Up Periscope! Film makers commissioned for lockdown easing animation

A SADDLEWORTH company has produced a short film to remind residents of the latest rules despite a further easing of lockdown restrictions.

From today (Monday, May 17) most indoor and remaining outdoor businesses across Oldham and the country are allowed to reopen including soft play centres, bingo halls and cinemas.

And it’s three cheers also for a return of indoor dining and drinking.

Katie Lowe watching the new short film

To mark the milestone, Oldham Council commissioned Delph-based animators Periscope Studios to create a new work titled ‘A Safe Night Out with Nana’.

Periscope’s previous animation ‘Reopening high streets safely’ has had almost 10,000 views.

Inspired by a year of lockdown birthdays and missed family celebrations, the film tells the story of Katie, 11, who is planning a belated 70th birthday celebration for her Nana, which was spent in lockdown.

The script was a collaboration between the local authority and Oldham-based script writer Cali Warham. The voice-over was provided by Blue Coat School pupil Katie Lowe.

A member of Oldham Theatre Workshop since the age of seven, Katie was selected from 35 Oldham youngsters aged 8-13 years who auditioned for the role.

Periscope Studios modelled a 3D character which loosely resembles Katie after meeting with her to record her voice.

“I was really excited to be picked to read the script,” she said. “I hope to become an actress when I’m older and this is my first ever paid job.

“I love the script and how it rhymes. But it made me a little sad as it reminded me of my Nana who turned 72 in October; we couldn’t see her then as she was shielding and could only chat on FaceTime.

“I hope people keep following the rules so that we can keep seeing our friends and family.”

Indoor dining is permitted from Monday, May 17, but there are several rules in place. Venues now require every adult dining to check in, either with the venue or via the NHS Test and Trace app.

Currently six people will be allowed to meet at an indoor restaurant, café or bar, or any number of people from a maximum of two households.

The 10pm curfew on restaurants, pubs and bars is now scrapped but venues must operate a table service only policy. Diners are also asked to consider social distance and wear a mask when not seated.

The animation was funded by The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, set up by the European Regional Development Fund and Her Majesty’s Government.

To watch the animation, visit https://youtu.be/CiEGdMW3m10

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