Animated history

11th February 2005 at 00:00
Year 6 children at Victoria Road Primary School in the Torry district of Aberdeen were invited by the Lighthouse Centre in Glasgow to take part in last year's Lighthouse Project - a Heritage Lottery Fund supported initiative in which schools adopted historic buildings in their area as a way to investigate part of their heritage and have a stake in the future of their environment.

We chose to investigate the Torry Battery, which guards the entrance to Aberdeen harbour and is within walking distance of our school.

We visited the site and found out about its history. Over several weeks, children drew, recorded interviews with each other in audio and visual media, and interviewed older members of the local community to provide the raw material for an animated film. The Saint Peter's Court older people's centre made dolls which were used in the animation.

Digital cameras and stop-frame techniques were used to create the animation, and the end product was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro.

The completed movie is around 12 minutes long and includes an animation using the dolls, and animations of the children's drawings, telling the story of the Torry Battery from the viewpoint of a talking magical gate that recounts its memories to a talking blackbird as it flies past.

There is also a brief live action section, filmed in the playground, showing "old-fashioned" children's games. Children's voices were used throughout.

The film was shown at Belmont cinema in November and everyone involved was invited. The children really enjoyed seeing their work on the big screen and hearing their voices give life to animated characters. Each child has received a copy of the DVD.

* Further information can be found at www.adoptabuilding.com where we hope a section of our animation will soon become available Primary 7 teacher, Victoria Primary School, Aberdeen

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