March 21, 2013 by bck1402
A couple of years ago, I worked on a local animated series called CingKus Blues.
It was an easy enough set up that had a cat, Cing (shortened from ‘kucing’, which is ‘cat’ in Malay) and a rat, Kus (shortened from ‘tikus’ which is ‘rat in Malay) who live together. I was shown a pilot which had a pretty good representation of the characters, so writing for them wasn’t too difficult. Cing was fairly self-centred, huge ego, overly self-important, greedy… and Kus was the straight guy, but could manipulate Cing on occasion. It wasn’t really quite Tom & Jerry.
There wasn’t really that many problems moving ahead with writing scripts on the show with maybe the exception of involving other characters. I was given a brief on most of the other characters that had already been created for the show, and was asked to include them from time to time. Each half-hour episode was to comprise of two stories, which meant that each script had to – at least – fill a 12 minute cartoon. It seemed that this was a common formula at the time.
I did make a few more inquiries as to what was needed, such as who the target audience was and what kind of network the production company was aiming for. They were aiming for a pre-teen to tween audience, but also hoping for a Nickelodeon deal. So, I geared my brain for the Nickelodeon type of show, or at least aim for that kind of humour, which tended to have a bit more of an edgy style over the likes of Cartoon Network or the Disney Channel. Not something that actually matters nowadays. Despite common mentality, cartoons aren’t necessarily for kids.
In any case, I had the ‘voices’ of the two main characters in my head and little else. I took the approach of writing with an open mind, fully allowing for changes depending on the actors doing the voices, the director making the decisions, the animators having to draw all that stuff. I knew, and expected, that changes would be made.
Anyway, the series was sold to Nickelodeon and was screen on said channel, at least around Asia, between March to June 2012. Last month, the production company decided to release the cartoon over YouTube. The first episode to go online was one that I wrote for, so after a little mulling, hemming and hawing, I decided to share it over here… along with my script, since this blog is supposed to be about my writing and stuff. So you get to see what I wrote, and compare it with the final product.
So, check out the script (it’s in pdf format) by following the link above and then check out the cartoon here on YouTube.
Changes were expected, won’t say how I felt about those changes but it’s cool that something I worked on did end up as a cartoon on Nickelodeon. It did take a few years tho. The process of putting together a cartoon over here really starts at the script level.
CingKus Blues is copyright to 3rd Rock Creation.