If you’re a fan of Adult Swim’s singular style of bizarrely unnerving humour, then the latest episode of its Off The Air series definitely deserves a watch. Curated by Blink Industries’ head of comedy Charlie Perkins, the film features around 18 segments over ten minutes, each as weird as the last, created by dozens of creatives. And this contributor list is a veritable who’s who of surreal comedic filmmaking and animation: from Nadia Lee Cohen’s bronzed multi-boobed aliens to Sam Lyon’s creepy CGI fruit, via sequences by Raman Djafari, James Papper and Jack Sachs with Michael Marczewski, and a scene about a dog with a USB port by Sam Campbell and Joe Pelling (of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared fame).
Blink Industries is only the third contributor in the series’ ten years, and the first UK-based company. Perkins describes Off The Air as a “consistently beautiful and surprising smorgasbord of mixed-media work, thematically mushed together into 11-minute episodes” with this episode featuring vignettes centring around the title subject of Perkins’ choosing: Progress. Blink Industries was invited, and subsequently Perkins and the team commissioned and licensed all the various work included in the highly eclectic film. “It’s a remix by Blink Industries’ hearts and minds of what the infamous Dave Hughes from Adult Swim and his team do best,” she tells It’s Nice That. “It was an amazing creative experience where we got to support and showcase a lot of artists whose work we already loved and find new people we subsequently now love too.”
Styles vary hugely across the film, from hand-drawn animation to CG and live action, each celebrating the individual creatives’ sensibilities and sense of humour. Other contributors include Alfie Kungu, Victoria Vincent, Rosco 5, Renee Zhan, Jonathan Zwanda, Harriet Davey, Jordan Brookes and Ewan Jones Morris, finishing off with a disturbing Rube Goldberg machine gone wrong by Demi Lardner and Tom Walker. Keep an eye out for Papper’s very funny Positive Mental Attitude 2019, a lightbulb spouting unsound advice, and Sachs’ and Marczewski’s character relaxing in a pond with elderly onlookers throwing it breadcrumbs. Graphics were designed by the aptly named Robert Strange.
Progress aired on the 10th anniversary of the show at 4.15 am, 31 December on Adult Swim in the US, and is now available to view on YouTube (full film below).