Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting in touch with my user group

I have been trying to get in touch with SAYA: The South Asian Youth Association in NY, a nonprofit organization that deals with issues on education, social pressures, pressure of parents etc.. on indian children in NY. I have approached this group because I feel that they would serve as the group that my thesis would matter to. An organization that could put my thesis to use in their programs for children's educational counseling. So far, I have been able to get the attention of the program director Wida Amir who has expressed interest in my project. However it has been busy at SAYA and therefore has been hard setting up an appointment with her. I will keep trying to reach out to her.

My user testing thus far has been on children I know, however they are only six of them in total and that is not a big enough number to test on. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I got in touch with HINDI USA. They are a company that teaches hindi as a second/ third language to children in schools around NY. Their smallest classes range from 15-20 students and are as big as 200 students per class. I have spoken to the person in charge and he has granted me access to the classes. He will be getting back to me about what day and time my age group meets (8-12 year olds) so that I can sit in the classes and test with them at the end of each class or as often as needed.

Finalized story beats

I had a few people read my story and got some very valuable feedback. I found that the part of the story where the son beats the drums and the father's rhythm changes was confusing. The message that people were getting from this was that the father was getting angry at son because the when he beat the drums instead of the drummer, he was interrupting the father's rhythm.

So I changed it so the son plays the drums better than the drummer and thats what makes the rain fall even harder and helps the father put the big fire out. I also changed it so the father gets angry with the drummer for encouraging his son to play the drums. He send the drummer away because he is angry. When he holds his sons hands to stop him from playing the drums he is indicating that he doesn't approve and he doesn't want him to play the drums.

I think it is clearer now and the structure is a lot stronger. On thursday I will be presenting the story boards for these beats and will also show new character design for the father's character as he looked to close to the son.

- father and son are dancing to the sound of drum beats
- we see them dancing near a house raging on fire and people running around anxiously
- father and son keep dancing
- the rain starts falling and puts the fire out
- father looks happy and proud as he dances
- boy looks sad and uninterested
- fire is put out and everyone cheers with happiness
- boy looks very unhappy
- he looks at the drums that the drummer was playing and his face lights up
- He tries to start talking to his father
- but father's followers interrupt by worshipping him and giving praises and boy never gets a chance to tell his father what he wants
- father starts patting the boy on his head for a job well done
- boy looks very unhappy and walks away
- he starts walking to the drums and sits down near the drummer
- he starts playing the drums and his face gets happy so he keeps playing
- the drummer standing next to him starts cheering him on
- he father hears a different beat being played on the drums
- he hears laughter and looks over at his worshippers
- he sees that they are laughing and pointing at someone
- he looks in the direction they are pointing and sees his son playing the drums
- he gets angry and starts moving towards his son
- he gets angry at the drummer and sends him away
- he holds his sons hands to stop him from playing anger on his face
- the boy looks at his father and tries to pull his hands away so he can play
- his hands gets free and he beats the drums
- the father gets angry and holds his sons hands again to stop him from playing
- thunder sounds and there is sound of tree branches falling
- suddenly they both hear screams
- the worshippers come running to the rain doctor and his son, jumping about pointing to a fire that has broken out
- the father looks at the fire and there's panic on his face
- he looks at his son and pulls him so he can dance with him
- but the son looks at him and pulls his hands away
- panic on his face, the father leaves the boy where he is and starts doing his rain dance
- The rain starts to fall but its not enough to put out the fire
- The son looks around him but the drummer is no where in site
- He decides this is his chance to prove to his father that he should play the drums
- He starts playing the drums furiously playing it even better than the drummer did
- the fathers starts moving to the new beat that his son is playing
- thunder sounds again and the rain starts to pour
- the father keeps dancing while the son keeps drumming
- the rain pours even more and the fire is put out
- the worshippers surround the son and carry him up on their shoulders
- the father goes up his son and hugs him
- another devastating scream is heard
- village person runs by with his clothes on fire
- father and son look at each other
- son starts playing
- father starts to dance
- the screen fades out
the end