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CITV’s Share A Story Presents “The Hedgehog Who Wanted To Fly”

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CITV’s BAFTA Winning Share-A-Story is back for another year. For the confused, Share-A-Story is a brilliant initiative run by CITV that allows young children to send in their own stories for the chance of seeing them animated. Leaving every animator asking one question, Why wasn’t this around when I was a kid?!

I got to speak to the BAFTA-Winning duo Brothers McLeod who animated 6 year old Annabel’s story – The Hedgehog Who Wanted To Fly.

The Hedgehog Who Wanted To Fly

Seeing as this is your 3rd time doing Share-a-Story, how did you get involved in the first place?

It was around the time we were producing the CITV Mini stings for the channel. We were asked to come and help with the judging of the competition and then to make one of the winners films… that was The Donkey Tooth Fairyhttp://www.brothersmcleod.co.uk/shareastory.shtml

Is it easier to understand the idea the kids have in their heads? Was it easy to start with?

The kids supply a story and a storyboard. The story is clear from their entries and really it’s the stories that are clear and simple and strong that make it through to the final, and become winners.

How much control do the kids have over the story and how much control do you have?

We try to honour the stories that the children bring. We keep the narrative as is, and they supply the voiceover too, so it’s their voice on their story. For us, the creative part comes from choosing the style of animation, the music if any, and also from any additional background gags we can put in. For example, we added in a lot of one eyed animals to The Cyclops Whose Eye Fell Out which was the animation we made in 2012. http://www.brothersmcleod.co.uk/shareastory-cyclops.shtml

How close did you stick to the storyboards? Are the characters similar to what was designed or did you have to put in your own input?

The storyboards are useful for timing, but the actual choice of framing or story in each shot is quite different to the boards. The character design and the decision to make this a animation on live footage video were our creative decisions.

Was it difficult mixing the live action with the 2D? Have you used this format before? Did you take the footage yourself?

We’ve not tried this technique – using macro photography – before. So it was a chance to try out something new. We have done animation on live footage before – for CITV actually – in the Minis campaigns. The footage was taken by photographer Lucy Barriball and effects and compositing was done by Kieran Baxter. Greg did the animation and editing and also added some additional effects.

The Hedgehog Who Wanted To Fly

Do you ever ask your own kids to get involved or to even submit an idea?

Greg’s son and daughter do sometimes feature as voices in our animations. They are both very creative and like to get involved.

The Hedgehog Who Wanted To Fly, written by Annabel Hind and animated by the Brothers McLeod will air on the CITV channel and ITV Player as part of Share a Story from the 28th October 2013.

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