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Creating an animated video for Accountability Initiative

30 Jan 20170 Comment

We introduced the Accountability Initiative to you earlier when we took you through the story of the website we built for them. A quick recap – AI is the arm of the Centre for Policy Research that tracks government fund-flows right from when funds leave the union government coffers till when they reach the communities and local administration.

Working on the website and with the reams of publications the Accountability Initiative sent our way meant that, by the time we reached the design stage of the website process, we had a fairly solid understanding of the kind of work AI does and how it does it.

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Which is why, at around this period, Accountability Initiative asked us if we’d like to make them an animated video.

The challenge they gave us was to take all the information they had about government structures and fund flows, and simplify and compile this into a two and a half minute video.

We started the process by poring over an extensive document AI shared with us that described the fund-flow process in painstaking detail. Based on this document we came up with an initial script that, on reading out, we found to be 6 and a half minutes long.

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Taking complicated government processes and breaking it into 2 and a half minutes was not an easy feat. We went back to AI with what we had, and thanks to their help, brought the script down to a little over 3 minutes. A tight squeeze!

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Now that we have the script ready, its time to work on the accompanying visuals. We did our best to come up with ideas for visuals that would best illustrate the process without becoming unwieldy or repetitive. We needed to think of icons for each of the different government bodies, and for each kind of fund transfer.

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Once we’d finalised on the visuals and the corresponding storyboard, it was time to move on to the final animation. Before getting to this, however, we first ran three colour options for the animation past AI. They picked one  based on paper textures and flat black, reds, blues and greys. These are the colours and textures you see throughout the final animation and they were chosen because they struck the fine balance between being professional, but not dull, and engaging, but not childish.

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The final animation now sits at 3 minutes and 18 seconds and serves as an excellent primer (unbiased opinion!) on fund transfers between government bodies. If you want a quick introduction to how your tax rupee is spent, the causes and consequences of these fiscal transfer mechanisms, and how you can know more about government funding and the work AI does, this is the video for you.

This video was published in Huffington Post on the 25th January 2017 as part of the blog, “Here’s What Really Happens to Budget Rupees for the Social Sector” by Yamini Aiyar. 

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