Children of the Holocaust


Produced By Fettle Animation For BBC Learning

Fettle Animation’s award winning project, Children of the Holocaust developed from an invitation from Kirklees Council, who producer Kath Shackleton had worked for in the past, to produce an animation for their annual Holocaust Memorial Day event. Through this the team met a Holocaust survivor and made a pilot piece based on her story.

They then worked with the National Media Museum in Bradford for Yorkshire’s Cultural Olympiad project, I-Move. Fettle produced three one minute animations based on interviews with Polish people living in Bradford. Kath presented these films at the Children’s Media Conference to the executive producer from BBC Learning. She was interested and asked Fettle to come up with a half hour special based on this idea.

From the initial pitch, it took time for things to move on, with the exec having to find the money internally to produce the show and the time negotiating the editorial specification and contracts.

The budget offered from BBC Learning, was tighter than initially hoped for.  However, they decided that the project presented a unique opportunity for Fettle to forge ahead. Kath then had to be resourceful and find ways to bring in additional funds to the project, such as making use of the tax relief, and recruiting animation trainees through Creative Skillset’s Trainee Finder.

Managing the trainees was a learning experience for Kath. This has made Kath more aware of how much of her time is given over to running a creative team, and how much she needs to be present in the studio to boost team morale on a project of this scale. She is now factoring management into the budgets of future commissions.

Working with executive producers Helen Brunsdon and Liz Molyneux on this project was also an education. They had to learn what they could ask of an exec and the best way to use each individual’s specialist skills, knowledge and connections. They also had quite intensive editorial input from the commissioner that they had to factor into their workflow.

Kath has discovered on this project how to negotiate with the commissioner and the execs, meeting their needs whilst avoiding putting extra strain on the creative team. She also learnt to read the level of urgency of the changes being called for and used this to inform decisions around how she would bring changes into the schedule without disrupting the work that was being produced. Kath would support the team by constantly reviewing the schedule to find ways to bring more support to a task and to see where scenes can be changed to simplify the process.

This is the first project that Kath has worked with a sales agent on. The agent has assisted Fettle to reach broadcasters in different countries around the world. They are now starting to receive modest licensing fees, which help with the upkeep of the studio. They are also transferring the project into another media and have a licensing deal to turn the property into a graphic novel.

Through bringing in revenue from IP from projects such as this Kath plans to be able to expand the production side of Fettle and bring more stability to the studio.



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