Samuel Pepys 21 May 1662
Why I want to do The Lost Palace Prototype.
Having recently completed a very successful family friendly, animation commission for Norwich Castle Museum “Boudica A Norfolk Story”, I was excited to hear of your open call for The Lost Palace another inspiring heritage project.
The additional challenge to incorporate site-specific technologies makes the competition even more appealing, as I have already been testing and researching aspects of location triggered content.
I have always been interested in news ways of constructing narrative and developing different methods for storytelling. My film The Queen’s Monastery was written after listening to Janacek’s score of the same name. It uses no dialogue but contains complex non liner narratives.
I love museums, old things excite me, what we can learn about our history from objects and from fragments of writing, like the diary of Samuel Pepys. My mother used to read extracts of Pepys diary to me as a child, it was her favourite book. Like my mother, I enjoy the escapism of trying to imagine the past, I also love looking at old art, paintings drawings and buildings. Then trying to recreate those worlds with illustration and animation, so that an audience can inhabit that history, with a fresh interpretation. It would be also very interesting to work with The Lost Palace project team in developing the prototype proposal, using your historical knowledge to expand the work.
Style of the artwork.
I would like to use watercolour and elements of collage to create the designs for the Samuel Pepys prototype, working with Julian Cripps on the backgrounds.
Ideally I would like the triggers to be small stickers, for the prototype stage.
Here is a proposed trigger design, depicting Samuel Pepys:
Previous work that demonstrates this.
My MA film at the Royal College of Art was presented as part of an instillation which included an interactive animatronic sculpture of the films principle character, Madame Potatoe.
Boudica A Norfolk Story commissioned by Norwich Castle Museum from a list of over 60 applicants. This film combines, hand drawn and cut out animation made from 2000 year old fragments and 2d and 3d computer animation. Bringing Boudica’s Story to the public in a fresh and innovative way. I worked closely with the museum at every stage, to make a film that explored their collection in the light of recent archaeological finds. It is accessible and for a family audience. The film is part of a permanent exhibition, shown in competition at international animation festivals and in a British Council Children’s DVD for schools.
My latest commissioned film Everyone is Waiting For Something To Happen was a documentary film based entirely on one persons, Social Media Data.
Over the last five years, I have been independently developing and testing diverse interactive animation ideas. Including ideas for a large touch screen animation in a gallery context of one of my sticker books and testing appropriate software for this project.
In 2009 I started to embed QR codes into stickers to link media. I started to explore the use of AR codes about 4 years ago.
AR technology, has come a long way since I first tried it, meaning it’s a lot more reliable and ideal for this project.
Because the budget is good enough and the deadline quite short, I can work with a small team, which is what I like doing best. On my well funded films for Channel four and the BBC, I was responsible for teams of up to 10 people at one time. The people I have selected to work for me on this project I have worked with before, successfully. They are all very talented collaborators.
Myself Emma Calder: Designer/illustrator, Animation Director, Writer and Producer.
Emma Calder lives in London. She studied Graphic design at The Royal College of Art. She has worked as a Animation Director, Artist, Graphic Designer and Lecturer and has written, designed and illustrated books, for both adults and children. She co-founded Pearly Oyster Productions making many successful and award winning animated films, including The Queens Monastery (BBC).
Julian Cripps: Background/Spacial Design and planning.
JULIAN ANTHONY CRIPPS Principal Designer, Lecturer and Builder Julian has worked part-time at Giles Quarme & Associates since 1987, this he has combined this with teaching design at the Royal College of Art and East London University plus numerous freelance design commissions around the world. He continues to experiment in construction and design at his Brixton workshop.
Kevin Colegate: Coder and App builder
Katerina Athanasopoulou: Additional Animation.
Katerina Athanasopoulou – Biography & filmography
Katerina Athanasopoulou is an Animation Artist living and working in London. She studied Painting at the Aristotle University in Greece and completed an Animation MA at the Royal College of Art in London.
Her short films are a hybrid of live action and animation, forming richly layered worlds with a strong feel for colour and texture: video, photographs and animation coming together in a process akin to alchemy, embracing chance and experimentation. She works as a director and animation lecturer.
Her work has been screened in international film festivals and art galleries, including Venice Architecture Biennale, Thessaloniki Biennale 3, Istanbul Modern, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Channel 4 and others. Her 2012 commission Apodemy has been screened in many international film festivals, won the International Digital Art Award “Lumen Prize”, was a finalist at the Best Commissioned Film category at the British Animation Awards and got a Special Mention in Animasyros festival and Best Animation at the London Greek Film Festival. She is currently working on a commission from the London College of Fashion, to be presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale for autumn 2014.
She also collaborates with other artists as an Animator and Consultant and is a Lecturer at London College of Communication.
