Filmmaking and animation is always a collaborative endeavour. When tasked with communicating sensitive and emotive issues that relate to peoples lived experiences, collaboration is even more vital.
At Electric Egg, our work often involves dealing with sensitive issues and bringing peoples stories to life in film and animation. Our approach may change in its nuance, but the primary concern is always the same: building trust and openness with the people whose stories we are telling. Everything stems from this. To enable them to feel comfortable to share their story and trust you with it, allows an open exploration of their feelings, experience, and the impact this has had on their life.
This is the foundation of such productions. How that story is told on screen, the look and design of the animation, everything else stands upon these foundations of building trust. Without that trust, how can you expect to be able to understand their story? If you cannot understand it, you cannot tell it truthfully. This was how we approached our recent animation commissions with Pause, creating a co-authored piece.
The animation The Difference a Relationship Makes, explores the experiences of women who have worked with, and are working with, Pause, and the difference that relationship has made to their lives. The starting point for this was to speak with women who had worked with Pause and explore their story with them. We needed to build trust with them, be open and an active listener to understand their story and experiences. These first-person testimonies formed the basis for our whole creative process. We drew upon the experiences of the women and the aims of the Pause Model of working with women, to develop a script outline.
This is where co-authorship comes in. This story is not our story, but the story of the many women who have experienced Pause’s intensive support. So whilst we can seek to understand and present the experiences of the women in a script, we need to return to these women to ensure that our version of their collective story resonates and feels true to their experiences.
Our initial scripts were shared with women and a wider group to ensure that it rang true and was representative of their experiences. Inevitably there was feedback and changes but having that input allowed us to develop something honest and relatable for others who may be about to start on their own journey with Pause.
This script and research influenced the look and all the decisions made within the production of all the animated films. The design of the characters and animation took a lot of development to get right. The scheme that we developed, again with feedback from them women, was intended to have visual appeal, be simple and representative. The animation was designed to subtly leave space for the audience to experience the emotion and develop empathy for lives of the women that Pause support.
We feel these animations, produced in collaboration with Pause and the women they work with, help to raise the profile of and speak to the amazing things that this organisation does. The films highlight the triumphs and great work done not only by Pause, but the women who Pause support to help them to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.
“The Difference a Relationships Makes animation is such a powerful animation that Electric Egg have brilliantly created alongside women supported by Pause. Working with Electric Egg, going through the co-production process and seeing their creativity, inspiration and passion for translating women’s stories has been amazing. They have also created two other animations for Pause which show that they really understand Pause and the experiences of the women we work with.”
Clare Laxton, Director of Communications and Influencing at Pause
Watch all the animations below!
About Electric Egg
Electric Egg are a UK based creative production company working with brands and organisations to help communicate person-centred stories through film, animation, photography and other artforms and experiences.
Pause Animations were produced in house by the Electric Egg team of Neil Baker, Shahnaz Mohseni, Billy Brooks and Steven Hatton.