BAFTA Kids Discussion With The Creator Of Cartoon Network’s Summer Camp Island Julia Pott
BAFTA’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) children’s department – BAFTA Kids has uploaded a video featuring an in-depth discussion with the creator of Cartoon Network’s Summer Camp Island – Julia Pott. In the video, Julia talks about what sparked her interest in animation during her younger years, when she had the opportunity to pitch her Summer Camp Island show idea to Cartoon Network, and the show’s production process.
Summary of the BAFTA Kids Discussion Video (with additional info):
At a young age, Julia enjoyed drawing and wanted to work as an animator for Disney, she also watched animated shows exclusively until she was about 15 or 16 years old, her mother was very supportive and Julia expressed herself through drawings as she was a visual thinker. Originally, Julia studied illustration as she wanted to be a children’s story book illustrator, until she was told by someone that animation was a way to convey the full story visually. Julia started off producing short films, and started making connections with people in the industry. Julia’s manager in Los Angeles suggested that she could try pitching a television show as it’s basically a series of a short films, with each short film representing an episode.
Julia Pott is a big fan of Adventure Time and joined the show’s production team at Cartoon Network Studios in January 2015, she then produced a pitch bible for her Summer Camp Island idea which was greenlit by Cartoon Network. The idea of Summer Camp Island originally came from Julia’s thesis at The Royal College of Art in London, her thesis was an animated short called “Belly” which is a coming-of-age story about a character named Oscar and his older brother which was based on Julia and her older sister.
Julia Pott’s animated short film – Belly:
Julia then moved to New York to produce advertisements and music videos, but she became disillusioned and wanted to pitch her show idea. An episode of Summer Camp Island takes eight months to produce, an episode is developed at Cartoon Network Studios for about ten weeks, then the animation process is carried out in South Korea, then the animation studio in South Korea hands back the nearly completed episode and then Cartoon Network Studios handles the final post-production and mixing stage before the episode is ready for broadcast.
Julia’s favourite part of working on the show is working in the writing room, as it’s a relaxed atmosphere and many of the show’s ideas come from the everyday lives of the show’s writers. Julia’s day-to-day job as a showrunner is full of variety, ranging from storyboarding to producing animatics.
In Summer Camp Island, Julia voices the show’s main antagonist – Susie, she finds voicing Susie to be rather cathartic as its an opportunity to say things about people but never had the guts to say it. For anyone who wants to get into animation, Julia advises to draw and write as much as you can and getting feedback for your work from other people is also important and meet as many people as film and animation festivals. Julia also suggested to write and draw comic books if proper animation equipment is not available as it helps to develop storyboarding, drawing and storytelling skills.