Project Name: Benin A Brief History
Type of Project: Animation
Client: Markk Hamburg, Digital Benin

THE CLIENT

We were given the great honour of being tasked with producing a short animated film for the MARKK Museum in Hamburg, Germany and the Digital Benin organisation. The main aim of the project was to explain the history of the Benin Kingdom and its subsequent pillaging by British forces as part of an exhibition explaining the importance of repatriating the artefacts. The project needed to be equal parts informative and entertaining, while conveying the weight of the topic properly.

To watch the full 8-minute film, visit the Digital Benin website

 

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What we did

This project had the benefit of already having a storyline – one told by history. The difficulty was in how people told that story. With different versions of events being presented by different sources,  our first step was research to piece it all together as we drafted our script. In this pursuit, we were aided by the wonderful exhibition organisers from the MARKK Museum, whose advice was invaluable and allowed us to create a version that contained only the facts.

Next came the storyboard, and translating all of this onto the screen. We particularly wanted to emphasise the beauty of the Benin Kingdom, and how vibrant and full of life it was. All the more impactful then, when the British would come and tear it all away. Creating beautiful backgrounds was key to this, bringing life to the setting, and emphasising the devastation simultaneously.

Due to the leaps through time and large number of people involved in the periods covered, the characters were key to this project, sporting a whopping 45 individual models by the end. Keeping them all historically accurate was a difficult, but worthwhile endeavour. By the end, the product feels a lot more alive and true to the setting. We’re extremely grateful to all the hard work the artists put in to make this possible!

The Result

The end result is a product we were all plenty pleased with, especially considering the time constraints! The less is more approach contributed quite well to the storytelling, with more time to linger on the impact of the events unfolding. We received a positive reception from both the client and audiences, making this project an overall success in our books!

To watch the full 8-minute film, visit the Digital Benin website

 

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WHAT THE CLIENT HAD TO SAY

Thank you so much for your wonderful animation! The first response this morning at the Press Conference was absolutely positive!!

Dr. Barbara Plankensteiner

Museum Director, Markk Hamburg