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Yoxfest Animation Workshop 2007: The Mysterious Story of Clarissa Rickets

A week long animation workshop for 11-18 years old.

For the Yoxford Arts Festival in 2007 I worked with a group of 11-18 year olds on an animated film. The story came from a local writer’s retelling of a ghost fable about one Clarissa Ricketts a local woman who allegedly faked her own death.

I chose the cutout style like Lotte Reiniger as I thought this would be relatively easy for the kids to understand. I gave them an overview of animation and how it works. Then we took the story and divided it into scenes which the different groups would work on. I explained the basics of the cutout style and showed how we would be filming it over a lightbox. The groups produced the characters and the scene backgrounds.

Then in small groups we shot the scenes with the children and I sharing responsibility for the animating. As much as possible I was try to make it so that the work was produced by the young people, only stepping in when there was a need to ensure continuity or consistency of the technique. So in general I took the role of executive director / producer and had the young people as directors of their specific scenes. Then once they were finished shooting their sections they went on to help the others finishing off the remaining parts.

The final film was edited together with music produced by another workshop from the festival and shown at the closing night party to great acclaim.