Making history: Our second workshop with Lisa O’Donnell

Following their extremely positive reception of Lisa’s work last week, the Oak class pupils were looking forward to this session, where they would create animation stills that would form the basis of the films. We began the session with a quick recap of the previous week, then Lisa showed an example of an animation film she had produced. There were some excited gasps; one pupil even expressed astonishment (“wow–are we really going to make all that?”).

Working on the theme of the Olympics, pupils had an open book in terms of the characters and narratives they wanted to create. Divided into groups of 6, the children each produced their own character using plasticine clay, which comprised athletes of various descriptions (including a wizard and an alien). Using a range of backdrop imagery provided, they developed the overall themes and narratives between themselves. Once a structure for the narrative was agreed, we shot a sequence of stills. Pupils with previous experience using animation were in demand, either through relaying their own experiences, or providing advice to the rest of the class. There was a good division of labour amongst the groups; some would assist others with developing their characters, whilst those pupils more adept at using plasticine would help with producing backdrops such as a podium and medals. It was great to see so much initiative as it was teamwork. A few pupils took to the camera and conducted the photography of each still with panache–David Baileys in the making!

Coming up next week: more animation and painting of the display boxes, as we near completion of the films.

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