MRI – Final film

The brief asked for an animation which helped 6-8 year olds understand why sitting still for an MRI scan is a good thing to do and helping them to not be afraid of the process. The animation had to be fit for the audience, using the appropriate language and using imagery which would appeal to them.

I wanted to create something which at the heart of it was fun and would be more visually interesting for the audience. In the end i kept things simple, and didn’t take too many risks with this one. After effects is a useful tool but takes some getting used to, so i spent my time working out what went wrong and fixing things half the time. I would be much more ready to make an animation completely in after effects now, and would spend more time developing characters and ideas. My idea was nice and simple, a character who loves to dance, but of course he wont be able to dance while he has his scan!

I wanted the animation to be something that would be enjoyable and kind of silly, so that the children could enjoy something while being more informed about the MRI scan.

Improvements i could make:

  • Add a smile! The character is missing his mouth, which would help to make him look happy and friendly, which would be more appealing to younger viewers, and perhaps help to make them feel more relaxed with the character.
  • I would have used more close up shots with some expressions, like worried when the MRI scan is mentioned, but smiling again when the narrator mentions that it is a perfectly safe procedure which in the end will help the doctors a lot.
  • I would play around with the background a bit more, and perhaps also have some imagery pop up next to Sammy to help visualise things for the children.

In the end i am happy enough with the animation, as it helps children to understand that MRI scans are safe, and that they must be still when the scan is happening. I thought that this information was explained appropriately. I could have also included other information, like the MRI scan being loud, so children were aware of that, but there are a couple of reason i didn’t.

  • Not a long animation, didn’t want to have too much going on to distract and confuse the audience.
  • Hospitals will provide headphones or even DVDs for children so the loud scary noises are often not really loud scary noises for children, they are low rumblings at best. So really it would be something that they may not need to know even exists, and the nurses would tell them the relevant information anyway.

Also i left out the information about making sure not to take metal with you, this is because:

  • This information is more for the guardian of the child, they will make sure that the child doesn’t wear inappropriate clothes and things like that. The child shouldn’t and doesn’t have to worry about that.
  • When the child gets to the hospital the nurses will explain to them that they cannot have any metal on them and they will help them to make sure they do not have any. So really that information is completely unnecessary for this short animation.

Anyway i learnt a lot about After Effects and would like to revisit it in the future, although in my own time with a different idea so i can approach it differently and try a few things i didn’t get a chance to from the research i did.

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can you sit still – development..

I’ve made a couple of storyboards for this idea, nothing special just getting the info and idea on paper. The animation is for children so the themes and design (etc) must match the audience. I’ve chosen quite a simple cartoony style, which i think will appeal to the demographic, its also similar to other animations aimed at the same audience (entertainment and educational).

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Here’s a rough script of the narration. I’ve also tried to time it so that its about the right length for the animation, there may be some trimming here and there that i need to do when editing, but really it should be about right.

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Slightly better storyboard – more recent.

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CAN YOU SIT STILL?

PROJECT 4 – ‘CAN YOU SIT STILL?’ : 2D ANIMATION

  • Pitch Presentation – Tuesday 19th January 2016
  • Final Submission – 7pm Friday 5th Febuary 2016

Task: Using sequential drawings/images create a 1 minute animation that helps 6 to 8 year olds understand why sitting still for an MRI scan is a good thing to do and helping them to not be afraid of the process.

So if I’m going to create an animation for children i need to make sure i create something relevant to the target audience.

MRI SCANNING FOR KIDS

UPDATED VERSION:

This example uses 3d and 2d animation to tell the story and  describe the process of getting an MRI scan to children. There are also sounds that are from an actual MRI scanner which lets the audience hear something they may find scary before they are actually in the scary situation. Making them aware of something like that could help to make it less sudden and strange when it happens, and could help the child when it comes to getting their own scan. Children are encouraged to pretend they are in a spaceship when getting the scan.

BLIP

This 3d animation has nothing to do with MRI scanners or anything, but you could say it is ideal for the target audience. The story is very simple and easy to follow and I think the colours and design would appeal to young children. It reminds me a lot of a couple of kids tv shows, with the sounds as well as the visuals.

