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Share A Story

‘Share A Story’ Picks Up Its Fourth BAFTA and Fades Out…

By | Awards, BAFTA, Broadcast, CITV, Modelmaking, Nominations, Puppetry, Share A Story, stop-motion | No Comments

Nine Years And Four BAFTAs Later, Is It Really Farewell…?

This month ‘Share A Story’ picked up its fourth Children’s BAFTA in the Short Form Category, and who knows, such is its appeal, it may be in the running again next year for a fifth. Let’s hope so. It’s been such a privilege to be involved with this competition over the last decade and those 6 individual years we contributed. We’re incredibly proud to say that in each of the four years it won a mask, one of our short films formed part of the group. (Kudos must surely go to CharacterShop for having been the only studio to have produced a film every year it ran). The competition is testament to the enduring brainchild of Corrinne Averiss who originally created the competition as part of World Book Day to engage young readers.

Children’s author and Share A Story creator; Corrinne Averiss

‘Share A Story’ has been a feature of the CiTV schedule which has survived more dominating circumstances, such as broadcaster cut-backs and two rounds of redundancies within the producing team. Within the last decade, it’s been an annual opportunity to collaborate with old studio friends Carl Hadley, Dave Hickman and Wal Werbel. Wal was co-Director on My Motorbike which also picked up an Royal Television Society award for Best Production Craft Skills in 2012. This story was perhaps the most logistically challenging, involving some hacked model movers and motion control trickery to realise a stop-motion ‘helicopter’ shot around a mountain set (below).

Opportunities…

The one other opportunity it provided (and which will now be sorely missed) was creating placement opportunities for some fantastically talented graduates (we received hundreds of requests a year). The eager hands who joined us every autumn formed an integral part of the crew for each project. Without them the scope of our ideas for each film would not have been possible.

Mad Scientists and Bum-Biting Crocodiles…

Of the stories we got to make, we’ve seen a mad-scientist teacher, a ‘zero’ who wants to be a donut, motorcycle stunts on mountains, a bum-biting crocodile, a shark who likes pickled onion crisps, and a cosmic contest between heavenly bodies. It was a real creative highlight in the calendar when we’d get to sit down and read through the brilliantly entertaining ideas before they were whittled down from the many thousands of entries to the handful which were ultimately produced. Every story gave us the opportunity to let fly with our imaginations and try out new stuff. So, in no discernible order, thanks to all the young scribes who entrusted their stories to us: ‘Brainfood’ by Jack Land, Oh, No! Where’s Zero? by Alfie de Brito, My Motorbike by Alex Holt, The Crocodile Trap by Leah Faulks, A Shark Who Swallowed The Sea by Heidi Hogarth, The Race In The Sky by Jenotha Seenivasan. This year’s BAFTA is for a body of work shared with Kilogramme, Charactershop and Jardine Sage. Also on the studio crew were our two tireless assistants, Chris Mair and Nina Noon.

Pictured: Chris Randall and Ian Whittle.

Puppets Galore

By | Modelmaking, Puppetry, Share A Story | No Comments

Just for laughs we’ve compiled a clip reel of our projects where we’ve worked with traditional puppetry, featuring marionettes and/or rod-controlled and hand-controlled puppets. It makes a great change when we can shoot with these, combining all the best bits of modelling and miniature set building but meaning we can shoot 17 takes if we want to like all the live action people. Featured here are the Diet Coke ‘Love It Light’ Facebook films, The Crocodile Trap, A Shark Who Swallowed The Sea and a music video for Goodnight Lenin for their track Wenceslas Square, co-produced with Prime Objective and Nice Monster. Plus there’s some other bits and bobs featuring traditional puppetry in some guide. Enjoy.

‘The Race In The Sky’ Selected for Manchester Animation Festival

By | Awards, Broadcast, CITV, Compositing, Festivals, Share A Story, stop-motion | No Comments

The Manchester Animation Festival has selected ‘The Race In The Sky’ to screen as part of their Commissioned Films category this autumn. We completed the film in September 2016, as our sixth animation for CiTV’s Share A Story competition for young viewers, written and read by 11-year-old Jenotha Seenivasan. The story is a cosmic tale of how the sun and moon had a race to decide who ‘owns’ the sky. The models used in the film were crafted from recycled materials and given a bit of magic using ‘light writing’, long exposures created with torchlight and bare light bulbs. Special thanks go to Nina Noon, Andrea Haenze, Chris Mair and Leah Hadley for getting stuck in with us during the production. The film will be screening on Tue November 14th at 12;10 and Wed 15th at 15:40.

BAFTA nomination for ‘The Mechanical Musical Marvel’

By | 2D, Awards, BAFTA, Share A Story, The Mechanical Musical Marvel | No Comments

I happened to be scrambling over some ancient ruins in Little Petra (a site of animal sacrifice to be precise) when my phone trilled. Louis Hudson, lead character animator on ‘The Mechanical Musical Marvel’ had just sent me a message simply saying, ‘BAFTA Nominated!’ The film was down to the last four in the highly competitive Animation category.

Picture, if you will, the confusion on the face of our trail guide while I jumped up and down like a lunatic. Aside from putting the icing on the cake of an already fantastic trip, I later discovered the names of the other nominees. As a friend of mine put it, our short film that teaches children about the inner workings of pipe organs was in some ‘pretty august company.’

Our film shares the category with the hilarious The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers. the delightfully nutty The Amazing World Of Gumball, and the beautifully rich visual world of The Gruffalo’s Child.

It’s fair to say that myself and Julie Boden, with whom I developed the story for ‘Mechanical Marvel’ and who wrote the rhyming scheme for the film’s narration, are pretty over the moon to be nominated alongside these landmark productions. Not bad when you consider that the subject matter of our project is often viewed by some as obscure and esoteric. It’s a nice reward and testament to the 40 or so drafts of the script that we wrote.

A special mention must go to Katie Banks at Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham who first entrusted the project to this studio.

As a bonus, CITV’s ‘Share a Story’ from 2011 is also nominated in the Best Short Form category. Second Home’s contribution to this body of work comprised of ‘Brainfood’, a story about a teacher who is also a mad scientist, written and read by Jack Land.

Now in its third year, Share A Story is a CITV success story. It was created by the incredible Corrinne Averiss as a competition for 5-12 year olds and keeps going from strength-to-strength. This year is the second time Share A Story has been nominated for a BAFTA in the Short Form category.

The BAFTA awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 25th November.

CITV – Finding Zero

By | Behind The Scenes, CITV, Share A Story, stop-motion | One Comment

Now on air – ‘Oh No! Where’s Zero?’ made for CITV’s ‘Share A Story’ competition. The story was written by 11 year old Alfie de Brito. We took his 6 panel storyboard and expanded it into a 1 minute film. The plasticine number characters were filmed on a rostrum camera with ‘checker-boarded’ mattes and then composited together. Photos courtesy of the very talented Cassidy Wingrove who worked on the models.

Background

Share A Story is into its third year and is a CITV success story. As a competition for 5-12 year olds, this year saw the biggest response from a CITV audience with over 5000 entrants. This more than tripled the total entrants in 2011. It has collected 2 BAFTA nominations in the Short Form category and is nominated again this year. It also won a Promax / BDA Design award this year in the Interstitial / Short Form Campaign Category.