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CITV’s Share A Story Presents “The Grumpy Pizza”

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Share-a-Story is a project run by CITV. Children between the ages of 5 – 12 write stories from imagination, these stories are recorded and sent off to studios across the UK. I was lucky enough to see the up-coming film The Grumpy Pizza written by Jay Jackson. A film about a pizza who benefits from his misfortune. As well as this, I spoke to animator Dave Beeson from Bottletop Design Limited about his work on The Grumpy Pizza.


How did Bottletop become involved with the Share-a-Story project?

At Bottletop we have a team who have worked in the TV industry for many years and we have completed projects with the CITV production team before. We were delighted to be asked to an animation for Share a Story again this year.
What were your first impressions and ideas when you first heard the audio and script?

I initially thought it was a very original story with a clever ending.

Do you feel children’s ideas and storytelling are much more imaginative than that of an adult or studio professional?

Yes. I think children’s imagination is not restricted in any way. When you are a child you can believe anything is possible.

Animation using children’s characteristics are enjoyed by audiences worldwide (i.e. Creature Comforts, The Itch of the Golden Nit etc) what do you feel audiences will like about this years Share-a-Story films?

I think the audience will like the variety of different stories and animation styles.

Animation has no restrictions per say, do you feel this opens up for more elaborate ideas?

Animation lends itself well to these stories as anything can be visualised – travelling to the moon, talking pizzas – you name it!.

With regards to this project, would you like to see an increase of children taking up film-making or animation as a hobby or future career?

I think with mobile phones now being as capable as they are many children are starting to make inexpensive films and videos which can sew the seeds for a career in film and animation.



What advice would you give to a young, budding animator?

Watch as many animations as possible, not just the latest CGI but old cell animations, and study how the animators have made things move, run, bounce, etc. It’s a great way to learn.

Bottletop are known for their CG & motion graphic work however if you had the chance, what other medium would you have made The Grumpy Pizza in?

We could have used stop frame animation, puppetry, shadow theatre etc. CITV gave us a free hand to use any style or medium we wanted but we chose a mixture of 3D using Cinema 4D and 2D using After Effects.
What was your favourite & least favourite parts of The Grumpy Pizza?

I particularly like the interior of the oven when it becomes frozen, I don’t have a least favourite part.



Although this was written by a child, do you feel there was an underlying sense of moral?

Strange one this … The Grumpy Pizza ends up profiteering from his situation … is this a good or bad thing?

What do you think is the future for Share-a-Story?

I think Share a Story will continue as long as children have creative ideas – so that’s a long time.
Perhaps in the future children might be able to animate their own story

Did this film make you feel hungry?

Yes! I got through a lot of pizzas – purely for research purposes obviously. Yum.



The Grumpy Pizza written by Jay Jackson and animated by Dave Beeson of Bottletop Design Limited will air on the CITV channel and ITV Player as part of Share a Story from the 28th October 2013.

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