Life in the 21st Century

This semester we’ve decided to push ourselves in terms of content and how many episodes we could create within the time frame. The series is entitled ‘Life in the 21st Century’ and focuses on the problems our main character, Kimmy, faces within student life. We had three episodes planned out in terms of story line but episodes 1 and 2 are currently in a much better position than compared to episode 3 so we’ve decided to focus on the first two.

Episode one: Deadlines

In this episode we discover that Kimmy is a top student from the 1950’s who is brought into the 21st century to challenge her, as her teachers believe she will go onto to prosper within a university, we are going to see how well or badly Kimmy copes with student life of the 21st century. This first episode covers student loans and deadlines – how the two really aren’t a good mix.

The episode opens with an advert from our sponsors – Chilly Nips cigarettes, which would have been typical of television programs throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. Many television programmes  would of had at least one sponsor, who paid for productions costs and in turn were heavily featured during the ad breaks.  –

‘The 1950’s’ by William and Nancy Young – Chapter 3 entitled, Advertising, covers the growth in television advertising and why it became popular and some of the main messages covered.

Our ad, ChillyNips cigarettes is similar to ‘Look around you Calcium’ whereby the audience is being told something that is completely wrong – ChillyNips cigarettes aren’t going to increase your airflow, in actual fact they’ll make it worse. However in the 1950’s smoking was considered the epitome of ‘cool’ meaning our advert is something that that audience would have been very familiar with seeing on their television screens.

After the ad we will be introduced to Kimmy by our narrator, who will be present throughout the episode, informing Kimmy and the audience of what is happening. The narrator informs Kimmy that she will receive an assignment and a student loan, suddenly a bottle pops into Kimmy’s hand.. . she has discovered alcohol and from here it’s all downhill, we see in the form of a conveyor belt that she drinks and dances, drinks and dances (with a noodle or two)  some more – becoming more and more progressively drunk over the period of the shot, with the conveyor belt ending with Kimmy sitting in a pile of her own vomit, looking very sorry for herself. The narrator will then swiftly remind her that she has a deadline fast approaching, from here we will see Kimmy fall out of the fame, dropping into the next, landing right in front of her desk where she will begin to work on her assignment.

The narrator will continuously remind Kimmy that while working on an assignment it is important to save your work often, with the question being, does she listen to him? We will see that Kimmy is so involved with her work that she misses everything that is happening to the world just right outside her window, events beginning with a monster attack to which the government react to with a nuclear explosion which in turn causes her room to be partly destroyed. Throughout all of this Kimmy will be typing away on her assignment with the odd sip of coffee until the audience hears that annoying ‘donk’ from word that we are all too familiar with… word has stopped responding… and Kimmy hasn’t paid any attention to the advice from the narrator to save often.

In reaction to this we watch as Kimmy slowly reaches under her desk to lift a gas canister into scene and proceeds to pour it over herself before setting it back down. Next Kimmy will very calmly open a drawer and lift out a box of matches, the audience will then watch as she proceeds to strike one of the matches, in turn setting herself on fire. The episode ends with a slow zoom into Kimmy’s dead pan face, all whilst being engulfed in frames.

Episode Two: University Mornings

Before episode two starts we will have a ‘previously on’ segment meaning that members of the audience who haven’t seen the first episode don’t necessarily have to go back and watch it to understand what’s going on but obviously there will be some elements continuing on from the first episode to provide some continuity for regular viewers which will be better understood after watching the first episode.

Again the episode will open will a message form our sponsor, Chilly Nips cigarrettes. This time when the audience is first introduced to Kimmy it will be in colour to represent the ‘ideal world’ where everyone would wake up feeling rested and refreshed in there own time without needing an alarm clock to do so – the narrator however swiftly reminds Kimmy that she unfortunately does not live in an ideal world *queue the internet dial up tone* and another new character.

The next shot introduces the audience to Kimmy anthropomorphised alarm clock who shouts at her repeatedly to “wake up” and we see the toll this alarm clock takes on Kimmy before turing him off will a slap. In this shot we see that Kimmy is in fact sleeping outside as in the previous episode her housing was destroyed because of the nuclear attack, which will make much more sense to the audience if they watch the previous episode.

The narrator explains to Kimmy that a more season student will have found a way around this problem, here the audience will see that the main wire for the alarm clock has been cut. However when Kimmy does this her alarm clock becomes excessively annoyed and in the next shot we watch as he grows arms and legs and proceeds to get up and walk towards her with a baseball bat. Obviously the audience knows what is going to happen next due as this is a classic piece of animation from the golden years… he hits her straight on the head, waking her up with a thud. The episode again ends with a slow zoom into a close up of Kimmy as she sits in her bed dazed and confused with birds flying around her bed.

This last shot is a way of us paying homage to the classic animations that we loved to watch as children…

Painful Compilation from Tom and Jerry:

Anvils in Warner Brothers cartoons:

Looney Tunes, classic frying pan:

Matt was in charge of storyboarding and script creation so for a more detailed explanation of the story I’ve provided a link to his blog post below containing the storyboards, animatic and script development…

Additional Characters

Episode One and Two see the audience introduced to characters other than Kimmy, an anthropomorphised alarm clock and a monster.

Concepts for the Monster:

Seeing as the monster was to attack Kimmy’s world I had pictured him as some sort of evil mastermind but we ended up choosing to create Hannah T’s monster design as he had the perfect combination of dumb and innocence, he hadn’t purposely to cause any sort of harm or destruction to the planet – he just couldn’t help it.
Below is Hannah’s concept after being redrawn by Matt:


Matt then was designing the alarm clock character with his final concept below:


With all the characters designed, we would now move on to modelling, Matt would be modelling Kimmy, Hannah T the clock and myself the monster with Scott creating the rigs for each one.

With having episode one’s storyline almost sorted Matt also created a character model sheet for Kimmy to include the stages and costumes she goes through throughout the episode.


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