The only boy who can rock a red and black striped jumper that well is back on our screens. Our incredible team achieved delivery of the latest season of Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! airing on CBBC against all odds due to the pandemic. Our studio responded to the pandemic with action, cause, and no delay.
When the UK lockdown hit, we were at the height of production and three-quarters of the way through. Jellyfish Pictures’ IT set-up ensured an artist working from the studio would have the same experience as working from home. All of our artists are able to remote into our off-site tier-one data centre and get the same access, security and tools as if they were in the studio. Our move to remote working was very smooth, and in fact, we were all working from home before the lockdown was enforced.
Once we had all corners of tech covered, it was then time to figure out how our team were going to deliver Beano Studios’ show in time and without any loss of quality. Series Director, Kitty Taylor had to handle this production unlike none other in her 30 years of experience. Taylor adapted to direct a team of 60 artists, a team of scriptwriters and voice artists from the comfort of her own home, whilst they too are spread out across the globe. As well as adapt to the situation at hand and work-around the stages left in the production where social distancing is unable to be carried out.
In terms of the voice recordings on Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed!, still had six episodes to record, so we set up a system with Dave Peacock, the voice director at Peacock sounds, recording everyone on Zoom using their phones or laptops, coordinated in his home studio.
It was a concern whether the authenticity and passion, would come through the voice recordings with the new set-up. Pre-pandemic, the actors would record all together in an ensemble, bouncing off each other. However, it worked there was no need to worry. As we were well into the series already the actors and animators were used to each other and still able to add the humour.
Taylor would keep a great relationship with both Beano Studios and CBBC through weekly Zoom meetings. Across the board, we haven’t seen any loss in productivity, and remarkably in some areas, it has increased. The first few episodes have now been delivered to the BBC and aired on CBBC. And now, as we are in our final leg of getting this show finished, we are extremely proud to say that we are due to deliver on time with no compromise to the show’s integrity or quality.
It is not without the resilience and adaptability from our incredible team, and those at Beano Studios and CBBC could we have continued to produce a wonderful show.