Tameka Foster is a celebrity stylist, mother and entrepreneur. She has worked with many in the industry, from legendary soul singers Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin to hip-hop heavy-hitters Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.
For Foster, it’s not just about garments, it’s about vision. She is now using that vision to further amplify Black voices and representation in animation through her new series, “The Odd Life of Kile Lyle.” She created the series in honor of her late son, Kile Glover, who tragically died in a drowning accident on July 21, 2012.
Rolling out spoke with Foster about the creative process behind the 10-episode, 3-D animated series.
Why did you choose an animated series for this legacy project?
He was animated. He had a bunch of YouTube channels set up prior to his passing. So when he passed, I said I’m going to keep it going because he wanted to be an actor. His goal was to act on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network. I like to say that the project is to honor his legacy, but I would say equally we just have a void of Black positive programming. There’s no positive stuff for kids on TV. So, this is a good animation for kids.
Tell us about “The Odd Life of Kile Lyles.”
Essentially it’s about the classic middle child. That’s who he was. He has older siblings and younger siblings. The middle child gets picked on by everybody. Mom expects you to be responsible for the little ones, and then your older siblings make you do all their chores and take the brunt of all the mistakes they made. … One day he goes on a field trip with his class at an antique toy museum. At the end of the field trip when he’s in the gift shop, he buys this object, and when he wakes up, he has superpowers. So he’s a bit of a superhero, and he’s going to do a lot of cool and funny stuff where he’s making a change.
What is the production cost of an animated series like this, and how are you funding it?
I went to a couple of networks and met with a couple of executives. I have not ruled it out, but I decided to fund a full episode myself so everybody will get the gist of it and I can get the buzz going before bringing in the big wigs. We’re asking for $111,000 [in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign] because to complete a season is about $1.4 million. We’re doing 3-D animation comparable to The Incredibles. It’s not like the characters are just sketched, … these characters are rigged. There are clay molds made, there are colorists involved, and we add sound, so there are a lot of steps.
To get involved and support Foster’s legacy animated series “The Odd Life of Kile Lyle” you can donate to her Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign at www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-odd-life-of-kile-lyles#