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Home > Screenings > C21 Spring Digital Pitch 2022 > IRL (In Real Life)


Nicky Gogan, Gavin Kelly.

IRL (In Real Life)

IRL is a body switch mockumentary set in Ireland about the lives of ordinary people inexplicably transformed into their computer game avatars in the all-too-real world.

How can you avoid unwanted attention and cat calls when you’re a six-foot-tall sexy cyborg (Allie)? How can you have sex with when you’re unsure which bits plug into what? (Daniel)? How can you avoid being called a pussy, when your head is that of a giant kitten (Noah)? - just a few of the everyday problems you’ve to deal with when you are a game avatar.

IRL is a comedy of awkwardness and the familiar. A documentary crew examines the aftermath of 'The Glitch' –a poorly understood event which permanently switched some gamers' bodies with their outlandish online game characters. Funny, weird, moving, our characters not only struggle with the How? and Why? of their predicament, they have to deal with love, sex, work, told with a sharp and brutally honest wit.

Despite their extraordinary appearance, these individuals have to get on with their everyday lives, discovering that real life is the hardest game of all.
A character led drama comedy that's sexy, political, zeitgeist-y, driven by warm friendships and proper laughs, with diversity and inclusion at its thematic core. Using real-time performance capture animation pipeline, we capture off the cuff humour and banter on set, therefore the stories can respond to the zeitgeist, be relatable and grounded. Plus our animated characters can post on social in realtime.

Project Information:
Genre: Comedy
Format: 13 x 30 minutes
Writer: Andrew Ellard - Credits include; Head writer on Nova JoNes (CBBC), senior story producer Intelligence (Sky) and script editor - In My Skin (BBC), Chewing Gum (E4), Red Dwarf (Baby Cow), The IT Crowd (Ch4), Dead Pixels (Ch4), Deep Heat (ITV2).
Director: Gavin Kelly
Producer: Nicky Gogan
Partners: Screen Ireland and Epic Games
Development stage: With Piranha Bar and Screen Ireland development funding we are creating a detailed series bible and a 3 minute teaser to prepare the project for market. This investment has also allowed us to secure head writer (Andrew Ellard) to work on the pilot screenplay and to develop the series arcs with the show creators and award winning co-writer Tracy Martin.
Planned shooting start:N/A
Shooting location: N/A
Languages: English
Total budget: €5,200,000
Budget per episode: €400,000
Financing already in place: Development funding received: €50,000 (50%) Piranha Bar, €34,500 (34.5%) Screen Ireland. Production funding received: €90,500 / $100,000 (1.7% of total budget) Epic Games, €1,560,000 (30%) Irish Tax Credit

Looking for from the International Business: We believe we are creating a unique comedy show whose sensibility and execution are thrillingly contemporary. With the launch of more new streaming services, the list of platform services continues to grow, and with this, the demand for adult comedy continues internationally.

IRL has great potential to sit on any one of these platforms. Noting the success of Irish comedy series Derry Girls on Netflix, there is a clear audience here for the comedy which IRL fits into. Streamers and broadcasters continue to host many popular mockumentaries, from Ricky Gervais’ David Brent to Netflix’s own original series American Vandal to Disney+'s What We Do In The Shadows . There is a strong appetite from audiences for this typeof current, true-life comedy.

Our plan is to attract a broadcaster or network like Comedy Central, BBC Three, or an aforementioned streamer, who commission shows of a similar tone and whose audiences consume this style of content. The type of shows we love to watch ourselves.

If we attract a broadcast type of buyer we will also look at connecting with a TV distributor who frequently sell mockumentaries and sketch comedy. IRL’s frank, comedic sexual discussion and commentary on contemporary dating practices could fit in well with Adult Swim’s current slate.

Vico Films have received huge success with The Young Offenders having premiered its third season this past summer. The show also features crude, laugh-out-loud humour that resonated with audiences across the UK and Ireland. BBC Three in the past have featured a host of similar style comedies and could prove a great platform for IRL.

We are also seeking co-producers in the UK, companies such as All3Media or in North America, such as Adult Swim.

Company profile:
Piranha Bar is a multi-disciplinary studio in Dublin which creates animation, VFX and live-action for branded and original content.

Since its founding 18 years ago we have been on a journey that saw us evolve from a creative post-production facility to a commercials production company and content producer, growing a talented team of animators, designers, compositors, editors, writers and producers along the way. Our work has been the recipient of over 40 awards across commercials and content, including the animation for Emmy award winning documentary Last Hijack.

Our slate includes a colourful mix of kids and adult shows and films at various stages of development and financing for all platforms. MyaGo, our 2D preschool series, can be seen around the globe on channels such as RTEjr, TVE Espana and Milkshake! With Sam Morrison (Peppa Pig, Hey Duggee, Shaun The Sheep) leading the writing team.

We are currently in production on season two with our partners Motion Pictures Entertainment. We’ve also partnered with Indian studio Cosmos-Maya to co-produce some of our IP. The studio has cultivated an interest in character animation technology and we are developing a content slate that takes advantage of performance capture and our real time rendering pipeline, AniMotion.

Piranha Bar continues to combine fascinating characters, irresistible storytelling, and contemporary design with cutting edge production techniques to create the next generation of brandedand episodic content.

Nicky Gogan
E-mail: [email protected]