Competition Briefs

Competitors should form teams of 5 members and choose one of the 8 Screenplays (found in the application pack) as the basis of their brief. The teams can address the brief using any medium or mixture of mediums – the judges will be hoping to see examples of 3D photoreal animation, 2D or 3D character animation, stop frame or any combination of the above, with or without live action elements/backplate acquisition. The final sequences should be 30 seconds long and of HD quality.

Remember, this year we are permitting a team to pitch twice, once for each charity; so you have double the chance of being successful. We have space for 8 teams this year. We are looking for four teams to tackle the DEBRA briefs and four teams to tackle the Re-cycle briefs. This is however optional, you don’t need to pitch a project for each charity – we are looking for a quality pitch, so please don’t jeopardise your pitch if you under a schedule. Check out the pitches from previous years here

Your chosen screenplay should act as your narrative – establishing character, environments and story; we want to see innovative treatments that take these narrative elements and turn them into engaging and challenging visual sequences. It is up to you to decide the screenplays Genre (Comedy, Horror, Thriller etc.) – you have creative freedom in this respect.

Each team needs to produce a pitch document, outlining exactly how they intend to answer their chosen brief – the document should include a scene by scene breakdown/shotlist, a creative and technical treatment and can be supported by storyboards, mood boards, character/set designs and any other material the teams think relevant.

In September (slightly after the final films have been submitted) the teams will also be expected to submit accurate, clearly titled shot breakdown, which explain all relevant aspects of their production process – the breakdowns should be no more than 3 minutes in length. But don’t worry about this for now.

The teams should be prepared to defend their finished sequences and breakdowns in front of a panel of mentors and judges.

 

So here is a quick checklist:

* Think of an amazing team name!

* Read the screenplays below – choose your favourite (and by extension the charity). Remember your team can pitch for two screenplays if your feeling ambitious.

* Take a look at the previous years work, including the pitch video and documents – this will help inform what was successful. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 final films can be seen here. The 2016 Pitch videos and documents are here

* If you need help finding some team members, then join our Facebook page here

* Read our FAQs section

* Download the application pack here

* Upload you application  form as a .Zip file on that same page (scroll to the bottom). Remember we have a 50mb limit, so go easy on our poor server Bertha! She is approaching retirement age.

* Any questions, email us at competition@bfxfestival.com

Some information about the charities

Do your research – take a peek at the charities website and try to understand their brand and vision. Remember they will be part of the judging process, so think of them as your client.

In the mean time, both DEBRA and Re-cycle have provided some information regarding their charities work and how they would like to see these films be adapted:

 

DEBRA – Our Creative Direction

DEBRA is the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – a painful genetic skin blistering condition which, in the worst cases, can be fatal.

The film should communicate the severity of the condition and use a simple, memorable mechanism to show how it has an impact on every aspect of life.When you have EB, the skin is very fragile, as fragile as a butterfly’s wing. The slightest knock or rub can cause blistering and severe wounds, so even the simplest interactions are a constant, physically damaging and psychologically draining challenge to be faced daily from the moment you are born – touching, hugging, walking, using cutlery, moving in your sleep and blowing your nose can all cause blistering, wounds and debilitating chronic pain. EB can also cause internal blistering, affecting organs and internal linings and causing problems with eating and obtaining adequate nutrition to cope with the demands of constant wound healing. People with EB also face a much higher risk of an aggressive form of skin cancer which is fatal.

The film should show how, with DEBRA’s support, the world changes from a hostile environment to a positive place where people with EB can enjoy themselves and participate fully. DEBRA works to improve the quality of life for individuals and families living with EB. For example, DEBRA provides support to help children access school, participate in leisure activities, socialise or meet others with the condition.

The film should focus on a child. DEBRA provides emotional and practical care and support to people with the condition and their families from birth, for as long as it is needed, so DEBRA can be a supportive presence across every aspect of their lives.

The film should show that DEBRA’s services empower and enable people with EB to achieve their goals.

Target audience

Our target audience for this animation would be women between 45 and 65 years old who are parents or grandparents. The scripts are varied, but representing EB using the fragility of a butterfly’s wings is a memorable and engaging device. The butterfly is a brand asset so the butterfly motif is a good idea as the film should also raise brand awareness.

For more info please visit www.debra.org.uk.

 

Re-Cycle – Our Creative Direction

1. Background

Transport and development go hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates income opportunities in developing countries, as well as saving lots of time and back-breaking work.

In Britain, millions of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds, whilst many people in Africa have no access to transport of any kind. People spend hours each day walking to collect water, firewood or to access health care, school and employment. A bicycle lightens this burden and dramatically improves their wellbeing as well as work and education opportunities helping to bring social change. A bicycle cuts travel time to a fraction and can carry passengers and heavy loads. Bikes give families the extra time to earn, learn and enjoy life.

