YCN Studio creates ChildLine animation for abuse victims

YCN Studio and Buck Los Angeles have created a powerful animated video for counselling service Childline encouraging children to report sexual abuse.

YCN Studio and Buck Los Angeles have created a powerful animated video for counselling service ChildLine encouraging children to report sexual abuse.

The four-minute film follows conversations between a ChildLine advisor and a child who is being abused. The conversation is not spoken but written – the adviser’s words are clearly legible in a neat hand drawn type, while the child’s words swirl around the screen.

The animation begins with the child’s struggle to say what has happened to them – their embarrassment and awkwardness is represented by broken lettering and constantly changing fonts. For each statement the child makes, the advisor has a reassuring response, reminding them that they were right to contact ChildLine and that what’s happening to them is wrong.

The script, written by YCN Studio, is based on common questions and concerns raised by children when speaking to ChildLine counsellors and accompanying animations illustrate the child’s relief when talking about their problems: in one scene, when asked how they feel about opening up to ChildLine, we see an image of birds, blue sky and open space as the child, Ash, admits: “I didn’t think you’d believe me”.

By the end of the video, Ash is ready to discuss how they can make what’s happening to them stop and the animation is replaced with a message in stark black and white that reads: “We know how difficult it is to talk about sexual abuse”. It’s the first time abuse is directly mentioned.

Designed for ChildLine’s website, the film is carefully tailored to address both genders and the lack of information about the caller reflects the confidential nature of ChildLine, while removing the possibility that children will dissociate themselves from the character in the video.

“The brief we received for the project was quite open, but included a lot of detail about how children suffering from abuse feel. Lots of them spoke of their difficulty in finding the words to talk about their problems, and feeling like words were stuck in their throat, so we thought illustrating that would be a good way to communicate those feelings without showing anything that would upset viewers or make them feel awkward,” explains YCN Studio director Alex Ostrowski.

Key to the video, says Ostrowski, was demonstrating that it’s OK for children to hang up at any time and that they can contact ChildLine as many times as they like. Without the option of fades or jump cuts to convey passing time, Buck uses clearer type and illustrations of open spaces to communicate progression with each conversation.

The sound and music was designed by Antfood and as Ostrowski explains, voices are omitted to keep the caller’s identity anonymous, allowing viewers to project their own story on to the film.

It’s a carefully constructed and beautifully crafted film, and one that slowly and gently re-assures viewers without making them feel uncomfortable or under pressure. Through the calming colours, illustrations and types, YCN Studio and Buck have captured intense emotions in a video that will hopefully give children the confidence to seek help.

Directed by: Buck
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Producer: Ashley Hsieh
Creative Director: Joshua Harvey
Designers: Joshua Harvey, Joe Mullen, Gunnar Pettersson
2D Animators: Laura Yilmaz, Kendra Ryan, Gunnar Pettersson, Claudio Salas, Matt Everton, Thierno Bah, Ege Soyuer, Zach Eastburg, Oliver Dead, Moses Journey
3D Artists: Yates Holley, Alex Dingfelder, Matt Everton
Music and Sound Design: Antfood

Out now, the May 2013 issue of Creative Review is our biggest ever. Features over 100 pages of the year’s best work in the Creative Review Annual 2013 (in association with iStockphoto), plus profiles on Morag Myerscough, Part of a Bigger Plan and Human After All as well as analysis, comment, reviews and opinion.

You can buy Creative Review direct from us here. Better yet, subscribe, save money and have CR delivered direct to your door every month. If you subscribe before May 3, you will get the Annual issue thrown in for free. The offer also applies to anyone renewing their subscription. Details here

CR for the iPad

Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.

More from CR

Le Gun designs V&A installation

Illustration collective Le Gun has designed an installation and limited edition print for a new exhibition opening at London’s V&A Museum.

London’s untold history

As the Museum of London Docklands turns ten years old today, artist Chris Naylor has unveiled a cityscape made of 2,186 sugar cubes, referencing the museum’s focus on one of the most significant – and shameful – trades to have shaped the city

Get Art Flea in your year

This year’s Site Festival in Stroud, Gloucestershire will stage the inaugural Art Flea this weekend – a bizarre bazaar that puts an experimental spin on the humble flea market.

B-Reel tells story of the net for Google

Production company B-Reel have created a video highlighting the internet’s most important developments, from HTML to apps, for the 2013 Google I/O conference

Graphic Designer

Fushi Wellbeing

Creative Designer

Monddi Design Agency