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BBC One Steps Up to Christmas with Heartwarming Father and Daughter Dance-Off
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Editors' Choice: BBC Creative launches beautiful animated film from Blinkink's award-winning director Elliot Dear

BBC One has launched its Christmas 2017 short film ‘The Supporting Act’ that will run throughout the Christmas period on the channel.

The animated short film illustrates the joy of a shared moment and will run in key junctions between programmes over the next two weeks.

This Christmas BBC One will remain the home of the biggest programmes that families and friends can enjoy together including the regeneration of Doctor Who, the return of Call the Midwife, a Big Christmas Thank You with Mary Berry, Mel and Sue, and great new drama with The Miniaturist, McMafia, and Little Women.

The Supporting Act builds on the idea of ‘oneness’ that the channel has been focussing on throughout 2017. Since the start of the year BBC One has showcased idents created by photographer Martin Parr highlighting the interests and passions that bring people together.

The two minute film follows a 10-year-old girl who practices day in and day out to give the most important dance performance of her life. Her dad is always with her but he’s busy, and getting even busier as Christmas approaches. He remains distracted up until the moment that really matters, when father and daughter come together in a wonderful moment of ‘oneness’.

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content said: “Christmas is a time when people come together to enjoy shared experiences, and special moments. We wanted to reflect that in our Christmas campaign this year and we hope this film will touch hearts and make you smile over the festive period.”

The film will be accompanied by four idents and a range of digital assets that will continue the theme at other times during the day. 

Kerry Moss, Portfolio Head of Marketing, BBC One said: “BBC One brings millions of people together each week around shared moments of entertainment. Building on the message at the heart of the channel's 'oneness' idents, the Christmas film illustrates the joy that can be sparked through a shared moment. Through its depiction of a busy dad and dance-loving daughter, the film draws on the insight that the pressures of life can often get in the way of the things that really matter, particularly at Christmas.” 

The film has been created for BBC One by BBC Creative, the BBC’s in-house creative agency, working with award-winning director Elliot Dear at Blinkink. Creatives were Arvid Harnqvist and Amar Marwaha working in to Executive Creative Directors Aidan McClure and Laurent Simon. It was produced by Ken Rodrigues.

Justin Bairamian, Director, BBC Creative said: “We’re delighted to have formed a world class team from across the industry to create this film. It’s BBC Creative’s first BBC One Christmas campaign, so we very much hope it lands well with audiences.” 

The soundtrack for the campaign has been provided by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson with Symphony, and it was specially re-arranged by the award-winning producer Steve Mac.

The creation of the film has also broken new ground in the animation techniques it has used. The characters were animated using the traditional British stop-motion technique but the facial expressions were created and mapped on the puppets using CGI. This approach gave the film the human touch and imperfections of stop motion but the emotional richness of CGI.

Working on the production with BBC Creative and Blinkink were puppet makers MacKinnon & Saunders (Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie), set builders Clockwork Frog (The Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists – Aardman/Sony), Lead Animators Andy Biddle and Dan Gill (Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa), Director of Photography Toby Howell (Fantastic Mr Fox) and the lead CGI artist was Rune Spaans (Trollhunters)

Elliot Dear from Blinkink said: “The story is about an emotional connection between a girl and her dad. We wanted to make a film that had the charming, handmade qualities of stop-motion animation, the tiny imperfections that let you know it's been done for real. The aim was to combine this with CG animation - which we used for the faces - in order to capture the tiny nuances of human facial expressions, enabling the characters to be very emotive without the use of dialogue.”

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