5 Things Working on this Animation Taught Us

We worked on an animation on thalassemia some time ago. Although we have done tons of animations in the past, we thought of creating one for a social cause in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad. We learned a lot about thalassemia, of course. We also got lots of rich insights about different aspects of creating animations designed for public service. 

Theme, Content, and Subject Matter Expertise

So many ideas floated around and we picked Marriage. Why?

We picked the theme of marriage because...

It is one of the more socially-involved activities in the country. (W are putting it mildly here.) Thalassemia is a blood-related condition and blood tests are required to ascertain whether the person and the potential partner are afflicted or not.

As marriage partners are selected on various factors such as education, looks, family background, we thought of adding a blood test to the list. After all, this is a very critical determinant for compatibility.

Insights from Books, Experts, and Life

Where we got our information from:

Doctors: They gave us the facts.

People afflicted with thalassemia: They told us what it was to live with the condition.

Bunch of people who were scouting for partners: They pointed us to the key challenges related to thalassemia awareness. (Example: "Is a blood test really necessary? I'm from a decent family. I don't need to go for a blood test !)

These inputs helped us understand the thalassemia condition from various dimensions. 

The 'Vox Populi' motif

The 'Interview' Technique

We used a 'pop-quiz' narrative to anchor the presentation. As the primary target audience was the youth, we thought that a survey method of an anchor asking questions was a good way to suss out public opinion. This way, we could include the research on general misinformation that people had about thalassemia.

Visuals (Giving Content Form and Colour)

What we showed, what we didn't, and the palette we used

The first important decision we made was to not show a narrator. We only indicated the survey by showing a mike presented to lots of different characters. The idea was to include a twist in the narration and not make it mimic a real-world survey situation.

Our ensemble of characters indicated a cross-section of people, cultures, and backgrounds. Since the video had to be shared via What's App and other social media, we used a fresh, bright colour palette. So, lots of reds, yellows, oranges, bright greens - shades that would keep you engaged through the video.

Acting in the Dubbing Studio

Drama and dubbing go together

The narrative involved multiple characters and therefore, obviously, different voices. (The boy in the image was not part of the team, by the way.) The dubbing is where we had really good voice over artists enact the script. This was interesting because how do you express in a way that will not exactly 'be seen'. We were illustrating our characters at the same time so the voice over artists did not really know what their characters really looked like. 

But good artists take a brief and make it their own!

Then We End It. Then We Send It.

To make it a message worth sharing

After our piece was done, we had a few rounds of reviews and iterations. With all the tweaks in place, we then screened it for the Rotary Club of Ahmedabad, attached it to our What's App messages, and then hit 'Send'.

We hope that more people are factoring in Thalassemia tests in their marriage checklists now.