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.
How to Stop Worrying Whether or Not They Like You
Have you ever had a friendship deteriorate because of your possibly false conviction that the other person doesn't like you? This film for The School of Life tackles such anxieties, and, crucially, how you can stop worrying.
How Can We Grow Emotionally
Investigating another murky area of human psychology, this film is about the drive to grow emotionally, which it sets against physical growth. Beating hearts, sprouting foliage and dancing skeletons; it's all there.
Why Are We so Easily ‘triggered’?
Why do our reactions to things often seem so out of proportion to the actual situations in which we find ourselves? In attempting to answer this question, Alain de Botton examines the tendency of our past experiences, often dating back to early childhood, to cloud our judgement in the present.
Knowing Ourselves Intellectually vs. Knowing Ourselves Emotionally
This film concerns itself with self-knowledge, and in particular, the difficulty that results from trying to understand ourselves emotionally, rather than just intellectually. The film suggests that the former is the harder proposition, but also, ultimately, the most rewarding.
The Advantages of Being 'just Good Friends'
Alain de Botton compares friendship with romantic love and suggests that it is in the former that we are our best selves. Friendship in this film is presented not as the consolation prize in a relationship, but possibly even the preferred state. As always, the film provokes a lot of lively discussion.
How To Be A Good Teacher
This film explores the idea of teaching outside the confines of traditional education. It looks at the ways in which we are all required to teach, and reflects on what it takes to be good at it. Alain de Botton's words, voice and ideas, my illustrative spin.
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 I was inspired by 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.
Is There an Alternative to Political Correctness?
The intentions of political correctness are good, and yet many people still seem to get upset by it. Might there be an alternative to it? Alain de Botton thinks there is, and it's called Politeness.
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.