Salford technician behind new YouTube animation series inspired by Rick and Morty

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A University of Salford technician is the brains behind a new animated web series taking the internet by storm.

Nigel Leadfeather - YouTube Sensation is a new comedy programme by Adam Frith, a Creative Technical Demonstrator on the University's BA and MA Animation courses. The show's animation style is inspired by the likes of Rick and Morty and The Simpsons.

Launched on YouTube in May, the opening episode has already racked up nearly 30,000 views on the platform with Adam now hard at work on the next episode.

Adam said: "It's been a dream of mine for a long time to do my own animation series. It's a lot of work to do solo and the chances of success are quite slim, but I realised recently that I had to try and see if I could do it.

"I wasn't expecting it to gain the traction its had but the first episode has been well received and I'm really itching now to make more and keep the momentum going. It's also galvanised others that I've known for years to start working on it with me."

Adam wrote, animated and performed nearly all the voices for the series' opener which introduces Nigel, a family man who, after a therapy session, announces to his wife and three children that he is quitting his mundane day job to become a full-time YouTuber. Adam likens him to a mix between popular Simpsons character Homer Simpson and Steve Coogan's tactless tv host Alan Partridge.

He said: "Nigel is basically a metaphor of my own fears about being too out of touch to make it on YouTube. I think he embodies the human need of wanting to feel relevant and fit in. He's a middle-aged oddball, not someone you'd associate with the likes of YouTube, just someone trying to become famous at any cost."

The first episode took four months for Adam to complete with all the audio recordings undertaken in the Dubbing Theatre at the University's MediaCity campus. 

On his inspiration for the series, Adam added: "I've always loved animation. I was one of those kids that would always look forward to new episodes of The Simpsons with South Park a massive influence as well. It was Rick and Morty however that spurred me to start writing animation and put scripts on a page."

Adam, who is a graduate of our BA Animation course, is teaming up with writing partner Paul Reynolds, and fellow Salford grad James Lawson on the series' next few episodes as they seek to grow its audience on the platform. 

The trio have worked together previously as the animation company Friend Party Studios and their long-term goal for the series is to find a home on terrestrial television with Adam already talking to television producers looking for adult animation projects.

They are currently hard at work on the second episode which substantially increases the number of animated characters on screen from eight to 75.

Watch the series premiere episode below.

A screenshot from Nigel Leadfeather - YouTube Sensation with five animated characters sitting around a table

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