Hidden History: A historical walk for children

I had a great opportunity to work with a historical theme again for the 700th birthday of the city of Culemborg. For this festive occasion, a series of videos was developed for several historical sites throughout the old town. I designed the character of Metje, animated multiple intros and outros, drew the map and generally provided creative direction.

The video for the Saint Barbara church location can be seen above. The video is Dutch-spoken with English subtitles.


Metje the tour guide

The face of the route was the semi-historical  Metje. She bookended each video, providing information on the location and the route.

I designed her to be a fiery, enthusiastic and slightly quirky figure, to appeal to the target audience of primary school children. Her distinct look was utilized to tie the route together, with her face featuring prominently on everything related to it.


The route

Wooden poles painted in bold colours were placed next to ten highlights throughout the historical centre. Aluminium plates with the recognizable face of Metje, some basic information, and a QR-code where then attached to the front of each pole. The QR-codes linked to the videos on the online platform.

At the end of each of the videos a cartoony version of the town of Culemborg popped up, indicating further highlights as well as the viewer's current location.

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The story of Saint Barbara

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Apart from the intros and outros I designed, each video had a main part made by high school children. These included theatre, a spoken story and a song. For the Saint Barbara church, however, I designed and animated this main part myself.

It told of the story of Saint Barbara, her life and death, and her significance to the city of Culemborg. Since her life's story is quite gruesome, with a beheading and electrocution, I wanted to keep the general tone very light and comical. The story being told in the form of a puppet show performed by Metje also helped in making it more silly instead of heavy.