‘Yolo: Crystal Fantasy’.
Adult Swim’s next animated series will be set in a perhaps unexpected location – Wollongong. The WarnerMedia-owned network has commissioned eight episodes of Yolo: Crystal Fantasy from Australian creator Michael Cusack, the first series order it has made outside the US.
Produced by Princess Pictures, the 8 x 15 minute series will follow two Australian party girls looking for “fun times, new experiences, positive vibes, and hopeful horoscopes. Sarah’s quest is to find love, whereas Rachel hungers for chaos, often bringing them into conflict as they encounter surreal Australiana, strange bush creatures, and eccentric nomads.”
The series expands on characters first seen in Cusack’s YouTube hits Yolo and Yolo 2; though he tells IF they’re more developed and get into situations you might not expect if you’ve watched the shorts.
“It’s a lot of stream of consciousness writing,” he says.
The first 2-minute iteration of Yolo went viral when Cusack uploaded it online back in 2012; it’s been viewed 8 million times. He was 22 at the time, broke and working in hospitality – he largely taught himself animation.
It was that series, as well as Damo and Darren of ‘Ciggy Butt Brain’ infamy, that would later bring Cusack to the attention of Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland, who approached him to create an April Fools special for the Adult Swim series, Bushworld Adventures.
On working with Adult Swim, Cusack says: “They are the best network in the world and give so much creative freedom to creators. I love them.”
The creator of one of the weirdest things we’ve ever aired (Bushworld Adventures) is returning with one of the weirdest things we will ever air (YOLO: Crystal Fantasy).
— adultswim (@adultswim) March 30, 2020
Cusack will produce Yolo: Crystal Fantasy with Princess Pictures’ Mike Cowap, and has crafted the script with Greta Lee Jackson (Skit Box, Tonightly), Nina Oyama (Utopia), Michelle Brasier (Double Denim, Aunty Donna) and Lena Moon. Cusack also EP’s with Lee Jackson and Emma Fitzsimons.
Princess has collaborated with Cusack before on AACTA-nominated half hour special Koala Man, which came out of Screen Australia and the ABC’s Fresh Blood initiative.
Cowap tells IF: “I had a blast working with Cusack and was very keen for the relationship to continue. He was already being tracked by Adult Swim before we became meaningfully involved with him. I’m just thrilled we’ve been able to support him to make the best of this fantastic opportunity and to work with an all-Australian team.”
Cusack regards working with with a larger team on longer-form as a step out of his comfort zone, but one that has ultimately been very rewarding.
“I was lucky enough to have a really funny group of people in the writers’ room and have extremely talented artists involved as well.”
The deal with Adult Swim/Cartoon Network is global; the first episode just aired in the US as an April 1 treat, with the full series expected to drop in August.