Ad agency Johnny Fearless and Aardman Animations have produced a poignant short film to promote the re-opening of London’s Imperial War Museum and the launch of its new First World War Galleries on July 19.
The 90-second film, titled Flight of the Stories, features recordings of extracts from soldiers’ letters and diary entries, which were donated to the museum by their relatives. Each person’s voice is depicted by a set of quotation marks, which flock like birds and fly across Northern France to England before eventually arriving at the museum.
The film uses a mix of CGI and 2D illustrations painted by artist Aurelien Predal. “The initial idea was to base the style and look on paintings of the First World War,” explains director Darren Dubicki in a video on the making of the project, below. “What we wanted to show, in an abstract way, was a sense of the voices of the soldiers returning from the fields and making their way back to the UK.”
It’s a tricky thing to visualise, but Predal’s artwork provides a colourful yet sombre way of bringing soldiers’ voices to life, without relying on archive photography – or as executive creator Paul Domenet puts it, “stereotypical mud and blood imagery”.
“Stories are much more powerful when people can associate them with an object they can see. We wanted to find a way that we could dramatise that sense of an object telling a story,” he adds.
The film will be shown online and in cinemas from today and a series of posters and print ads depicting objects in the galleries and the stories behind them has also been released.
To find out more about the museum’s re-opening, see iwm.org.uk
Creative Director: Paul Domenet
Art Director: Pia Knight
Copywriter: Paul Domenet
Production Company: Aardman
Director: Darren Dubicki
Post Production: Aardman/Big Buoy
Sound Design: Grand Central
Music: Soviet Science