We are delighted to share the news that School of Arts alumni, Kaya Brown and Mia Facca, have launched their new animation production company, StigglyPop Productions. We caught up with Mia and Kaya to find out more about their new animation venture, and to find out more about their time at University of Kent.
What course did you study at Kent?
Mia: I completed a joint honours degree of Drama and Film at the University of Kent.
Kaya: I completed a BA in Drama and Theatre studies with an approved year abroad in South Carolina.
What was your favourite module on your course?
Kaya: I enjoyed so many of the modules at Kent, but I would have to say one of my absolute favourites was Autobiographical Theatre. We were able to touch on different topics such as gender, culture and representation and were encouraged to comment on societal ‘norms’ in our writing and performance creations. Another favourite would be Popular Performance: Alternative Comedy, where I was able to come out of my comfort zone and explore different performance styles such as stand-up comedy, which I never pictured myself doing.
Mia: There were many great modules that I took part in, but the one that stands out most to me, and what inspired me to create this company with Kaya, was the ‘Animated Worlds’ module. This module was part of the Film course and I got the chance to study the history, different forms and styles of animation as well as having a well rounded understanding of how animation works around the world.
What led you to start an animation company?
Mia: Well they say when you’re cooped up in a contained space for long periods of time, you’re your most creative. During the early stages of lockdown, Kaya and I were on a call catching up with each other. I was in Queenstown, New Zealand and Kaya was in London, England. We got to talking and ended up discussing our aspirations for the future and they happened to line up perfectly. We both wanted to work within the children’s entertainment industry in a creative way and since we both come from a background in the arts, we decided to create an animation production company.
Kaya: We had both separately had the desire to work for children’s entertainment but didn’t know in what way to get involved and needed a push. It turned out that a Facetime call to each other after a very long time apart was all we needed to create StigglyPop Productions and really go for it!
How do you think your time at Kent prepared you to start StigglyPop Productions?
Kaya: Kent prepared me in many different ways. Other than the fact that it is the place Mia and I met and began our friendship in 2015, some of the modules I was able to study have been really beneficial in teaching me skills that I use when producing and writing for StigglyPop Productions. When I went on my year abroad to South Carolina, I was able to study modules such as Voice Acting and Drama in Education. Voice Acting allowed me to explore bringing characters to life and present an atmosphere through audio and sound. Drama in Education allowed me to explore the different methods and techniques that can be used to correlate school curriculums and entertainment for children, something I am very passionate about and hope to do more of in the future.
Mia: As I mentioned before, my experience within the ‘Animated Worlds’ module established a core foundation of my exploration into creating an animation production company. It gave me the starting point I needed to further my understanding of animation and how you can tell a story through the use of moving images. Not only did the ‘Animated Worlds’ module impact my journey to ‘StigglyPop Productions’, but also the module ‘Screenwriting’. During this module I learnt the history and techniques needed to take one’s initial idea/concept and bring it to completion. Utilising the key stages in the development process, such as a critical reflection on mine and others’ work as well as creative writing exercises, gave me the confidence to successfully structure and explore our video concepts and scripts. Finally last but definitely not least, without Kent, I wouldn’t have met my friend and now business partner, Kaya.
What are your plans for the animation company?
Mia and Kaya: Our company goal is to create an online space where our audience can explore, question and interact with the animated videos StigglyPop Productions produce. Our production company embraces qualities such as diversity, inclusivity, compassion, education, curiosity and imagination, embodying these core values in each video we produce. We hope to create a world wide network of viewers who have a connection to our videos whether it be because of our characters, values or our teachings. In the future we also hope to explore other avenues such as merchandise and childrens books.
You can keep up to date with the latest StigglyPop Productions via Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course YouTube where you can watch their first animation, ‘Bedtime with the Moanies’. If you would like to get in touch with StigglyPop Productions, you can email them at StigglyPopProductions@gmail.com.