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Scoop! By the Brothers McLeod

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The Brothers McLeod are no strangers to creating weird and wonderful worlds inhabited by offbeat characters. The combined efforts of Myles and Greg often take the viewer on a trip through crazy landscapes that a visitor might expect from Pepperland or the Land of Ooo. As well as eccentric character designs the duo also have a talent for developing dialogue that charms and entertains.

That certainly is the case with Scoop!, a pilot created for Nickelodeon and whilst a series unfortunately didn’t end up making the light of day, it stands up as another one of the Brothers wacky animated achievements.

The brothers took inspiration from a solitary second of 365, the recent festival favourite from the pair that saw animator Greg creating a unique second of animation everyday with no link or repetition between each of the days. The quest for originality created an incredible visual feast of weirdness that Scoop! originated from.

We caught up with Myles McLeod, writer of Scoop! to find out how the short was made.

Tell us about Scoop!

It’s about excitable camera guy Karl and reporter Tiffany Cat who are always on the lookout for a scoop for their show. The town they live in is pretty strange, populated by talking volcanoes, zombies with an ice cream fixation and other leftfield characters. It was made with a 6-12 age group in mind and we made it pacy. Very pacy!

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 16.22.27

The film was made with the assistance with Nickelodeon, could you tell us how that opportunity came about?

Scoop is an animation we made as part of the Nickelodeon Shorts program 2013-14. It was one of 17 pitches that went forward after several hundred submissions.

The show was inspired by a second of your film 365, what made this the right idea to expand?

The image was one from March 2013 and it partly came from Greg talking to his 9 year old son. If you’re going to make a show for that age group, why not talk to a representative! The final image was so busy, with a fun landscape, a volcano going off, and the characters we subsequently developed all there just expressing themselves in different ways. It felt like a show just looking at it.

Still from 365

Still from 365

Does this mean we will see 364 more short films based on the film or will the world of Scoop! be turned into more shorts a series?

There are other seconds from our 365 film which have inspired ideas, or just been used on our business cards. It was a great source of inspiration. For now Scoop! is a one off. A couple of the 17 shows went on to further development. Right now we’re working on ten new shorts for another big production house, so we’re forging on with new ideas.

Karl and Tiffany from Scoop!

Karl and Tiffany from Scoop!

When you work together how descriptive are you with the characters, or are they written with the expectation that Greg will design something suitable or is there collaboration?

Sometimes I’ll write up a character first and Greg will draw a character to match. Other times we’ll start with the visuals (as we did with Scoop!) and then work out who the characters are afterwards. There’s no hard and fast rule. We usually discuss the character behaviours together, and think about how they all balance each other out. Of course in 2 minutes it’s quite a challenge to get across a world, a story and a sense of everyone’s character. It is possible, but it’s not easy.

We talked to Greg McLeod about the making of 365 in our documentary series Lightbox. Watch below.

Visit the Brothers McLeod Website, like them on Facebook here and if you’re still feeling generous why not follow them on Twitter too?

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