Monday, 1 October 2012

Specialist Study 1

Boys Reading
  • Boys’ underachievement in reading is a significant concern for schools across the country. In a National Literacy Trust survey, 76% of UK schools said boys in their school did not do as well in reading as girls. 82% of schools have developed their own strategies to tackle this.
  • The issue is deep-seated. Test results consistently show this is a long-term and international trend. Boys’ attitudes towards reading and writing, the amount of time they spend reading and their achievement in literacy are all poorer than those of girls.
  •  Boys’ underachievement in literacy is not inevitable. It is not simply a result of biological differences; the majority of boys achieve in literacy and are fluent readers.
  • The Boys’ Reading Commission has found that boys’ underachievement in reading is associated with the interplay of three factors:
  1. The home and family environment, where girls are more likely to be bought books and taken to the library, and where mothers are more likely to support and role model reading;

     2. The school environment, where teachers may have a limited
         knowledge of contemporary and attractive texts for boys
         and where boys may not be given the opportunity to develop
         their identity as a reader through experiencing reading for

     3. Male gender identities which do not value learning and
         reading as a mark of success.
  •  There is no single solution to turning underachieving and unmotivated boys into readers; a sustained approach is required. It needs to encourage positive gender identities that value reading,develop a supportive social context for boys’ reading and counteract the possible negative triggers that can turn boys off reading.
  • A refreshed commitment in schools to promoting reading for enjoyment will strongly benefit boys, who want to read around their interests. To enable this to happen reading for pleasure needs to be an integral element in a school’s teaching and learning strategy and teachers need to be supported in their knowledge of relevant quality texts that will engage all pupils. There is a specific danger that a predominantly female workforce will unconsciously privilege texts that are more attractive to girls.
  •  The issues undermining the achievement of some boys in reading are closely related to issues faced by other underachieving groups. It follows that strategies in schools, homes and the community which will benefit boys will also have considerable benefit for girls and impact on the attainment of groups frequently identified as underachieving. The Commission recommends that boys’ reading is seen as a litmus test of a school’s commitment to addressing under performance in literacy of other groups.

The Recommendations

1. Schools should have access to an evidence framework to inform

effective practice in supporting boys’ reading.

2. Every child should be supported by their school in developing as a

reader. Crucially, schools must promote reading for enjoyment and

involve parents (overtly fathers) in their reading strategies.

3. Every teacher should have an up-to-date knowledge of reading

materials that will appeal to disengaged boys.

4. Parents need access to information on how successful schools are in

supporting boys’ literacy.

5. Libraries should target children (particularly boys) who are least likely

to be supported in their reading at home.

6. Social marketing and behavioural insight need to be deployed

to encourage parents to support the literacy of their children –

especially boys.

7. Every boy should have weekly support from a male reading role model.

8. Parenting initiatives must specifically support literacy and fathers.

9. A cross-Government approach to literacy needs to be developed and


My Proposal

I have decided to base my Stop motion Animation on the support and promotion of boys underachievement in reading. Through a thorough analysis why boys are underachieving I have a better understanding of the problems. My key aim for this animation is to appeal to my target audience - underachieving boys. I have recently got a part time job working in Raddlebarn Primary School. Spending time observing the children in a working environment. Therefore I have first hand experience and understand what my Target audience respond to.

I am going to use every day objects in my Stop-Motion to promote reading. I want to keep this animation simple on the surface, however there will be layers of subliminal messaging. Based on my experience with this audience any communication which is too Over-complicated will result in the target audience loosing interest and switching off.

I have researched and found several case studies which are relevant to my project in terms of style, target demographics, ambiance, characters, music, lighting. 

Case Study 1.0
Client: Hellmann's
Tagline: Bring Out The Best

Hellmann's promote their extensive product range through as series of 'feel-good' animations broad casted through prime time television an through their social network channel You-Tube. These videos have been seeded across various relevant platforms, media hubs and blogs.


This specific case study is promoting the light version of Hellmann's product range.


  • Young friendly female narrates through out the advert using positive adjectives in a warm, enthusiastic tone up selling the product whilst reinforcing the light qualities of the product.

