Aardman Director Produces Viral Film To Mark MS Week

Aardman director Darren Robbie, who was a lead animator on the classic film Chicken Run and is also known as Chopsy Animation, has produced a stunning short animated film for the MS Society which graphically and powerfully depicts the reality of living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Press Release from Chopsy Animation

New York, NY – June 2nd, 2011 - Aardman director Darren Robbie, who was a lead animator on the classic film Chicken Run and is also known as Chopsy Animation, has produced a stunning short animated film for the MS Society which graphically and powerfully depicts the reality of living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Launched during MS Week (23-29 May), it is hoped the 35 second film, a first for the charity, will go viral and raise awareness and cash for this much misunderstood and potentially devastating condition, most commonly diagnosed in people’s 20s and 30s.

It is hoped the viral will drive traffic to the MS Society’s dedicated website www.mapms.org.uk where visitors can record their own films and join the new MS Register, a groundbreaking research tool which has the potential to revolutionize the way people with MS access care and services.

Darren has directed almost 50 commercials for a wide variety of companies and has taken time out of his busy schedule to make the film for free for the MS Society (a film which would normally cost tens of thousands of pounds to produce) in memory of his sister who died as a result of complications relating to MS a couple of years ago.

The film uses a busy workplace as a metaphor for the human brain to educate people about how the condition affects human motor function.  Instead of workers we see different body parts losing their jobs and being fired, to represent the way body functions can unexpectedly be lost or impaired when someone has MS.

Darren Robbie said of his film: “I really wanted to do something to help the MS Society and this was the best way for me to highlight how debilitating this disease can be; hopefully, the film will be useful for many years to come. The disease has affected my family in a terrible way; we all deeply miss my younger sister who had progressive MS and hope that some kind of cure can be found in the near future. Thankfully I had a great bunch of people supporting and helping me in the making of this film, in particular Di Tansey and Rachel Foley at Irish International BBDO; Gavin Little at Echolab; and a whole host of folk at Aardmans in Bristol (especially Jim Lewis, Laura Pepper, Louise Johnson, Mark Chamberlain & numerous others).”

The MS Register is dependent upon people with MS taking part.  That’s why a number of high-profile supporters including Alan Carr, whose close friend Carolyn has MS are today coming together to urge people to sign up. The comedian said: “There’s currently no cure for MS, and to find one, more research is desperately needed. Become part of the bigger picture and join the MS Register now.”

To support MS Week visit www.mapms.org.uk.

ABOUT THE MS SOCIETYThe MS Society (www.mssociety.org.uk) is the UK’s largest charity dedicated to supporting everyone whose life is touched by multiple sclerosis (MS), providing an award-winning free phone helpline (0808 800 8000), specialist MS nurses and funding around 70 vital MS research projects in the UK.

ABOUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSISMS is the most common disabling neurological condition affecting young adults and an estimated 100,000 people in the UK have MS. MS is the result of damage to myelin – the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system – which interferes with messages between the brain and the body.  For some people, MS is characterized by periods of relapse and remission while for others it has a progressive pattern.  Symptoms range from loss of sight and mobility, fatigue, depression and cognitive problems. There is no cure and few effective treatments.

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