More hardware is heading for the Center for Child and Family Studies’ crowded trophy case. The Center has brought home a 2021 Silver Davey Award for “Interviewing Cassie Madsen,” an animated video produced for the South Carolina Department of Social Services’ Child Welfare Preservice Certification Training.

The Davey Awards recognize outstanding work produced by “Creative Davids,” small firms “who derive their strength from big ideas.” The competition is judged by an invitation-only body of professionals from media, advertising, and marketing firms.

The animation was one segment of a multi-part story, offering learners an in-depth, dynamic scenario that they follow through several days of instructor-led learning. “Interviewing Cassie Madsen” features custom characters in an emotional scene that models social worker engagement.

The stories were originally designed for live actors, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic required the Center’s production team to flex its creativity. “This was something new for us,” says Ryan Holcombe, Graphics Manager at the Center. “We developed a prototype that I was very proud of, and that gave our team the confidence that our goals could be accomplished with animation.”

Producing the animation was a true collaborative effort, with contributions from members of the Center’s Instructional Design and Production team and Leadership and Talent Development team, community partners such as SC PASOS, and many freelance partners.

“We worked hard to engage our Columbia community to find a strong voice cast,” says Ginger Cassell, who produced and edited the project. “These animations had a lot of characters and many difficult, emotional scenes. I think our efforts to find good talent, combined with our creativity and communication at the Center, produced this quality work.”

Watch a clip from the Center’s award-winning scene.