Lucy Izzard was approached by George Sander-Jackson and Mosaic films to direct and animate a film about post-natal depression. Lucy’s animation is one of five films made by five different directors. The films each look at different perspectives of firsthand accounts from parents who have gone through PND. The aim of the series is to spread awareness to families who may be going through the same experience and to help remove any stigma attached to the illness. Additionally the films encourage medical professionals to address their current approach to people with PND and make sure that the right care is out there for parents.
They interviewed a young lady called Katie and edited her story down to a 3:20 minute short film. Katie's narration is very moving as she opens up about her experience. Lucy Izzard’s animation captures her story with powerful metaphors that really help empathise with how Katie is feeling, such as scene of Katie ever-shrinking box, and a hamster wheel throwing Katie around in circles.
The series of films had been nominated for a British Animation Award 2016.
Lucy spoke with Ben Mitchell at Skwigly in more detail about the project -
“My background is 2D animation. I normally animate in a traditional way (drawing frame by frame) using Flash. The target audience for my film is/was young mums, aged somewhere between 16 – 22 years old and because my style is quite graphic with bold colours we thought this might be a good match. We did a little show and tell at a creative learning centre for adults (Knowle West Media Centre) and the feedback regarding this style was positive, so we went ahead with it. This formed the basic look and then I layer up textures afterwards to give it a slightly rougher feel.
I found out that a friend of mine was going through PND at the time I was starting this film so I felt even more desire to learn about the condition and make something that could help others experiencing it.
It’s hard to visualise a feeling. Especially in a way that isn’t a cliche. I don’t know whether I was successful at showing the intense dark feeling a person experiences when they go through PND. I think it’s a hard thing to get across but I hope that one of the scenes in the film struck a cord and triggered a feeling of empathy with some of the viewers. I think Katie’s narration is very emotional and the music which accompanies is beautifully subtle, both of which bring the film alive just as much as the visuals.
Working on the film inspired me to show the feelings Katie experienced in a more abstract then I perhaps normally would. I had limited time to make this film so I really had to stick with something I knew well. The style was very much connected to the audience too.”
Watch Katie's Story -