Kayla and Jax
|Kayla and Jax|
|Created by||Joey Kelly|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
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Kayla and Jax is an American animated web series created by Pittsburgh filmmaker Joey Kelly. It is in development and set to air on multiple VOD outlets in 2019. The premise was initially conceived as a horror novel manuscript that Kelly wrote in his mid twenties. After shelving the novel due to failing to come up with a decent plot outline, Kelly re-imagined the story as a cartoon revolving around a girl and a pumpkin monster who are siblings.
The web series centers on Kayla, a young sweet girl from the fictional town of Autumn Falls, Virginia. Her adopted brother Jax (who is a pumpkin monster), is often getting into mischief and constantly drags her into his various schemes, which often backfire on him.
In 2015, Joey Kelly wrote a horror novel manuscript, tentatively entitled: Embryo, with the intent of taking the draft to several publishing houses. The novel was about a fictitious entity that took on the shape of a pumpkin monster and preyed on the other human characters in a metropolitan area. Kelly eventually shelved the project and never completed the story, as he felt the story lacked substance and structure.
In August of 2018, Kelly decided to revive the idea in the form of a cartoon aimed at younger audiences, envisioning a web release on several online streaming outlets. On August 28, 2018, Kelly decided to call the project, Kayla and Jax, and began developing a script for the pilot episode, as well as the story threads for the show's first season. Drawing on personal experiences and people from his life, Kelly created the character of "PJ" (the bully character) and "Sophia" (the unattainable human love interest for Jax). "Mom" and "Dad" were drawn into the series for strong parental role models. Additionally, the characters of "Ross" "Kevin" and "Francis" appear in recurring roles.
Kayla and Jax themselves are metaphorical for good and bad decisions. Kayla serves as a innocent charming protagonist, who generally wishes to do good. Her adopted brother Jax is a symbol of wild and care-free youth, and gains satisfaction from causing havoc and dragging his friends into negative situations. However, he is shown to have a caring, nurturing side when it comes to his sister Kayla and will protect her if need be.
The first episode of Kayla and Jax is entitled "Lemonade". Kayla and Jax are riding along in the backseat of their parent's car, when Kayla sees a pair of toys she wants from a magazine. When her parents tell them that the toys are too expensive, Dad suggests that the kids resort to setting up a lemonade stand to make up the funds. Throughout the story, Jax sequentially scares off most of the customers, causing a rift with Kayla, and culminates in the two children setting up separate lemonade stands as business competitors.
Creator Joey Kelly worked with long-time friend and professional writer Timothy Lyon Jr. on the script, whom he befriended while the two met as college freshman at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2010. Joey Kelly's wife (Cloey Kelly) voices the characters of Kayla and Sophia, and also serves as co-producer. Long-time friend John Yost, who appeared in the 2014 film Not Cool as well as it's Starz companion show The Chair, voices Jax and Dad.
The first episode found creator and director Joey Kelly experimenting with different forms of animation to achieve the desired look, which would eventually evolve into the overall look of the show. Overall, the episode features 5 scenes of animation uniquely created as 2D layers in 3D space using the software Adobe After Effects.
Kayla and Jax is set to be released to online streaming outlets in January of 2019, as each episode is finished and close-captioned. Every short will be rendered at maximum quality and in full 1080p resolution.
<ref>[https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8906126/?ref_=nv_sr_1 "Kayla and Jax"], ''[[IMDb]]'',Pittsburgh, 08 October 2018. Retrieved on 08 October 2015.</ref>
<ref>https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5828379/?ref_=tt_ov_wr "Joey Kelly"], ''[[IMDb]]'',Pittsburgh, 08 October 2018. Retrieved on 08 October 2015.</ref>
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