Earlier in the year we pitched to produce a short for the Scottish government to raise awareness of autism and to illustrate autistic people’s experience of the world. As well as having an interest in mental health conditions, the opportunity to make something good and useful is always a treat so we were very excited to win the pitch!
Striking the right tone, both in the actions of the characters and the design was trickiest part of the project. Finding a look and feel which autistic people could relate to in a positive way, as well as communicating what can sometimes be an uneasy experience to a wider audience, was a challenge. This took some time. (Which you can probably see from the lots and lots of drawings!)
We tried many different ways to visualise the characters and their environment, (myself and with a little help from the very talented Henry St Leger) and although tricky, it was the most fun part of the project. You rarely get the time with a small advert like this to try lots of different things and I think the final output benefitted from all the extra doodling and thinking time.
Production started pretty much as ‘lockdown’ happened but as we were doing a lot of 2D and mainly using iPads it really wasn’t too tricky to carry on. The 2D animation was time consuming (by Jane Davies, Lucy Izzard and Emma Lazenby) but being done frame by frame gives it a really nice feel and I guess there are worse to spend the lockdown period!
Ultimately it was a lovely film to make and if it encourages a little empathy and kindness then that would make us very happy!
Watch the full spot below:
Interested in commissioning animated content or have a project like this to discuss? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dan Binns
Since having a short film screened at the ‘onedotzero’ film festival in 2010, Dan Binns has worked in the animation industry for multiple studios across Bristol and London. In various roles Dan has worked for clients like Tesco, Disney, Google and Sky TV on projects for broadcast, advertising, short film and series.
Later, as a director, Dan has been has been involved in a variety of different projects, ranging from short films for charities to advertising and promotional work.
Dan is now working as a designer and director at Aardman, and has directed animated commercials for Nokia, Bristol Old Vic, Ryse Hydrogen and Alzheimer’s Research UK & RICOH.
Follow Dan on Instagram here.