Finding a story (Part II): The tale of Peter Rabbit

DA2000 – Final Project.

As stated in the post that precedes this, I did not choose to tell the story of The Paper Menagerie as part of my final project. Rather, I decided on a classic tale that is short and simple: The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

This American literature classic tells the tale of a naughty and greedy rabbit, Peter, who went against the warnings of his mother and enter Mr. McGregor’s garden to have a feast of radishes, lettuce and french beans. Spotted by Mr. McGregor who was out to nab him, Peter ran and hid away in fear. The story had a happy ending in that Peter managed to make a successful escape back home.

The tale of Peter Rabbit personifies animals as its main characters, and is staged in nature – Mr. McGregor’s farm, produce from the farm, a big fir tree as Peter’s home et cetera.

The following are images I took throughout the course of working on this project which could help examine/ visualise the scenes in the tale:

Possible reference for the Fir tree in the story.
Reference for a vast field.
Reference for root of the tree.
Possible reference for the tool shed.
Reference for colour choice.
Possible reference for the doors to Peter’s house.
Possible reference for illustrating the personified rabbits.

Aside from using the photos I took as reference, I searched online for other photo references that would help with the creation of compositions. Some examples include:

Screenshot of Google search: Fir Tree
Screenshot of Google search: Rabbit eating
Screenshot of Google search: Rabbit illustrations
Screenshot of Google search: Peter Rabbit illustrations
Screenshot of Google search: Tool shed

Finding a story (Part I): The Paper Menagerie

DA2000 – Final Project.

Finding a story for our final project was a little tricky, if I were to use a word to describe it. We were tasked to create compositions which tell the tale of a story focusing on the composition angle, perspective, and colour choice. Not only must we create compositions that tell the story, we were challenged to create compositions which evokes emotions, compositions which suggests a mood and leave an impression.

The story which I first chose was The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu which sheds light on the theme of identity and familial ties. Do click the link via the title of this short story if you’d like to give it a read. I think it is a story which pokes at the heart and causes one to reflect, not exactly because of relatability but rather the themes the author explore, his choice of dictions and the flow of the story itself.

In the initial stages of planning, I explored different parts of the story to place emphasis on. The following are the documents to support the process of thinking and planning:

The Paper Menagerie composition brainstorming #01.
The Paper Menagerie composition brainstorming #02.
The Paper Menagerie composition sketches.
The Paper Menagerie Colour Sketch #01.
The Paper Menagerie Colour Sketch #02.
The Paper Menagerie Colour Sketch #03.
The Paper Menagerie Colour Sketch #04.

After exploring the different compositions – varying the perspective of the same scene and exploring the choice of colour, I felt that The Paper Menagerie is better told using film. Static compositions may not do the story’s rich emotions justice. Rather, when accompanied by dynamic film movements, varied cuts, scripts, movements and sound, the meaning behind The Paper Menagerie would be better brought forth.

Thus, I decided not to embark on this tale for my final work.