(Work in progress 1 May 2017)
In 2016 Triggerfish and Disney launched the ‘Story Lab’, an incubator of sorts to develop original South African animated series and movies. There was a nationwide call for pitches, and some 1300 submissions were received. These were whittled down to about 30, and my ‘Bru & Boegie’ was part of the selection. We were treated to an intensive workshop involving Pilar Alessandra coming down from LA to Cape Town to tutor us in the craft of scriptwriting, we had Orion Ross from Disney come down from the UK / US to talk to us about the ins and outs of animated series, and we got a paid-for trip to LA to visit Disney studios and talk to some experts (some friends and I took the opportunity to do a road trip from LA to San Francisco afterwards and we had a great meeting at Pixar with some kiff peeps. I also visited Nickelodeon studios and met with Pen Ward, creator of Adventure Time, while I was in the US).
So, with Bru & Boegie optioned by Triggerfish and Disney, there was an opportunity to create a 2-min short for some premiere leage soccer event, where Disney was commissioning a few International shorts. We went for it, and it soon became clear that Bru & Boegie’s underpants was an issue (Bru & Boegie always wear underpants). I wasn’t budging on that, we all realised this was a bad impasse to be right at the beginning of a project, so I got the rights back to Bru & Boegie and we came up with a new show – a Dog and Cat that similar sensibilities to Bru & Boegie, and the show was called ‘Dogshow with Cat’.
We quickly developed the characters and the world and built a small team to make the 2-min short, which also served as a pilot for the show. The pilot was shown on DisneyXD, and translated into a few different languages, and is available online.
The show started out like this: ‘Doggie Poggie’ is a caring best friend to ‘Catlyn’, a wired more free-spirited cat. They live together in the Karoo, in a world that’s slightly surreal to them (at least to Catlyn).
After the pilot, it was time to make the longer mini pitch-bible – a 30-page document that goes into more detail about the show. I wasn’t really digging the vibe of where the show had arrived, so reworked the show into more of a struggling-band show, added a band manager, a young kid called ‘Mike’ who is also Doggie Poggie and Catlyn’s owner, and they’re in an experimental band living out of a trailer, touriung the Karoo desert in search for fame and fortune. The desert area’s also pretty surreal, thery have a nemesis in Todd the baby performer who seems to steal all their thunder, there’s a goliath monster that roams the desert as a threat, and most of the time Dogshow are their own worst enemies. It combined my experiences of being in a number of bands, as well as the desire I get while animating Goldfish music videos to turn something like it into a kids show.
We have an amazing 11-minute script primarily written by Greig Cameron with input from Triggerfish and myself that I really think would rock if someone made it, and the show bible’s finished. Currently the show is being shopped around to get a distributor on board.