The non-profit organization PDCS approached us with the project ENND – European Network for Nonviolence and Dialogue. This portal contains a database of projects and initiatives from several European countries that focus on topics revolving around conflicts of values, where the rights and opinions of a minority are neglected or rejected by the majority. ENND gathers so-called good practices, i.e. positive examples of how society can solve or communicate about these conflicts of values in the European context. Our task as the main creative partner of the project was to create an animated video that would briefly explain the project. We had to get a feel for the project and dissect it down to the smallest of details. We wrote the copy and recorded the English voiceover. In terms of art direction, we designed the drawing style of the illustrations.
Shooting all over Europe
In the second part of our collaboration, we produced case studies of six selected projects. We opted for the combined method of animation and live footage. As the subject matter was rather abstract and overly complex and had the potential to confuse the standard viewer, we decided to create an animated intro for each video to explain the gist of the topic and why it needs to be talked about. We employed metaphors and described the circumstances of each project in simple terms. We had to thoroughly understand each topic before we were able to formulate an explanation. We wrote the voiceovers and drew the storyboards.
Our directorial goal was to use the animated intros to set the scene for the viewer in a short time and in an attractive, dynamic way. The videos were tailored for online communication, so to retain viewer attention, we ensured that none of the videos were longer than 5 minutes. The whole series contains purposefully alternating male and female voiceover. Each animation starts with a claim or question that shows the approach we took to the topic and where we want the viewers to focus their attention.
After the animations, the videos continue as short documentaries. We worked on this project for over 6 months and it took over 800 hours and 10,000 kilometers’ travel. We managed to personally engage with some of the projects – our director took a trip to interview the participants beforehand, getting to know the philosophy, activities and premises of the organization. This helped us write much better screenplays for the individual videos.
The result is a series of six videos that describe these projects and their work in an understandable manner. All the videos are processed in English with an international audience in mind. They are also an inspiration on how one could devise something similar in their own environment.
To produce the videos, we traveled to each location as a three-member team, taking pictures and shooting backstage footage. The whole project was created on a turnkey basis. We ourselves interviewed the representatives of the projects and shot all the illustrative footage.
In the process of editing and post-production, it was important to correctly assemble the final mosaic of testimonials so that the individual messages were presented to the audience in an understandable way.