Strange Beast teams up with BBC Creative to animate uplifting acts of kindness during lockdown

Anna Ginsburg, Hannah Jacobs and Matt Lloyd direct three new animated spots for BBC Local Radio programme, Make a Difference.

22 May 2020


In a new collaboration between Strange Beast and BBC Creative, three animators and two creatives have come together to shine a light on the BBC Local Radio programme, Make a Difference. The new series shares stories of peoples’ acts of kindness during lockdown with three animated spots so far.
Directed respectively by Anna Ginsburg, Hannah Jacobs and Matt Lloyd, the spots also feature creative work by Adam Reincke and Sarah Fox.

Why animation? Reincke tells It’s Nice That: “It’s always a challenge to promote an audio programme visually and given the constraints of lockdown, we felt that animation would bring them to life and make the stories even more joyful.” And who best to bring these spots to life then the well known creatives involved. Mr Powels, directed by Matt Lloyd, highlights the eponymous teacher delivering lunches to student’s houses. Anna Ginsburg’s Gravy is set to the monologue of a woman who, in her spot, talks about coping in quarantine with her severely disabled son. When she reached out to a local group for help, to her amazement, she found her neighbours had left carrier bags full of food and flowers for them both.

Finally, in Dino Mum animated by Hannah Jacobs, the 30-second spot narrates how this mum is dressing up as a dinosaur for her daily walk to cheer up any passers-bys who may be having a hard time. Each spot as elevating as the next, Reincke adds on the animations, “In the same way that these stories lifted us up when we were having a lockdown low, we wanted the animations to be as fantastical as possible and transport people out of their isolation bubble.” Giving the animators as much creative freedom as possible to interpret the visuals for the respective stories in their own way, the project was “such a fun collaborative process seeing the stories go from a soundbite to being brought to life through animation.”

As it’s been a tough week for many, Reincke and his collaborators aim to add a little brightness and colour with the animations. “These acts of kindness can make a huge difference to peoples’ lives,” he says on celebrating these three stories in particular. “We hope that they can bring some joy to people’s lives at a time they need it most and remind the public that although we’re isolated, we’re all in this together.” This is also at the core of the BBC’s Bringing Us Closer campaign, an initiative that’s been running since the start of the pandemic in the hopes of brightening up our days.

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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