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Go behind-the-scenes of BBC One’s ‘The Supporting Act’

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The first week of December saw the release of BBC One’s much-talked-about seasonal campaign The Supporting Act. Devised by Amar Marwaha and Arvid Härnqvist for BBC Creative, the campaign was directed by Blinkinks’s Elliot Dear (whose previous work includes 2013’s The Bear and the Hare for John Lewis), boasting the master-craftsmanship of MacKinnon & Saunders (puppets) and Clockwork Frog (sets).

The story is about an emotional connection between a girl and her dad. We wanted to make a film that had the charming, handmade qualities of stop-motion animation, the tiny imperfections that let you know it’s been done for real. The aim was to combine this with CG animation, which we used for the faces, in order to capture the tiny nuances of human facial expressions, enabling the characters to be very emotive without the use of dialogue.

-Elliot Dear, director

Comprised of a short film, four channel idents and a variety of digital assets, the stop-motion campaign has been brought to life by a small team of animators headed up by Andy Bibble and Dan Gill, with CGI animation courtesy of Rune Spaans and art direction by Stephen McNally. This week Blink have released a behind-the-scenes video that sheds light on the love, creativity and labour that went into the spot:

Elliot’s Christmas film for BBC One shows his ability to take a simple story and turn it into something truly magical.
The characters were animated using stop-motion but the facial expressions were created and mapped on the puppets using CGI to bring them to life. The dance routine was choreographed first in live action and then an expert team of Blinkink animators recreated the moves one painstaking frame at a time.
This relatable story of a young girl preparing for the biggest performance of her life will have you wiping your eyes (and tapping your feet).


For more on the work of Blinkink visit

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