On the back of Mailchimp and It’s Nice That’s 2021 animated short film collaboration All in a Day’s Work, A Running Commentary and award-winning director Effie Pappa (Yusuf / Cat Stevens “Wild World”, “In-Between”) were invited to produce six very special stop-frame animated short films for All in a Day’s Work Series Two, available to watch now on Mailchimp Presents and YouTube. The series trailer can be seen below.
All in a Day’s Work is an animated series of comedy shorts revealing the ups, downs, and sometimes painful truths of life as an entrepreneur or small business owner channelled through a set of hand made felt-puppets that interweave across the series, with each episode depicting a rollercoaster of emotions, struggles, and joys.
Each story has a clear takeaway message designed to resonate with small business owners facing everyday issues, whether that’s a farmer who mixes up his dates, a therapist who struggles with technology, a designer chasing payment, a boss with public speaking anxiety, a cook down on her luck or local shopkeepers facing super-superstore competition.
Our mission: to channel the emotion from our six stories into entertaining, humorous, re-watchable, visually striking films that celebrate the small wins in life as a small business owner.
Produced between London and Athens, A.R.C and our production partners Takes2 worked closely with It’s Nice That to bring the series to life, with visual development, production and post-production spanning 12 months. Props were made on-site in Athens, and graphic designers at Faze Studios painstakingly designed every label, sign and book cover in Athens. Chroma Puppets created our puppets in Bologna, Italy.
In total, 16 characters appear across A.R.C’s set of six films, with each one created from original 2D sketches. Tactile, warm felt was used for skin, and actual clothes and fabrics were used for wardrobe, taking modern cues from styling and current trends. With no words or dialogue used in the show, simple and playful design features were created to capture various everyday complex human emotions, paired with grunts, groans and mumbles audio design.
Effie Pappa directs in trademark style, capturing nuanced character performance in a textural, wholesome world. From characters to environments, cinematography, styling and sound, all six different short films look and feel grounded in modern reality, giving a humorous spin and allowing the cinematic narrative to do its magic.
From director Effie Pappa: “Unveiling the realities of small business ownership, we created six heart-warming episodes that aim to offer a poignant and delightful glimpse into the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that small business owners face. We endeavoured to shine a spotlight on small entrepreneurs’ extraordinary efforts and highlight the unwavering spirit, creativity, passion, drive and the daily grind that it takes to keep up a small business.
I naturally laugh a lot with deadpan dry humor. The process that goes when something super bad has just happened and that it is too absurd to comprehend and yet too big to express oﬀers such awkwardness that you can only laugh. It’s like having no escape other than making a satire out of the situation.”
“It was all brought to life thanks to a power team of people meticulously taking care of all practical aspects of the project. It starts with A Running Commentary and the amazing producers, who put all this in perspective and nurtured every step of the way with possibilities. Handling so many episodes wasn’t easy but Ben, Jeremy, Barbara and the rest of the A.R.C team, along with our production services team, Takes 2 Productions, here in Athens, made it doable.
Combining MailChimp’s commitment to supporting and celebrating small businesses with the creative genius of stop motion animation, ‘All in a Day’s Work’ promises to entertain, enlighten, and resonate with audiences of all ages.”
From A.R.C co-founders and producers Ben Parkin and Alex Bedford: “As business owners, it was easy to relate to the skits It’s Nice That and Mailchimp came up with. The curveballs, challenges, and labours of love. It was all there in the scripts. Stop frame animation is a human, raw animation technique which has magical results. So the A.R.C team and our partners were thrilled to contribute to S2 and bring a set of characters and stories to life under Effie’s direction. Big thank you to Takes2 and everyone who joined us and hunkered down into this tactile, nourishing stop-frame world”.
Check out the full series on Mailchimp Presents and YouTube, and stay up to date with A.R.C’s Instagram page for episode insights, behind-the-scenes videos and more.
For more of Effie Pappa’s work in animation and live-action, check out her A.R.C reel.
'Through fuzzy and textural stop motion, Effie Pappa narrates the trials and tribulations of owning a small business'
It's Nice That
Stop frame animation
6-part short film series
Creative Director - Karl Toomey
Production Manager - Lucy Orr
Ben Parkin & Alex Bedford
Ben Parkin & Jeremy Lyman
Miguel Felício Magalhães
Takes2, Athens, Greece
Colourist - Manos Hamilakis
Assistant Colour - Maria Tzortzatou
Head of Post - Panos Bisdas
Post Supervisor - Liza Chrysochoou
Graphic Design - Maria Tzortzatou
Project Management - Nafsika Katsori
Motion Graphics - Konstantina Tsigka
Puppet Makers - Matteo Burani, Arianna Gheller, Sole Piccininno
Costume Maker - Arianna Gheller