“The process always starts with pencils and pens”
Yesterday Fiasco joined a talk by Philip Hunt Director and Creative Director of the prestigious animation studio Studio AKA as part of Bristol’s annual Encounters Film festival. Famous for their always characterful animations in varied styles and contexts, for the likes of BUPA and LLoyds TSB and we got a fantastic insight into some of their more personal projects.
Philip noted how advertising was not why his relatively small studio first got into animation and showed us the creative process behind Lost & Found, an half hour short based on Oliver Jeffers children’s book and how they overcame numerous design challenges through the year long process. We also got a sneak peak of some previously unseen footage of a fascinating motion capture tests for The Nutcracker, a possible feature-length adaptation of the traditional tale.
We found ourselves in agreement as Philip described how “[Studio AKA] like to find something that belongs to each project” rather than having a house style. Fascinating too, was to see the sheer volume of brilliant character design and artworking that did not pass the pitching process and would usually never see the light of day. He also told us of the challenges involved in long campaigns like their 35 spot animations for Lloyds TSB as they have “to look at those Lloyds spots again and again with a fresh eye.” Explaining their “less is more” approach to some of their more minimal, characterful style work for clients such as BUPA and Multiburo, he noted that they loved the visceral nature of simplicity and the “comedic, character performance animation”.
Studio AKA are without doubt one of the leaders in their field. You only have to look through their wide and varied portfolio of work to realise just how much they’ve done since the studio was conceived some ten years ago. With a staggering statistic from Philip himself being that they only win one out of every ten pitches, it’s a mystery how that statistic isn’t the other way round.
Click through the images above to see some of their work or visit the Studio AKA site here