CASE STUDY: STORYTELLING

One of our favourite projects was a collaboration with Breaking Productions and Sir Ian McKellen to bring to life a short story by a very special young lady at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
One of our favourite projects was a collaboration with Breaking Productions and Sir Ian McKellen to bring to life a short story by a very special young lady at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Ali Bodin from Breaking productions is the author in residence at GOSH, running weekly workshops with the children both in the school and on the wards. We worked alongside Ali to turn one young lady’s story into an animated short, so that she could see her ideas on the big screen!
We began by taking the time to understand both the story of the young lady and the story that she had created. We wanted to understand her personality so that we could create the characters and tell the story in a way that reflected this.
We began by designing some imagery on the computer using clean and crisp vector shapes, but felt that it lacked the charm that this story and its origins deserved. Since the story was created by a young child, we wanted the style and imagery to reflect this. So we tried a more hand-painted style using watercolours which was certainly a step in the right direction, but still didn’t quite feel like the one. We then took some coloured cards and began to cut shapes out, and immediately knew that this was it as it really carried the associations of childlike creativity in the classroom! As the project progressed we loved the hand-crafted style so much that we wanted to really push it as far as we could, so we included some hands moving the card around in certain frames, the cutting mat at the beginning and end, and extras such as strips of cello tape holding things together rather than using less visible glue.
Character Development
Storyboard
The initial scenes, cuts and shots were sketched with pencil to build an idea of how the audience journey through this world and story might look.
Once the initial cuts and scenes were sketched, we began building the first layering of imagery using a variety of coloured cards.
Scenery & Imagery
Wireframe
The wireframe uses the approved artwork and style, with basic movements. This stage allows us to begin to envisage what the final animation will look like and allows for constructive appraisals from everyone involved before investing time into the more complex movements/animation.
We scanned in all of the cut outs, and using a series of different animating tools we began to add the movement that brings this story to life!
First Draft
Layering
When the animating/editing using the initial imagery was complete, it was time to go through every scene and add as many different arts and craft items as we could scan in order to really give the scenes the detail and emotion that they deserve. We began scanning and photographing everything from ice lolly sticks for fence posts, jewelled stars, actual tree bark for tree trunks, leaves, stones, cheese (for the moon!) and even a tennis ball! We even managed to incorporate some Live action fire in there for the opening and closing story-telling scenes with Sir Ian.
The wording of the script was developed by the marvellous Ali Bodin at Breaking Productions, and the narrator/storyteller is of course the Magnificent Sir Ian McKellen! The addition of a script and of course Sir Ian’s amazing vocals brought so much depth and character to this short.
Sir Ian McKellen in the studio
Music & Sound Design
The bespoke music and sounds effects were the final touches that helped to ground the animation, add atmosphere, mood and emotion. They were created by our very talented collaborators Adrian Townsend & Giovanni Rotondo.
Throughout the entire process we sent regular updates and were always available for communication with everyone involved, to ensure that they remained in control of their animation every step of the way… but we dealt with the faff!
Ali Bodin from Breaking productions is the author in residence at GOSH, running weekly workshops with the children both in the school and on the wards. We worked alongside Ali to turn one young lady’s story into an animated short, so that she could see her ideas on the big screen!
We began by taking the time to understand both the story of the young lady and the story that she had created. We wanted to understand her personality so that we could create the characters and tell the story in a way that reflected this.
We began by designing some imagery on the computer using clean and crisp vector shapes, but felt that it lacked the charm that this story and its origins deserved. Since the story was created by a young child, we wanted the style and imagery to reflect this. So we tried a more hand-painted style using watercolours which was certainly a step in the right direction, but still didn’t quite feel like the one. We then took some coloured cards and began to cut shapes out, and immediately knew that this was it as it really carried the associations of childlike creativity in the classroom! As the project progressed we loved the hand-crafted style so much that we wanted to really push it as far as we could, so we included some hands moving the card around in certain frames, the cutting mat at the beginning and end, and extras such as strips of cello tape holding things together rather than using less visible glue.
The initial scenes, cuts and shots were sketched with pencil to build an idea of how the audience journey through this world and story might look.
Once the initial cuts and scenes were sketched, we began building the first layering of imagery using a variety of coloured cards.
The wireframe uses the approved artwork and style, with basic movements timed to the voiceover. This stage allows us to begin to envisage what the final animation will look like and allows for constructive appraisals from everyone involved before investing time into the more complex movements/animation.
We scanned in all of the cut outs, and using a series of different animating tools we began to add the movement that brings this story to life!
When the animating/editing using the initial imagery was complete, it was time to go through every scene and add as many different arts and craft items as we could scan in order to really give the scenes the detail and emotion that they deserve. We began scanning and photographing everything from ice lolly sticks for fence posts, jewelled stars, actual tree bark for tree trunks, leaves, stones, cheese (for the moon!) and even a tennis ball! We even managed to incorporate some Live action fire in there for the opening and closing story-telling scenes with Sir Ian.
The wording of the script was developed by the marvellous Ali Bodin at Breaking Productions, and the narrator/storyteller is of course the Magnificent Sir Ian McKellen! The addition of a script and of course Sir Ian’s amazing vocals brought so much depth and character to this short.
The bespoke music and sounds effects were the final touches that helped to ground the animation, add atmosphere, mood and emotion. They were created by our very talented collaborators Adrian Townsend & Giovanni Rotondo.
Throughout the entire process we sent regular updates and were in communication with everyone involved, to ensure that the animation was always moving in the right direction.