Lessons on Depicting Ideas
As Dave, Vikas and I are coming to the end of this project and the set of animations explaining our seven candidate threshold concepts in entrepreneurial thinking are nearly ready for release, I have been thinking about what I have learned in the process and here are some of my thoughts;
Depicting ideas is easier said than done. Coming up with suitable scenarios and imagery for our concepts was challenging and there have been many iterations. The thing that strikes me over and over again is how obvious it all seems when you get it right!
Make sure you know who your target audience is – whilst I wanted these films to be for everyone, I quickly came to realize that really I was speaking primarily to educators. When there was a clearer focus, things moved along more quickly.
But I also needed to be mindful of other stakeholders, such as my University who were funding the project. Ensuring the look and feel of the animations adhered (ish!) to brand guidelines retrospectively took longer than if I had asked for this from the start.
The choice of background music makes a big difference to one’s emotional state when watching the animations, and consequently one’s impression of them. Music wasn't something I had really given much thought to.
The animations don’t work if you watch them as a set back-to-back all together. When I tried a draft version of the animations out on a class of MBA students, that was their over arching feedback. Good to know and very useful as we think about dissemination. Another reminder of "Value is defined by others"!
I wanted to make the animations gender and ethnicity-neutral, and that’s really hard! We have used emoticons and unnatural skin tones (blue for example) but when it came to the choice of voice for voice overs…it was not possible to find a voice that sounded neither male nor female. If anyone has found a solution to this – please let me know!
And finally - collaboration is key. There is no way any one of us could have done this without the other two. I am so pleased we found Vikas our animator who become a key member of our team, and so much more than "a supplier". I am very grateful for his endless patience, engagement, positive attitude, and commitment to the project. I think this work has made a big impression on us all!
I look forward to sharing the animations very soon and to hearing your feedback.