First-time director Katie Gascoyne’s 2D animated music video of the Scouting Girls’ new Christmas single is a funny, offbeat Gingerbread “Man” lament.
Every year, multi-BAFTA winning animation studio, Blue Zoo, holds an in-house competition to give anyone the opportunity to direct an animated short film. This year, the studio had the chance to direct the music video for the new Scouting For Girls Christmas single, “Let’s Not Go Away.” The band chose an idea by Blue Zoo’s recruitment and talent Coordinator, Katie Gascoyne; this is Gascoyne’s directorial debut and the first of the 12 films produced in Blue Zoo’s BAFTA-nominated shorts program to be directed by an administrative team member.
Scouting For Girls is releasing “Let’s Not Go Away” as a single alongside their new album, “The Trouble With Boys”, through Sony Music. The new short film was animated in Toon Boom Harmony at Blue Zoo’s 2D studio in London. Emmy-winning songwriter David Freedman worked with his son, Jackson Freedman, to write the heartwarming original song performed by popular UK band.
According to Gascoyne, “For me, this was an opportunity to tell a Christmas story with all the sweetness you'd expect, but a bit off-kilter. Everything is as you'd expect. Young couple in love at Christmas, renting a crappy but well-loved flat in London, one of them dreading spending Christmas day with their other half’s family. Except in this scenario, the boyfriend is a living gingerbread man, and her family has a bad habit of nibbling him when she's not around. Needless to say, he's not looking forward to another holiday with them.”
The film features a run-in with some robins, a (ginger)breadcrumb trail and a super sweet romantic gesture on top. “At its heart, it’s about leaving obligation behind and spending Christmas with the people we choose to,” she adds.
Oli Hyatt of Blue Zoo notes, “Every year we make something funny and Christmas related, and this song was hilarious, cheeky and also incredibly sentimental. We got cracking right away with an in-house competition for an animated short film to go with the song. Anyone can enter, and Katie from HR won with a sentimental concept, just this side of weird. This was the perfect chance to create a short film in our recently opened 2D studio.”
Read previous AWN coverage of Blue Zoo’s Christmas shorts:
“I'm so beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell this story, and to direct a short film,” Gascoyne concludes. “This wouldn't be possible anywhere else but Blue Zoo. It's incredible how much the studio has supported and trusted me as a director for this production - and that's not just a superfluous title, I really did get to direct it!
Blue Zoo’s 2D studio opened earlier this year as part of the studio’s long-term strategy to diversify and broaden their content. Currently in production is the 2D half-hour buddy comedy series, Pony, aimed at 8-10-year-olds, created by Ant Blades, who will also direct. Nickelodeon recently ordered 20 episodes of the show.
Source: Blue Zoo Animation Studio
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.