Curious Pictures has signed Randy Roberts to our directors' roster. Randy Roberts comes to Curious with over 20 years of experience working in live action, special effects and animation, a breadth of experience that reflects the company's diverse work and range.
We are proud to have added such a talented and hard-working director to our team. Welcome Randy! You can read more about the announcement here.
Vietnam veteran and artist Tom Mooney just released his video single "Forget The Hate" that pays tribute to the men and women in uniform and the endless cycle of war that affects so many families in the US and around the world.
The video was shot in Curious' very own NY studio. You can read more about the song and the album here and check out the video.
Curious Pictures' new RIF campaign is a true homage to all the literary characters that made up our collective childhood. The campaign, a product of a collaboration between Mother, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Green Dot Films,
The Mill, Search Party Music, and Curious Pictures is hitting television, radio, print, online, and outdoor ads. Curious director Saul Blinkoff was responsible for the animation on the Three Little Pigs,
Curious George, Humpty Dumpty, and Pinocchio amongst others. Reading is fun, engaging, and essential and we know the campaign will get many more people excited about it. Here is the link to the NY Times article.
London based director Tomas Leach just featured the piece he did on Curious director Hayley Morris on his Little Scraps of Paper series. The video is part of a larger short collection about how creative people develop ideas and thoughts. You can see the webiste here or just check out the video below:
Hayley Morris' Holiday card for Haynes & Boone won first place at Abovethelaw.com 's annual Holiday Card Contest. Above The Law is one of the most prominent law blogs in the country and every year they pit the top law firms against each other for the best Holiday Card. Haley Morris did a great stop-motion animated card for Haynes & Boone that definitely deserved first place, enjoy:
On "What's The Buzz" show on ABC from Friday December 2nd, actor Colin Ferguson talks about shooting the holiday episode special of Eureka.
There is a short clip at the beginning of the video and they even talk about Curious Pictures. See it here.
Wired just did a review of Leela and they definitely know what the game is about,
saying "The group has built an unusual and immersive game, complete with vivid, day-glo visuals and an original soundtrack by various ambient electronic artists".
You can check out the full article here.
Equinox in NY is hosting a live "Leela" session with Deepak Chopra and Curious' very own Lewis Kofsky on November 2nd @ 12pm.
After Deepak and Lewis showcase "Leela", talk about the inspiration behind the project and answer a few questions, physical intructor,
Lashaun Dale will debut Equinox's new "Leela" yoga class! The event will take place at the Equinox on 17th street and 10th avenue.
Check out the official flyer for the Equinox and Deepak Chopra's Leela partnership. Equinox will be offering a "Leela" meditation class inspired by the game!
The SyFy channel has just posted a clip from the upcoming Eureka holiday episode that Curious Pictures animated.
The episode is due to air on December 6th and this preview is just a taste of how much fun this episode is going to be.
Source e-creative just did a special feature on the new frontiers in animation. Talking to professionals all over the country about the shift in the animation industry,
the article covers Curious' foray into augmented reality and broadening of our production work. Bill Reilly, our EP and Camille Geier,
our head of studio, are featured in the piece and discuss how Curious has been shifting its work to offer a more comprehensive approach to the ever changing and competitive landscape of animation, live-action, and commercial work.
Check out this AP/ABC News article about the upcoming "Leela" video game for which we worked on with the famous Deepak Chopra. It is a whole new type of gaming experience and Curious Pictures is proud to be a part of it.
Interested in knowing a little more about Scott Duncan's work and technique? You can check out Lexar's blog post where Scott describes the idea and execution behind Miller's international beer ad.
In a visual montage of photos and videos, Scott Duncan captures and blends the essence of three international cities.
Team Umizoomi is the number one rated preschool program on TV for the week of May 9th! It's always nice to see one our productions reach the top spot especially when we know all the hard work that's been done. Yay to Team Umi!!
Director Douglas Keeve's shorts were featured on NBC's Today Show. The footage was used as part of a fashion segment on J. Crew's development into the global market. Interviewing Jenna Lyons, J. Crew's creative director, NBC showed footage from Douglas Keeve's shorts that he did last year in Italy for J.Crew.com. The three shorts (Shoe, Men's, Women's) set out to capture J. Crew's creative process and so seeing one of our director's work recognized on national TV is always an honor. Way to go Douglas.
Curious Pictures is proud to announce that our very own Hayley Morris has been featured in Shoot Magazine's 2011 New Directors Showcase. The select few are chosen from a broad range of genres (drama, comedy...) and categories (features, commercials, documentaries...) and only the best make the cut. Way to go Hayley!!
Director Zach Braff is now represented for commercial work by Curious Pictures. Zach Braff is a multi-faceted artist who has been nominated for an Emmy and three Golden Globes for his work on Scrubs. Zach also wrote, directed, and starred in 2005's Garden State. Zach has worked with clients like Dunkin' Donuts, Hanes and even directed a Gavin DeGraw video. Welcome Zach.
