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!
Thank you so much for your wonderful animation! The first response this morning at the Press Conference was absolutely positive!!
Markk Hamburg, Digital Benin
Museum Director, Markk Hamburg