After the last episode of Numberblocks last week, we asked director, Simon Taylor, and the Numberblocks team to share some of their favourite moments!
What do you think sets this series apart from series 1?
This series got a lot bigger compared to the first one, both literally in terms of the numbers we met and in our ambition to make each episode as unique and memorable as possible. It's quite fitting actually that as the numbers and concepts got bigger so did the visuals.
What was the biggest challenge from this series?
In series one we had one episode in particular called "Double Trouble" (our Indiana Jones parody) that was a big deal to pull off with the time and resources we had. Many episodes in this series are at least at that level, often even more so.
So I'd say the biggest challenge was getting the most production value possible out of the show, particularly with so many one-off "genre" episodes like "The Wrong Number" or "Block Star". It all comes down to constant communication with a fantastic cooperative team who want to make the show the best it can be but are also not afraid to say when something isn't possible.
We spent a lot of time finding the best sweet spot to get the most out of what we had, for example, "The Wrong Number" had a lot of environments so we only built them specifically for the camera angles we wanted. Similarly for "Block Star" we spent most of the episode flying down the same stretch of the trench over and over again but the end result looked brilliant!
Share a couple of your favourite moments and why.
I have loads of favourite moments from this series! One as a noir detective allowed the animators to really push the characters acting-wise, Twenty's song has some beautiful dance work in it (and I got to fit in a nerdy reference to a Gene Kelly/Judy Garland musical "Summer Stock"!). I love Thirteen's episode as the song and animation are not only funny but it sums up what this show does so well in that it draws all the character's personality from their number.
"The Big One" is also one of my favourites as it was one of those episodes that were suggested back in series 1 that we thought would be totally impossible. The end result looks so effortless but it took a lot of work at every stage from writing to the very end stages. It's one of those episodes where something really special came out of the constraints we had.
We couldn't possibly design 100 unique characters, especially as most of them would only have a couple of seconds of screen time. The decision by the writers to have new characters be two characters stuck together until they "figure themselves out" was genius, it kept the show practical and came up with a way of explaining bigger numbers in a really clear unique way.
Thanks Simon! Now here's some shots from the rest of the team...
"The cutest backpack and teddybear, the only essentials one needs for any camping trip!!" - Marcus
"Episode Five and Friends! Another musical, for which I was quite free to come up with a routine for the Five group! I remember I exactly asked 'Can they do a Beyonce move?' and here they are." - Zoe
"The Noir episode! That was some sneaky learning right there." - Sarah
"I liked the moment when Octonaughty appeared because he was great and his voice was on point." - Ricky
"The time Big Tum threatened to eat everyone, audience included." - Steven
"Plot twist, they all had their own teddies." - Ben
"Figuring out the Super Special Secret Step Squad Sequence or SSSSSS for short. The original brief was for some Charlies's Angels homage - the animator delivered something which will go down in Numberblocks folklore forever!" - Will
Numberblocks is over for now but don't worry because you can rewatch the last series on BBC iPlayer! Still want more Numberblocks? Follow our Twitter for future Numberblocks news and updates. And funny Numberblocks gifs. Thank you to everyone who watched and enjoyed the most recent series.
Goodbye for now, Numberblocks!