Director Scott Duncan has now joined Curious Pictures for commercial representation. Scott Duncan is a 9 time Emmy Award recipient and one of the most recognized cinematographer and commercial directors in the world. Scott has worked with such international clients as FIFA, Visa, and The Olympic Games. Welcome Scott.
Executive Producer Bill Reilly has officially joined the Curious Pictures family. Bill brings with him an impressive entertainment industry background and a track record of success as an executive. Bill will be overseeing our commercial work.
Curious Pictures co-hosted an engaging event with WIA (Women in Animation) and WICM (Women In Children's Media). More than 80 professionals in the field of animation and children's media attended the presentation and discussion at the studio. Managing Partner, Marina Grasic, and veteran producer, Kristin Martin (Magic School Bus), gave a presentation on the processes and challenges of producing animation for both kids and adults.
The event was a great success and the open Q&A got the audience engaged with such topics as budget constraints and character development. The evening offered a fantastic opportunity for industry professionals to get together and share ideas to continue offering compelling and quality content to the community at large.
Director David Turnley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, has joined Curious as a director of commercials and branded content. His work includes ads and campaigns for Brand Jordan via Wieden + Kennedy, State Farm via DDBand the financial services company Ameriprise, via RGA, among others.
As a photojournalist, Turnley won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the momentous political changes that shook the world in 1989, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the uprising at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. He's been a runner-up for the Pulitzer four other times, and also won the World Press Picture of the Year award twice, the prestigious Robert Capa Award for Courage and four Overseas Press Club Awards.
Director/Designer Michael Wiehart has joined Curious for commercial representation. He formerly was a creative director at Superfad in New York.
THQ and Curious have entered into a multi-year license agreement to develop and publish video games based on the teachings of Deepak Chopra.
Rohitash Rao directed our 22-episode animated series for NFL and Nickelodeon, "Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core," that kicked off on Labor Day along with football season. Tune in to Nicktoons every Monday night at 8pm Eastern for the newest three-minute show featuring all 32 NFL teams and the voices of real players like Eli Manning. The episodes are also running on the Nicktoons website.
Congratulations to our director/creative director Tom Barham, who won an Emmy Saturday, August 21, for Best Title Design for a Television Series for the Bored To Death opening titles. After thinking up the distinctive type-based show open Tom brought it to life with help from a team of design and animation artists at Curious: Paul Schneider, producer; Anthony Santoro, CG/TD; Mark Pecoraro, animator; Marci Ichimura and Mark Rubbo, animation/compositing; Dean Haspiel, illustrator.
The Electric Company is no more. As of yesterday the company we have been representing in the U.S. is now Resistor Art & Design Inc., to be
exact. If you're curious as to why they changed the name, we have a fantastic story about a Burrito, a TV show, and pile of resumes from
electrical contractors that will explain everything. As a part of this change, Resistor now handles the Curious directors in Canada.
has won the audience favorite award at Tenderflix in London. The three-year-old festival of experimental short films is sponsored by Rushes Soho in London along with cutting-edge contemporary art gallery Tenderpixel.
Curious Pictures director Tom Barham and Dakota Films have been nominated for a 2010 Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design for the "Bored to Death" opening titles:
Congratulations to Tom and his team, including Paul Schneider, producer; Anthony Santoro, CG/TD; Mark Pecoraro, animator; Marci Ichimura and Mark Rubbo, animation/compositing; Dean Haspiel, illustrator.
On Thursday, June 10 Curious directors Hayley Morris and Matt Smithson (aka man vs. magnet) will be at the Art Directors Club picking five creatives they admire. They are speaking as part of a panel of winners from ADC Young Guns 7. The fun starts at 6:30. Beverages will be served. To buy tickets, click HERE.
was shortlisted for Graphic Design, and Ro Rao's "Words":
is one of the contenders for Public Service Announcements. Winners are announced on June 8.
"The Girl Effect,":
for the Nike Foundation, which was directed last year for Wieden + Kennedy by man vs. magnet, is part of the National Design Triennial exhibition organized by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum here in New York. The show opened May 14 and runs through January 9, 2011.
Our opening titles for HBO'S "Bored To Death," which were created and directed by Tom Barham, have won a Silver Cube at the Art Directors Club.
and Minneapolis agency Gabriel deGrood Bendt won a Silver at the MI6 Awards, the video game creative show.
Matt Smithson (manvsmagnet) will be facing off with Daniel Oeffinger in a game of Layer Tennis. To learn more about Layer Tennis click HERE, and you can follow the battle on Twitter HERE.
Shyam Madiraju and his content company, Gobsmack!, have joined Curious. Shyam is a former agency creative who lives in Los Angeles. Gobsmack! is based in Mumbai, and Curious will gain a foothold there via this deal. Read more about it Here.
