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By Huckleberry Films, Nov 3 2011 11:54AM

We were really happy with how the 'New Pioneers' film turned out - and the way that the visuals compliment the narration, reinforcing the large amount of information presented. The narration was read by Caroline from Huckleberry FIlms - who really enjoyed being turned into an animated creation.

After finalising the visuals and adding the last minute touches like music and sound effects - it was time to show everyone the film. We were invited to the premiere screening in Manchester at the Palace Hotel, as part of ICMIF conference. It was fantastic to see the film on a big screen, and meet the team involved in the Rochdale Museum heritage programme.

The Co-operative College has written a really informative and interesting article about the project - which can be found here...

By Huckleberry Films, Oct 12 2011 07:47PM

Creating characters is quite a long process - from the initial sketches and design, to constructing the figure from the component pieces and adding pivot points on the Mac. On the image above you can see some of the layers needed to create the scene, represented as a timeline.

We have been working on the script for the last few days, and have got a final version. That has been checked and approved by the team in Manchester, so we can record the script and start to bring the story to life. We decided to use a female narrator to tell the story, as there are quite a few male characters already.

To represent co-ops spreading across the world, we've created a visual representation of the world, with lots of little people, who will 'pop' into the scene. As there is a lot of information to cover, we wanted to ensure that the visuals reinforce the points that the narrator will be making.

At the moment we are working on the scene about the Rochdale Pioneers opening their shop, and having to use candles for light, as the gas company wouldn't supply the shop with gas. We're using several different software packages to creat lighting effects and make the flame on the candle look realistic.

By Huckleberry Films, Oct 3 2011 07:15AM

We've been working on the script and storyboard for the last few days, trying to find the best way to bring the long and complex history to life in an engaging way. We have decided to use an animated narrator to tell the story - and they can be a thread running through the whole film. The two men below will be two of the original Toad Lane Pioneers.

Using images from the Pioneers museum as inspiration, we have recreated the interior of the Toad Lane shop, complete with some of the produce that would have been on sale. The weighing scales would have been a functional item in the shop, and here they also represent the attitide of the Pioneers, who wanted to sell 'honest food at honest prices'.

By Huckleberry Films, Sep 28 2011 10:42PM

We watched 2 DVDs about the story of the Rochdale Pioneers and their evolution into the Co-operative movement which featured some amazing old video clips to help us get a stronger idea of how the movement evolved to have nearly 1 billion members as it does today. The films included a great one called "Men of Rochdale' made in 1944 to celebrate 100 years since the first store opened on Toad Lane in Rochdale. Some of the accents were a little dodgy - but the story was engaging and brought the history to life for us.

Watching the films it was easy to fill pages with sketches of characters and ideas - and it soon became clear that we are going to have to be really selective over the material that will make it into our short animation. We are covering nearly 170 years of event filled history in just a few minutes, and there are a lot of dates and facts that it would be good to include... but we can't fit everything in.

This is a test for a scene where one of the Rochdale Pioneers is collecting stock to sell in the shop. They transported their first supplies in a wheelbarrow!

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