BBC Wales 2W Christmas Idents by Six Year Olds from Caerleon Infant School

testidednt.jpgThe 14th, 15th and 16th of November now stand out as some of the best days in my career so far. We’ve worked long and hard to persue governments, broadcasters and education institutions to promote the fact that children are very creative when united with the power of enabling technologies.
BBC Wales initiated a pilot project to find out what idents could look like if Children created idents themselves, using stop frame clay animation.
I spent last Wednesday (8 November) at BBC Broadcasting House in Cardiff working with various team members from 2W to work out how the technology being used could be enabled for 16:9 (widescreen) viewing. To the right is how the ident will be placed on the work created by the children. We have decided to use Apple Computers running iStopMotion animation software and Sony XM1 camera technology. All of the work will be created in widescreen, our experiment worked. It has been decided that the background the children will animate in front of will be yellow, music will also be added in post production.So how would a six year old make an ident anyway?
Geraint Lang from the team and myself spent three enjoyable days at Caerleon Infant School near Newport, Wales, with Susan Wood and her team from BBC Wales. The demountable classroom had been tranformed for the event which would see young people creating the idents for BBC 2W (the Welsh version of BBC 2 in Wales).
Geraint and I spent the Tuesday afternoon with the group of thirty young people talking to them about animation and what the challenge was that they had been set.
On Wednesday and Thursday we took the now split group of children (15 per day) forward providing them with the clay, technology (computers and cameras) and backdrop to generate their animations.
DSCF0022.JPG CaerleonInfants.jpg
Over the three day period the young people were challenged to make a 12 second animation in clay on a yellow background, the title they were challenged to make was ‘What Christmas means to me’. Snowmen, Father Christmas, Sledges, Presents and even Santa in the Bath were all created and constructed.
The music for the animations, which is rumoured to be ‘Jingle Bells’ will be recorded at a nearby Secondary School. The animations will hopefully be a part of the Christmas schedule for BBC 2W, the background of programme announcements.
Some images from the event:

Here are final animations as they were broadcast on BBC 2:

And here is the programme the BBC made about our work:

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