TALL BIKE JOUST IS LIVE. Curious just wrapped production on the tall bike joust game which was developed entirely in house.
We are on TV! Curious animated the Cheezy Blasters mascot, Meat Cat, for the "Verna" episode of 30 Rock. Watch the full episode here. What is a Cheezy Blaster? Find out here.
After the 450th Simpsons episode FOX aired its Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice! Be sure to keep your eye out for exciting graphics and vfx by the Curious CG team. The special was made by Morgan Spurlock.
'Tis the season. Rohitash Rao's new Boost Mobile spot featuring a randy snowman and Mrs. Claus (What's wrong about an ignored woman fulfilling her needs?) got Bill O'Reilly's full attention on Fox. He was not amused by the seasonal humor, but Adweek disagreed and named it Ad of the Day December 1.
Turns out December 1 was a big day for Curious. Oprah showed "The Girl Effect" (directed by man vs. magnet for Wieden + Kennedy and the Nike Foundation) on her broadcast and posted it on her web page so people can help spread the message. Check it out HERE.
Abraham Spear's British Columbia Dairy Board spots continue their strong showing with a Silver (for "Foosball") and two Merits at the Advertising & Design Club of Canada.
Hayley Morris is a Director To Watch, according to Boards Magazine. Her short film, "Undone," (her senior project at RISD) won the Grand Jury prize for Best Animated Short at Slamdance in 2008. Recent work includes a web movie for the Girl Guides of Canada and a music video for Joker's Daughter.
Matt Smithson is a Young Gun, according to the Art Directors Club. Matt, who directs as man vs. magnet, was introduced as one of 50 up-and-coming talents at the club's big party October 21, and his work (including spots for Nike and the Freelancer's Union) is included in the Young Guns 7 book.
No tougher a critic than Ad Age's Bob Garfield named Crankbunny's spot for Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, "magnificent." Checkout her very own online shop for Christmas ornaments and cards, among other cool things HERE.
Curious Pictures visual effects supervisor Anthony Santoro, along with 17 other artists and scientists from around the world, is part of an 18 day expedition with Cape Farewell to the Andean cloud forests and the Amazon. The expedition is part of an effort, "to inspire the creative team to respond to climate change." You can follow them along their journey HERE.
Curious Pictures sponsored the "Thrive/Evolver Town Hall" on May 31st, a community, green festival featuring renewable energy experts, conscious media, next generation social networks, urban gardeners, green roofers, community activists, eco-eateries, and more. The event was the culmination of 7 months of late-night, after-hours planning out of the Curious Pictures offices. A full schedule and listing can be found HERE.
O Canada! Director Abraham Spear and his campaign for the British Columbia Dairy Board ("Must Drink More Milk") cleaned up at the Toronto awards ceremony May 21, winning Best in Show for campaign as well as Gold and Best Animation for three individual spots. To see more work from Abe Spear including the British Columbia Dairy Board spots click HERE.
Are you ready for the wormhole? If the answer is "No," then we have two books for you! "1,000 Times No," by Tom Warburton was published by Harper Collins in late April. And "Herbert's Wormhole," co-written by Curious director Rohitash Rao and Peter Nelson (also published by Harper Collins) hit the shelves May 5.
In other good news this month, man vs. magnet won a Silver Pencil at One Show Design for "The Girl Effect" for the Nike Foundation and agency Wieden + Kennedy.
Curious Pictures director Rohitash Rao’s zany spots for the G4 cable videogame network and Publicis & Hal Riney won a Silver ANDY award in the ‘TV: 30 seconds and under’ category at the 2009 International ANDYs, sponsored by the Ad Club of New York. Hundreds of ad professionals and hangers-on cheered the work when it ran at the awards ceremony in New York on March 18. To see the spots, and check out all the ANDY winners, click HERE.
Whether it’s creating memorable commercials for brands like Aflac or Budweiser, or working with global sports superstar Tiger Woods on spots for Accenture or Buick, director Steve Chase has shot just about every kind of live action commercial out there, from emotional performance and dialogue to visual effects-driven comedy. And now he’ll be doing it for Curious Pictures. He signed with us for exclusive US commercials representation. To see his showreel, click HERE.
Director Sean Pecknold’s Fleet Foxes video “White Winter Hymnal” won the Special Jury Award at the just-concluded SXSW Festival in Austin. A Motionographer favorite, this clip has already been named Best Video of 2008 by Ticklebooth (see below), among other honors. For a full list of SXSW winners, click HERE.
Sean Pecknold's newest video for the Fleet Foxes, "Mykonos," just went live. His last clip for the band, " White Winter Hymnal," was named best video of 2008 on Ticklebooth and the Number 5 video of the year by MTV and Paste Magazine.
