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Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010
Norfolk animation students tell A History of the World
By Martin Barber
BBC Norfolk

Filming of On The Origin of Species
Adam Skinner, 22, filming On The Origin of Species

Animation students from the Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) have created a series of short films as part of a major BBC history project.

A History of the World, a partnership between the BBC and the British Museum, retells the history of humanity through the objects we have made.

The students have brought their observations on these objects to life using a range of animation techniques.

The work will be shown on Norwich's Big Screen throughout the year.

The films had to be suitable for a family audience and either based around the Norfolk museum objects included in A History of the World, or in keeping with the appeal for audience contributions, they could develop a film around a more personal item.

The Regency Dress, an animated short film by Huw Churchman

"It's nice to work on a project that's a bit different and to try something new," said student Huw Churchman, who created a film about a Regency dress.

"Working to a brief I wouldn't normally approach has been helpful as now I know I can do something like this," he added.

The students were given just four weeks to take their 30 second film from concept to completion. This included character design, the film's style and technical elements, storyboards and creating a soundtrack.

Some students built stop motion puppets and sets, others did around 500 drawings. The finished films are then assessed as part of their degree, a BA (Hons) in animation.

The objects selected for animation included Charles Darwin's pivotal work On The Origin of Species, the manuscript to Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, the safety pin, a teapot and Thomas Paine's death mask.

"I chose Thomas Paine's death mask as I feel he's a very important historical figure not just locally but globally," said 22-year-old Alex Russell-Davies.

"I made my film to highlight why we should be proud of this man who never stopped fighting for social justice."

Animation students at the Norwich University College of the Arts
The students had just four weeks to each create a 30 second film

The project marks the seventh year that students on NUCA's animation course have collaborated on a film project led by BBC Norfolk.

Previous commissions have included working with the theme of nature, inspired by the popular wildlife series Springwatch and celebrating Norfolk's maritime heritage as part of BBC Coast.

"The students really benefit from the input of industry professionals on projects like this," said Suzie Hanna, leader for NUCA's animation course.

"They get a better sense of professional work ethics and time frames for production, and they respond well to the objective but supportive comments that are given throughout the process," she added.





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