When you listen to someone talking do you hear what they say - or understand what they mean? Debate and discussion is about more than words, and Scriberia’s Dan Porter has spent the past three years transforming the complicated stream of ideas that we verbalise into living animations that sprout from a single thought, branch off into unexpected directions - and open up a new way of thinking about issues that have many tangents. This summer he sat down and produced an animated edit of the debate IDEA hosted on the motion ‘The Jasmine Revolution Will Wither in North Africa’.
Dan said: “People want bitesize pieces of intelligent information because of the rise of the web and Youtube. We try to give discussions and debates a visual anchor to help people understand them from a different angle.”
To begin an animation Dan sits down and listens to the audio, sketching out what he initially visualises for an idea or a theme:
“This debate was really good because it’s located in a definite place and time. It has fantastic textures and colours. Some things didn’t work - we dropped a Middle East typeface because it looked too complicated, and, although paring down and simplicity is what makes these animations work, we had to be careful not to stereotype people too much.”
Sometimes the biggest challenge is interpreting the difference between what people mean and what they say: “People aren’t scripted, they wander off the point, sometimes they make their points in non-verbal ways. Animating that is what can make ideas come to life - its about what you do when the biggest meaning is in the gap”
Dan Porter and Chris Wilson are the Creative Directors of Scriberia and they produced this animation for IDEA and Intelligence Squared.