Curious director Douglas Keeve is creative director of Modelinia, a Web site just launched by Project Runway producer Desiree Gruber that gives a glimpse into the steely-eyed professionalism and natural selection in the beauty business. Part of the premise of the venture, says Keeve, who directed the fashion film "Unzipped," is to counter misconceptions about catwalkers and catwalking. “You never see that these women have rich, interesting lives,” says Keeve, who once traveled on a diplomatic junket with Naomi Campbell to visit Nelson Mandela. “It’s easy to dumb down the fashion world. Models have been mishandled and marginalized.”
Mr. Hyde has launched The Hyde Tube, a way to search for both animation and live-action directors online. Short films from more than 100 directors from around the world are on The Hyde Tube. Ad agencies can browse for ideas and new directors; directors can submit their films for inclusion. The hoped-for end result is a pitch for a music video or commercial that turns into the real deal.
Congrats go to Curious Pictures' talented young illustrator and animator Haley Morris, who took home the Grand Jury Award at the Slamdance Festival this month for her animated short titled "Undone." The festival-the indie cousin to Sundance, held in Park City, Utah at the same time-presents awards to filmmakers working on the leading edge of narrative and documentary styles.
"Undone" is a six minute stop-motion film about an oldy fisherman who struggles to keep the items he keeps reeling in on his fishing line from slipping through his grasp. Animation Magazine described the piece as "a visual metaphor for the progression of Alzheimer's." You can read the blurb HERE, or you can check out Hayley's blog.
Digital agency AKQA launches an ambitious Nike Women campaign across Asia with web sites featuring six short films directed by Curious Pictures’ Rohitash Rao. The shorts revolve around the concept of transformation and uses the heading “Be Transformed.” In each spot, a famous Asian female athlete (such as BMX rider Sarah Walker from New Zealand or Hong Kong beach volleyball star Sonia Kong) is seen working out when she’s suddenly transformed into an animated environment, where she battles and vanquishes her foes.
The spots all combine live action and animation and form the centerpiece of the web experience. Running exclusively in the Asia Pacific region, it includes work across cinema, TV, digital (mobile and website), print, out-of-home and in-store media, and utilizes imagery from the animated shorts in many of the executions. To view the spots, click HERE.
Michael Wright's short film, "Dark Side," about two astronauts in space and what happens when one of them begins to exhibit extremely strange behavior, has been accepted into the Akira Kurosawa Memorial Short Film Competition in Tokyo. Only 19 were films accepted into this extremely prestigious, and "Dark Side" is the only finalist from the U.K. Winner will be announced February 15.
Curious hosted a chocolate making workshop with ethnobotanist Nat Bletter. We learned the history of cacao, tasted 10 different chocolates from around the world, and made both raw and roasted organic chocolate. YUM!
Curious, the Committee to Protect Journalists (http://cpj.org), and New York-based ENG specialist Mark Simon provided a retraining workshop on post production and HD camera technology for 3 Iraqi journalists. With support from CPJ, the three men have been living in the US with their families for under a year, after situations in Iraq proved unsafe. In addition to the usual hurdles of finding work in today's U.S. job market, they are also dealing with mastering a new language, adjusting to a new culture, and keeping up with rapidly changing production technologies. The event was a success and will serve as a template for future collaboration.
The "Say it up close" online game wins the Digital media category at the 2008 ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards. Directed by Ro Rao the game is a seamless zoom through many worlds in search of hidden gems.
Curious Pictures dominates the commercials category of the Annie Awards nominations with two of the five spots coming from our studio. The Annie's presented by the International Animated Film Society and ASIFA Hollywood, will be presented on January 30, 2009 on the campus of UCLA. Nominated for Best Animated Television Commcercial are director Abe Spear's "Monster" spot for DDB/Canada and BC Dairy, and directors FX & Mat of Mr Hyde@Curious for "Mr. Long Legs" for Royal Bank of Canada and BBDO/Toronto. You can see "Monster" HERE, and you can see "Mr. Long Legs" HERE. For more information on the show, visit www.annieawards.org.
Presenting an exciting new original animated holiday special entitled Little Spirit: Christmas in New York, which will air on NBC Wednesday, December 10th from 8-9 p.m. and features the voices of Danny DeVito, Lucy Liu, Freddy Rodriguez, Brian Williams and Brenda Song. The music is by Duncan Sheik with Christmas classics sung by Faith Hill.
This unique program stylistically blends the look of traditional painting with contemporary 3-D technology - creating an aesthetic that is both classic and innovative.
Click HERE to view the trailer and an exclusive behind the scenes look at Little Spirit: Christmas in New York. When a friendly cabbie (Danny DeVito) tells two young sisters the story of a boy named Leo who moved to Manhattan with his family, a magical adventure begins.
While adjusting to the big city and enjoying the days leading up to Christmas, Leo accidentally loses his dog Ramona in Central Park. Leo is devastated by his loss until a magical creature named Little Spirit appears and takes him on a quest to find Ramona. Leo and Little Spirit venture out on the journey of a lifetime, taking in the festive surroundings of the city and meeting people from all walks of life.
