For the animation part of my course, L5 animators were given the opportunity to enter a contest for Hay Festival 2019 where we would be designing an animation based on the eco-friendly theme of the festival.
It started off with the Hay Festival organisers presenting us with a list of key facts we were to use in our animation which referenced their sustainability and they would then choose the winner a few months later.
The quote I decided to use was “During Hay Festival, we provide 10 double decker buses a day which will transport visitors between Hereford Train Station and the Festival to help reduce your carbon emissions” as I really wanted to play around with the idea of the buses moving along the countryside as I thought it could be fun to have the view of there journey to the festival.
Straight away I knew I wanted to work with stop motion as I had a few ideas that involved actually building a small set for the buses to travel through. My initial idea was to stack pieces of card together to create a makeshift hillside for the buses to travel over. But after some test runs I found it was difficult to get the height I wanted for the hillsides without stacking thousands of pieces of card together. So instead I began to do some deeper research into paper crafting a set for my buses. Which is when I stumbled across a really interesting idea.
Persil Advert (Small and Mighty Book) 2009
What I found was an advertisement depicting a moving pop up book. This was a fantastic idea as I could have the buses moving between the pages as they made there way to the festival. And on the other hand I had a perfect direct link back to the Hay Festival of including children’s books in the animation, which is the core of the Festival itself.
I began brain storming and had several ideas, one of which was having the hillsides pop forward as the book opened and having wheels spinning behind the book so the buses would move over each hill. This I found particularly charming and was eager to put in motion.
Animatic Hay Festival
I then began working on these initial sketches and put these together to form a small animatic to convey my ideas accurately to the organisers. I then came up with an even better idea for the ending of the animation. I thought having the pop up book scrunch itself up and roll along the table and putting itself in the recycling bin was quite amusing as it a notice popped up on screen saying “Help us stay eco-friendly!” to promote the use of the recycling bins around the Festival.
After the approval of the organisers, I then worked for two weeks in the stop motion studio at my university building my set and recording my pop up book animation. I ran into a few problems while doing so, one of which was because this was a solo project I found it difficult to take pictures with the camera and also hold my pop up book steady in some scenes. Another problem was getting the components, such as the spinning wheels and the tabs to pulls the buses along to work smoothly, as they got stuck several times and those shots had to be redone. Overall though, I was happy how good everything went in the end and was able to piece things together smoothly in the editing phase post shooting. I was also really happy with the bright, cheery colours I had chosen as I feel this was a good reflection of the festival decorations.
Hay Festival Twitter
After I had submitted my work alongside 20 other students, I was unsure whether my animation would be what the festival was looking for. However much to my surprise, several weeks later my animation was in fact chosen and broadcasted on several social media platforms by Hay Festival, I was honoured and astounded to have been picked and I couldn’t believe how many people were responding to my animation. I would definitely do this again if I had the chance.