For this project, I have chosen to combine the board game Monopoly and the 1995 movie Braveheart.
One of my favorite board game as a child was Monopoly – during family Thanksgivings, I would play it for hours with my cousins – and, I always thought it would be fun to design a version of the game. So, when I was given the opportunity to do any project I wanted I decided to combine one of my favorite board games with one of my favorite movies, Braveheart.
I enjoy challenges and knew that pairing the simple design of Monopoly with the complex emotional story of Braveheart would be a difficult task. Before starting anything, I asked myself “What is at the heart of the story in Braveheart?”. Answering that would give me a place to start.
A love story – that was the answer to my question.
Most of the people I have talked to about the movie tell me that they think, at its core, Braveheart is a war movie. I would argue that it’s not, and tried to illustrate my point in the center of the board.
Without getting too much into the plot as to explain why I would say the war is a result of the love story – at least in the way the movie presents itself. So, with that in mind, I decided to illustrate William Wallace and his love, Murron MacClannough, in a warm embrace in the center of the board with the war going on around them. The war going on around the two is blurred out, not only to show that it isn’t the core of the story but, is my homage to the beautiful work of cinematic storytelling that is Braveheart.
Then came critiques
When I presented my work to my classmates and the professor, some of the biggest complaint my board and the accompanying pieces received were about the type, the clutter, and the work feeling like it didn’t flow. Very photoshop-y was how one person described it. But almost everyone had a problem with the illustration in the middle of the board.
I don’t think I have the illustration abilities to render a better, more believable illustration, so I decided to scrap the illustration completely.
While bouncing ideas off of my professor, he asked me a question that made me rethink my approach. What is the most memorable part of Braveheart to you? Before answering I took a moment to think about it. For me, the most memorable part of it would have to be the secret wedding scene – due to its extreme importance to the story, both in propelling the plot forward and for the growth and drive to the character William Wallace.
But I didn’t say that was my answer. Most people, who had seen the movie that I spoke with, didn’t remember that in comparison to the war aspects of the film. I had also just attempted the romantic side of the movie and, after critiques, felt that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. So, when answering my professor, I told him the most memorable part of the movie was when William Wallace musters up the energy to yell FREEDOM at the top of his lung right before he is killed.
“Why don’t you think about that aspect of things when doing your revisions?”
Maybe it’s because I’m an American, or maybe it’s because of what flight represents… but I thought William Wallace needed to be flying out of hell covered in the blood of his enemies, in a resurrection-esk way – in an attempt to show that his message of freedom lived on past his death.
I thought I would approach this in an abstract way…
After addressing some of the concerns people had with my previous version, and with my abstract hat on, I got to work – this is what I came up with!
It still needs some work, so I kept at it. After a few more revision, I felt I had finished the board and was ready to move on to the collateral…
So after taking a week or so off from this project, allowing my brain to take a breather from everything, I came back. Boy, oh boy… oh did I feel overwhelmed. I started to question my decision to take on this project, but there is nothing like a challenge to test yourself. I ended up redoing most of what I had already accomplished so that all the pieces would feel more like a collective body of work. I feel like I did pretty well. I am happy with what I have.
I made a few more changes to the board after speaking with some of my classmates. Those changes ended up becoming the final version of the project. I am very pleased with the final result.