2. Re-Cycle

Re-Cycle takes bikes donated by the UK public and provides them to non-profit organisations in six countries in Africa. There, they are tested and refurbished and provided at low cost to community members.

Typical end-recipients include market traders, farmers, schoolchildren (teenagers) and nurses. Many of our recipients combine two or more jobs and many of our bikes are used by many different people in a community or household.

Re-Cycle also works with partners to provide tools, training and bike parts in communities so that bikes can be repaired and used over a long period of time. Specific sections of the community are targeted to overcome financial and cultural barriers to bike use (including for example, the fact that women are discouraged from using bikes in many traditional societies and often grow up not knowing how to ride a bike).

3. Target audience

Our target audience for this animation is men and women in the UK with the ability to donate either used bikes or money to help our programmes. The audience is broad: most of our financial donors are women aged 40-65 for example, and our bike donors are people from all walks of life.

We do not want to exclude any potential donor based on the way donors are depicted in the animation.

4. The Animation

The animation should illustrate in simple terms the transformative effect of bike ownership on people in the countries in which we work.

The beneficiaries should be depicted as people with agency and ingenuity who use bikes as a tool to transform their lives and their communities. We want the transformation depicted to be emotional but not sentimental and we want our audience to see themselves people who can be part of that transformation through the simple act of donating bikes or money.

We have already fed back on the four shortlisted animations specifically.

5. Issues

SWEDOW (“Stuff We Don’t Want”)

Reuse of second hand goods in Africa can in its worst forms consist of little more than ‘dumping’ surplus or used western goods on people and communities. There are examples of well-meaning shipments of inappropriate or damaging goods from Europe (flip flops, soap and even bras!) to Africa in recent times. We are satisfied that the bikes we send are appropriate for use in the communities in which we work, however in the case of equipment it is reasonable to ask what consideration has been given to how it will be maintained. Re-Cycle is distinct from a lot of similar agencies in that it invests in the tools and training need for bicycles to be used over the long-term. The animation must make reference to Re-Cycle’s understanding of this issue and to the actions (described above) which we undertake to ensure bikes are looked after for the long-term.

Children’s bikes

Children’s bikes sold in the UK are often unsuitable for the communities into which we supply bikes. We therefore don’t encourage donations of such bikes. Children depicted in the animation must therefore appear as old as at least 14/15.

Unsuitable bikes

Many road bikes are unsuitable for road surfaces in parts of Africa. We also do not send double suspension or disk brake bikes because of the difficulty of repairing them. Bikes should be depicted with a mountain-bike type appearance (flat handlebars, wide wheels).

Scrap bikes

We do not send, and therefore cannot use, excessively rusted bicycles – please therefore avoid references to bikes being donated after years of neglect.

Portrayal of our beneficiaries and of Africa

At Re-Cycle we recognise that Africa as a whole is often subject to crude stereotyping in Europe and its diversity is not recognised. Africa has a rich and varied history and there exist striking cultural differences between the nations that make up the continent, including the six countries that Re-Cycle works in (Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia). Many African countries, including some in which we work, are now classified as middle income by the United Nations and many of its cities are similar in appearance to European or North American cities, especially in the downtown areas.

Against a backdrop of rising wealth in recent decades there undoubtedly exists severe inequalities which are complex and multi-faceted. However, in general people living in rural areas are significantly poorer in cash terms than those living in cities and within cities there are vast differences in levels of wealth and lifestyle. Re-Cycle’s work targets the urban poor (who often live at the fringes of cities and face long journeys to work) and, to a much greater extent, rural communities with little or no access to affordable transport. Some of our programmes focus on specific groups within the communities we target who might be severely disadvantaged (by, for example gender and geographic isolation). Our recipients are entrepreneurial and active in their communities.

Whilst we don’t think it is realistic to acknowledge this diversity in the words and images of animation, we want to avoid crude stereotyping of Africa in general and of our beneficiaries as passive recipients of aid. This is out of respect for the people with which we partner and because we do not want to be seen as out of touch with development in the countries in which we work. Please therefore:

Depict bicycle recipients as active agents in their own lives:

A recipient, for example, receives a bike and does something active with it and learns to fix it themselves.

Do not talk about Africa as a single place or generalise about the situation of Africans:

Rather than saying “In Africa, the average time spent walking to school, work, or even collecting water, four hours each day” it is more accurate to say: “For some people living in parts of rural Africa, the average time spent walking to school, work, or collecting water can be four hours each day”

Depict realistic modern dwellings, clothing and landscapes:

Tin-roofed homes rather than mud huts. Trousers and shirts rather than traditional dress. Farm animals in a village rather than Elephants and lions etc.

The balance can be hard to strike if you do not have first hand direct experience of Africa so please contact us if you have any questions.

For more information on Re-Cycle please see: www.re-cycle.org or email Stephen Campbell on fundraising@re-cycle.org

 

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Screenplays for 2017 are now live – Download the application Pack here