GERALD MCBOING BOING

This is a really cool rhyming 2d animated film about a young boy who makes funny noises! The style is like pink panther or top cat, and the use of music and sounds is key to that as well, in this particular story it is vital to the storytelling. I really like that its a rhyming poem and would love to try and find a way to do something like that in my 1 minute animation.

HEY DUGGEE

A childrens tv show, similar to peppa pig. A narrator helps to move the story along and interacts with the characters directly. The style is simple but attractive with lots of bright colours. No outlines really.

POCOYO

A really great children’s tv show (3d animation) narrated by Stephen Fry, I’ve actually seem this before somewhere and sat through a number of episodes.. Its aimed at the same target audience and the narrator serves the same purpose as he does in ‘Hey Duggee’ and may be a helpful addition to my animation, as the children will find it familiar as they will most likely have comes across narrators before in  shows they enjoy watching. The narrator could help the children be not scared, by being the voice of reason, while the characters could be more reactive, in the end of course begin happy and their fears subsided. Music and sounds are important parts of any children’s media i think, so i need to make sure i keep that in mind when creating mine.

MRI SCANNERS ARE REALLY LOUD:

WHY YOU DON’T WEAR METAL WHEN GETTING AN MRI SCAN…

Obviously you cant tell children that the machine will kill them if they wear metal, or can you..?

FUN WITH AN MRI SCANNER!

That was fun! Not sure i learned anything helpful but it was fun!

A guide to a children’s MRI Scan ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) at Chesterfield Royal Hospital (2013)

In this video a girl goes with her mom to get an MRI scan. She is asleep when the scan happens, but they still explain in the video what will happen.

I’m having an MRI scan (Leeds hospital)

From the video description:

Published on Sep 20, 2013

This short, child-friendly video explains to kids and their families everything they need to know about having an awake MRI scan. Particularly, it is aimed at preparing children aged between four and ten, who have either never had a scan before or are trying it for the first time without a General Anaesthetic. Along with positive reinforcement from parents and carers, it will enhance the experience of young children who come to the hospital for this test.

This video is aimed at pretty much the same target audience as the video i am making. The girl in the video is the narrator and explains to the audience what is happening.

In this video the girl gets to listen to music or watch a DVD because she will be awake during her scan, so she doesn’t have to worry so much about the scary noises or anything – she just needs to remember to stay still during the scan.

This video notes that you may have to wear a device like a helmet which will help take better images, like some of the other videos, they are preparing children for any possibility so the child doesn’t get scared at something new they weren’t expecting.

Intro to Getting an MRI at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (2010)

What to expect when your child is having an MRI scan (produced by the Child and Family information group, Great Ormond Street Hospital for children NHS trust)

This video is really for the parents or guardians of the children getting the MRI scan. It goes into a lot of detail about things that parents should worry and think about, but stuff the child doesn’t need to think about really (and the animation I’m making is only 1 minute so only so much info will be in there anyway).

http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/medical-information-0/procedures-and-treatments/your-child-having-mri-scan-without-sedation-or-general-anaesthetic

Ideas and things and stuff…

  • You can pretend to be a sausage in a hotdog bun, or a donut!
  • You will probably get super cool photos of your brain or heart or something!
  • You are completely safe, the doctors do this everyday.
  • Its just like a big camera – a camera with super magnetic powers!
  • The loud weird noises are just Gary and his band, they have terrible instruments and pretty much zero talent, but they play whenever the MRI scanner is scanning someone. They love an audience..
  • Children often get to listen to music or watch a film or something while the scan is happening, but this depends on the hospital.

Script idea:

Narrator: “Ah what a beautiful day it is today, the birds are singing…”

Birds: (LOUDLY) “LALALALALALALA!”

Narrator: “The bees are buzzing…”

Bees: (unemotional/ flat) “buzzbuzzbuzz”

Narrator: “The sun is shining…”

The sun: “shineeeeeee”

Narrator: “Now where is Sammy?

Ah there you are! And how are you today Sammy?”

