Urban Screens

Concept / Strategy
November 3, 2011 Phase 1: BriljantNet / Urban Screens

Bjoern Hofmans

Bisschop Zwijsenstraat 129, 5021 KB, Tilburg, T 06 249 981 80 info@bjoernhofmans.nl www.bjoernhofmans.nl

Urban Screens

BriljantNet / Urban Screens
Goals
For the first period Briljantnet challenged us to create animations and concepts to be used on their narrowcasting network. From the beginning it was clear to me that I had to come up with a concept that suited me. I wasn’t familiar with the medium yet. I wanted to create a theme that reflected on my point of view on the medium of urban screens, BriljantNet and my own specific sense of humor. I also wanted the freedom to experiment with different kind of techniques of animation. The narrowcasting locations of BriljantNet are mostly at schools and train stations within the province of Noord-Brabant. So the main focus of this project was to give an unique view on Brabant and the main cities. For me, this was no problem at all because I’ve lived in Brabant almost my whole life. I also wanted to question the medium itself. Because I didn’t want to conform to one specific idea, I started to play with the idea of misinformation and disguised jokes. Instead of researching just one subject, I started doing my research on broader themes like propaganda and mass media. If you’re interested in this part of my research, it’s described in the research report I made for Sarah. The last thing that was important for me was that the goals I had set for myself were realistic. If I wanted this idea to work, I would have to make many different movies in all kind of different techniques. So I’d have to come up with smart ways of animation. And I also chose to integrate the use existing materials you could find and use from the internet, this even improved my experimenting and free approach.

Concept
I started developing the concept of misinformation and the chameleon like Jokes. This was so much fun. From this moment I really started to get into this project. I came up wit plenty ideas for a whole series of movies. At the end I finished 10 movies in total. Most of them are about 30 seconds. First I’ll Talk about my starting points for the project. The first idea I came up with was about an airport luggage scan. I dropped this idea because it wasn’t suitable for this project. It was about an airport x-ray which showed all kind of strange objects passing by. It played with the fear for terrorism and fear, but in my eyes it was too much for this project. The BriljantNet network also isn’t on an airport, so that also made no sense. One of the first I came up with was about a train information board. From the beginning the concept of this movie was really clear to me. Later on I added the idea of Noord-Brabant being cut of from the rest of the world. I used the NS style for the map and information chart and I’d really like to see the reaction of the travelers passing by. Another clear concept from the beginning on was the “Buienradar” idea. This one is about Noord-Brabant being hit by really bad weather while in the rest of the Netherlands the weather is shiny and bright. The trick for this one was to keep the animation as simple as possible, the frame rate is about one image a second.

Urban Screens - Concept / Strategy

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Urban Screens

The Brabant Burger started as an concept on how far I could go with exhilaration. What happens if you advertise for a ridiculous product. Is it too obvious or is it subtle enough to get an innocent by-passer fooled? The movie is about an enormous burger advertisement. The style could both be Burger ing or Mc Donalds, its orange /yellow. At first this movie was about a computer crashing while somebody was doing his average job on it. Possible anBriljantNet employee who forgot to switch the settings so his movements were shown on the screen. The end result is much more disturbing. I wanted to use license free animal footage and I found some of a goose. The first idea was to make it look like an animal show, but i only added the glitch an blue screen. It still really freaks me out. At the end of this project I still didn’t use any stop motion or pixilation techniques. The “Koffie tafel” concept came just in time. It’s a typical Noord-Brabants thing. I wanted to make it look cheap, but also warm and cosy. It ended up looking like an 70’s German erotic movie. And I could finally make the funeral “rauwkost” joke, great! The taxi cab movie idea came up really fast. It is build around a punch line. In Dutch it has a double meaning, we’ll rip you off is one, we’ll bring you to your destination the other. I kept it black an white on purpose, it gets very graphical this way. But it’s also an convincing advertisement on its own. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a time of crisis. For this movie I wanted to do something with the dialect of Noord-Brabant. It shows a picture of money, a falling diagram and a let bar displaying a dialect text about the financial crisis. This is when things get really ridiculous. This movie shows a smoking cigarette symbol illustrated with the text: Smoking Allowed. I really want to find out if this one is getting me into trouble. This project is also in a way an opportunity for me to test the boarders of the medium of Urban Screens. I wanted to make one movie disguised like a gif webpage. I wanted a resemblance with early 90’s websites. I wanted to design something without the use of my own design skills. Maybe I got a little bit too exited and took it a bit too far. I really enjoyed working on this one. The last movie I made came from the urge of working with materials outside the computer. Its a combination of different techniques. It’s a 30 second karaoke version of a typical Dutch song by Guus Meeuwis called “Brabant”. It’s poorly performed and looks awkward without the sound of the song. It’s disturbing in a way.

Conclusion
This project allowed me to experiment and at the same time reflect on my former work. I used this project to get int the right workflow and mindset for the next part of the animation master. Perhaps I didn’t experiment as much with different kind of techniques like I intended to do. But I’m still very happy with the end result. The main concept trough all of the movies is clear, although the techniques and subjects are different. I think my concept is strong in the way how it questions the medium. In this way I could overcome my sarcasm and suspicion towards the narrowcasting medium and at the end I’ve turned it into something that really fitted me.

Urban Screens - Concept / Strategy

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