Voicing Child Sexual Abuse; A personal project
Today we met with Chris Harper, an actor currently playing Nathan Curtis in Coronation Street’s high profile teenage grooming and exploitation storyline. As part of his commitment to raising awareness of Child Sexual Abuse, Chris is a Patron of the Charity Voicing CSA and works to help victims get the support and the advice they need through the Truth Project.
Chris wanted to discuss the idea of making a film for Voicing CSA, which is growing in recognition and size, but need some really clear, engaging online communication so they can continue their important work and share some of their key messages. They were looking for a film that reflects the journey of a victim of abuse as they gather the strength to speak out about what has happened to them, and shows the emotional and physical effects of sexual exploitation on a teenager.
To help give us an idea what they were looking for, Chris showed us an NSPCC film and an Andreas Hykade film for inspiration, as well as the following synopsis:
A scurrying little mouse who found a road and grew as he scurried without noticing he became a lion.
Or he became the boy he should have been whilst he escaped. He is a mouse; getting beaten, scared, snared but as he keeps on running the beatings get less and less and he finds he became a boy in a field calling all the other mice and you see them all scurrying from their hidey holes and finish with a field of children altogether. A reverse of pied piper of Hamlin. The great escape.
There is the mirror too in which the mouse sees his reflection and realises he’s been duped. That’s why he runs.
There are many mice – many hear me scream when they realise it’s not a mouse when shards of a broken mirror scatter and the mouse sees his reflection and screams. Others hear the scream and come out of hiding and they too see their reflections. We are all in hidey holes, under a bed, in a wardrobe, a cellar (that kind of thing) . We start to run towards a chink of light. It gets brighter and as we run toward you can see we have rucksacks on our back. The mice change to the children they saw in the reflection as they run to a building named ‘Truth Project’ the backpacks are evolving into the same child that carries them and the running child becomes an adult. They are carrying their inner child the childhood they lost. They are dressed the same as they run into the building and the building morphs into the face of a lion and the doors the mouth. The mouth roars loud.
Although every animation studio would love to spend their time doing personal, heartfelt films for good causes, the simple realities of needing to earn a living a pay staff a fair wage, often mean such ideals are nothing more than wishful thinking. Every now and then though, a project comes along which you know needs to be made, and needs to be made by you – this is one of those times.
We’ll be covering the production in depth here on the blog, looking at how we design, script, voice, animate and add sound to the film as it comes together, with a deadline of September 25th. Wish us luck!!