By the time Leo is reunited with Ramona, he has an eclectic group of friends that make the strange city seem like home.
Click HERE for a sneak peek of Little Spirit on NBC.com.
Click HERE to read about Little Spirit in Advertising Age.
Click HERE to read about Little Spirit on the Animation World Network.
Noted fashion and documentary director Douglas Keeve has signed with Curious Pictures. Best known as the director of "Unzipped," one of the highest grossing documentary films of all times, Doug has an extensive background shooting fashion and beauty work, as well as documentary and non-fiction work, in both advertising and entertainment.
His portfolio includes ad campaigns for such brands as L'Oreal, Macy's, Nintendo and Johnson & Johnson, and TV series work that's appeared on VH-1, Sundance Channel and other networks. A multi-media talent, he's simultaneously working on a new feature documentary, a pilot for a TV show and a series of web shorts starring supermodel Heidi Klum. To screen his latest worka series of films produced for the New York Times' web sitego HERE. To check out his reel, go HERE.
At the Inaugural One Show Entertainment awards, held early this month in Los Angeles, a series of three-minute animated web shorts directed by Rohitash Rao and Abraham Spear for online textbook retailer Half.com, owned by auction giant e-Bay, were named Merit Finalists in the Online Branded Entertainment category. The spots, titled "Mathematics," "Political Science" and "History," were produced for BBDO/New York. Check out "Mathematics" from the campaign HERE. For a full list of winners, go HERE.
Curious director Man vs Magneta.k.a. Matt Smithsonproduces two spots that light up the blogosphere. Both "Roller Coaster Restaurant," his animated spot for the Minnesota Lottery from agency Colle + McVoy, and "Squeaky Wheel," his spot for the Freelancer's Union and creative boutique Julie & Phil, are featured on Motionographer.com and other design blogs.
Reality television meets visual effects in the just-wrapped series "MTV Engine Room." Sponsored by HP and broadcast on MTV, MTVu and at mtvengineroom.com, the series pitted teams of young digital artists against each other on a series of creative assignments, with the winners taking away cash and a cache of HP gear.
Lewis Kofsky, Curious Pictures partner and Director of CG/VFX, judged the series finale that aired this month, along with Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim Museum, and Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and bestselling author. To check out the show and its hotly contested outcome, go HERE.
Leopoldo Gout releases his novel Ghost Radio this October. Click HERE to read a review from the New York Daily News.
Who needs a milk mustache to get healthy? DDB Canada’s Vancouver office is set to break the latest broadcast spots in its popular “Must Drink More Milk” campaign, aimed at positioning moo juice as a smart beverage alternative for the soft-drink set. Two new thirty-second stop motion commercials directed by Abraham Spear roll out this month, titled “Giant Monster” and “Foosball.” You can see them here. A continuation of an ambitious, integrated campaign that broke earlier this spring, the campaign includes three more commercials that will debut later this year and early in 2009.
Rock Band 2 hits the shelves this month, and like its predecessor becomes an instant hit. Once again, the game is driven by motion capture animation produced entirely at Curious Pictures. The game now includes expanded playlists and capability of letting players download music tracks to add to the game, building their own library of tunes. The game also features enhanced performance capabilities and more flat-out great rock and roll animation.
Just in time to appreciate the Democratic and Republican national conventions, Roadside Attractions releases Chicago 10 on DVD this month. The groundbreaking documentary from director Brett Morgen includes a full half-hour of motion capture animation produced at Curious Pictures.
It opened the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and drew considerable attention for its radical mix of archival footage and mo-cap animation, all driven by a post-modern punk-rock soundtrack. The film opened theatrically earlier this year and played to strong reviews.
Director man vs magnet’s captivating all-type web short for The Girl Effect, produced for Nike Foundation and Wieden + Kennedy, explodes across the blogosphere. This compelling film anchors a web site dedicated to explaining how adolescent girls around the world can be a powerful force to bring about social and economic change.
You can see it at http://www.girleffect.org/#/video/. The subject of countless blog entries, the controversial and powerful statements made in this film resonated with audiences globally.
Cue the applause sign: Curious directorial team Fresh Paint’s “31 Days of Oscar’ promo for Turner Classic Movies was the runaway hit of the Promax/BDA conference in New York last week. Not only did the piece win two Golds in the association’s design competition—on top of being named a finalist in the One Show Design competition—but ‘Oscar’ also received thunderous applause at every screening, and was the final spot shown at a special juried screening of groundbreaking new work in broadcast promotion. Congratulations to directors Kevin Robinson and Mike Papagni and everyone at Turner Classic Movies who collaborated on this great achievement.
