The Format

  • idocs-avatar-secrets

    iDocs: New Voices. New Visions.

    Jun 11, 2014 1:48pm | by Julie Giles

    For people interested in interactive documentary, iDocs is both a resource and a community as well as the first symposium totally dedicated to the interactive documentary genre. In March, director Ramona Pringle and cinematographer Lisa Lightbourn Lay, traveled across the pond to Bristol, UK, for i-docs 2014, where a case study of Avatar Secrets was […]

  • book-to-film-tablet

    From Book To Film: The Tablet Gives Us The Best Of Both Worlds

    Mar 27, 2014 1:55pm | by admin

    Last Friday I had the good fortune of speaking at the Pages Festival + Conference in downtown Toronto. An annual event about literature, this year’s focus was on the Future of Books. I participated on a panel focused on the future of the graphic novel. An interesting place for a media maker and documentary storyteller […]

  • shattering-glass-effect

    From Storyboard To Animation: A Q&A With Ramona Pringle

    Mar 17, 2014 1:24pm | by Julie Giles

    In this second instalment of Avatar Secrets ‘Making Of’, we’re looking at how Chapter 3, Scene 6 progresses from storyboard to animation. As anyone who has worked in animation or film production knows, the storyboard is an essential tool. Not only does it allow the director to get a sense of the way the movie […]

  • storyboard-to-animation-part-2

    Shattering Glass Sequence

    Mar 17, 2014 1:15pm | by Ramona Pringle

    If you’ve seen the trailer for Avatar Secrets, you might just remember the sequence where the illustrated version of Ramona reaches out to touch her reflection and the glass shatters. This follows a transition from footage to illustration and provides an introduction to the idea of parallel realities and identities. Ramona’s life from before shatters. […]

  • storyboard-to-animation-black-and-white

    From Storyboard To Animation: Developing A Hybrid Style

    Mar 17, 2014 1:10pm | by Ramona Pringle

    Once we decided that the line between what was illustrated and what was photorealistic would be blurred, the next step was executing it in a way that was subtle enough to trick the eye. That way when the viewer noticed it, it would give them a sense of awe — the same sensory experience that […]

  • documentary-sequences-avatar-secrets

    From Storyboard To Finished Product: Rotoscoping Effect

    Mar 17, 2014 1:05pm | by Ramona Pringle

    While many of the real world scenes in Avatar Secrets are illustrated, others are photographic. To transition between the two styles, we incorporated a rotoscoping effect, where the footage is “traced over, ” creating an illustration that matches the frame for a smooth transition between media. Some scenes were drawn to match existing documentary footage […]

  • easy-interface-avatar-secrets

    Less Is More: Opting For An Easy Interface

    Feb 25, 2014 5:21pm | by admin

    Our love of technology and our desire to be loved are natural. We are born with the instinct to reach out for our mother’s hand.  Just as a baby will use an iPad with the same ease as a trained technologist… these things seem, well, easy. Our relationship to narrative is equally intuitive: we engage […]

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    Transmedia in 2014: Deep Vs Wide

    Feb 13, 2014 10:00am | by admin

    In our media saturated world, creative platforms abound. If you have a story to tell, there is no shortage of places to tell it: on television, in theatres, in print, via mobile devices, and across social media. This increase over the last decade has led to the explosion of “transmedia, ” the potential to tell […]

  • why-ipad-touch-screens-z-axis

    Why iPad? Touch Screens and Diving Deeper with the Z-Axis

    Feb 6, 2014 1:01pm | by admin

    From the outset, Avatar Secrets was always going to be a digital project – in content, and in form. For starters, it’s 2014. How can you really explore a story about our hybrid digital lives in a purely linear format? The theme called for an innovative approach. Secondly, there was so much that needed to […]

  • avatar-secrets-fountain-sequence

    In Conversation With Illustrator Michael Derrah

    Feb 5, 2014 8:55am | by Julie Giles

    Director Ramona Pringle chatted with Avatar Secrets illustrator Michael Derrah about developing the project’s hand-drawn style and a “2.5D” feeling of depth, created out of flat assets. They talk about how the Fountain Scene —  the first scene that was rendered for the project’s prototype came to life, and how Mike worked with the rest […]