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NERD Productions' Hayley Morris Crafts Whimsical Stop-Motion Spot for Charlie Banana

London, UK
The animation director's beautifully crafted piece walks us through what it takes to make a better world for future generations and celebrates motherhood and all-around sweetness
NERD Productions animation director Hayley Morris has produced a stunning stop-motion film for eco conscious baby brand Charlie Banana. The film tells a heart-warming story of a mother bonding with her new born baby while pledging to take action to create and protect the future of our planet, our home.

Teaming up with Curiosity, NERD Productions mixed two marvellous animation techniques; stop-frame and hand-drawn animation to develop the
whimsical online commercial. The beautifully crafted piece walks us through what it takes to make a better world for future generations and celebrates motherhood and all-around sweetness.

This was a very relatable situation for Milana Karaica, executive producer at NERD Productions, who was eight months pregnant when the script landed on her desk. Milana said: "Am I choosing the right products to put on my baby’s skin? Am I taking action to protect the environment for future generations?"

Hayley is, coincidentally, currently seven months pregnant and has a real passion for sustainability in her own work: "Working with a brand that cherishes sustainability and has it as their mission statement feels very special.’’

Throughout the creative process, Hayley used sustainable and recyclable materials. Every element in this stop-motion animation was entirely handcrafted, from the characters to the plants and flowers, using layering and watercolour techniques. To bring the film to life even more, Hayley created jointed paper dolls to heighten the interaction between mother and daughter through to the end of the blossoming visual tale.

Hayley believes an essential part of telling a story is to feel the characters’ emotions. To really make the characters extra charming, the team started by making the puppets with blank faces. Facial expressions were then added frame by frame using an animation style hand-drawn technique and tracked to the stop-motion film.

Milana commented: ‘’We were proud to be able to feature and hero a mixed-race family which is important for us at NERD. Even if they are animated characters, they are essentially our actors so we want to craft those carefully and make sure that we are representative and reflect the reality of our audiences.’’

At a time where diversity and inclusion is talked about a lot in the advertising industry, actions are more important than words. It was particularly vital to NERD to show characters that will make the world a more inclusive and tolerant one for the future generations to come. The team believe that championing diversity is the key ingredient to producing powerful visuals that stand out and engage with real people across the world.

"Embracing diversity is in our DNA and it was very important to us that our characters represent modern society." said Ornella Kolle, social media strategist and content producer, NERD Productions. "We believe that when people recognise themselves in messages, they're more likely to respond positively to content so we decided to feature a mixed-race animated family!"

As a creative production studio, NERD spends a lot of time thinking about how it can challenge the industry on subjects like diversity and inclusion and nurturing future generations as well as sustainability, which is why Hayley gladly collaborated with a brand that cares about the environment. Throughout the creative process, she used sustainable and recyclable materials to create the whimsical piece.

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