At the annual Promax/BDA conference this month in New York, directing teamFresh Paint’s “31 Days of Oscars” promo for Turner Classic Movies was chosen for the “State of Design” showcase of the best motion graphics work from around the world. The collection was curated and presented by Justin Cone, editor of Motionographer.com, who featured it prominently on his web site when the piece first broke.
Curious welcomes its new Head of Production John Cline to the staff this month. A former senior agency producer at JWT and Fallon, John was most recently head of production at New York office of the global boutique agency Nitro.
Prior to moving over to the agency side, John worked his way up the production ranks at a number of production companies, most recently serving as executive producer for Optic Nerve. He’ll oversee all commercial, broadcast promo, music video and branded content production for the studio.
Philippe Grammaticopolous of Mr Hyde @ Curious was one of the new directors honored to be included in SHOOT’s New Directors Showcase screening at the DGC Building in New York late last month.
Teams of students and instructors from both Parsons The New School and the School of Visual Arts “graduated” from a semester-long motion capture class taught at Curious. The curriculum covered every aspect of mo-cap production, and the Parsons team produced a short documentary about this work.
The Amnesty International spot directed by Mr. Hyde's Phillipe
Grammaticopolous for TBWA Paris won a Gold Pencil at the One Show May 7.
This honor follows comes on top of winning the first-ever Socially
Responsible Communications Grand Prix from the International Advertising
Association's World Congress in April.
Directing team Fresh Paint also
did well this month: Their spot advertising Turner Classic Movies and
its " 31 Days Of Oscar" promo was named a finalist at One Show Design,
one of the most competitive design competitions in the country.
Nominations for the Daytime Emmy Awards have just been announced, and Little Einsteins is in the hunt! The program, produced by Curious for
the Playhouse Disney channel, was nominated in the Children's Animated
Programs category. Congratulations go to Eric Weiner, Kris Greengrove
and the entire Little Einsteins team for this recognition. The winners
will be announced on June 20 in a live telecast carried on ABC, so tune
in then to see if we bring home more gold.
Curious Pictures congratulates Mr. Hyde director Nicolas Lesaffre, who was a runner-up for the 2008 First Boards Awards in the animation category. We think the world of Nicolas and his work, and so do the mag’s editors.
Here’s what they had to say: “The richly inventive, beautifully detailed animation in ‘The Cast,’ his commercial debut in 2007 for Match.com, shows off his technical virtuosity at creating engaging worlds. ‘Vinyl's Attack,’ a black-and-white King Kong-styled short film, shows his breadth and variety, while the simple but sweetly funny ‘Sneeze’ for Halls Naturals shows his talent at believably comic character design.”
Check out his reel and you can see what all the fuss is about.
Madrid-based tabletop director Yann Malka joins the Curious Pictures roster. A second-generation filmmaking talent who has also studied music and composition, Yann’s work is a unique blend of animation, visual effects and gorgeous cinematography. Internationally recognized, he was included in the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase in 2004.
As the reviews continue to pour in for Brett Morgen's " Chicago 10," Curious' work on the animated portions of this post-modern documentary were honored this month at the Cinema Eye Awards for nonfiction filmmaking, where it won the top award for Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Animation. On hand at the IFC Center in New York to accept the award were Richard Winkler and Lewis Kofsky, on behalf of the entire mo-cap team at Curious.
Director Osbert Parker’s animated short “Yours Truly” has racked up another impressive honor, being named Best Short Film at the British Animation Awards ceremony this month.
The film-noir piece has been honored at festivals around the world.
Director Ro Rao is one of the finalists at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival for his animated short, "Laika," for the Zune Arts web site and agency 72 and Sunny. The short list was announced mid
March, and the festival takes place June 9-14 in Annecy, France.
Chicago 10, which kicked off Sundance in 2007, opened theatrically on February 29. The feature documentary was directed by Brett Morgen and tells the story of the infamous 1968 protests at the Democratic convention, and subsequent trial of the "Chicago 7."
Curious developed a hybrid of motion capture and animation to produce almost half the scenes in the film.
"I Met The Walrus." The film is animated to an audiotaped interview that a teenager made when he sneaked into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto in 1969. Curious represents
play airways through the Electric Company.
Also honored in January was Osbert Parker's "Yours Truly," which re-named "Head Over Heels" received a nomination for best animated short film from the British Academy of Film and Television. Both of these shorts were previously honored at Sundance and other international film festivals this past year.
Ever drift off to sleep thinking about those stop-motion animated counting sheep in the Serta commercials? We’ll bet Michael Wright does. He’s the UK-based live action and animation director who was responsible for many of those TV spots from W. B. Doner, along with animated work for Chevron, Jack in the Box and other clients. He’s signed on with Curious, where we’ve welcomed him with open arms and fluffy pillows.
