Nationwide education charity Into Film is giving young film fans and teachers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the new Aardman Animations film Shaun the Sheep The Movie through three ‘ewe-nique’ video reports and education resources, aimed at teaching students about the filmmaking process and how to create their own stop-motion animations.
Into Film, which aims to put film at the heart of children and young people’s learning, contributing to their educational, cultural, creative and personal development and supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, has produced three baa-hind the scenes reports as part of their pioneering new initiative ‘Green Light to Opening Night’ – a new project enabling young people from across the UK to follow a film from its inception to release and go behind-the-scenes with the filmmakers.
Each of the three video reports focus on different key elements to the filmmaking process – storytelling, making and sound - and features 10-year-old junior reporter Jess going behind-the-scenes at the Oscar-winning studio.
Jess was granted exclusive on-set access at the home of Aardman Animations in Bristol, where she went on the Shaun the Sheep The Movie set, explored the model-making room, and storyboarding and editing suites. The youngster also interviewed a number of the production team including the film’s Writer/ Directors Mark Burton (Chicken Run, Madagascar) and Richard Starzak, Producers Paul Kewley and Julie Lockhart, Storyboard Artist Richard Phelan, Assistant Art Director Richard Edmunds, Supervising Model Maker Andrew Bloxham, Lead Animator Andy Symanowski, Supervising Sound Editor Adrian Rhodes, Foley Editor & Mixer Julien Pirrie, Composer Ilan Eshkeri and Aardman Animations co-founder Peter Lord (The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run). In addition to filming at Aardman studios in Bristol, Jess also filmed segments of the short films at the sound recording studio Goldcrest in London and at her home in Kent.
In addition to Jess’s ewe-nique on-set reports and interviews exploring the claymation features’ storyline, animation process and sound features which have been turned into three short video reports, three new education resources have been produced. The resources for teachers to use in class and school film clubs give young people and teachers a platform to discover the different aspects of the film through a series of activities linked to the video reports. All three video reports and education resources are available to watch and download now at www.IntoFilm.org/shaunthesheep
Shaun the Sheep The Movie - a feature length animation based on the hit TV series of the same name – was made at Aardman Animations studios in Bristol (and co-produced by STUDIOCANAL) and will be released in cinemas on 6th February 2015.
Jess said of her experience; “I am such a huge fan of Aardman Animations so when I heard I was going behind-the-scenes of Shaun the Sheep The Movie I was ecstatic! It was much more than I expected - I saw and learnt so much. I hadn't realised how much work was involved in making a film - and how many sounds they have used in the film - but I know now! It was very inspirational seeing the dedication and hard work all the people at Aardman put into each production. The interviews were really fun. I was a quite nervous before the interviews but the more I did them, the more I became comfortable and excited! I enjoyed talking to everyone - I couldn't choose who could do the best baa!! However I thought Julie and Andy were good fun to interview.”
She added; “I hope that people who are watching my reports will enjoy them as much as I did making them, and see the amount of detail and patience that goes into animation. Shaun the Sheep The Movie is a very humorous and exhilarating movie, and Aardman have done an astounding job bringing Shaun to the big screen!”
Summing up her day Jess said; “It was the most awe inspiring, brilliant experience and I have been very lucky to be involved.”
Peter Lord, who is an ambassador for the charity, said how he hopes that young people will be inspired and try animation themselves; “I think when you’re talking to people about something which you know about that maybe they don’t know about, you hope that you open up some door in the mind, whether it be about mechanics of animation, or the joy of filmmaking. Animation doesn’t have to be slow, it really doesn’t. You could do it at home, or in a film club. very, very easily. And another thing that is so quick and easy to do, is use a lump of plasticine or modeling clay, costs nothing and very easy to animate. Or else you could use Lego characters and animate those; some things are really easy and accessible. It is the most exciting thing to do.”
Paul Hewlett, Into Film Director of Content, said; “We thought Jess did a brilliant job behind the scenes of Aardman’s latest film. Shaun is a beloved character to many of our members and it was thrilling for one of our young reporters to go on set and find out more about the journey of Shaun and friends to the big screen and share their adventure with the wider Into Film network across the UK. The project provides our members with a truly unique look at some of the intricate production processes on a film, giving young people an insight into the film industry from a peers perspective and enabling them to view enjoyable but also aspirational content. We think that Jess’s bubbly and inquisitive nature will connect with other young film fans, and through her they will also experience some of the behind-the-scenes magic.”
Lucy Wendover, Aardman Animations Marketing and Brand Manager, added: “We were delighted to meet Jess and work with Into Film to go behind the scenes on Shaun the Sheep The Movie. At Aardman we are passionate about film and love what we do, so it’s thrilling to be able to share some of our filmmaking techniques with young film enthusiasts to showcase some of the work – and fun - that goes into making a film. Jess’s reports were really engaging and entertaining and we hope other people will enjoy watching them as much as we did, and we hope that the films, and Shaun, will help to inspire the next generation of filmmakers."
Into Film is an education charity that seeks to put film at the heart of young people’s learning and promote the use of film as a powerful education resource. Available to schools in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Into Film clubs are free for all state funded schools and non-school settings and offer free access to thousands of films and education resources about film and filmmaking for learning through and about film, as well as learning about the film industry and careers within it. Inclusive and accessible for all students regardless of their background or ability, film clubs help promote young people’s educational, social, moral, spiritual and cultural development helping schools achieve OFSTED requirements.
Supported by the BFI with Lottery funding, together with funding from the film industry and a number of other sources, Into Film incorporates the legacy and staff of two leading film education charities, FILMCLUB and First Light, building on their experience and success in delivering programmes of significant scale and reach to children and young people across the UK.
Shaun the Sheep The Movie is out in cinemas on 6th February.