FA7036 - Caravan of Curiosities - 12 Stages of Narrative

The 12 Stages of Narrative – as applied to the Story of the Caravan…

Is the protagonist Frank or the Caravan?

Caravan Version:

  • Ordinary World – everyday life of the protagonist.

The basic materials for the caravan, i.e. the wood, metal, paint etc. are lying around Frank’s workshop, ‘living’ a normal life. Old photos of Frank and basic photos of wood, metal etc. Make it all look old.

  • Call to Adventure – someone or something happens to lead protagonist on an adventure.

Mark Hall asks carpenter Frank Hardie to make a caravan for his next project, The Wind in the Willows, and so Frank sets about getting together the basic materials and starts building the basic structure. SPEND TIME ON THIS – drawings, measurements, and quotes from Frank.

  • Reluctant to the Call – the protagonist is wary of the adventure or reluctant to leave behind the security of their home environment.

Not being fully aware of the text, Frank wrongly begins painting the final model red. Footage of paintbrush painting in red, quotes from Frank.

  • Meeting with the Mentor – the protagonist meets someone who trains or advises them on how to survive their journey.

Mark Hall is the mentor in this case, urging Frank to do his research. The caravan, after all, is described in the book as “canary-coloured”. Stills of Mark Hall, and more quotes from Frank.

  • Crossing the Threshold – the protagonist commits to the adventure, leaves home and enters a new, unfamiliar, enchanting world on their journey.

The caravan is completed, leaves Frank’s workshop, and it used on the set for the filming of the ‘Open Road’ scene in The Wind in the Willows. SPEND TIME ON THIS – footage from the film.

  • Tests, Enemies and Allies – the protagonist meets characters along the way who accompany him or confront him on his quest.

In the ‘Open Road’ scene the caravans tumbles over, threatened by the passing motor car, which becomes an enemy. Use more footage from the film.

  • Approach to the Inmost Cave – the darkest point in the film where the main character has to prepare for the major challenge of their journey and confront their innermost fears.

Filming of the caravan, apart from 3 subsequent episodes, is over and in 1990 the caravan is put into storage, and not very well. It is trodden on, tripped over; the paint gets scratched, the roof gets destroyed – it is in very bad shape. Show this through drawings, in storybook style, depicting the caravan being stored on its side and badly. Use a sad, melancholy soundtrack.

  • Ordeal – the climax of the film when the protagonist has to overcome someone or something in order to complete their journey.

The caravan is thrown into a skip and Frank, desperately wanting it saved, calls on somebody to rescue it before it’s too late. Editor Nibs Senior to the rescue! Show this, again, through (dramatic) drawings, followed by quotes and photos of Frank, as well as Nibs. Show the caravan being lifted out of the skip (maybe film this at an actual skip…?)

  • Reward – the protagonist wins some form of treasure by defeating the antagonist/facing death.

The antagonist, in this case, is ITV, who threw the caravan in the skip in the first place. Nibs leaves Cosgrove Hall with the caravan and the caravan has won freedom – but also the on looking of animator Richard Haynes, who just happens to be in the right place at the right time, and sees Nibs leave the building with the caravan. Use drawings and photos of me.

  • The Road Back – the protagonist has to leave the new world, potentially being chased.

The caravan is on its way to somewhere, definitely leaving Cosgrove Hall, while it is being chased – not by the antagonist, but be Richard, who cares immensely about its future. Show cross-cutting of the caravan returning home to Frank and me, writing messages to Nibs, followed by letters to Frank, and basically trying to track down the whereabouts of the caravan.

  • Resurrection – the protagonist is transformed by one final test or sacrifice, perhaps resolving inner conflicts.

The caravan is slowly restored; a new roof is built by Frank, and everything is re-painted. Then Richard joins in, taking the caravan away and finishing the restoration, which includes tracking down replica pots and pans. Collect together all photos of the initial meeting with Frank, and document the restoration process by showing photos of the different stages.

  • Return with Elixir – the protagonist returns home with the reward/knowledge/power that has the power to transform their home world.

The caravan now sits, fully restored, comfortably at home. It has a new lease in life, serves as inspiration for students, and brightens up any home. Lights are installed inside, and it is even used as a ‘screen’ (inside and outside) for the projection of other images. Show a compilation of stills and videos of the caravan on display, from all sorts of new and refreshing angles. Also show the view-master images being projected onto the side of the caravan, before being projected onto a ‘screen’ in front of the back window inside the caravan.

TO-DO LIST (Creative Work surrounding the Caravan)


  • Close-up photos of wood, metal, model paints etc.

  • Mark Hall – illustrations or photos

  • Me – looking on/working at Cosgrove Hall

  • Letters to Frank

  • Interviews of Frank (BACK UP IPOD)

  • Photos of the initial meeting with Frank (caravan unrestored)

  • Photos depicting the restoration process


  • Paintbrush painting red paint, and then yellow paint

  • ‘Measurement’ stills

  • Lifting the caravan out of a skip (video)

  • The caravan from new, refreshing angles

  • The projection onto and inside the caravan

  • Animation of windows and doors opening, pots and pans swaying, the caravan rolling along, etc.


  • Frank making the caravan

  • The caravan badly stored

  • The caravan in the skip, and then being rescued by Nibs (keyframe/storyboard style)

  • Me (maybe caricatures)

  • The caravan being returned to Frank


  • Measure everything on the caravan and take photographs of its ‘bare body’ from all angles, with a few to adjusting them into black & white in Photoshop later.

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