Helen Mitchell: Production Manager and co-writer. (Helen’s role is provisional as I notice you have a project manager attached, although Helen could still contribute to the writing of the scripts.
Consultant, writer and project manager working across the cultural sector. Helen has a track record of helping artists, curators and communities reach and engage with audiences through interpretation, marketing, exhibitions, events and films.
Using small illustrated stickers or small enamelled plaques as Augmented reality (AR) triggers, to activate several short animated (AR) sequences in different locations, illustrating Pepy’s diary entry of 21 May 1662. The sequences will form an interactive story, for instance you can start and end at any point, or be given a prompt where to go next.
These stickers or plaques would be located close to the Cenotaph on street furniture, near the site of Lady Castlemaine’s apartments probably the Queens Steps. If we used removable stickers, these would be impermanent but would serve for the testing period.
Users would be made aware of the experience by posters at transport locations and at existing Royal Palaces, also via the Royal Palaces web-site and social media.
Users would need to download an app to their smart phone or tablet. Sample triggers including a QR code would be included in the posters and web-site, for users to test and begin the experience. The app would also provide a location finding guide/menu to the site specific triggers.
The elements of Pepys diary entry, would be distributed between a number of triggers at different locations. These triggers would activate animations and would be part of a route through the palace. The scenes would not necessarily be sequential, but would identify particular places within the palace that are significant in Pepys story and the people he meets, each person Pepys meets would have their own story and their own route through the palace and triggers to reveal other parts of the palace and how they were used.
Initially we would create four character routes that could interconnect with each other on 21 May 1662. Namely Pepys, Lady Castlemaine, King Charles 2nd, Lady Castlemaine’s maid. These characters would inhabit the following parts of the palace and it’s environs, namely The River Thames and Quayside, Privy Gardens, Lady Castlemaine’s chamber, a wash house, Kings Apartment, Whitehall in front of the banqueting house.
The use of real but unobtrusive and beautiful triggers will provide a fun and reliable link between the real and the virtual world.
The user experience. Where (and when) does it take place? Who is it for? What does it feel like?
The app that will enable the stories to come to life can be downloaded in preparation for a visit to Whitehall and some of the scenes would be viewable from a remote location. Once you are in Whitehall, the full experience and the associated routes can be explored.
The app would contain a location finding guide to some triggers. Not all the site specific triggers would be included in the menu, but would be revealed as triggers are activated within the bounds of the Whitehall Palace. This provides a treasure hunting experience as the triggers are found and activated. Some triggers that are at intersections of two character routes will allow, for an option to follow a different character. Some of these routes will loop round and reconnect with the initial character route.
A simple exploration of Whitehall palace would follow just one character. A more complex, or more playful experience would jump between say the King and chamber maid. The single character route would be more revealing of the history for adults, the jumping between events would be more entertaining for teens. Both methods will reveal the variety of spaces and historic characters that inhabited the now vanished but, vast Whitehall palace.
The stickers or plaques would be located close to the Cenotaph, near the site of Lady Castlemaine’s apartments. If we used removable stickers, these would be impermanent but would serve for the testing period.
Aimed at over twelves, light heart hearted and funny in places.
The technology that would enable your idea.
I will make in my own studio, historically accurate 2d, watercolour and cut-out/collage animation sequences.
Music and ambient sound will reflect the period. Voice over may be added to aid the story telling and orientation of the experience.
Users would require a smart phone or tablet. The software we are developing would work on either IOS or Android.
Users will need to download an app to enjoy the experience.
The technology that will enable the user to access the animation will be based on an Augmented Reality (AR) customised app. Activated by on-site triggers, which ideally would be small stickers/plaques or if this is not practicable, parts of the existing architectural environment.
For our scheme we propose to use open source software. I have tested 3 different platforms. Test sequences provided in this application, have used Vuforia and Junaio. My coder/collaborator proposes to ‘build’ a stand alone app that will use the Vuforia framework in Unity to produce a 3d environment in which to place the 2d animated sequences. The orientation from one trigger to the next could be aided be audio, text or a map. We envisage 3 levels of experience, from very easy, to “treasure hut” mode, with clues rather than obvious directions. The user would be able to switch back to an easier mode at any time. The Vuforia software could be licensed to get rid of the watermark, but this my not be necessary at the testing stage.
I can make the film for the budget/schedule you offer. I have a complete studio, with digital camera, for multi-plane and cut-out. I can do all the animation, editing and sound work in house. Katerina who assisted me on Boudica is expert on both 2d and 3d programmes. Kevin a young technician who has helped me on another technology project, has coding, 3d and app building experience. Julian who has been designing backgrounds and sets for me for over twenty five years, is a brilliant draft person and his architectural/heritage background knowledge is excellent. Helen was project manager and script advisor on the Boudica film and has a lot of experience with heritage projects.