Ammar Kandil, one of the members of a YouTube channel named Yes Theory, posted a video of his life through animated google searches about his journey leaving Egypt and going against his family to purse a creative career. The film was created in collaboration with a production company in Copenhagen, Burning Boat, and Google. Yes Theory is very different from other content I have come across. It was started by students at McGill as part of a college assignment called Project 30 where they record 30 videos of them doing 30 things outside of their comfort zone in 30 days (including talking to the Prime Minister of Canada). Afterwards, they made it their full time job and have decided their platform to globally empowering people to go outside their comfort zones and create a more positive, inclusive world. They are currently expanding to longer documentaries and other types of media.
Their recent project, “Free Child,” told Ammar’s life story through his use of technology to find answers and connect with others. Burning Boat used animated google searches, word documents, and messages across technological platforms and time, showing the growth of Ammar alongside the change of the design of technological platforms. They wanted to evoke feelings of nostalgia for old programs. They discussed how much they had to figure out throughout the project and attention to detail went into it: figuring out how to take photos of the inside of the computer, get another computer because the inside of the first one didn’t look good enough, redesign Microsoft word, redesign it again for a different update, track the mouse, make sure the shot wasn’t too close so the words looked pixelated, rasterize in After Effects, hold the shot long enough for someone to be able to read the text, create an entire set to look like Ammar’s childhood computer and desk setup, and many other things. They created a podcast on how this process went, which I felt was quite relevant to our current work on animation and interesting to learn about what went into the creation of videos like this (Link to Podcast).
Link to video: My Life Story Through Google Search