Sammy sort of shrugs and smiles a little.

Narrator: “You’re going for your MRI scan today aren’t you Sammy?”

Sammy nods and looks a little worried.

Narrator: “Well you have nothing to worry about, MRI scanners are perfectly safe, they are like big magnets which can take special pictures. And magnets are pretty cool actually Sammy!”

Sammy looks happier and nods more enthusiastically.

Narrator: “When you go to get your scan you will lie down on a bed and go inside the machine, which actually looks like a big metal robot donut or something.”

Sammy smiles along.

Narrator: “Now Sammy. When you are getting a scan you can’t take anything metal in with you, do you have any metal on you Sammy?”

Sammy shakes his head sheepishly.

Narrator: “Good! Now remember Sammy, when the scan is happening you will need to be very still, still like a statue, or a very very still thing. You know how to be very still dont you Sammy?”

Sammy nods his head with a serious look on his face.

Narrator: “The scan could take a few minutes, which may feel like a long time, do you think you could be still the whole time Sammy?”

Sammy nods his head but is still unsure.

Narrator: “I know you will do a great job Sammy!”

Sammy smiles wider and seems content.

Narrator: “Well you’re all set to get your MRI scan now Sammy, maybe after we could go get ice cream or something?”

Sammy smiles really widely and nods profusely.

(Fade out – roll credits)

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In this idea the character Sammy is basically the audience, as they are also going to be experiencing an MRI scan. The narrator identifies their concerns and things they need to know and mentions those things and reassures Sammy and the audience as well. So i just need to make sure the information I want passed onto the audience is in the script and the narrators language is appropriate for the target audience. The script when read is a little over 1 minute with small pauses where necessary. I think that its a good base to work from, as its nearly the right length of time, it just needs a few adjustments.

I really like the opening idea for this animation, the birds singing and bees buzzing and sun shining. the kids will not all understand the ironical nature of that sort of joke, but they should enjoy the funny birds singing loudly, the bees buzzing flatly and the large sun saying ‘shiiine’ should be something they will find visually appealing and set the tone for the animation a little. It should sort of grab their attention a little and be interesting.

The character Sammy could be anything. A bear or a crocodile or a human boy or girl. Really i have not decided yet which character i am going to pick, but they will be a simple style like the cartoon characters that the children already enjoy watching in their favourite tv shows at home; although obviously it will be in my own style.

The narrator will be friendly and reassuring for the children. I think it will be an adult voice rather than a child’s voice. If Sammy ends up speaking they will be a child’s voice.

I need to make sure that the animation is around 1 minute. For this particular script i would need a few things.

  • A background
  • The sun
  • Bird
  • Bee
  • Sammy
  • Narration audio
  • Other audio
  • Maybe a MRI scanner..

Sammy would be the main focus and needs to be able to effectively express a few emotions to the audience. Sammy however doesn’t really move anywhere and stays put pretty much the whole time. Its only a 1 minute video but it needs to capture and keep the children watching its attention for the duration to ensure they take in the information.

Other thoughts and stuff and things:

  • Sammy could get distracted and the Narrator tells him to pay attention because its important.
  • The narrator could call Sammy a silly billy!
  • Sammy pulls out a large metal item when asked about if he has anything metal. Something kid of ridiculous that shocks the narrator who tells him its probably best if he left that at hoe actually but just remember no rings or anything like that as well.
  • Basically Sammy goes from being not so sure and worried at the start to completely reassured and ready at the end, there’s even the prospect of ice cream! So children will be able to see that maybe MRI scans are not so bad.
  • Maybe i should mention the loudness of the scanners, or the possibility of music or whatever? maybe not… Have to see how the timing for the animation works with everything and aim to get it as close to 1 minute as possible.
  • Other ways to go would be having the character actually get an MRI scan in the animation, so the audience sees its not scary or anything. Maybe i could show the MRI scan machine to Sammy and he could see its not so bad (When the Narrator mentions the MRI and what it looks like in the script – like a donut, we can show it and Sammy can see its not so bad, maybe touch it and see it is ok..).