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Animation students impress BBC broadcasters with creative work

26 June 2017

First and second years bring BBC Radio 5 Live archival recordings to life

Students from Manchester School of Art's BA (Hons) Animation course have visited the BBC Radio 5 Live offices and studios to present their animations to representatives of the radio station, which is listened to by over 6 million people per week, and is widely seen as a modernising force in British radio. 

Prior to the visit, students were set a brief to create animations to accompany a diverse range of sound files from the BBC Radio 5 Live archive. 

'When the BBC came to see us at Manchester School of Art, they were looking for new ideas to help them visualise their audio content,' explained Damien Markey, Acting Programme Leader on the BA (Hons) Animation programme. 

'The students were given free rein to create new concepts that could work across social media platforms and could promote the variety of stories that BBC Radio 5 Live cover. 

The brief was provided on Monday with the students having three days in our workshops to get their ideas ready to be presented on Friday. Between the two teams of first and second year students we had ideas involving a mix of puppets and digital compositioning, digital "live" animation and 2D environment creation.' 

The students presented their animated responses to the brief to a panel of four representatives from the radio station, including Controller Jonathan Wall. 

'I was expecting to be blown away' commented Jonathan, 'but this has surpassed all my expectations in terms of creatvitity.' 

Heidi Dawson, Managing Editor of BBC Radio 5 Live added, 'the work delivered by this group of students was innovative and creative. 

They took into account many of the challenges we face as a fast-moving news and sport station, clearly listening to our business brief. 

I was particularly excited by the way the animations celebrated and emphasised the BBC Radio 5 Live audio, finding new ways for clever, high quality digital visuals to promote and innovate in radio'. 

Damien also commented that 'the feedback from BBC Radio 5 Live was overwhelmingly positive and they have already asked some of the teams to come in and work alongside their in-house production teams on creating content for their social media outputs.'

'They were impressed not just by the work, but the fact the students had understood the quick workflow of a 24-hour news and sport station, such as BBC Radio 5 Live, and had designed their animations to be reusable and adaptable to a range of content. 

The students enjoyed the hard work over the three days as well as the excellent feedback on it from one of the largest digital production units in the UK.' 

You can find out more about our BA (Hons) Animation programme on the course page