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  • Writer's pictureHenry M Green

Final Reflection Sitcom Unit

The main goal in this project was to create a thirty second title sequence for a British sitcom, using the codes and conventions that are informed by prior research. In my sitcom title sequence I tried to convey a pop art mixed with grunge style, as the premise of the sitcom is set in a comic shop and is about the banter that happens between store employees and customers within the store. I did this by combining shape animations and static images for the characters that I then animated, to give them life. I was deeply inspired by famous artists from the pop art genre such as Roy Lichtenstien and Andy Warhol, in particular from Peter Blake’s ‘Razzle Dazzle’. The painting consists of an array of stars, stripes, squares and circles in the form of targets in different vibrant colours to create a collage-like feel. I referenced this piece of work very closely within my work developing my work from it wherever I could. I found the research side of this project in particular very difficult as I had not had any experience with sitcoms and hadn't seen many of the sitcoms when coming to the research so I had to view small clips of episodes to get a rough idea as to what they were about and how they are produced to target their audience. However, as I got further into the research and then into pre-production I feel I was able to adapt my creative frame of mind to suit the project and task in hand. I also feel the research was beneficial on a personal level because it introduced me to the world of sitcoms and how fundamentally they often refer to very important issues within society, even though its often presented in a comical manor. The production process was very interesting for me on a personal level as predominantly all of the production and post-production was achieved in Adobe After Effects, a piece of software I wasn’t particularly experienced in, although I had used Adobe Premiere Pro. The main technique I used in the creation of the title sequence was using the trim paths setting, then using key frames I was able to animate the path of the shape. At some points it was very time consuming because I had to animate individual shapes at times where there could be over one-hundred elements. Although I started off finding it difficult to organise the new workspace, I ended finding it very straight forward. Although I enjoyed the production process and feel I was able to create a title sequence that was able to meet the brief, I feel having the time, I would go back and make adjustments. I would start by looking at the sequence as an overall, looking at how the characters are portrayed and what the title sequence was out to achieve. In my own title video, I think it was lacking the element that gave the audience a clew as to what the sitcom would be about. Subsequently I would add more content, in terms of photography. I would get a few shots of an actual comic book shop, as this is the main setting for the sitcom. I would then animate it in the same style as I had done for the animation of the characters. I would also clearly state the characters names and add objects that represent their characteristics so that the audience got a clearer understanding of who these characters are, making it easier to then follow the storyline of the sitcom and would make it easier for the audience to relate to these characters. Even though the sitcom title sequence was restricted to only thirty seconds, I would still make it slightly longer to forty five seconds, to show all the information needed so that the viewer can fully understand what is going on. Although the majority of sitcoms title sequences are only thirty seconds long, I found from my research there are still many examples of popular sitcoms with longer title sequences. Once I had reshot and evaluated the main concept of the title sequence, I would go back and look at the timings of each scene and adjust the timings of when each animation shows. I feel In my final product there were some issues in the pace of the video and feel It needs tweaking to become more consistent. After I had finished all of the production and post-production I feel I have gained an array of knowledge not only using Adobe After Effects, but my theoretical knowledge of British sitcoms. I feel I was able to use the knowledge I have gained that was informed by my research and apply to a creative piece of work. I also feel greatly more confident using Adobe After Effects, and feel I could easily take the fundamental processes of what I've used in this project and apply it to my final major project and into further education.

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