S4C Group Live Brief

In the next project was a live brief for the TV channel S4C (Sianel Pedwar Cymru, “Channel Four Wales”). The task we were set was to create a concept for the channel’s branding (including the indent clips between programs and advert breaks and the social media branding) for the 2017 Saint David’s day celebration in March. The idea we were given was that it had to represent twenty first century Wales (being inclusive to the whole of Wales). All the words (spoken and typographic) had to be in welsh.

This project was to be done in a group. My group consisted of me and four others (Jacob, Billy, Stuart and Kristina. I found that working as a group had it’s own challenges (people not turning up or being late to meetings) but overall we worked well together we all had input when we brought ideas to the table whether that was original ideas or/and ideas inspired by each other. I found that this was a positive experience as there was ideas that I could have never have came to by myself and created a positive environment to work in. This was also a drawback, at the same time, we found it hard to narrow our final concept down to an idea that worked and told a simple narrative (which was the angle we were going for). We mostly struggled with how we would actually start the 30 second video clip.

As I am not welsh (but with family from North Wales) I took to Facebook (not wanting to represent it just in stereotypes) to ask anyone who happened to be welsh what Saint David’s day meant to them. Most came back with memories from when they where in primary school (apart from my Taid who just said pub and that was it) of school plays and dressing up in traditional welsh outfits.

I then looked at the existing indents that S4C has used in the past. (Indent Football , Indent Swimmer) I saw that that they tended to have a simple narrative (for example a woman diving into a pool and swimming to the other side), they didn’t seem to have any emotional connection to the audience and she isn’t swimming for a reason.

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The basic outline for my idea that I had brought to the group. The concept was the background was slate (which could be inclusive for a lot of Wales have been quarried at sometime for the material) and using chalk to create a hand drawn animation the could be a bird flying and he passes different welsh landmarks such as the Millennium Center (Cardiff), the Menai Bridge (connects Ansley Sea to mainland North Wales), Portmeirion (an Italian Style village where the tv program “The Prisoner” was filmed), a number of castles and others. Then two sets of hands of people holding bunting saying “Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!” (“happy Saint David’s day” in welsh).

The group quickly rejected this idea as we had created another concept that had more of a relatable scenario to it. The basic jist of what we started with was someone going for a run in gentric Welsh mountains and then have some of the elements of the welsh culture today. After a tutorial with our tutor Ian, is was discussed and then decided we needed to explore ways we could create more of a narrative for the video clip, so from what we discussed  Jacob produced a whole new moodboard.

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This laied out that the running character was a father was late for his young daughter’s eisteddfod celebration in her school. We really struggled with how we were going to start the clip off and how the character was going to remember that he had to attend and that he was going to be late. We decieded he would get text of the mother. We Where also going to include animated arrows and bits of text which I really didn’t understand why we needed it as it didn’t add anything to the narrative. We ended up scrapping this for that exact reason. After a discussion we narrowed and defined the storyboard even more and ended up with this  board. 15321683_10209828700746169_2029547026_o.jpg

I had attended the Adobe Premiere Pro workshop on behalf of my group so it was my job to create the animatic for the practice presentation with tutors Ian and Matt. I played around with possible transitions on the program and decieded the majority of them were basically awful (putting it politely) so I decided to do a cross dissolve as it is one of the least in your face transitions.

Then, after the presentation, the feedback advised us to improve the pacing of the clips to make it faster and have more suspense. We then discussed this further and added a shot of his daughter and him looking down at his phone. We also made his journey more of an action sequence of him jumping over things, doing a minor parkour to get there. We then did a digital version of the storyboard.  15204299_1167313796679215_204649464_o

I personally think that the pitch to the actual clients (S4C) when well and we all seemed to be able to get our ideas across effectively enough so that they were able to understand what the ideas where and the origin of the idea. They seem to be positive about the underlying themes of family (which is pretty much a universal theme which would appeal to not just their welsh viewership but 30% from outside Wales). They also liked that this could be set not just in Cardiff but anywhere in Wales, from Wexham to Holyhead To Aber to Swansea. That it was inclusive, this was something we discussed a lot when coming up with the concept. I think that we were able delegate the speaking parts fairly, talking about parts we had practically had involvement in. I think we did the best we could have done on the speaking side considering that it was our first pitch to real life clients and for how nervous we all were before.

I think that overall that this project was a very positive experience. For one I have found that I actually enjoy group projects just as much as I do by myself. One thing I would change next time is that I would like to have had our final idea clearer sooner as all the elements were there and just not in the right places. If this was achieved we would of had time to have created some test shots which would have been positive. Apart from this (and one group member not turning up to the first pitch) I would  happily work with this team again on other projects. I am excited to see what S4C actually thinks of our concept when we hear back from them.

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