‘People These Days’ is a satirical animated series detailing the ins and outs of stereotypical British life, by Nikita Nielsen (@nikita_nielsen). Since the birth of this project in May, the team have worked to complete their episode storyboards, have found a full cast and are hoping to have their first cut of the pilot episode in the new year.
We caught up with Nikita to ask her a few questions about her process and whether she had any advice for other Daisie creators when creating a stand-out project.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nikita Nielsen and I’m currently working as a freelance motion designer and director.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Johannesburg, South Africa but I’ve been living in the UK for the past 4 years.
What was the inspiration behind this project?
At its core, ‘People These Days’ is a series inspired by everyday men and women living in Britain. At the time of the project’s conception, I hadn’t been living in the UK for very long so every social interaction and every experience was new and exciting for me - I found everyone interesting and so different to what I was used to. I began to listen to people around me and what they had to say about their lives and most importantly, what they had to say about each other. From then on I started forming caricatures based off the opinions and conversations I’d heard, and that’s pretty much how ‘People These Days’ came to be.
Can you tell us a bit more about ‘People These Days’? What stage are you at with it?
‘People These Days’ is an animated British comedy web series. The series follows the conventions of a mockumentary and focuses on a cast of witty recurring characters who voice the concerns, hopes and dreams of the general public, all the while providing a comedic point of view on people these days. Right now we have put together a script, a storyboard, some character designs, and an, almost, full-voiceover cast. We’re currently working on putting together the animatic so that we can get a good idea of how the timing and edit will look for the final animation.
Who else have you worked with to create this project?
So far, I’ve met everyone contributing to this project on Daisie itself. The users currently contributing to this project are the amazing voice talents of @danpye, @meta24601, @kidkerrigan, @amylever and SilverSnow. We have @jaywhittakerbhp as sound designer with @jedbeetle and @kseniaignatenko who are tackling music production. I’ve also had great story feedback and help from awallscott. We’re constantly adding more collaborators to help out so I know I’ve forgotten some of you - sorry!
Have you had any meetings outside of Daisie?
So far, we haven’t had any meetings outside of Daisie yet, it’s been mainly phone calls, emails and DM’s. We’re all spread out across the country so it would be great to see if we could organise a get together (or two) for a wrap party or screening party once the project is at that stage.
Who are you looking to collaborate with?
Now that the pre-production phase is coming to a close, I’m looking to collaborate with fellow illustrators and animators. The project is getting to the stage where I need at least another one or two people to help me with the production process.
What are the next steps for the project?
After completing the animatic, we’re looking at starting on the rigging and animation itself. The end goal is to have a polished pilot episode by early next year which we can premier online and send to loads of film festivals. It’s a great way to get the kind of exposure we need to attract investors and production partners who can turn this pilot episode into a full series.
How has Daisie helped you with this project?
Prior to Daisie I was struggling to bring this project to life on my own. I was working alone as a remote animator so I didn’t have the connections or means required to get this project off the ground. I was ready to bin the idea when I found Daisie. Daisie looked like a great platform to meet other like-minded collaborators, so naturally I put ‘People These Days’ up on the site as a final try and it kind of exploded from there. I now have over 300 collaborators who believe in making this project as much as I do, it’s an amazing feeling to have that kind of support.
Do you have any advice for people looking to do the same?
Yes! My main piece of advice would be, don’t give up on that idea that excites you- even when you can’t see a means to make it a reality. Don’t be afraid to share it with others, go put it up on Daisie, ask for collaborators and get the support you need to bring that idea to life!
People These Days are still looking for illustrators and animators for future episodes. Head the the project to get involved.