On Friday 1st February YCN invited students and recent graduates to the YCN Shop & Library to take part in an animation workshop.
Hosted by YCN's Project Director for Education, Kezia Clark, the event saw Experian's Marketing Communications Manager Joanne Newman-Veale, and animator, filmmaker and illustrator Joseph Mann share an insight into the commercial applications of animation.
Kezia kicked off the talk by introducing the YCN Student Awards, highlighting the Experian Animate 12/13 Graduate brief. Kezia proceeded to showcase several animations that YCN Talent Agency has had a hand in producing. From Toby Triumph’s animated history of Sunday Publishing to Xaver Xylophon’s moving depiction of sex trafficking for NSPCC, Kezia’s presentation illustrated how versatile and powerful the medium can be.
Next up was Joanne, who started by presenting a retrospective of Experian adverts, explaining how animation has been pivotal to the perception of the brand over time. Opening with a pop quiz, Joanne got the room thinking about the importance of credit ratings, and, it became clear that no one present was an expert. Whilst the brand had previously focused their attention on adult audiences, they are now committed to engaging with a younger demographic, an idea at the core of their brief.
Joanne put Experian’s adverts from the last five years into three categories, “Good”, “Bad” and “Ugly”. In contrast to the forgettable and uninformative “Bad” and “Ugly” examples, the “Good” animated advert proved to be dynamically engaging, and helped to make the complex credit system both simple and digestible. Using examples, Joanne also demonstrated the emotive depths of animation, provoking laughter and sadness in turns. She summarised that animation can trump live action in its ability to inform and entertain.
Finally, Joseph introduced his practise, describing his progression from “a cupboard” at The Glasgow School of Art to his recent work with production company Blink. Joseph explained how he had taught himself animation in a cramped corner of the studio whilst studying on the illustration course. He proceeded to make moving image projects, starting with a light-hearted stop motion short that used his feet as the canvas.
Joseph then described his next major project, an advert with Blink for T.I.E. Joseph succinctly broke down each stage of this 10 month-long project, describing a steep learning curve that encompassed creating sets and scenes, CG characters, photomapping and 3D geometry. Regarding a recent project for Peugeot, a collaboration with model maker Kyle Bean, Joseph showed a short “Making Of” film highlighting the processes behind the model-making and filming. Collaboration, for Joseph, it seems is key; even the soundtrack for the advert was created by a peer, selected over noted artists such as The Shins, and Architecture in Helsinki.
Finally, Joseph was approached by folk singer Keith Henson, to direct a live action music video surreally conveying love and loss through puppet woodland animals. A refreshing change of pace from the arduous stop frame process, Joseph praised the skill of the puppeteers, and, despite some minor flooding of a paddling pool pond and a few toxic fumes, considered it a hugely gratifying project. Joseph is currently working on yet more pleasing puppetry featuring Sandy, a “naughty little boy” who causes havoc on a beach. Closing, as he began, and undoubtedly means to continue, Joseph offered one last invaluable insight - “keep making stuff.”
Written by Kitty Knowles.
Location:72 Rivington Street,
London, EC2A 3AY,
Start:1st February, 2013 at 10:30am
End:1st February, 2013 at 12:30pm