Lara Leslie is a qualified primary school teacher with many years of experience working as a camerawoman and TV producer on various television programmes (everything from Master Chef to Loose Women and Saturday Kitchen!). Lara is also an artist and animator who enjoys creating the fantastical and helping others to do the same!
Press Play was founded by Lara in 2016. They offer a range of after-school clubs, holiday workshops, special events and birthday parties where they teach children the joys of animation and creativity in film. Watch this video created at a Press Play workshop and look out for their events throughout East and West Sussex.
The power of children’s imaginations
I have been using HUE HD cameras at some of my animation workshops for a few years now. Children love them! Since lockdown hit us in March 2020, these workshops have largely been on hold. Instead, I’ve been working on some other animations including a film for Brighton and Hove Libraries, funded by Arts Council England.
The idea behind this animation was to help the library engage more primary schools, as it had seen a scary 95% drop in these schools accessing library services since Covid-19. We were tasked with creating a short animation, to send to schools as part of some virtual library tours about accessing the library online and its range of services.
We decided it would be fun if children were actually involved in creating the characters for the animation. This meant running a competition across Brighton and Hove to find the animation’s main characters. We were amazed by the volume of entries and by the power of childrens’ imaginations, drawing abilities and the effort they all made to enter!
We were also over the moon when HUE kindly agreed to provide prizes to our winner and 2 runners up, including a HUE Animation Studio Kit for the winner, and runner up prizes of HUE Animation software and the HUE Book of Animation.
Watch the animation featuring the children’s illustrations below.