Enlighten Up!

Photographer Helen Jones

Photograph by Helen Jones

Enlighten Up! is a project I had the pleasure of seeing from pitch to product. The idea started with a conversation with artist and general know it all Mitch Miller. The feeling was that Scottish kids aren’t getting the benefit of the amazingness that was the Scottish Enlightenment, which changed societies around the world and how we think about ourselves. And it happened right here in Scotland! The idea was developed through Hopscotch Films, and when Robert Florence and Iain Connell (of Burnistoun fame) got on board, we all knew we had a unique shot at making a show that commissioners have never asked for: a comedy show about philosophy for kids.

BBC Learning snapped it up, and I got a script editor gig, Mitch was brought on board to illustrate the animated sequences. It was agreed from the start that we didn’t want anybody wearing 18th century wigs- the sketches had to show the contemporary relevance of the philosophical questions. The historical references were strictly kept to the short animated links. I got the job of writing those links which meant a crash course in philosophy and lots of emails with our philosophy advisors (which was an interesting process!) but having said all that, my invention of a ‘dandruff factory’ was probably my proudest achievement.

You can find the seven sketches on the BBC site here.

Enlighten Up! was a Hopscotch Films production, directed by Brian Ross and produced by Carolynne Kidd

The dandruff factory can be found in the link for this sketch.

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