Strange Hill High - Animating Innovatively
I’m very fortunate in that I get to work with some awesome and talented people. One of them, Katoi (follow her on Twitter; do it now!) of Yoshimi and Katoi, works with a highly innovative form of animation utilising live action, urban vinyl designer puppets. I’ve worked with Kat for several years in one form or another and she never ceases to blow my mind with her ability to come up with brilliant ideas across multiple fields.
Last year, CBBC and Freemantle Media signed up to produce her Strange Hill High project. As well as acting as a sounding board for Katoi for this and (more so) for many other projects, I acted as a Connector to get her contacts and representation within the TV industry - a role I find myself thinking about now that I’m (finally!) reading through Malcom Gladwells ‘The Tipping Point’. Particularly considering I’m just a geeky unsociable programmer at heart, there’s something about seeing these connections pan out that warms my heart.
I’ve also found it interesting comparing the ups and down of television production to those of my native industry, game development. The people are different, the terminology is different, but the processes have more similarities than I’d realised, at least at the upper levels rather than the actual mechanics of production.
When it comes down to it, success or failure will always come down to the people and the implementation, not just the idea. There are a huge number of good ideas constantly floating around but only a tiny number will ever be successfully implemented.
Strange Hill High has some amazingly talented people involved, including Futurama’s Josh Weinstein, writer Emma Kennedy, and numerous well known actors doing the voiceovers. It has some development to go yet but I hope that this becomes a children’s TV series which inspires the next generation of artists and writers in the same way that Gerry Anderson’s work did for previous generations.