictures below our progress. I’ll try to explain what’s happening in each photo.
In this photo you can see how we made everything. I don’t have a good picture of the puppets though. I am a bit frustrated with myself that I didn’t think about taking a picture of them. It would’ve been nice to show you what they looked like. They had a whole mechanism to make them move. Our creative mastermind, Kaya, made them. She used some sticks, tape and string to mimic the indian shadow puppet shows.
This was a test to see how it would look behind a white cloth. And we were quite happy with this result. The material wasn’t stretched properly but we figured it wasn’t needed for a simple test. Also we were using two lights. Which might explain the weird shadows. Our flashlights from our phones weren’t strong enough alone. I will say this again, this was a test. No need to get all fancy and get a stronger lamp.
After a week of cutting paper we finally had time to film. We got ourselves a good camera and a strong lamp. The white cloth was stretched properly and it looked marvelous. However having only less than a week left to get this whole thing set up, we were racing against time. We were determined. Team Alpaca would finish this project on time. Every group was already setting up their projection. But we didn’t let this bother us. We spent a whole day filming. Fortunately, not much went wrong.
In this picture you can see a fellow group member editing our footage. He did a great job. I don’t know if he had any difficulties. From what I’ve heard he fixed a few small mistakes. Like adding black if there needed to be more. He was also the one who figured out how VPT7 worked. That program was terrible. No one, I repeat no one, knew how this program worked. No one in our whole class. The only good thing about it was that you could transform the shape of your videos a little bit. And that you could play more videos at the same time. But it was frustrating to work with.
A day or two before the deadline we went to the old mines to finally project this on the walls. It was time to get this show on the road. We didn’t have any difficulties. Oddly enough we were done at the same time as the other groups. These last few days were the most fun. It was almost as if a huge weight fell off our shoulders and we were allowed to relax. (The whole class even held a small karaoke before the judges came.)
Here you can see the final result. Our projection told the story of two young girls. On the outside they looked the same. But when they got home you could see the subtle, yet distinguishable, differences. One of them had a better financial life than the other. You can’t look at both lives at the same time. I think that’s quite neat. In real life, people can’t see the other ‘story’ while they are experiencing one of the two. You really need to step back and take your time to see the other one.