AW//BLOG

04.14.10

Features

Finding Harry: A Promise Made, A Promise Kept

This short film was presented using three projectors in a 4:1 Ratio 16 feet wide by 4 feet tall as a central focus of the thesis exhibit. I suggest you use the vimeo link to go directly to the original if you want it full screen. (The 400 px wide just doesn’t cut it:)

Thesis In Space…….

Use your best Muppets voice for this title.

Failure

Sometimes you just have to make things to know that they don’t work.
(It’s fun to live at the Y.M.C.A.!)

FH_ForFun

Thesis Statement Rd 2.0

A humble business card, an integrated brand strategy, a title sequence, a blaring broadside–each graphic design, each telling a story. And storytelling is storytelling no matter the medium. Either you engage your audience or you don’t. Either you communicate your story well or you don’t. Graphic designers tell stories. Therefore good graphic designers are good storytellers. My whole reason for giving up a lucrative career, uprooting my wife and three kids to pursue a masters degree was to be a better graphic designer, hence my efforts to become a better storyteller.

The story I have chosen to tell is that of S/Sgt. Harry Clawson. Harry was an American paratrooper who went missing in action during WWII. Twenty-seven years after his disappearance, a Dutch tree farmer from Opheusden, The Netherlands, found his remains in a shallow grave in his tree nursery. Harry’s story is one of personal sacrifice, love of freedom, and the enduring cost of war.

The first step to telling a good story is really knowing the story. I had to research Harry’s story and this being grad school and all, I decided to try something different with my research approach. Using method acting as an inspiration, I developed a process I’m calling “method research”. I immersed myself into Harry’s life by going where he would have gone, seeing what he would have seen, and doing what he would have done. I traveled to Arizona, England, France and The Netherlands. I stood where he stood, where he lived and died. I spoke with those that knew him: his brothers in arms, his sisters, sons, and daughter. I have done some of the things he did: intense physical training, camped in the mountains, jumped from an airplane. Using method research has deepen my understanding of Harry’s story and drawn me closer to its realities, enabling me to tell his story with more sensitivity and authority.

To tell Harry’s story I explore design disciplines that are new to me such as motion graphics, exhibit design, and (gasp) even some writing. At the same time I am further developing current skills like branding and information design. My thesis exhibition is my stage and serves as a place for my actors to hone their craft. I tell Harry’s story utilizing multiple graphic formats combined into exhibition design. I use information graphics in the form of a contextualized timeline combined with geographic mapping. I use the simple and powerful presentation of plain text. I have motion graphics in a triple projector ultra wide film presentation. I also employ semiotic artifact imagery to convey elements of Harry’s character and life. These linear and non-linear, quick and involved formats of Harry’s story combine to give the audience a multi-faceted view of Harry’s life.

Thesis Statement 1.5

A humble business card, an integrated brand strategy, a title sequence, a blaring broadside—each graphic design, each telling a story. At its heart graphic design is storytelling. And storytelling is storytelling no matter the medium. Either you engage your audience or you don’t. Either you communicate your story well or you don’t. My thesis is about exploring new mediums and testing old forms. It’s about trying new things and seeing what happens, while simultaneously honing current skills.

The story I have chosen to tell is that of Harry Clawson. Harry was an American paratrooper who went missing in action during WWII. Twenty-seven years after his disappearance, a Dutch tree farmer from Opheusden, The Netherlands, found his remains in a shallow grave on his tree nursery.

My thesis uses an experimental research approach. Using method acting as an inspiration, I developed a process I call “method research”. I immerse myself into Harry’s life by going where he would have gone, seeing what he would have seen, and doing what he would have done. I traveled to Arizona, England, France and The Netherlands. I stood where he stood, where he lived and died. I spoke with those still around that knew him: his brothers in arms, his sisters, sons, and daughter. I have done some of the things he did: intense physical training, camped in the mountains, jumped from an airplane. Using method research has deepen my understanding of Harry’s story and drawn me closer to its realities, enabling me to tell his story of sacrifice and loss with more sensitivity and authority.

My thesis exhibition functions as an experiment of my thesis and a stretching of my abilities rather than an exhibit of my process and results. The exhibit is Harry’s story utilizing multiple graphic formats combined into exhibition design. It uses information graphics in the form of a contextualized timeline combined with geographic mapping. It uses the simple and powerful presentation of plain text. It has motion graphics using a triple wide film presentation. It also employes semiotic artifact imagery to convey elements of the Harry’s character and life.

In the end I have learned that my thesis is about me becoming a better storyteller, a better designer, and a better human being.

// First Forays Into Visual Language


// 4:1 Ratio Test (Best in Full Screen Mode)


The images and sequence and sound are just there to show the capabilities. They aren’t not meant to be interpreted at all.

Bring It On Baby!

It is time to rumble! March 26, 2010 is the big dance and so I have hit the ground running. I am super excited for this semester, I have all the support I could ask for. If I fail I will only have myself to blame. If I succeed I have several people to thank. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!

(Luckily, I am at that a point in life where I can learn from both failure and success so it’s a win/win for me.)

Doing: Virtual Combat Training

//War is Hell
I fully recognize that playing war games from the comfort of my chair is NOT any sort of actual combat training of any kind. I am confident that nothing can compare to the real thing. So why do it you might ask? I am convinced that playing these games can expose one vitally important thing—frailty. Playing these games wasn’t about learning how to take cover or mastering sniper breathing techniques but to expose to my conscience to how easy it is to die. While playing four full games from beginning to end I tracked every time I died and how. I died 289 times.

Total Deaths

*Disclaimer: I can’t lie, I actually enjoy playing these games. But playing as much as I did to get this data, I was left feeling a little empty and unfulfilled. It’s unfortunate we humans are so good at destroying, I think we are meant to create.