After Maudie, a ten-year-old puzzle prodigy, solves a crime on her first day at school with her new classmates Ezra, Ava and Kyle, the future is obvious: the four children must form a detective agency together. Operating out of the granny flat in Ezra’s backyard, these funny and disparate kids from Grade Five solve one thorny school playground or neighbourhood mystery after another, and become best friends in the process.
I had the pleasure of developing many aspects of this incredible children’s show including branding and identity, opening title design, advertising assets, key art, art direction and photography.
This brief, like any film and TV project was vast and provided many design challenges. The project spanned across eight months, across a multitude of disciplines including identity design and typography, animation, art direction and photography. It also required extreme organisation and collaboration between other industry professionals to ensure everything was created to the required specification.
The film and TV industry in Australia has remained fairly stagnant for years. Commercial broadcasters had maintained a firm grasp on the industry until recent disruption caused by VOD platforms (Netflix and Stan). The evolving industry is now demanding new ideas and user-focused design thinking; the shows ‘key-art’ or ‘creative’ being the lead variable of success. My design practice is focussed on delivering conceptual focussed Film and TV ‘creative’. The show has received outstanding reviews since its worldwide release and the fanbase continues to grow with the second season due to be released later this year.
My goal for ‘The Inbestigators’ was to alter the status quo and provide the same level of quality and distinction that adult content would receive. Setting a new standard for ‘creative’ in Australian children’s television.
Australian children’s television is the most vulnerable form of Australian content. It doesn’t command the same level of financial or promotional support that prime-time drama and feature films do. It does, however, provide the greatest public benefit. It’s validating for children to see stories that are genuinely representative of their own experience. It contributes to a sense of national identity.