The School of Life

The School of Life – Educational Animation

Having seen my work for TED-Ed, philosopher and writer Alain de Botton approached me to collaborate on films for his organisation, The School of Life. As well as a shop and educational establishment in various cities around the world, from London to Seoul, The School of Life hosts a YouTube channel, with videos on topics ranging from comedy to capitalism.

With films published frequently on their YouTube channel, several collaborations have followed.

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Why Humanity Destroyed Itself

When this script landed in my inbox, I leapt on it. The world has, of late, been feeling increasingly unpredictable and volatile, so the prospect of a film that explored the root causes of our apparent penchant for self-destruction. As Alain de Botton puts it, “The real reason we may destroy ourselves isn’t really to do with politics or economics or even warfare. It has to do with our minds.” The voice is his, the animation is mine.

How We Lie To Ourselves

“We are masters at knowing how to lie to ourselves. We pay a heavy price for this self-deception.” Alain de Botton explores the reasons we lie to ourselves, and the many forms that these lies can take. 

An Instruction Manual to Oneself

This film takes the hypotheses that since most machines come with an instruction manual, we would understand each other a lot better if people also came with detailed operating instructions. Script and voiceover are by Alain de Botton, with design, animation, and a liberal use of hacked up fragments from found manuals, by me.

Why Boys Are Mean To Girls They Like

Another film for Alain de Botton’s School of Life, this one concerning boys who are mean to girls they like and the possible reasons for such knuckleheadedness.

Good and Bad Childhoods

This film, my first collaboration with The School of Life, explores the notions of “good” and “bad” childhoods, what causes them, and their consequences in later life. It also proposes ways in which you can live a more balanced life if you were unlucky enough to have had the bad kind. Script and voiceover were provided by Alain de Botton, and I designed and animated the film entirely in Flash, before adding a layer of texture in After Effects.

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