During the summer term of 2013, we ran an animation project to celebrate literacy.
Inspired by the Grand Appeal Gromit Unleashed project, which saw an army of decorated Gromit sculptures appearing all over Bristol, we decided to embark upon a whole school animation project. In the process, we found we were looking not just at a celebration of plasticene cartoons, but at all forms of storytelling and communication.
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Saikat Ahmed is a local actor who has worked with us before. In spite of his busy schedule performing at the Bristol Old Vic, as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan and as Puck in Midsummer Nights Dream, he found the time to work with Year 3 classes for a day in June on performance poetry. They had just 24 hours to prepare for our Celebration Evening!
West End In Schools is a London based company specialising in Theatre in Education. They sent a West End dancer to us for the day to explore Michael Morpurgo's story The Butterfly Lion through movement and dance. Each class had just over an hour, during which time they learnt how to express emotion and relationships through their physical movements. They performed their dances at our Celebration Evening.
Simon Gurr is a graphic artist who has worked on a number of graphic novels with another one-time collaborator of ours, author Eugene Byrne. He was delighted to be asked to work with us on this project, and visited each Year 5 class to help them tell a story through comic strips. Year 5 then applied this skill when it came to turning their plots into storyboards for the Year 6 film makers.
In order to help with the technical side of animated film production, we invited Aardman Studios and Kudlian Software to come in and help with a practical training day, just before the actual production week. Working with Lego or Playmobile characters, they learnt from the experts how to get the most out of the equipment to make their films.