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Animation created by Wrexham Glyndwr University students leads new fire safety campaign across Wales

19 May 2017

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The three fire and rescue services in Wales have teamed up with Wrexham Glyndŵr University and a North Wales singer songwriter to produce an original short animation for the purpose of highlighting the importance of regularly testing smoke alarms.

Launched today at the university's Catrin Finch centre, ‘Reasons to Test’ is an animated video featuring a crew of quirky characters going about their daily routines, accompanied by an original catchy soundtrack penned by singer songwriter Daniel Lloyd.

The three Fire and Rescue Services in Wales currently promote weekly testing of smoke alarms on social media through the ‘Test it’ campaign and hope that their new animation will further emphasise the importance of working smoke alarms.

Six students currently studying the MDes and BA programmes in Animation Visual Effects and Game Art at Wrexham Glyndŵr University worked together to design and produce the three minute advert.

Daniel Lloyd is a bilingual Welsh actor and singer / songwriter. Originally from Rhosllanerchrugog, Wrexham and now living in Denbigh, he is the frontman for recently reformed Welsh language band Daniel Lloyd a Mr Pinc, as well as a solo artist and established actor.

Daniel composed the original music for the animation, and students from Glyndŵr designed colourful characters for the scenes and brought them to life.

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The ‘Reasons to Test’ video aims to communicate a vitally important message to residents in a fun and lighthearted way.

“It is essential that people test their smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are in working order. We have seen time and time again how having a working smoke alarm can save your life in the event of a fire by giving you that extra time to escape.

“We are thrilled to have been working on this three way collaboration with Wrexham Glyndŵr University and local artist Daniel Lloyd, which allowed us to commission an exciting and innovative piece of work which will help us to promote important messages to members of our community.”

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection at the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, added: “The ‘Reasons to test’ advert features a catchy tune which helps promote the importance of testing your smoke alarm – we hope that this short but effective animation will help us ensure that each home has a working smoke alarm which is tested on a regular basis.”

Matthew Jones, Head of Home Safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service commented: “Keeping our communities safe from risk is our highest priority.

“I hope that this fun animation will help remind people of the importance of testing their smoke alarms regularly and make it part of their weekly routine.”

Marisse Mari, Principal Lecturer in Design and Programme Leader, School of Creative Arts, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for the students. We encourage our students to work on real briefs and the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service public information campaign has provided a perfect example for them to gain professional experience.

“The students are still in their second year and have come through a steep learning curve learning new software skills and putting them into action on this very worthwhile project.

“We hope to continue fostering good relationships and creating work within the local community.”

Marta Madrid, Lecturer in animation, added: “This project has given us the opportunity to develop team work skills and collaboration strategies.

“Storyboard artists, animatic artists, character designers and animators have learnt to take different responsibilities within the project, and share workload with peers.

“We have learnt to keep a fluid communication between the team, exchange feedback and keep in contact both online and in taught sessions where we have worked together.”

Three of the students who headed up work on the project were Tim Davies, Thomas Purdue and William Parker. They said: “We very much value this opportunity and have enjoyed working on this project.

“We are now planning to set up a business and form our own company together after we complete our course. This will be one of the first projects that will help us to promote what we can offer.”

Other students working on the project were Ellis Roberts, Duncan Adams and Marta Gabiga. They added: “We have enjoyed creating character designs and storyboards then coming up with humorous solutions to animate to the lyrics of the accompanying soundtrack.

“We hope it will stay in the viewer’s minds and are really happy to be part of this campaign.”

The video is available to watch in English or Welsh and can also be accessed through the social media pages of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Listen to Marisse Mari speaking about the project on BBC Radio Wales (28 mins in)

Find out more about studying animation at Wrexham Glyndwr University

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