Work from Curious directors made an almost clean sweep in the mixed media category at the prestigious OneScreen Festival in New York last month. Sponsored by The One Club, the festival honors short films made by people who also work in various aspects of the advertising world. Osbert Parker’s much-awarded “Film Noir” was the category winner, while first runner-up honors went to Stefan Nadelman’s “Evil Bee” music video for Menomena and third runner up went to “True Love Will Find You in the End,” a video for iconoclastic Texas rocker Daniel Johnson directed by Rohitash Rao.
Add two more eclectic talents to the Curious roster: Music video director Christopher Mills has joined, as has digital artist-turned director Dave Rasura.
Chris got his start by creating visuals, installations and music videos for bands and music festivals, and his work for such artists as Interpol and Modest Mouse has been nominated for MTV awards. Dave’s work incorporates type design, animation and live action, as evidenced in spots he directed for such clients as Coke, Urban Outfitters, Radio Shack and Volkswagen.
He started in the business as a 3-D animator on the Nickelodeon hit “Jimmy Neutron,” before moving to New York, where he began to experiment with live action and motion graphics. His first directing assignment for Curious was a Dell spot from Mother that runs on the brand’s website.
Award-winning children’s book author, illustrator, cartoonist and program creator Mo Willems is at it again. Two of his most recent children’s books, both published by Disney’s Hyperion imprint, have been recognized with major awards. “Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity” has been awarded a Caldecott Honor for 2008, and his “There Is a Bird on Your Head” was presented with the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.
The Caldecott honors are presented annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture books for children.
The Geisel Award, presented by the American Library Association, is given annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.
Sean Pecknold becomes the newest director to join the Curious roster of talent. A Seattle-based filmmaker who recently relocated to New York, Pecknold was formerly part of a directing team called Milk.
Largely self-taught, Sean’s work is a mix of hand-drawn, 2D and 3D animation as well as live action. His introduction to film came while he was working as an editor on projects for The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and The Travel Channel.
As a solo director, his trailer for the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle was included in the Stash reel of outstanding animation and effect work. Other standout projects on his reel include an engaging web spot about a game-addicted youth named Francois, produced for Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
Just in time for holiday gift-giving madness, the highly anticipated new video game Rock Band™ released this month, from Harmonix and MTV. The game features hours and hours of motion capture animation of real musicians playing in a variety of rock ‘n roll genres, all produced by Curious Pictures.
Rock Band™ players use a game peripheral that mimics their real-life counterparts in the game environment, where they can rock out on bass, lead guitar, vocals and drums to tunes from such legendary artists as The Who, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Nirvana and the Strokes. Curious’ mo-cap and CGI teams auditioned bar bands in New York and L.A. to cast the musicians whose performances make up the game segments.
Talk about a tough assignment.
The International Animated Film Society-ASIFA Hollywood announced its nominees for the 35th annual Annie Award, and Curious’ “Little Einsteins,” produced for the Disney channel, was nominated in the category of Best Animated Television Production for Children. We’ve got our fingers crossed for bringing home the award when the Annies are presented in Los Angeles at UCLA’s Royce Hall this February. Stay tuned to this space for more info. For a full list of Annie nominees, go to www.annieawards.org.
BBDO/New York breaks an integrated new campaign for Half.com, the used book web site that’s owned by eBay. The campaign includes three two-minute web shorts animated by Curious directors Rohitash Rao and Abraham Spear.
Using the style of old-school educational films complete with a bombastic voiceover announcer and melodramatic music, the spots detail the peril of students who get hooked on their textbooks (all purchased at incredible savings on Half.com) and become slaves to such subjects at political science, math and history. Ad Age’s Creativity covered the campaign in both its print and online editions.
The work of Curious Pictures and its directors is highly visible at the Chicago International Film Festival this month, as Brett Morgen’s “Chicago 10” is plays a prominent role in the screenings and is widely reviewed.
Separately, Roadside Attractions, the film distribution company, announces a February 2008 theatrical release for the film, which includes a half-hour of groundbreaking mo-cap work all shot on the mo-cap stage at Curious. To accompany that, director Osbert Parker’s short film “Yours Truly,” wins the Gold Plaque in the Animated Short Film competition at the Festival.
Executive Producer Mary Knox announces a restructuring of the Curious sales presence in the Midwest. Independent rep Carolyn Hill takes over Detroit, with staff rep John Robertson taking over responsibilities for Chicago and all other Midwest regions, with the exception of Minneapolis, which will be handled by Mary herself.
The studio continues to be repped for commercials on the West Coast by Andrea Andrews of Where’s The Boards, while Hesty Liebtag of Hesty Reps provides ongoing sales coverage in Toronto.
Curious director Kenan Moran delivers a three-spot public service campaign dubbed “Cause Change” for cable network TVLand. The comic spots lampoon people who talk about wanting to do volunteer work but always have an excuse for not getting around to it. As we hear them rattle on about how busy they are, the camera pulls back to reveal that each is sitting on a donkey.
