Smith School of Enterprise & the Environment

This is the second time I have been involved in producing an academic-based research output video with Senate Media and I am even more impressed this time around.

Matthew Ives, Senior Researcher, Oxford University Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Brief

When the Smith School of Enterprise & the Environment (SSEE) approached us to create an animation to launch their policy report, their first question was whether it was even possible. With the launch date set for 3 weeks time, and the need for two versions – one in English and one in Mandarin – time was of the essence. We were happy to help and began work immediately with a meeting the following day to discuss the brief.

The task was to create a visually impressive animation for an international policy maker audience that would grab the viewer’s attention and briefly and accurately explain the findings of their research. 

Approach

In a break from our usual production process, we chose to work initially on the script for the animation, as we realised that grasping the detail of the research would be so important in shaping how we conveyed the findings.

Working closely with the lead researcher for the project we drafted and then revised a script for voice over in the first few days of production, and only once this was finalised, did we move on to develop the storyboard outline and visual style for the animation.

With the research findings being overwhelmingly positive, and the tone of the report being one that looks towards a brighter future, we created a visual style that embraces this message. We used a vibrant colour palette to create impressive graphics, which we bought together with slick transitions and camera movement to draw the eye through the narrative. An upbeat music track was chosen to enhance the positive delivery of the voice over.

Once work on the English animation was well underway, we began work on the Mandarin version. Translating the script, recording the voice over and retiming the animation to fit with the Mandarin delivery.

Result

The final animation was really well received by the client, and their partner in the project, Chatham House. Shown as part of the virtual report launch, and then positioned centrally on the report website, the video has had great exposure to date.

They turned what could have been a very stressful and difficult project into a very satisfying creative enterprise. I would thoroughly recommend Senate Media to anyone interested in seeking to convert their knowledge-based product into an easy-to-understand animated narrative with impact.

Matthew Ives. Senior Researcher, Oxford University Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

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