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Nixie and Nimbo: Yves Geleyn Crafts Heartfelt Mini Series on Childhood Anxiety

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Hornet director worked on the longform project tackling the complex subject of childhood anxiety

Nixie and Nimbo: Yves Geleyn Crafts Heartfelt Mini Series on Childhood Anxiety

Put simply, Hornet director Yves Geleyn is a formidable storyteller. He comes from the Old School of storytelling, a fable and folklore man, with a profound knack for imbuing his films with simple yet powerful themes and subtle yet striking moral depth.

Put differently, Yves was the perfect director for the Nixie & Nimbo project - a completely original longform story developed from scratch by Yves and Hornet’s head of creative development Kristin Labriola, which tackles the complex subject of childhood anxiety.

How it came about is this: Odin is a soon-to-launch streaming community that unites leading creative minds with scientists. They wanted to create a video series that would help kids understand what anxiety is and explore ways of dealing with it.

At Hornet, though much of its work is shorter form, longer-form storytelling has always been important to the values of its studio and directors. Hornet jumped at this opportunity for a couple reasons:

  • It believed heartily in the mission.
  • It was excited by, and ultimately thoroughly enjoyed, the process of concepting and writing the story, developing the characters, and creating an ongoing cohesive narrative from nothing.

As Yves says: “The best part of this process for me was balancing the right medical & educational message and still telling a good story. It’s driven by the topic of helping kids with anxiety. But you can enjoy the show without knowing that layer.”

True to form, the story is in fact entertaining for all. In the films, we follow the adventures of Nixie & Nimbo, an unlikely pair that embarks on various adventures where they must learn to conquer their anxieties.

As with any good characters, we become totally invested in their wellbeing. Nixie is an anxious little girl, portrayed as a human so that kids can better connect with her. Nimbo, meanwhile, conveyed as a cloud, is a good representation of anxiety - something that is ever-hovering and able to be anywhere at any given time. These types of character dev decisions offer just one example of the subtle, yet critical, intentionalities Yves injects in his work, which makes his stories so compelling and clear.

The episodes were aired on the Child Mind Institute website in five instalments. Executed in warm, stylish 2D animation, each episode synthesised data and facts around childhood anxiety and shaped these figures into cinematic stories.

Special mention should also be made to the entire team behind Nixie & Nimbo. In total, roughly 30 people worked on the project from beginning to end with close to 20 animators. In Yves words: “It was like a little family for three months in Brooklyn. The production was such a pleasure, and everyone had fun on it.”

At Hornet, the team are really proud of how the project turned out. Hornet loved every step of the process, and feel it’s a nice testament to its longer-form storytelling chops. Whether for brands & advertising clients or PSA-focused content, Hornet is interested in producing more longform content. And the everyday joys of working on Nixie & Nimbo only reaffirmed this goal.


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Genres: Animation, Storytelling

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Online

Hornet, Wed, 26 Aug 2020 11:19:28 GMT