As I have experimented with moving image in both physical and digital forms previously, participating in the Love/Hate brief was something I was eager to gain a more advanced understanding of through becoming familiar with the stop motion software; Dragonframe. We were introduced to the fundamentals of stop motion and frame rates during our first class, gaining insight into how effectively we could illustrate different speeds or effects using mundane objects to create abstract visualizations from the simplest of methods. My initial thought upon being briefed was that the subject matter could be represented in such extensive ways due to the fact that they were broad elements that have already been anchored with countless connotations throughout history, literature, the media and universal representations of such strong emotions. Michelle encouraged us to think outside of the box and avoid being drawn into the cliché notions that have been continuously recreated in similar yet unoriginal ways.
Once we were placed into groups, we as a team began to brainstorm ideas and draw out our own thoughts of love and hate and what we associate both of those key words with. We touched up on emotion, colour, sound, senses, worldly links, stereotypes and many other associations we were all aware of collectively – it was interesting to compare and contrast what our predominant perceptions during our discussion – we all interpret those words in different ways and this was clear in how me and Katy talked more about the psychological and visual connections whereas Justin and Bee mentioned love and hate being associated likes and dislikes and things that don’t taste appealing to us such as marmite.
Scientists prove it really is a thin line between love and hate
After delving into some research to support and help inspire our production making, we found articles based on how there is a very thin line between love and hate as the most intense emotions, both are very intimately linked within the human brain and that some of the physical circuits that are used by the brain when expressing hatred are the same as the ones used to express love even though they are deemed polar opposites.
Love and hate are intimately linked within the human brain, according to a study that has discovered the biological basis for the two most intense emotions.
Scientists studying the physical nature of hate have found that some of the nervous circuits in the brain responsible for it are the same as those that are used during the feeling of romantic love – although love and hate appear to be polar opposites.
A study using a brain scanner to investigate the neural circuits that become active when people look at a photograph of someone they say they hate has found that the "hate circuit" shares something in common with the love circuit.
The findings could explain why both hate and romantic love can result in similar acts of extreme behaviour – both heroic and evil – said Professor Semir Zeki of University College London, who led the study published in the on-line journal PloS ONE.
"Hate is often considered to be an evil passion that should, in a better world, be tamed, controlled and eradicated. Yet to the biologist, hate is a passion that is of equal interest to love," Professor Zeki said.
"Like love, it is often seemingly irrational and can lead individual to heroic and evil deeds. How can two opposite sentiments lead to the same behaviour?"
We decided to combine elements of all of our ideas to portray love and hate, as they would be felt and interpreted by others through psychological colour associations, facial expressions and sound. Facial expressions are non-verbal forms of communication and can often demonstrate what a person is feeling more clearly as people can adopt them voluntarily or involuntarily; resulting in them being a primary means of communication.
Following this idea, we chose to base our stop motion animation around a sequence of animated lips to depict confused, hesitant and anxious as well as joyful and happy expressions which in turn would contrast to and move fluidly with the transition of colours in the background using harsh and soft brush strokes with watercolour inks in pink and black tones.
The process of creating our animation from the preliminary steps to the final phase was interesting and challenging especially as a team with the time period we had considering how broad our subject also was. Although my participation in this project was rewarding and taught me a lot about working as a team to manage time and maintain practical experiments within these time frames effectively; if given the opportunity to repeat, I would ensure more attention was paid to the methods we consider to execute ideas as well as only coming to a strict conclusion of an idea when all other possibilities are exhausted so that our options and commitments to one notion are not limited or restricted to just that, and can be elaborated, rendered and alternated if need be.