The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) commissioned us to produce three short animations to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The animations, which would need to work without sound, would cover the Battle’s timeline and key moments, the aircraft that featured in the Battle and the Blitz against London and other prominent UK cities.
The animations would need to increase awareness of the Battle of Britain, increase traffic to the RAFBF’s Battle of Britain website, and drive engagement across their social channels.
While the brief specified some of the key dates and facts to be included, a large part of this project initially involved reading and research; shortlisting snippets of information to be included before drafting a script.
On the visual side, we also conducted research; reviewing photos from the Battle: of the aircraft, the airfields, the control rooms, the personnel and of course images of destruction from the Luftwaffe bombing raids.
This research provided us with some clear ideas of how to approach each of the animations.
For the Timeline animation, we devised a storyboard based around a Battle of Britain control room – so we could use the features of the control room as props, most notably the large map that was at the heart of each room.
For the Aircraft animation, we developed an approach centred around a fact file. While for the Blitz animation the storyboard focused on one imaginary street, interspersing the delivery of facts and figures about the Blitz with giving the viewer an insight into what it would have been like to have lived through it.
The end result was three videos that the client was really pleased with, leading to the commissioning of a fourth to explain the workings of the Sector Clock (see below).
A critical feature of these videos was the sound mix, which carried greater importance than in many of the videos we produce. The music needed to fit the era and drama of the events, while it was also important to source authentic aircraft engine noose, air raid sirens and sounds of bombs exploding. These videos are definitely worth watching with headphones on and the volume turned up.