What on earth is a plyscraper?

What material can help to lower blood pressure just by looking at it? How can we help reduce carbon emissions while still constructing the homes we need?

Kong Studio was asked to create an eye-catching animation to showcase wood as a sustainable building material and the increase of plyscraper developments.

The film is part of the biggest ever series on climate change for BBC Radio 4. The programme presents 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet. Using more wood in building construction can be renewable, safe, and climate-friendly.

The script and voiceover were provided by Radio 4 and Countryfile presenter Tom Heap. They provided the perfect roots to get animator and motion designer, Joe Blaxland’s creative cogs turning. Developed with the guidance of BBC Ideas Executive editor, Bethan Jinkinson, Joe worked on the storyboard and style. Visual features include natural tones and traditional wood textures throughout.

On the creative process, animator Joe Blaxland said –

“This has been the most challenging and most enjoyable video I have worked on. It was fun having to think hard about what visuals I could use that would be engaging for the viewer whilst staying true to Tom’s script. A lot of graft went into the design and I think that has paid off.”

The music and sound design, created by Josh Elliott, is predominantly composed of wooden instruments, including an African Marimba, and he also set about creating his own forest of ‘woody’ sounds. Josh worked hard to intuitively reflect the timber qualities in the animation.

The use of various woody grains in the visuals, paired up with the natural soundscape hammers home wood’s sustainable credentials. ‘Wood is Good’ portrays the instinctive attraction and aesthetic benefits of using wood in our homes and buildings.

On seeing the finished plyscraper film, broadcaster Tom Heap said –

“It is absolutely stunning. I am blown away. Some inspired creative moments. And the sound design is really thoughtful. Just looking at it on screen made me feel good.”

BBC Ideas Executive Editor, Bethan Jinkinson, says –

“I’ve really enjoyed watching this film take shape, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it’s turned out.”

‘Wood is Good’ animation is available on BBC iPlayer as part of a special BBC Ideas collection. To listen to the Radio 4 series so far, visit here.

Watch Kong Studio’s other BBC Ideas films here.

Credits :

Commissioned by Bethan Jinkinson at BBC Ideas

Script and VO by Tom Heap

A Kong Studio production

Design and animation by Joe Blaxland

Music and Sound Design by Josh Elliott

Produced by Emma Burch