Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Narrative Project: Creativity Under the Sea

    Today the narrative group I am in had a tutorial session with Alan regarding the direction of our project. We had a few ideas between us however the one that struck Alan the most during the discussion related to an idea of a puffer fish and the decorate patterns they create in the sand to attract mates.

Figure 1: An example of blow-fish artworks
    These little fish create amazing patterns by pushing themselves though the sand and using their fins as spades. I did some digging (no pun intended) to find how these little fish manage to create these amazing designs and came across a video from the BBC documentary Life Story.

    As demonstrated, puffers work constantly for a week to create these masterpieces. And as with all fine art, it is very delicate work, which could be considered for the story. Maybe he can't work fast enough, maybe he's too clumsy, maybe other fish or natural factors could ruin all his attempts. Maybe he can't get the pattern to simply "look right" as it were. Whatever the exact situation, the idea was that our fish realises they can't express themselves by doing what all the other fish are doing despite his best attempts.

    The idea we have discussed so far is that our protagonist fish struggles to make these designs, but in recalling a pst event, remembers that when nervous or agitated, like all puffers he inflates (the trigger as it turns out is easy enough; Pufferfish swell up by filling up their very elastic stomachs with water. So if it's an emotional trigger, a panicked gasp or hiccup could both signal a convenient transformation that might induce audience sympathy (it's pretty normal to feel embarrassed from some a public display of a panic-induced reaction) but that is not all that will happen.

Figure 2: When they're not inflated, blow-fish are tiny. Perhaps adorable.
Figure 3: I'm willing to say this one looks adorable.
   But that is where our little fish will shine. As when they have this happen to them, the audience and the nearby fish see their body transform into a beautiful technicolour display. Although I suppose one extra obstacle would be that what is beautiful can be subjective. But the idea is that when it is discovered that this fish can do this, all the other fish are amazed. I personally proposed a fractal pattern but for now the actual design is not important. What is important is getting a story nailed down though thumb-nailing and story-boarding.

    We were also discussing adding a cleaner shrimp as a friend who would try to help out our puffer with making their sand-art or try to cheer him up. The major inspiration for this was Hal the cockroach from the Pixar film Wall-E.

Figure 1: A little cleaner shrimp in an aquarium


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