Motion: The Real Social Network


The Real Social Network from deviantmonk on Vimeo.

This video is a promo/series video for The Real Social Network, a 3 week series that is starting at Church of the Resurrection next week.

I have to say that I really initially struggled with coming up with any kind of concept for this. One of the difficulties was with the series itself- the whole point is to use social networks and the relationships that one might develop on them as kind of a contrast to what might be considered more real-world relationships and ways of building community. Because of that, there needed to be both a tie-in to the ‘feel’ of online social networking while at the same time creating that contrast that would form the basis of the teaching.

For about 2 weeks I let the ideas and thoughts jostle around in my mind, and really couldn’t come up with anything. Finally, an idea came to me which would take to long to describe. I’ll just call it Plan A. When it first came to my mind, I got really excited about it and did a little bit of story-boarding and even selected the audio track for it. Then the realization set in (and was confirmed by others) that it was probably a little too ambitious for the amount of time we had to execute. (I had thought I had an additional week.)

The next day I came into work and tried desperately to think of something else. I still liked Plan A, and was planning on doing a more realistic version of it, but probably wouldn’t be able to until early the next week. So I closed the door to my office and began to just throw ideas at the computer.

Eventually Plan B came to me. I began to think about what social networking tends to revolve around: words. These words tend to form the structure of social network sites, whether Facebook or Twitter or whatever else. Even if other media is employed and shared, it still moves and breathes with words. It struck me then that to some extent the relationship and community we are contrasting that with do as well. I thought the tie-in was pretty good, so I kept going with it.

I then envisaged creating an inverse of sorts- what if online community/relationships, etc., were the normal mode of relationships and person-to-person real world relationships existed as the kind of outlying form? Granted, to some extent this is the way it is, which I thought gave the whole concept a little bit of irony, which I always like. Eventually, I liked Plan B a whole lot more than Plan A and felt that ultimately it was stronger.

Anyway, once I happened upon that idea, the rest was pretty simple. The ‘script’ for this sort of just fell into place; I was able to write it in about 5 minutes, and only made about one or two relatively minor tweaks. Obviously, the motion graphics aspect was not incredibly challenging.

Actually, I take that back. It was extremely tempting to want to do too much with this, to add more animation and movement and the like, but I realized that to do so would actually undermine the whole experience. The simplicity of the music with the simplicity of the animation felt far more powerful to me, and everyone that I showed this video to agreed. In the end, I was extremely happy with how it turned out, even in its simplicity.


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