Animated films for the First World War Galleries

Putting together films inspired by our collections to feature in the First World War galleries

As part of Transforming IWM London, two summer school projects were launched this August focusing on the physical and psychological impacts of the First World War. I attended the course which looked at the physical effects. The aim of the course was to study a particular First World War related artefact from the collections and then produce a silent animated film based on that item which could be displayed in IWM London’s new First World War galleries in 2014.

Josie and her team research First World War related artefacts from our collections

We started off the week in a large group developing links between themes and historical items from the collection. We then split into smaller groups to refine our research and begin thinking about our creative project. The films – which could potentially be displayed in IWM London’s new First World War Galleries opening in summer 2014 – focused on our chosen artefact relative to a wider theme.

The subject for my own group was ‘The Shock of Modern Warfare’. Our chosen artefact was a set of letters written by a man who practised as a dentist prior to the First World War. However, he ended up being conscripted into the army and as a result became a doctor, working on the front line. Our silent animation followed his life from 1914 until after the war ended in 1918, which we learnt about through the letters which he addressed to his wife.

Josie’s team put together their animated film

As well as a course in history, the IWM summer school was also a creative challenge in film making, which most of the group had never done before. During the course of the week, I learnt a lot of new skills in this area as well as building on my historical knowledge and ability.

Josie (second from left) and her group choose artefacts from our collections to inspire their film

However, one of my favourite parts of IWM summer school was working with all the other people who signed up for IWM summer school as well as the museum staff. There was a strong work ethic in my team and the entire group, all of whom I thoroughly enjoyed working with. I am very excited about the prospect of our film potentially being shown in the First World War Galleries in 2014, and have really enjoyed and got a lot out of the summer school.

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