Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face
Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face is a project working to prevent psychological and physical violence amongst teenagers, all in a form suitable for them – educational and gamified. This is a transmedia project using a variety of interconnected communications (film, interactive web series, VR Experience) in order to design those mechanics that foster an active dialogue about one of today’s most vulnerable topics: socially excluded and alienated teenagers.
Have you ever asked yourself how it feels to be ‘worth’ nothing? To be called a piece of shit every day? How it feels to be discriminated and looked down upon, even denied by the community?
Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face is a story of socially excluded and alienated teenagers who live in the Universe, the HOUSE for the troubled, where the usual laws of space and time do not apply. It’s a transmedia project, consisting of several different formats – an animated documentary film (80’), an interactive web series (26 x 3’), and a VR Experience (3 x 10’).
With Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face, we give you a look into the social exclusion and alienation of troubled teenagers, and evoke a reconsideration of social values and social phobias that result in the systematic discrimination of those who appear to deviate from the perceived norms, thereby becoming objects of coarseness or exclusion.
‘Troubled teenagers’ are something that is often shrouded in misconception and prejudice, but actually it is something that should be talked about a lot. It is not a specific, narrow problem, since many ‘normal’ teenagers at some point in their adolescence suffer from depression, acting-out behaviour, thoughts of suicide, and other issues related to being troubled and problematic.
It can be very difficult or never fully understood what it feels like to experience some of the mental difficulties that some children experience. However, we should not close our eyes to the truth. Have you ever met a troubled child? Maybe she/he goes to the same school as your children. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s child. Have you ever wondered why this child is so sad, so angry at life and destructive towards herself/himself and others? Although it may feel like they hate the world, that might actually be very far from the truth.
With Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face, we search for the hidden truth behind teenagers’ anger, sadness, or aggression.
We need a paradigm shift in our understanding of what it means to be different, ‘mental’, troubled, stigmatised, socially excluded, alienated. Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face seeks to involve and encourage socially excluded children and encourage them not to be afraid to meet new, unknown situations even after they have made mistakes and have been hurt. Let us give troubled and marginalized teenagers the possibility of being heard.
Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face is a transmedia concept consisting of three different formats: an animated feature length documentary film, a VR Experience, and an interactive web series, where all the formats of the project are based on facts and personal stories as reported by the characters themselves.
One of the main points of the project is to involve and encourage socially excluded children who often lack the confidence to keep on living. For example, many of them have gone through suicidal experiences at a very early age. It is important to support them not be afraid to take on new, unknown situations, even after they have made mistakes and have been hurt because of them. All the formats of the project will demonstrate that making the wrong decision only leads to momentary loss – it does not mean loss over the long run. Quite the contrary, they are all a valuable lesson, one helping us to gain experience and knowledge. They do not signify the end of the world. Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face will help to develop characteristics indispensable for children to continue on living after such traumas.
On the one hand, the Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face project explores the potentials of technology and techniques, telling a different story in a different way, reaching new audiences, and provoking new experiences. On the other, however, it is a method to get closer to the hidden truth behind the troubled childhood traumas and find a way to help them, to show them that they too are part of society, to stop them from feeling alienated, rejected, and unwanted.
Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face is currently in development and is to be produced in collaboration with the author of the project, Tomas Tamosaitis.
The project was selected by the Selection Committee to be presented at Cartoon 360, the transmedia pitching event in Barcelona, 2017, at Cross Video Days, Paris, and at the IDFA Cross-media pitching event in Amsterdam, 2017. Furthermore, the Killer, Penguin, Tom, Doll Face project got an invitation to collaborate at the prestigious MIT Open Doc Lab in Boston.