Kong Studios ‘Rethink the Future’ in BBC Ideas animation

Member News  |  27 April 2021

Animation studio Kong was commissioned by BBC Ideas to create an animated episode focused on the positive benefits of using wood in construction for a new iPlayer series ‘Rethink the Future’.

Kong Studio was tasked with creating an eye-catching animation to showcase wood as a sustainable building material. This includes the use of super-strength cross-laminated timber in ‘plyscrapers’.

The film is part of a series of shorts that explore opportunities to consider new ways to live in a post-Covid world. ‘Will we all Live in Plyscrapers in the Future?’ delves into how using more wood in building construction can be renewable, safe and climate-friendly.

The script and voiceover were provided by Radio 4 and Countryfile presenter Tom Heap. They provided the perfect roots to get animator and motion designer, Joe Blaxland’s creative cogs turning. Developed with the guidance of BBC Ideas Executive editor, Bethan Jinkinson, Joe worked on the storyboard and style. Visual features include natural tones and traditional wood textures throughout.

“It is absolutely stunning. I am blown away. Some inspired creative moments. And the sound design is really thoughtful. Just looking at it on screen made me feel good.”

Tom Heap, Voiceover

“This has been the most challenging and most enjoyable video I have worked on. It was fun having to think hard about what visuals I could use that would be engaging for the viewer whilst staying true to Tom’s script. A lot of graft went into the design and I think that has paid off.”

Joe Blaxland, Animator

The music and sound design, created by Josh Elliott, is predominantly composed of wooden instruments, including an African Marimba. He also set about creating his forest of ‘woody’ sounds. Josh worked hard to intuitively reflect the timber qualities in the animation.

“The hardest part is trying to tie the music with the timeline of the speech and animation, but you find ways to get this to fit.”

Josh Elliott, Music and Sound Design

The use of various woody grains in the visuals, paired up with the natural soundscape hammers home wood’s sustainable credentials. ‘Wood is Good’ portrays the instinctive attraction and aesthetic benefits of using wood in our homes and buildings.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching this film take shape, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it’s turned out.”

, Bethan Jinkinson, BBC Ideas Executive Editor

‘Will we all Live in Plyscrapers in the Future?’ animation is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer. To watch the rest of the ‘Rethink the Future’ series visit here.


Commissioned by BBC Ideas Executive Editor Bethan Jinkinson
Script and Voiced by Tom Heap
A Kong Studio Production
Design and animation by Joe Blaxland
Music and Sound Design by Josh Elliott
Produced by Emma Burch

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