  • Light hearted instrumental, it helps take the consumer on a journey through the world Hellmann's light. Catchy guitar cords and uplifting bells are introduced. This adds to the positive atmosphere. 

  • Natural sun light spills into frame consistently throughout the advert. This subconcious attaches the benefits of natural sunlight (vitamin B) to the product 

  • Vibrant organic colours are used throughout, building on the fresh and healthy feeling of the advert. This emphasis the fact this product is suitable for fresh cooking.

Supporting props

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables and everyday kitchen utensils are included to communicate the fact this product is more than just a sauce but a crucial ingredient for healthy cooking recipes.
Comical Value / element

  • A potentially dangerous kitchen utensil (knife) is replaced with a hand. Furthermore a fish is made from the chopped up parsley. Both elements add a humorous angle to the advert. This strategy takes away the high brow connotations of cooking and makes this appeal to a younger audience as well as a older audience.
Adds value

  • Not only is this advert promoting the product It also gives the consumer a simple but useful recipe with the product. This helps the advert by the consumer sharing the knowledge of the recipe and thus Hellmann's.
Key messaging

  • The message Helmann's are trying to create is that the product / brand is healthy, easy, fresh, fun, simple and suitable for family's
Use of Stop Motion
  • The nature of stop motion is simple and each frame represents the next step. This is ideal for cooking instructions which allows the messaging to be so strong yet simplified.

Target audience

  • Through the messaging its evident this advert is designed to Target health conscious families, kids and young professional who need a quick and easy meal.

Case Study 2.0
Client: PES
Tagline: Twisted Films

PES is an artist who has earned his status for his cutting edge films and different approach to stop-motion animation. Often working with familiar foods, household items and objects which resemble a certain food or item.

This specific Stop motion is called 'Western Spaghetti' done by PES. I will analyse this advert however also look into PES as an animator.


  • Exaggeration of sound to implicate certain foods is something I noticed throughout thie short film i.e A tomato getting squashed helps the watcher implicate what item of food they may be trying to portray as well as helping us to imagine and believe what there accomplishing is real.

Supporting props
  •   PES uses every day objects as the star of his show, however intelligently uses objects that show similar quality to the food or condiment in which he aims to portray. 

  • Bold, bright and stand out colors are used throughout. This adds a comical touch and sense of amusement diverting your attention from the dull background and apparatus additionally in the animation. The final shot of the animation again adopts this strategy and creates a dull ambiance in the background therefore the multicoloured star of the show (plate of spaghetti) stands out to the viewer. 

Over view / Conclusion
  •  A reason why PES has become so profound and acknowledged is due is simple comical ideas executed so well. The use of every day objects just adds another element of amusement.

  •   Every single idea and prop used is so cleverly animated down to a T. For example in another one of his short films 'Fresh Guacamole' in the final shot sequence he dips his chip into the guacamole and its breaks in half. This small part in its self is very skilfully and captures a real sense of what PES is trying to achieve.
Case Study 3.0
Toy Story

I have decided to have a look at Toy Story although it does use the stop motion technique in my animation I use a number of toys in my story. By taking an in depth look on how they animate and move the toys it gave me a better understand and a starting platform for my own animation. 

Target Audience

My target audience is going to be aimed at young males from years one to six. I have decided to conduct my research hands on and actually speak with the young students face to face. As well as doing this I have come up with a verity of questions to ask there teachers who have a broader and in depth conclusion.

  1. What type of books most intrigue the kids in terms of excitement?
  2. Do they prefer story's with or without pictures?
  3. What makes them laugh?
  4. How do you keep them continuously interested for a period of time?
  5. What would your recommendations be to promote reading to this your age range?  
 Answers: Mrs Jenkins Year 3 Raddlebarn Primary school (Selly Oak)
  1. "Well I tend to read them a lot of basic novels in class which they all love, and really get involved with. However, recently I have been encouraging some of the boys to read comic magazines. I feel as long as there reading something I'm happy!"
  2. "Definitely pictures with! It really helps them feel and imagine what the story looks like"
  3. "At this age they tend to laugh at most things so as long as you keep them interested laughter will follow"
  4. "This is is the trickiest task, I always try to make every thing seem fun and include them in what I'm teaching so you get that interaction"
  5. "They seem to enjoy reading as it is, but promote the fact its benificial as well as fun and you will be on to a winner!"
Boys Preference for Toys

As I was defiantly going to use a toy of some form in my animation I decided to do a small survey on a limited amount of toys I had. I took the top two with the highest number of votes and ensured these were in my animation.

