We’re happier than a hippo in a mud bath to announce that a segment we created for Nat Geo Wild will be airing as part of their comedy variety special, Wild After Dark this Saturday, June 30th at 8pm PT/ 11pm ET.
The project began when the Tongal creative agency challenged content-makers around the world to come up with “off-the-wall and experimental animal-centric shorts” for National Geographic’s special, Wild After Dark. The timeline was short and the budget was tight, but this was an opportunity we didn’t want to pass up.
Our concept was to shoot a series of true-to-form nature documentaries with dry, David Attenborough-style narration, stunning stock footage, and entertaining yet informative animal factoids. The only difference? The subjects wouldn’t be actual animals, they’d be people in Japanese kigurumi animal costumes.
Tongal and National Geographic were delighted by the concept, and asked us to deliver two three-minute kigurumi sketches in just under four weeks (which also happens to be the average gestation time of platypus eggs.) However in the world of production, this was the equivalent of a cheetah’s top velocity while chasing a gazelle.
We pitched the general concept on a Tuesday, it was approved at 5 PM that Friday, and we turned around the two complete (factually accurate!) scripts for the sketches just three days later.
After the National Geographic research team vetted our content for accuracy (and ensured that any references to lobster urine would be tastefully executed), both pieces were shot in a single production day a week later. Post was complete a mere week after that.
Filming on location at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park and on our soundstage in Glendale, we simulated both the wilds of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley and the bottom of the ocean for our respective skits, traveling to the heart of Africa and the deepest depths of coastal Maine in a single day. Thanks to our talented team of comedic actors in front of the camera and our hardworking crew behind the scenes, everything came together exactly as we dreamed, and we’re thrilled to be able to share the results with the world.
Make sure to tune in Saturday night for a fun (and educational) evening. We’ll have bats, baboons and other adorable fuzzy surprises all on Nat Geo Wild at 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET!