The near future: the planet is overpopulated and most people are prohibited from having children. But nothing is lost and they can adopt a senior instead. Older people are sent to special shelters where they get ready to be adopted by a new family.
The most common ad on the Internet reads: “Can’t afford having a kid? Cats and dogs already bored you to death? We have a solution: The Seniors! Carefully trained in our luxurious facility they are ready to make your life brighter! Come and get your new best friend today!”
The main character is a 70-years-old newcomer to the shelter. She is tough, adventurous and ready to find her own place under the sun at any cost.
Director: Ekaterina Bessonova
Scriptwriter: Ekaterina Bessonova
Graphic designer: Kryštof Ulbert
Producers: Zdeněk Holý (Vernes, Czech Republic) and Martin Vandas (Maur film, Czech Republic)
Format: 10 x 22’
Target audience: Young adults / Adults
Technique: 2D digital
The Seniors is an original 2D animation series project with a unique story idea focusing on elderly protagonists, dealing with the themes of overpopulation and the value of senior life, with a touch of comedy.
We heard from Zdeněk Holý, the producer, and Ekaterina Bessonova, the director, about this interesting project.
Interview with Ekaterina Bessonova and Zdenek Holy
Hideki Nagaishi (HN): Could you please let us know what part of this animation project you think will be the most appealing or attractive to the prospective audience?
Zdenek Holy: I think the most attractive part of our project is reversing the viewers’ expectations. Our protagonists are senior citizens but we depict them as bald, capable, and full of life. Even put under inhumane conditions our characters manage to live their lives to the fullest. The genre of the series is a black comedy that enables us to address complicated topics without getting too dark. We are also playing with the idea of the seniors being modern-day young adults who grew old and have to deal with their new status. We will be working with common fears of young people nowadays coming to life such as social pressure, lack of pension payments, or even climate grief.
HN: Could you please let us know the theme or topic of the series, as well as the outline of the story of the series, in brief?
Ekaterina Bessonova: The near future. The world is overpopulated and only wealthy people can afford to have a kid. Others are encouraged to adopt a senior. In this world, seniors are sent to a special shelter to get ready for adoption. The three main characters of the show are seniors in a shelter who learn how to survive in this world and become friends.
The main topic of the show is the inner world of older people, their struggles, and their relationships.
HN: If you have a message or experience you want to deliver to the audience through the story, what would that be?
Ekaterina Bessonova: The message of The Seniors is for people to pay attention to the neglect and unfair treatment of senior citizens who are as full-fledged as younger people.
HN: Where did the initial idea of the story come from? And what do you take care in the most when developing the story?
Ekaterina Bessonova: When I was a kid I spent the majority of my time with grandparents and through that, I learned that old people are full-fledged members of society with their hopes and dreams. Old people are often treated unfairly and in cinematography are reduced to mere caretakers of the grandchildren. I wanted to make series where seniors are the true main characters and their spotlight isn’t stolen by kids or young people.
HN: What is the most important characteristic of the visual design of the characters and universe for the story, and why?
Ekaterina Bessonova: I wanted characters’ appearance to reflect their age (face, posture, etc.) and yet not make them look helpless, slow, or sick. They should look old yet healthy, lively and strong and in some way “teenage”, so the overall atmosphere resembles a “high-school movie”.
HN: What can you tell us about the music for the animation series at the moment?
Ekaterina Bessonova: I imagine rock and hip-hop music which will help to create a teenage atmosphere.