Motion design graduation project
at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
I was still an eleven year old kid, when I first saw those flashy and vibrant patterns and colors in front of my eyes. Naively, I assumed to have gained some super powers. It turned out to be a type of migraine called "ocular migraine" or "migraine with aura". The aura phase acts like a pre-warning phase before the actual migraine symptoms kick in. People feel dizzy, nauseous, have numb extremities or speak like they were drunk. The most characteristic aura symptom is the visual disturbance though.
The images above are taken from excedrin.com and giphy.com and depict visualizations of an ocular migraine
The biggest problem is the overall assumption that migraines only equal to strong headaches. But it's much more than that, which for many affected people leads to serious issues on a social and professional level. This very dangerous misconception in society was the reason why I decided to choose (aura) migraines as the topic for my graduation project in motion design studies at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg.
Migraine is a painful topic. To avoid creating a depressing mood, I wrote a monologue for the female protagonist, that acts like a love letter directed at an unknown person. While the spoken word is beautiful, intimate and fragile, the visual layer uses a destructive and shocking language, all together creating an ambivalent and slightly disturbing watching experience.
In addition to the actual film project I designed a packing that resembles those of headache pills in the project's style and colors. It included a flyer with the monologue, a booklet explaining the whole concept and idea of the project and an USB stick, wrapped like one big pill, containing the the actual video file and my presentation.
All scenes were created within Cinema 4D or After Effects, using Illustrator and the wonderful Overlord plugin by Battle Axe. The Ray Dynamic Texture plugin helped texturizing many objects and all the frame-by-frame scenes were done working in Photoshop on a Cintiq. I animated all shots myself, except for the face-to-monster-morph and the universe shot. Here I only did rough reference animations and the wonderful Ryoji Yamada translated that magically into what you see in the final version.
Above: Some timelapsed making of snippets, providing a glimpse of the process
Producer - Fabienne Priess
Sound Design - Jan Brett
Film score - Andreas Skandy
Voice Actress - Marisa Wojtkowiak
Additional Animation - Ryoji Yamada
Voice Recording Director - Olaf Mierau
Script, Direction, Animation, Compositing - Timm Völkner