The voiceover then suggests that they ‘get off their’ you-know-what’s (with the word ‘ass’ substituted by a loud ‘hee-haw’ sound effect) and do something good for society. Learn more about the effort at www.tvland.com/causechange/.
Curious Pictures director Stefan Nadelman breaks ground this month with an innovative way to launch a music video—on the web site of an apparel company. PF Flyers—the iconic sneaker brand of the ‘60s and ‘70s, updated for a new generation of young people—backed the production of Stefan’s stop-motion wonder titled “Evil Bee,” produced for the Portland-based trio Menomena.
The video, which debuted on the PF Flyers web site and can be seen at http://pfflyers.com/culture.html, explores the darker side of life for a worker bee.
Karina Kliss joins Curious Pictures as Head of Film & TV Development. Prior she was at Starz Animation, and before that IDT Entertainment, where she worked as a development and creative executive. She started her career at Miramax Films, where she spent four years in production and development
. Her mission is to identify and nurture feature film and TV series opportunities for the studio, working with both our roster of directors and many of the talented content creators with which we have longstanding relationships. She’s also on the hunt for new talents from outside the world of animation and mixed-media production.
At the Cannes Lions Festival, Curious’ talents are well represented: Josh Raskin, of the directing trio Play Airways, represented in the U.S. by Curious via its relationship with Toronto’s Electric Company, is included in the influential Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase.
Meanwhile, the viral sensation “Battle of the Album Covers,” an animated short produced by Ugly Pictures for last September’s Advertising Week event in New York, lands on the Cannes Cyber Lions shortlist, while an animated PSA for Amnesty International directed by Philippe Grammaticopoulis of European production company Mr. Hyde wins a Gold Lion for agency TBWA\Paris. Mr. Hyde is also repped in the U.S. by Curious.
June 2007 Superstar adman and talk show host Donny Deutsch visits the studio to be shot on our motion capture stage for a segment on animation production on his “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” CNBC series.
VH1 airs its “Rock Honors” special with animated titles and on-air promos designed and directed by Ugly Pictures. The project entailed creating surreal environments to introduce segments on the show’s four honorees: Genesis, ZZ Top, Heart and Ozzy Osbourne.
May 2007 Curious welcomes noted tabletop director Greg Ramsey, who joins from live action production company Celsius Films. Greg is looking forward to working closely with our CG and design capabilities in his highly visible work for top ad agencies and brands.
Meet the Crunchers: a new campaign for Crunch Fitness from New York ad agency Mother centers around “The Crunchers,” a group of fitness club denizens, each with his or her own quirky character traits.
The characters were developed jointly by the agency and Curious directors Ugly Pictures, who not only directed a seven-spot stop-motion TV campaign featuring them, but also shot the print and outdoor ads as well. The spots resemble mini-sitcoms instead of traditional ads, and the characters are also featured on the Crunch web site.
Legendary mixed-media director Osbert Parker signs on with Curious. Well known for his TV commercials for Budweiser, Coke and Nike, Parker has spent the last several years concentrating on his two short films, “Film Noir” and “Yours Truly,” both of which have won praise and awards at film and animation festivals around the world.
Becky Friedman joins Curious as our new Head of Production, crossing over to the production company side from her post as a senior producer at BBDO. Becky has over a decade of experience as an agency producer, promising to not only strengthen the studio’s production expertise but also to bring a new perspective to evaluating and bidding storyboards.
With April comes the animation festivals, and work from Curious Pictures' directors will be bursting out all over. At the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France, Little Fluffy Clouds' interstitial piece for the Sundance Channel and ad agency JWT will be included in the screenings, as will Ugly Picture's "Battle of the Album Covers," originally produced as the intro to an event at last September's Advertising Week in New York.
Also, two selections produced by Mr. Hyde, the French animation boutique recently signed by Curious Pictures, were also chosen for the festival program. Meanwhile, over in Positano, Italy, the annual Cartoons On the Bay animation festival will screen episodes from Mr. Warburton's "Codename: Kids Next Door" and from "Little Einsteins." The work will be appearing under the TV series and TV special sections of the Festival program, which includes animated fare from around the world.
To celebrate Vice President Dick Cheney’s birthday, AtomFilms and Curious Pictures premiered the new Ugly Pictures animated short "Chicks with Dick" on January 30. Seen exclusively on Atom Films, the short tells the story of what happened on that fateful Texas hunting trip when the Veep shot his friend’s face off.
"Chicago 10" premiered January 18th at the Sundance Film Festival. Only the second documentary to open the festival in its 29-year history, "Chicago 10" features 25 minutes of innovative motion capture animation produced entirely at Curious.
The Curious computer graphics team of animators and designers combined proprietary motion capture technology with a distinctive hand-drawn look to produce animated segments used to recreate the courtroom scenes of the notorious trial of the Chicago 10 protesters.