Behind the scenes of Creating Movie Magic

Not many 13-year-olds can say they've created a film with an Oscar-winning studio – but Hannah Mason can. The teenager from Wiltshire in the UK had her storyboard selected to be turned into a short movie by Aardman Animations, in order to promote legitimate ways of downloading and watching films to children.

"There were loads of brilliant entries all with different creative ways to talk about respecting film copyright," says Lucy Izzard, the film's director and character designer. "But we could only choose one winning storyboard, and Hannah's was the one that made us laugh, and was most 'on point.'"

Behind the scenes of Creating Movie Magic

With the winning entry selected, it was up to Lucy and her team to move things forward. Despite the young age of the film's creative force, they treated it just like any other project.

"Hannah came into the Aardman studio with about 10 of her friends and we had a board meeting like we would with any commercial client," she says.

"It was great – we showed them our animatic and initial ideas for the character and background designs, discussed ideas with the development of the script and storyboard."

Behind the scenes of Creating Movie Magic

Behind the scenes of Creating Movie Magic

Aardman may be primarily known known for stop motion adventures such as Chicken Run and The Pirates!, but it branches out into 2D and CG animation methods too. There was a natural choice for Lucy when it came to Creating Movie Magic.

"We could do anything we wanted with the look of the film," she says. "However for the time, budget and my style of character design, 2D animation in Flash was the perfect answer."

Behind the scenes of Creating Movie Magic

The finished 30-second film will be shown at the Into Film Festival, a free national event for young people aged between five and 19 – which means it has a potential audience of hundreds of thousands.

"It's quite tricky to get the message of copyright and IP protection right in only 35 seconds of animation," says Lucy. "But I think we did it – all with the help of that zombie!"

See more of Lucy Izzard (opens in new tab)'s work now!

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Beren Neale
Deals Editor

Beren has worked on creative tech magazines and websites at Future Publishing for 13 years. He started this journey as Staff Writer on the digital art magazine ImagineFX, and in 2012 found himself bridging the magazine/website divide as Commissioning Editor on the newly launched Creative Bloq. Since then he took the editor role on ImagineFX, was Launch Editor of the fine art magazine Paint & Draw, moved to Canon Pro Europe website as Deputy Editor, and then edited the graphic design magazine Computer Arts. In 2020 he moved back to Creative Bloq, the biggest global art and design website, and as Deals Editor has applied his expertise in creative tech to help digital creatives get the best deals on the kit that they need and love. Outside of work, Beren is an avid rock climber and music nut.