About Animated Minds
Animated Minds was conceived in 2003 as an attempt to communicate the subjective experience of mental health problems to a wider audience. The idea was simple: to take the testimony of a variety of people who have experienced mental distress, and then to try to animate their experience. The result, it was hoped, would be a series of engaging short films which would give a general audience a greater understanding of what it feels like to live with various mental difficulties. The process of making the Animated Minds was as collaborative as possible. Andy Glynne, the director, trained as a clinical psychologist and therefore knew about mental health and some of the myths and prejudices that surrounded various “conditions”. After having identified individuals who wanted to talk about their experiences, Andy recorded interviews with them, which were then edited down to create a short narrative rich in visual metaphors. Once it was made sure that no information was included which might cause any distress to the people involved, the process of animation began. Working with some of the best animators, Andy tried to create visual sequences which would add depth and meaning to the audio interview. The reception to the films was far greater than expected. Not only did they reach a large audience through various broadcast partners (Channel 4, Teachers TV), but they have also been used by teaching hospitals, schools, universities, mental health community centres, mental health charities, and by service users themselves, who would use the films to try to show others what their experience was like. These animated documentaries received many international awards as well, such as Best Educational Film at Holland Animation Film Festival 2009; Young People's Media, Mental Health Media Awards 2009; Secondary Learning, BAFTA Children's Awards 2009.