At this stage, each member of my group has their own ideas for how the animation might play out, based on the information and ideas discussed previously. Naturally, the next step for us all is to decide upon a final story and create a definitive storyboard from which to work. We will meet shortly to propose our various ideas to one another, be they in the form of quick sketches or written descriptions, and it is likely that following this meeting, our final design will emerge a combination of everyone’s suggestions. As follows is my personal proposition for how the animation could progress- though note that it is subject to change and is unlikely to be exactly what we decide to proceed with:
We begin at The Old Crown inn in Tudor times, with a sketchy visual style that has a ‘parchment’ quality to it. A man dressed in typical sixteenth century clothing emerges from the door, and walks off to the right of the screen. Shortly, a tree passes in front of the camera, momentarily blocking the man from view, prompting a change in time period.
The tree passes to reveal the Victorian era, with a black and white crosshatch style and silent movie piano music playing. The man, now dressed in Victorian attire, continues to walk to the right passing traditional buildings sporting nineteenth century ‘Bird’s Custard’ posters on the walls. The man passes recognisable buildings such as the Digbeth Tripe House (seen in my collected reference image), and The Golden Lion pub. Walking past a steelworks factory, we see animations of a blacksmith at work and smog rising from the chimney, indicating the Industrial Revolution. The man continues moving between people and butcher’s/fish stalls of the Wholesale Market, before a stall passes in front of the camera once more blocking the man from view, prompting the second time shift.
A pastel, watercolour style signifies a jump to the 1950s, with the scene changing to cobbled streets and newer brick buildings. The man turns around a street corner, pausing as the 3D layout of the buildings comes into full effect, and momentarily the Digbeth viaduct can be seen in the distance. An animated train (complete with steam rising) passes across. The camera turns whilst panning as the man continues, eventually returning to its view parallel to the shop fronts. The man passes the Midland Red bus station, and an old bus drives in front of the camera. The man passes underneath the viaduct archway, and is obscured from view as the time changes once more.
In the 1970s, the man walks towards a crowd of protestors, waving animated boards and banners, outside the closing Ty.Phoo tea factory (in 1978). The camera’s panning slows, as the man struggles through the mass of people, before emerging on the other side in a modern outfit. He stops momentarily to adjust his outfit and catch his breath.
In the present day, with a sharp modern visual style, the man walks on through the increasingly colourful buildings of the Custard Factory. He walks through an open space, where we see the presenters of The Gadget Show being filmed in the background, before moving past some buildings and walls adorned with creative graffiti. The man finally comes to a stop outside Digbeth Coach Station, where he waits for a moment. A new Midland Red coach pulls in front of the camera, and after a pause drives off to the left (the man disappearing inside), its animated exhaust fumes forming a phrase or slogan (e.g. ‘The Beginning’- showing that the true history of Digbeth has yet to happen).