Activity Alliance is an organisation that believes that sport and activity should be open to all. And they don’t just believe it should be the case, they’re out there making sure that it is. For people with disabilities, accessing sport and activity sessions can be really difficult. Not all sessions are inclusive of disabilities, which means that people with disabilities can find themselves on the sidelines. Amongst other things, this can lead to inactivity and eventually serious health problems.
The issue isn’t that most coaches don’t want to be inclusive, it’s usually that they don’t have the skills or the confidence to make it so. Activity Alliance are actively trying to give coaches the skills and confidence they need to make as many sport and activity sessions open to people with disabilities. Through their Inclusive Activity Programme, they’re training coaches and making sure that more people can access sessions that will go onto to benefit their physical and mental health. More than that though, through doing this, they are working to address the injustice of excluding people with disabilities from something that should be open to all.
As a way of celebrating the first iteration of the programme and encouraging people to sign up to the next one, Activity Alliance wanted to produce a promotional animation. The film needed to be as kinetic and interesting as the sessions they train people on. It also had to be positive, not painting people with disabilities as victims whilst still calling attention to the fact there is an injustice happening.
When Activity Alliance approached us with their brief for a promotional animation we were all really excited. We saw the potential for an impactful and creatively rewarding project, so we got our thinking caps on to work out how best to communicate our excitement for the brief. We worked hard and after much discussion created the concept of ‘Kicking On’. This is a universal story which addresses the idea that while there has been progress made in the world of disability friendly sport and activity sessions, there is still so much more which can be done. When we found out that this is the route they wanted to head down we were ecstatic. To be working on a film which will directly contribute to more people with disabilities being able to access sport and activity sessions was really special.
For us, one of the big things was inclusivity and showing disability in a positive light. We felt that the best way to do this was to put people at the front and centre of each scene. With this in mind, we made sure to create a whole host of characters through which we could tell the story. The other thing that was really central to our concept was movement. It seemed like it would be a missed opportunity if a story about sport and activity didn’t lean into the energy and movement that comes with that. We wanted to create a sense of constant motion wherever possible. In order to do this, we planned for the scenes to transition together seamlessly and we planned to motivate these transitions with movement in the frame. All of this was captured in detailed storyboards.
Once concepts and storyboards were signed off we got into the animation stage. With so many characters, scenes and transitions there was plenty of work to do. Luckily, having such a detailed plan to work from gave us a really good starting point. We were able to build on everything that we had created in pre-production.
Alongside this main hero film, we also created a range of social assets that Activity Alliance could use as part of their wider marketing strategy. We were keen to avoid making the animation itself too stat heavy, but we didn’t want to lose some of the staggering figures around accessible sports and activity sessions. We created a selection of short, custom-made social assets that allowed Activity Alliance to share these figures in an engaging way.
All of the hard work and the close relationship with Activity Alliance really paid off. It allowed us to create an animation that was vibrant, positive and celebratory whilst also making it clear that progress is still needed. This animation will be used to inspire a new generation of coaches who make sure that disability doesn’t mean exclusion.
To ensure the film was inclusive we created this BSL version of the animation with Commplus.
We approached Neck of the Woods to produce a short animation for one of our programmes at Activity Alliance, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the end product. The team were very professional in all aspects of this project, from the communication, project planning to the creation of the animation itself. Throughout the project they were open to ideas and changes to make the animation more inclusive and accessible. Fantastic team to work with and they thought creatively to get the most out of the project.