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Animation Student's Documentary Wins National Award

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A University of Worcester student’s animated documentary on mental health has earned her a national award.

Amy Moss’ short animated film, which features interviews with a range of people including medical professionals and those living with a mental health issue, alongside a variety of animation techniques, has won a Creative Conscience award.

“I feel really privileged to win this award because I felt as though the topic I was presenting wasn't something that most people tend to gravitate towards,” said the 21-year-old, of Monkspath, Solihull.

“Therefore I'm really pleased that I could produce a piece that got people talking about mental health.

“More importantly, it was the first piece of work I'd ever submitted so the fact that it won an award will be something that I'll remember for the rest of my life.”

The Creative Conscience Competition hosts works that have a sustainable and humanitarian ethos and Amy won the Selected Entry Award, one of four awards given by the judges.

Amy’s lecturer encouraged her to enter her 'Mind Over Matter' piece produced through the University’s Experimental Animation module, which focuses on factual work, usually based on social campaigns or issues.

Her initial idea was inspired by the visit of a Beat (a beat eating disorders charity) ambassador who spoke to students at the University about a possible creative collaboration.

“I wanted the documentary to appeal to a person who has suffered with a mental health issue and the professionals who deal with the patients,” said the third year Animation student.

“More importantly, I wanted to present a first-hand point of view of someone dealing with a mental health issue.

“I wanted to end the stigma associated with it and by doing this in an interactive manner with animation, it allowed the documentary to appeal to a broad range of people.”

Amy spent seven months on the documentary, researching the topic and experimenting with techniques to create the style she wanted.

She sourced her own real life case study, which she felt would represent the issue in the most honest way, but also filmed and interviewed medical experts to present the facts without bias.

She started with a rough storyboard of how she wanted the piece to look, then worked alongside audio from her interview to produce imagery, employing techniques like pixilation and rotoscoping – a technique in which animators trace over live-action film, frame by frame, to capture realistic movement.

Amy is now working on another animated documentary about living with a family member who has autism.

To see Amy’s work log on to www.creative-conscience.org.uk/winners/amy-moss.       

Amy and other University of Worcester creative students’ work will be on display at the Worcester Degree Show, which runs at the City Campus, in Castle Street, Worcester, and The Garage Studios, in Hylton Road, from May 19th until May 25th, 10am to 4pm daily.