Storyboarding Hello Operator

My New Media team of three (including me) worked on our storyboards for the video about Information Technology. (See last week’s post for details.)

Today would be the second time I almost cried from a critique. The first time Jill looked at some underdeveloped thumbnails and called them useless and said that if I wanted to talk my way through a critique I should go to art school. I confirmed today that “artist” is a dirty word.

When we presented our idea to Jill (we could have presented it to the jolly Robbie and Marc but they were just a little occupied and I shuddered when Jill sat in front of us.)

I was already stumbling over my words, referring to my team as Team Puffinstuff, for no reason at all. Everything came out as a jumble, though I got through some of the story boards.

She called me on the fact that we didn’t do as much research as we could have, but there were parts where she questioned the storyboard and I wondered how I should have done it. I argued with her assessment that I should have found out if they even use textbooks in the program. (I’m like of course they do! This is community college, we are as cutting edge as that can be, but that doesn’t mean that textbooks are gone forever.) She had said that they don’t do web design in the program on the third floor and the team and I knew this to be a falsity, but perhaps she was talking about web Design with a capital D.

She criticized a part of the storyboard where we had talked about comparing visually grabbing a book from a shelf and grabbing a server and she thought that the audience wouldn’t get it and it should be gone from the storyboard. She said that she didn’t want us to waste our time filming it if we could work it out on paper first. I wanted to scream. I felt my eyes burning half rage half tears. That’s not what the storyboard is for, I thought. It’s for forming ideas not the other way around. She said that she didn’t want us to waste our time. What happened to “make it work”? I told my team right then and there that we are not going to throw away an idea just because Jill didn’t get it but we can always delete the footage later. She took offense to that. I tried to explain that I meant no disrespect, but to be fully honest I don’t always trust her judgment. In my heart I firmly believe that as designers we are supposed to question authority and try to make something that people didn’t know that they could get. I think she thinks I am a rebel. She said that it wasn’t right to not edit for understandability to maintain “my artistic vision” (she said that with strong disdain) and I couldn’t help but boil. I am not that inflexible, but I do have a vision and I see in my mind how it will work.

I think storyboards are kind of like dancing about architecture. You can’t see how mesmerizing video can be, how accessible it can be with pencil drawings, static and unfinished. But, I suppose her point made in a derogatory way was the lesson I will have etched in my brain because of this program: Graphic designers can never be free. They are forever handicapped because they must make sense.

My team, especially Tim E. and I have struggled with how much of this movie is artistic dribble versus informative.

Considering that it will be projected on a wall at a fundraiser gala with their music blasting, we are robbed of audio and their formal attention. What else are we do to other than play the artist card and make something conflated but beautiful?

We revised our storyboard and we will again because a lot of what Jill said was true. We injected our research into the Storyboard, the Second, and it turned out better. More concise and related to the Information Technology department’s three branches, web design, applications support and network design and administration. As a point to revise for the shoot, we unified the overlaying metaphors for the various technological processes.

I often eat my words about my assessments of teachers. When the experience is less than perfect, everyone says that real life is like that, so that’s great experience to solve problems. If I could handle the real world, I wouldn’t be in school. I admit I have been rude and unnecessarily insistent. I haven’t understood where the line is between a designer’s conviction and a student’s naiveté. I miss nap time, progress reports and smiley stickers.

(Earlier Post Relating to This Project)

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