How can we create a visual story without sound or color given the prompt of a single word?

My original word to work with was transform.

My first step in any project is to research the content provided. In this case, I combed over every definition of transform I could find — from scientific definitions to geographical to spiritual. I really liked the basic defintion, feeling like I could work more with it visually: verb; a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of. I started brainstorming examples of simple changes in form like taking off a shirt, removing makeup, or smiling.

First sketches

As I was thinking of examples, I felt like I needed a juxtaposition of images for my audience to better understand the word I was trying to convey. I turned to the mathematical definitions of transform, when a shape or object goes through the process of translation, rotation, reflection, or dilation. I started sketching story boards that incorporated the two ideas, fusing real footage and animation.


However, as I tried putting these ideas into Premiere, they felt clunky and awkward. My transitions into animation didn’t feel as clean as the footage I shot. I went back to my file, deleted all the animation and looked at the footage by itself. I decided that instead of trying to animate matching scenes together, I would work harder on defining the footage I had and show the mathematical defintion by using hand cut shapes and camera footage.

Reworking existing footage

The end result was a series of quick clips, trying to match on action with the proceeding shot. I tried to keep the viewer on edge with a diverse array of shots and speed. The final product is all black and white, no sound, and 33.5 seconds long.

The next step of this process is to refine the film. I’d love to include more subtle movements and really emphasize the simple changes in emotion and movement.

Boston University MFA Graphic Design