Upvoted is a publication based around happenings on Reddit. Three days ago they featured an article about Gnoms after it recently enjoyed another spike of popularity (and close to 100,000 new views).
Before you rush out to get matching Cintiq tablets, check out the pilot that Adelaide-based animator Brendan Deboy—who goes by NotBrenAgain on Reddit—created in 2014 with his daughter Avalie, who was just one year old at the time:
The pilot features a quartet of drum- and synth-voiced worms who start a dance party near an innocent gnome named “Red” and a slumbering bear (named “Bear”). When the furry beast inevitably wakes up, the party worms rescue the young gnome with their infectious beats.
On Sunday night, this promising first episode—and a five-minute sequel from 2015—caught the attention of Reddit’s Videos community—and prompted many redditors to ask Deboy when the (intentionally misspelled) series Gnoms would be a full-fledged show.
After the minor success of the first one (success meaning people didn’t hate it) in conjunction with the many positive comments I received across several different forums, I felt coerced to embark upon on the colossal undertaking that was Gnoms episode two.
This episode is quite a bit longer than the first and was much more involved on a technical level. As a result, I’m a little drained on the AfterEffects front, and am looking forward to some time off of the whole animation thing for some good ol’ fashioned drawing. It’s been a big few months.
As much as I love the Gnoms world, this remains a hobby and will likely be the last episode I produce until I’m actually getting paid for this endeavour in some capacity. Or, y’know, people leave really, really nice comments again…
Because my recent site update cleared any record of this project, and because I enjoy tirelessly flogging old work , I re-present to you one of my most ambitious endeavours of 2013-2014; Gnoms: A cartoon I created with my 1 year old daughter as a result of my frustration with some very average children’s TV.
As the YouTube video description will attest, I created this to prove a couple of things to myself; first of all, that it’s actually quite easy to think of kid’s show ideas. I’ve sat in on numerous meetings during which a table of adults rack their brains to find an answer to that million dollar question; “what do kids like?” For me the answer has always been obvious: Most of the same things adults like. If I find something funny (e.g. a character getting annoyed at something that won’t be quiet) then chances are it’s not going to take much effort to make that funny for a kid as well.
I had one simple target to hit: My own personal preference. If I made something I thought was fun, cute and interesting, chances are someone else will find it fun, cute and interesting too. Are my tastes are so avant-garde that they run the risk of transcending the appreciation of the YouTube bourgeoisie? If you could see my list of favourited videos, you’d realise that the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
I may have fluked it this time, but I’ve been quite encouraged by several comments on both my YouTube channel and Reddit post:
“The 19 year stoner me thinks this is awesome. The 37 year old sober father of two would watch this with his kids… “
“As an asshole, an animator and father of a 1 year old I was so ready to hate on this, but it was actually very enjoyable.”
“PLEASE MAKE MORE I LOVED IT I COULDN’T STOP LAUGHING. (male age 20)”
“My son keeps asking when the next ones will follow. He’s still watching Red every day… But he wants more :-)”
“Great work Brendan! My son made me watch it 10 or more times in a row.”
- michael cooper
“I’m 20 years old and i would like more of this please :D”
- Omar S
“I’m 24 years old… and must agree with Omar :D”
- Stockwell Haines
The second thing I wanted to prove was this: In theory, If you’re willing to put the work in, it’s possible to create something TV worthy entirely on your own. It’s a myth that to successfully create something appealing, you require large teams and a big budget. I made this entirely with programs that cost me no more than $50 a month.
Is this state of the art animation? No. Does it have mindblowing FX? No. Does it need to? No.
Having said all this, it’s quite possible that what I made here is both a bad idea as well as being poorly produced. I’ll let you be the judge:
Writer, director and artist living in Adelaide, South Australia.