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Midlands Psychology

Animated Videos: Midlands Psychology

The brief from Midlands Psychology was to create a compelling and engaging short film that would effectively convey positive messages about autism and the transformation in service provision that was being achieved by the service.

Our creative team worked with a stakeholder group, including clinicians and service users, to work up their original idea of making a film about how they had transformed a failing service through social enterprise. This would be a very significant undertaking which involved three segments of film:

  • live action footage to capture the unique approach that the providers were taking
  • an animated section in the middle of the film depicting the service transformation
  • a final segment, summarising progress and looking to the future.
Our production team worked very closely with a project group comprising staff, parents and service users. We gained the trust and confidence of all concerned and essentially ‘joined the team’, so as to facilitate script development and to work up ideas for location filming. The methodology enabled us to create the best possible opportunities for capturing the kind of content that could help deliver the extremely powerful messages that were desired. Employing a mixture of live action, talking heads interviews and animation, Dragonfly worked professionally and sensitively with the various stakeholders including the company’s management and communication teams, frontline healthcare professionals, and children and parents themselves. It was vital that the ‘human’ side of the work being done was communicated effectively in order to break down any misperceptions and ensure that the organisation’s core values of ‘keeping people at the heart’ were kept front of mind throughout.
For the ‘Story of the Autism Service’ animation, which forms the middle section of the film (06:42 onwards), Dragonfly adopted a highly creative approach to maximize potential engagement. Inspired by the service itself and its child-centred focus, Dragonfly seized on the notion of using a ‘storybook’ animation to tell the ‘story’ of the autism services transformation. In order to evoke a sense of familiarity, the animation was hand-drawn in a style akin to the work of Quentin Blake (the illustrator of Roald Dahl’s children’s stories) and was incredibly well received by the organisation and its stakeholders, including the families themselves. As with all good animated videos, we needed a great script and an appropriate voice artist. Dragonfly’s scriptwriters worked with the client over a number of sessions to produce a truly compelling script. Our team was then able to source a voice artist who delivered the script in precisely the right way. As a finished package, the film took eight weeks to develop. It was delivered on time following a closely adhered-to project plan which was developed in partnership with the client. As well as providing an insightful resource, both for healthcare professionals and service users, the film went on to play a key role in helping the organisation secure a number of contracts within the private and public sector. It had significant PR and marketing value and helped them win three national awards. This was an example of a video output with multiple uses and it continues to receive attention and praise for its artistic merit.
The completed film was shown in the local cinema and drew a large audience from across the country, including MPs and attendees from the Department of Health. It was also uploaded to the organisation’s website, where it generated a huge amount of enquires and helped re-vitalise their campaign for autism awareness-raising. Midlands Psychology asked us to re-edit the film earlier this year for their entry to the National Autistic Society’s Awards, and they won an unprecedented two awards. They have also secured a lucrative partnership with Big Issue Invest to develop supported living service for people with autism and complex needs. All of these factors have had an impact on the reputation and credibility of the organisation and have contributed to them being awarded a new contract for autism services for over £5.5m, along with the offer of another one just on the horizon – not a huge amount for a large conglomerate but a massive step forward for what had once been a tiny social enterprise.
“The vision and creative skills of the Dragonfly staff impressed us hugely, but most of all we loved the way they took the time to work with us in a way that meant we had a genuinely meaningful and direct involvement in the evolution of the projects” Helen Boss Midlands Psychology [email protected]