The making of the Goldsmiths Christmas animation

This year our Media and Communications students continue the Goldsmiths tradition of creating a Christmas animation for our alumni community.

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We presented our Christmas animation brief at the start of a two-day ‘taster’ in stop-motion animation. Taster modules offer students an introduction to all the practice areas available on the Media and Communications degree. These include Stop Motion, Illustration, Interactive Media, Journalism, Creative Writing, TV, Photography and Radio.

The aim of the stop-motion taster is for students to produce a succinct piece of animation, developed from an initial concept and taken through to a polished production. Students are encouraged to collaborate on the script and storyboard and research sound and pictorial reference as part of a small production group.

To celebrate the festive season, this year’s brief again asked students to create a Christmas card that was ‘festive without being clichéd’ placing emphasis on the buildings and architecture that makes Goldsmiths. Students were encouraged to use these images in creative ways. If you recall, last year’s brief focused on our prominent alumni and saw Steve McQueen skiing down a slope.

Ceiren Bell, Lecturer in Stop Motion Animation, said:

“The students always enjoy the process of stop motion, but they have been particularly pleased to have the opportunity to engage with a proper brief so soon in their academic career. It’s a great way to help them focus their practice and teach them more about working within professional frameworks. The fact that their animations could be seen by an audience of thousands is a huge bonus.”

After a playful first session brainstorming and experimenting with different techniques, the groups produced six films, edited from a total of 5-6 minutes animation. The final animation is 12 seconds of ‘Christmassy’ imagery using a variety of materials such as salt, polystyrene, paper, paints and cuttings from magazines. The results are distinctively Goldsmiths!


Thank you to all first-year Media and Communications students for producing animations that manage to encapsulate both the spirit of Goldsmiths and the festive season. Thank you to Music student John Knight for providing the soundtrack for this year’s animation. A special thank you to Ceiren Bell from the Department of Media and Communications for organising this opportunity for our students.

We hope you enjoy the final animation!

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