(Mis)Treatment

‘Bradford and Samantha: A Comedy of Horrors’ is a proposal for an animated short film (or series) with a total duration between 15 and 25 minutes. Targeted to a young adult audience, the film is a juxtaposition of diametrically opposite elements—a comedy of terrors precariously balanced between the credible and the absurd.

The film is distinctly contemporary, commenting on postmodernist phenomena of globalised media culture: packaged personalities, the blurring between marketing and ‘reporting’, subdued audiences and the ever more risible distinction between fine art and mass consumption.

The script intentionally adopts and subverts recognisable narrative conventions. Although their dysfunctional relationship becomes more authentic, the protagonists’ vacuous values are not tempered by their ordeal. They remain parts of the promotional machine to the bittersweet end.

The film was conceived around animation’s tendency to reduce characters to immediately recognisable stereotypes, thus priming the ground for subversion. No other language could equally convey main themes such as the protagonists’ obsession with superficial ambitions (as hubris) and their subsequent disfigurement (as punishment). Further, the film’s traditionally cute and appealing design approach creates a sense of delirium when used to render episodes of intense violence.

Bradford and Samantha breaks new ground in its visual ‘hooks’, the breadth of its social critique, and the adoption of a verbose, absurdist form of comedy dialogue inspired by the school of comedy of the French Fluide Glacial.

Ideally poised between furthering pre-existing tendencies in the market for adult animation and introducing enough original material to establish its own niche, the film will appeal to a growing audience, offering many possibilities for a lucrative franchise.