Mike Scott Tells All

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Animator extraordinaire Mike Scott recently wowed the world with his soccer-themed short A Dogshow with Cat. He shares his experience and more with the Callsheet.

Where did your concept for A Dogshow with Cat come from? Tell us about your original idea and how it has evolved with Story Lab and Disney.

My original idea was Bru & Boegie, about two best friends in underpants. I came up with the idea back in 2002 at university. I’ve created hundreds of comics about them, self-published a big comic book, made music videos and animated shorts using them.

After Bru & Boegie was selected for the Triggerfish Story Lab, Disney and Triggerfish originally took an option on them, but the Disney compliance department was pretty against them wearing underpants, and that’s kind of a core feature of Bru & Boegie. It was something I wasn’t keen to budge on. We were running out of time to make a short and the impasse was increasing, so rights for Bru & Boegie reverted back to me and we came up with new characters for A Dogshow with Cat: Catlyn and Doggy Poggy. Animals in underpants passed compliance. Together with Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston, we came up with a world for this sophisticated, sensitive dog who just wants to be a good boy, and his best friend, a wired unruly street-cat, who both live in the Karoo desert.

Both Triggerfish and Disney speak the same language – their involvement has very much been to get it appropriate for the target audience of Disney XD, around 6-11, to get the characters’ personalities driving the story forward; and to focus on the heart of the show – the relationship between these two best friends.

 

Tell us about the 3-minute short you’ve done for Disney XD FC. What’s it like being  the only shorts included from the African continent?

This short formed part of Disney XD FC, a series of ten shorts created by various studios around the world. It had to be soccer-themed and I was keen to not do the obvious thing and put two characters in a real soccer match. We found a way of keeping it soccer-related while developing a whole show, without the short being the beginning and end of Doggy Poggy and Catlyn’s world or friendship. It’s great representing Africa in this line-up; I feel extremely lucky and fortunate to be in my position.

Is Moosebox still being developed into a series? Last time we spoke you were working on a character bible of sorts. How is it progressing?

I finished the Moosebox bible and printed a bunch (They look amazing if I don’t say so myself; it’s a great show in waiting). We had a finished 11-minute pilot episode animatic with voices and music. I put a slightly adult allusion joke in the animatic at the eleventh hour and nobody screened the latest version before they tested it on kids overseas, and when the new adult allusion joke came up they apparently had to stop testing and couldn’t use the test results. Apparently it was wildly inappropriate for their audience. Part of me finds this story hilarious and I’d chalk that up to a success, but I definitely learned my lesson – compliance department picks up EVERYTHING and sadly I believe that episode threw a major spanner in the works and I believe it’s been put on the back-burner for now.

I think Nickelodeon share the same sentiment with me that the show works pretty well as a short, but feels a little stretched in its 11-minute format – or at least, my current skill-set is more suited to telling a story in a shorter 3-minute format as opposed to the standard 11-minute episode. I don’t have a lot of experience in the longer-form. I’m sure there’s a way to make it work in the 11-minute format, but my personal shorts and animated music video stories usually run about 3 minutes.

So, there’s still hope – Triggerfish have quoted to make some shorts, and we’ve had an ongoing conversation with Nickelodeon about the show. There are two other potential outcomes that both sound awesome, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting them on the public record.

What’d be bleak is if Moosebox died in a premature show graveyard and isn’t used in any way. Nickelodeon own the show and they have the power to do that if they so wished.

 

Read the full interview below:

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