Stephen Fry reads Oscar Wilde's short story The Happy Prince in an animated short film for, and to raise awareness of, the National Literacy Trust
B Good Picture Company filmed Stephen Fry reading the full story of The Happy Prince on camera. Now they want to make a short, 20 minute, film featuring beautiful animation to complement Stephen’s reading (see video link above).
The film will be part animation and part Stephen on camera. All usage rights will go exclusively to the National Literacy Trust, to help raise awareness of their great work. This would not be possible if we sourced funding from a broadcaster or a traditional third party, and so we turn to you.
“…[it is] about the cost of beauty, it is hard for me to read The Happy Prince without crying, I guess because it is also somehow a love story between the swallow and the Prince.” Stephen Fry
First published in 1888, The Happy Prince is a short story written by Oscar Wilde. It is the story of a swallow that meets a statue, the ‘Happy Prince’. The statue stands high, looking down at the poverty in his town. He is helpless, so inspires the swallow to complete selfless acts on his behalf.
Who are you?
- Stephen Fry
You may have heard of him. Stephen is at once an actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director, Twitter royalty and all-round national treasure. Stephen has long been a great advocate of Oscar Wilde’s, even playing him to great acclaim in the feature film ‘Wilde’ in 1997 and this story is a personal favourite of his. Stephen is a great supporter of the National Literacy Trust.
- National Literacy Trust
The National Literacy Trust is the only national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. One person in six in the UK today has poor literacy. This means they can’t succeed at school, are locked out of the job market, can’t support their child’s learning and struggle with daily tasks such as filling in forms or reading labels on food packaging. The National Literacy Trust works with disadvantaged children and families to help improve their literacy skills and achieve their potential.
- B Good Picture Company Ltd
B Good Picture Company Ltd is an independent production company based in London. While developing it’s slate of high profile feature films, it has produced music videos for artists like Beardyman and the Voice UK’s Aleks Josh as well as 4 episodes of the series ‘In Love With’ broadcast on Sky Arts, starring Eddie Marsan, Simon Callow, Douglas Booth, Catherine Tate, Jonathan Pryce, John Simm, Craig Roberts, Celia Imrie, Karen Gillan and many more. It is headed up by producer/director Joe Stephenson.
- Zoe Josephine Payne
Zoe Josephine is the Artist who has has created all the collages and hand drawn animation for our film. Her work spans collage, drawing, installation and animation. She has exhibited work at the Courtauld Institute, BFI and was recently Artist in Residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
How will the finished film be used?
When completed, the 20 minute short film (and audiobook version) will be hosted on the National Literacy Trust’s, website. The charity’s literacy experts will create complementary resources for teachers to use in the classroom to help improve pupils’ literacy skills and introduce them to high-quality literature.
We would also love to show the film at various events such as the Oxford Literary Festival and the Hay Festival
Where will my money go?
Animation is a costly process, requiring a lot of time from all involved. In particular the illustrator and the digital compositor need to be working full time for weeks! Add to this the cost of producing sound and the post production costs of grading, colour correction and the sound mix – all needed to make sure the final product looks and sounds the best it could possibly be.
Everyone involved with the project is working at a reduced rate or for free but some expenses can’t be escaped, so we still need to meet our target to make it happen. We have done our utmost to make this target as low as possible. If we don't reach our target then we will be forced to look for other funding, but if we exceed our target every penny will go to making it even better, e.g. using an original score, producing more materials for the National Literacy Trust to get better use out of the film and using better visual effects to add to the overall quality of the finished film. It really is a case of 'the more, the better'.
Other Ways You Can Help
Every penny counts but if you have no money to contribute and you still want to get involved, you can help us by simply spreading the word:
- We’ve set up a Facebook page for the project. Please like and share to the world: https://www.facebook.com/StephenFryReadsTheHapp...
- You can follow B Good Picture Company Ltd and the National Literacy Trust on Twitter: @bgoodpictures & @Literacy_Trust and tweet, post and retweet the link to this page.
Once you kind people have contributed in some way, either by donating or spreading word about this project, let us take this moment to encourage you to read. Literacy is so important, and the joy a good book can bring is entirely unique:
- find 15 minutes a day to start that book you’ve always meant to
- if you have children, read to them from an early age as possible
- if you have trouble reading, it is nothing to be ashamed of and there is help available.
For more information check out http://www.literacytrust.org.uk.
Team on This Campaign: