Learning patterns/Tutorial on developing Wikipedia Animation and Explainer Videos
What problem does this solve?
This learning pattern is aimed on informing about the steps to be taken to create Wikipedia awareness videos. This can assist Wikimedians in having a direction and a plan a successful video and promotional campaign in their local languages.
What is the solution?
Following these simple steps, one can plan and execute a successful promotional video campaign. Additionally, this learning pattern can be used to dub the animation movie in another language.
Setting Up Things
- Clarity in end goal: The most crucial element is to know what you are doing. If you don’t know how to make the end result happen, break it it in different steps of the cycle and work the budget and timeline around that. You can always browse online sources to know more about the particular project - be it an animation movie or 3D Motion Graphics video ad. This can help you develop a clear idea about some of the main requirements of the project. Next thing is to make a chart of steps required to in a simple way.
- Budget: Breaking down steps of animation movie you will get - scriptwriting, script reviewing, searching and hiring animator, voice dubbing and video promotion. But is it really that simple? Sadly, this is where one needs to be careful. It is more complex than it seems and with a single mistake, the project coordinator can bear the entire brunt of the failure.
The animators or video directors give quotes according to the time and complexity of the video script keeping in mind the number of elements involved in it. The level of animation we wanted was really high with the kind of storyline we had in mind. Avoid writing the script before identifying the animator who could work on complex script in a very small budget.
So, how did we solve the problem? The answer is by improvising! Which is something you will have to do in entire way of the project. We got quotes from the different animators and the ones that matched our standards gave really high quotes. In the end, we were able to find Tereza Aleksanian, an animator from Armenia who was willing to work for low price for association with Wikimedia Foundation.
A lesson we can all use - artists might not want to work for low budget project - but where popular non-profit organization is concerned - WMF name can work its magic by itself. You can get an idea of the level of your professional artist - whether it is a director or an animator - and create script according to their standard of skill set.
Now, the next thing was dubbing. When your characters need local language voice, you cannot depend on the animation company from foreign land to provide that to you. Which means, you have to gather some volunteers who would willingly be the voice of the protagonists and it is exactly what we did after hiring services of a recording studio in a decent price.
But wait! Decent prices for professional recording studio, is that even possible? For us, sadly it was not! But again, here we worked the magic of brand name of Wikimedia Foundation and its mission. Once again, it worked and we were able to get both dubbing services and background music in Indian version designed specially for the movie to give it an authentic flavor.
Things To Consider
Now that you have planned the major steps and also gathered funds for the promotional video, it is time to work around on minute details, i.e. breaking down things to be done in smaller sub-steps and taking care of elements that we left out in the initial planning process.
Legal Agreement - When you involve third party in the Wikimedia projects, it is important to have them sign an agreement to release their work in Creative Commons, which otherwise can become a serious legal issue in the end.
Take a written agreement for quotation in the beginning of project. Sometimes, the directors and animation companies start arguing in the middle of the project to increase their fees. In our case, we faced the same issue but were covered by prior set safeguards.
If you want the background music to reflect the local colors, keep a music artist and instruments handy for recording.
Ensure you have a hearty team of volunteers. While professionals know the dynamics of their trade, what actually gives soul to the project is not skill but love of Wikimedia volunteers who want to make the project successful for their language and community.
If it wasn't for the love of Wikimedia, this movie would have looked like a failed skit of Panchtantra done poorly. You will have to argue, edit, and walk step by step of the entire project from start to finish to make it professional and beautiful. Which means, you simply cannot leave it on the artists and the Studio. Your opinions and voice needs to be heard!
Code of conduct: Be civil to the professional artists if they get frustrated. In the end, it is your job to make the project successful and it is important to ensure that the artists are content working or you won’t get a good end result.
When to Use it?
Now where can you apply our learnings? Any project that requires you to hire third party companies to work on Wikimedia Projects. Whether it is an explainer video, an animation feature or 3D Motion Graphics, you can imply these tested learnings to your project. Although, beware, the dynamics of these change depending on the type and scale of the project!
The version without voice over can be used by anyone to dub the movie in their regional language. Voila! Your personalized animation movie in your local language is cooked and ready to be served to masses! The files just needs the add-on of your local dubbed dialogues recorded in wav or mp3 file and it can be synced in premiere pro software. Here are 3 simple steps:
Select the clips to be synced. Create a new sequence and add the clips to the sequence. Play the video to check if it is synced properly. Click on file and export video.
Simple enough? Go to the video to sync your dubbed audio file and publish your own video. Find English version of the movie here.