Case Study: NLB

Animations adapted from stories.

Once upon a client…

The National Library Board (NLB) approached us to create 4 videos for Read!Fest 2018 – an annual reading festival held by NLB. They requested for 4 stories to be animated in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Each animation video is an adaptation from the books written in the respective languages and they are based on a common theme: “The pursuit of happiness”

However, we ran into a few obstacles….

It was our first time creating story animations adapted from books.

Creating animations adapted from stories was something that we were unfamiliar with, hence we had to do substantial research to find out more. It was also a challenging task to summarize the books into a script and concise the entire plot into a short video under 2 minutes. There were many details in the original book that needed to be left out, and we had to choose the more relevant ones to include in the video. We had to be careful as we did not want to alter the original story in any way, so we had to make sure that the book was well-condensed and the script included all the crucial parts of the story.

Another challenge we faced was finding translations for the stories. As each video has a voiceover in a different language, we had to source for translators and voiceovers. We ran into difficulties trying to source for translators in the mother tongue languages like Malay and Tamil, as these are considered the minority languages in Singapore. There were very few translators for these 2 languages and most of them cost more than our intended budget.


How did we manage to do it?

We started off with researching for different ways to tell stories through animation. We found several storytelling frameworks to help us come up with the flow of the stories, and we stitched the plot together by filling in the framework with the highlights of the stories. Along the way, we also frequently communicated with the authors to get their input and feedback, so that we can tell the stories in the most accurate way possible.

As for the translations issue, we managed to get one of our colleague’s friends to help us with the translations for a small fee. The translations turned out well, and we also checked with the authors to make sure that their stories were translated accurately.


The end result was…

4 animation videos in English, Chinese, Tamil, and Malay respectively. The videos were then used for Read!Fest 2018 to promote the books. The client was very satisfied with the videos, and engaged us to work on their next project.

Below is the video for the Chinese animation.

You can watch the other videos on our Youtube Channel here 

Gram has helped businesses win their audience over with explainer video animations and corporate videos since 2014.


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