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The Listening Project 2017

BBC Children in Need are very pleased to share some new animations for 2017!

These have been made by the very talented students at Anglia Ruskin (3rd Year BA Animation students) and UWE (the University of the West of England) working in collaboration with our friends at The Listening Project. The Listening Project is a partnership between BBC Radio 4, BBC local & national radio stations and the British Library. Since 2012 the Listening Project has been collecting intimate conversations between friends or relatives, to build a unique picture of our lives today. They have collected over a thousand so far and most will be broadcast across BBC radio, while all are archived by the British Library, preserving them for future generations.

We hope these new animations help to raise awareness of just some of the issues affecting children and young people in the UK. All of the voices featured are from those connected to projects that currently receive funding from BBC Children in Need.

Tari and Harlie – Why We Love The Farm

Children who find fun and relaxation at Swansea Community Farm explain what spending time there does for them.

Originally recorded by BBC Radio Wales in 2016 and featuring voices from Swansea Community Farm.

Project Manager; Bart

Character Design/Sound Edit; Brittany

Character Design; Michael

Art Director; Beatriz

Backgrounds; Morgan

‘These two children speak in full comfort about both their hopes and dreams for their future and their struggles which led them to the Farm. We decided to go with part of the conversation about the dream of becoming an animal behaviourist because we felt this was an excellent part to isolate and make a story in and of itself. This colourful conversation immediately gave us more than enough inspiration on how to visually express it. And because these are children speaking about a place for mostly children we took the chance to incorporate a child-like style in our video by hand drawing the assets and then animate them virtually. Much like the style of shows like Charlie and Lola which was our other main source of inspiration.’

Ruth and Jet – The Lone Ranger and The King

Ruth and Jet are mother and Son. Jet was born with a cleft lip and has some questions for his mum.

Originally recorded by BBC Radio Devon in 2013 and featuring voices from CLAPA (The Cleft Palate and Lip Association).

Character Designer: Becca Hindley

Rigger, Animator: Harry Dawson

Producer, Animator: Sarah Reinbach

‘The animation shows Ruth and Jet’s conversation about different famous people with cleft lips through the means of attempting to take in the laundry. The two discuss several different people, so to visually show this we made the animation fun with Jet dressing up in costumes as opposed to actually putting the laundry away. We loved the light heartedness and innocence of their conversation and hope it carries well with the style we gave it.’

Francesca and Lizbeth – Puzzle Pieces

Originally recorded by BBC Radio Sussex in 2016 and featuring voices from Whoopsadaisy.

Two mums discuss the joys and struggles of motherhood, from tiny triumphs to major milestones.

Project Manager; Emma Cascarina

Character Design/Sound Edit; Rhode Brussee

Art Director; Joana Pinto

Backgrounds/Character Design; Rosie Dore

‘The themes of contrast and harmony were among those we especially wanted to focus on after listening to the audio, both in the differences between the two speaker’s children but also in the changes of mood and tone - from the first speaker’s honest, more sombre account of her own feelings as a parent of a child with a disability, to the second speaker’s portrayal of the two children’s strengths and unique personal attributes ending in a satisfying and uplifting metaphorical comparison of the children being like ‘puzzle pieces’, both different and yet complementary to one another. We hoped to convey these themes in use of colour, pattern, movement and visual metaphor, choosing select spoken passages that we felt best captured the essence of the overall audio.’

Direction, Production and Storyboard: Luisa Cruz (2nd year MA Animation)

Animation and Character Design: Vasilena Kavanozova (Level 3 Animation)

Animation and character design: Victoria Povey (Level 3 Animation)

‘The conversation between the two mothers gives us an insight about their experience and after sharing their points of view it leaves us feeling uplifted. As we aimed to show precisely this in the animation we made the little birds complement each other and at the end fit perfectly under their mother wings as they shared a warm and fluffy hug.’