Repurposing Radio into Animation

One of the many blogs I follow pointed me to this series, which some American readers may already know: StoryCorps. For the past seven years, the indie, non-profit series has recorded 30,000 interviews from Americans who wish to share their story.

The series is a great multiplatform story with podcasts, email subscription, a few books, an iPhone app, a Twitter account – and they travel across the U.S. to help people record their stories.

Recently, some of the most popular stories have been turned into original animated shorts. I really enjoyed watching the Danny & Annie animation unfold because it captured raw emotion. Then again, this was the first time I heard the story – and it’s fantastically told.

Earlier this year when I tried to watch The Ricky Gervais Show, which is animated episodes of his hilarious podcast, I found my eyes wandering away from the screen. I had listened to the audio beforehand and created an image that didn’t necessarily correspond with the animators vision.

Repurposed content doesn’t have to match a vision perfectly in order for something to grab my attention, but I felt disappointed – like when you go see a movie based on your favourite book. The animation didn’t add anything to the story.

So, I did an experiment – I listened to StoryCorps next animated short – Q & A – without watching the video… only audio. Afterwards, I watched the animation to see how it affected my enjoyment of the story.

Do me a favour. Do the same. And if you want, tell me what experience you had. Is it like listening to your favourite song and then watching a disappointing video? Or did the animation make you listen to certain elements you may have missed in your original listen?