Sometimes we wait ‘til a series is blowing up to show it some love, and sometimes we jump in early, picking a “little-engine-that-could” as an early contender to try something innovative. Ross Bollinger, he of “Pencilmation” fame (you know the stick figures mercilessly being bullied by the giant, quick-drawing pencil) has decided to branch out with a brand new series — “The App Story” — released by Mondo Media (the same fine folks bringing us “Dick Figures”). “The App Story” anthropomorphizes our social media services (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and makes them walking, talking logos with the appropriate personality built in; for the record, I really believe that as a person, LinkedIn really would be a brusque snob.
There isn’t a whole lot here yet, just the one episode, so I am truly curious if Bollinger can take this concept in some interesting directions, but given his past track record and Mondo Media’s eye for unique and compelling animation, I think it will all be jake. Just to be sure though, I emailed Ross a few questions to peek at the animated gears running inside his head.
Why did you decide to do an app show?
Ross Bollinger: I came across that social media donut analogy and started thinking that it would be fun to try personifying each social network through animation. Facebook, for example, is all about “liking” and “friending.” He’s an eternal optimist hell-bent on making friendships. By making the show about apps instead of social networks, I’m not limited to the obvious for the future. Every substantial blog, website and network has an app that could easily be translated into a character.
Who are some of the other social media apps we’ll encounter?
There aren’t any firm plans, but I’ve got a couple ideas. I’d like to show Google Plus hosting a lame party, trying to explain party games with his “circles” that nobody can manage to understand or be interested in. Also, I’ve been playing with an Ebay character, talking in a nasally auctioneer’s voice, always bugging people with his “Going once, going twice, sold!” and other pushy statements. Also, I’d like to do an episode that simply shows how each character would react in the same situation, one after the other.
How often are new episodes coming out?
It depends on how this first episode is received and on how much time I can set aside from my work to make more.
What is the format of the show? Is it a linear story focusing on “the adventures of Facebook,” for example, or does each app get their own episode a la “Happy Tree Friends”?
Any app, any time. You never know who could be next! There’s plenty of potential, and I wouldn’t want to make any limiting decisions at this point. It’s all just an experiment.
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