Earlier in the year we pitched to produce a short for the Scottish government to raise awareness of autism and to illustrate autistic people’s experience of the world. As well as having an interest in mental health conditions, the opportunity to make something good and useful is always a treat so we were very excited to win the pitch!
Striking the right tone, both in the actions of the characters and the design was trickiest part of the project. Finding a look and feel which autistic people could relate to in a positive way, as well as communicating what can sometimes be an uneasy experience to a wider audience, was a challenge. This took some time. (Which you can probably see from the lots and lots of drawings!)
We tried many different ways to visualise the characters and their environment, (myself and with a little help from the very talented Henry St Leger) and although tricky, it was the most fun part of the project. You rarely get the time with a small advert like this to try lots of different things and I think the final output benefitted from all the extra doodling and thinking time.
Production started pretty much as ‘lockdown’ happened but as we were doing a lot of 2D and mainly using iPads it really wasn’t too tricky to carry on. The 2D animation was time consuming (by Jane Davies, Lucy Izzard and Emma Lazenby) but being done frame by frame gives it a really nice feel and I guess there are worse to spend the lockdown period!
Ultimately it was a lovely film to make and if it encourages a little empathy and kindness then that would make us very happy!
Watch the full spot below:
Dan is a Director and Designer at Aardman, involved in multiple development projects and has recently directed What's Up With Everyone, a campaign developed to help young people become more aware of their mental wellbeing.
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