Duplo railway
Computers games
Animal figures

 Animating with Target Audience

My target audience was based at primary level KS2 I created a lesson plan involving the children to participate in some stop motion of their own.By doing this small project with the kids I got clear understanding of how they work and what keeps them interested. I really enjoyed doing this with the children and it helped me with my own animation a huge amount.

My Animation


The animation is a story of a pair of eyes on a short journey with the intention of completing his 'to do list'. However they come across a number of distractions preventing him reaching his goals. 

The story begins with the eyeballs analysing a short 'to do list'. The eyeballs then set off with the intention of completing the list. The first obstacle arises.  The eyeballs see a computer console which like most children gets tempted by and plays for a number of hours. The eyeballs eventually realise time they has been wasted and the list not completed. With disappointment the eyeballs proceed on. 

Finally a group of toys come into sight. Yet again the eyeballs become distracted. Hours pass as the eyeballs play with the toys. Eventually one of the toys drives over the 'to do list' and reminds the eyeballs of the task in hand. 

Finally the toys decide to help the eyeballs complete the list and take them to a book shelf. The eyeballs reach the book shelf with the helping hand of the toys and begin reading and completing various tasks on the list. Satisfied the eyeballs return to the list to happily see the boxes successfully ticked off. The animation ends with a quote. 'Try Something New...Read!'

Principles of Animation


1.    To prepare the audience for the eyeballs next action I would indicate their next move by a change of camera angle towards the following stage in the narrative. I used the movement and and direction of eyeballs sight to the same effect. Therefore keeping the viewer engaged with the story.
s    Staging:

1.     The purpose is staging is to direct the audiences’ attention- in my case where the eyeballs eventually focus is where the audience is directed to focus upon in this shot.

1.     when animating using different shot distances, an important issue to consider is the speed and time at which the eyeballs move. If not done correctly the viewer may not understand the intended meaning. I made the eyballs move quickly in a rapid motion to create a feeling of urgency in completing the task. “the reading to do list”


1.     I used a clock and exaggerated the speed at which the hands moved to create the impression of time passing quickly.


1.     I chose a simple, symmetrical and familiar image of eyeballs and took it out of context by making them appear to move independently. I used this humorous idea to engage with my target audience ie. School children. I used a range of objects that children would associate with fun for example PlayStation and duplo.

      My Tests

As I have decided to every day objects in my animation I did a few tests using some objects and 'every day items' to animate. Through this experiment I soon learnt that an armature is an effective to produce a stop motion, However using every day objects immediately and unintentionally gives the animation a humorous feel which is exactly what I am aiming for.  

Test 1

Test 2

My second test was also in the early stages before I had designed or made my eyeballs for my animation. I could have used anything as long as it was a sphere in my case tennis balls did the job. The animation clearly has several problems including timing, smoothness and engagement but this is something I have taken into consideration. The next stage was to design my eyeballs in terms of scale and appearance. 

First Animation

Animatic :

First animation:

I took my first draught into the primary school I have been working at and showed it to the children following that I gave them a feedback sheet to see which improvements I could make. The key aspects  I wanted to reach with this film they all seemed to to like however there were a few things I need to including some sound and added scenes to improve the story.


Final Animation feedback

Feedback from class Teacher: Mrs Jenkins year 3 Raddle barn Primary school

“They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy the animation and were fixed on it from the beginning. I think it was important you told them what it what the film was going to be about as the film was quite fast and may have been hard to understand. Other than that I think it was great fun and I would also love to se you do some more animation with them in the future!”

My Analysis

My final animation of the rolling eyeballs through first hand feedback and experience defiantly reached my learning aims. In terms of personal preference my animation was not quite up to the standards in which I intended it to be. The speed in which some scenes play at are faster than others this was due to the speed and space I animated my objects. Next time I will plan out and keep a close eye out on the frame rate in which I animate.