Split Personality

18 Apr 2011

We’re currently trying to decorate our studio in a way that befits our split focuses of Animation and Web Design. Mostly this has involved multiple trips to Ikea.

One half (my half) represents our funky and creative natures – we have a mood wall for inspiration, paintbrushes that we’ll almost certainly never use, storyboards proudly displayed and of course, that staple of student bedrooms everywhere, a wooden mannequin.

Aaron’s side (or as I like to refer to it, the boring side) represents our technical natures. It has files and calculators, diagrams and charts, aspect ratios and financial projections. Bleurgh!

But it is at least all red and white, so it might be boring, but it is at least Slurpy branded boring.

New Studio!!!

12 Apr 2011

We are pleased and proud to invite you to a sneak peek at our new studio, in London Colney.

We’d been looking for a place considerably larger than our old studio in Harpenden, with better transport links and (all important) nice places to go during the rare moments when we lift our heads from our computers and feel like going outside for a few minutes.

The new studio fulfils all of those criteria. It’s big enough for the new animators and web designers that we’re looking to employ (and to do cartwheels, should the desire overtake us), it’s about as close to the M25 as you can get without being run over, and it’s situated on a beautiful river with willow trees and the all important ice cream van.

It’s also within short walking distance of the biggest Marks and Spencers I’ve ever seen!

This is a big step for our small studio, and we’re very excited about the future. Come visit us soon at Berkeley House, Barnet Road, London Colney, AL2 1BG.

We have cookies…

Dreamworks... oh dear.

5 Apr 2011

I don’t like to simply copy other people’s words for this blog without at least giving an opinion or a personal twist on them. However, in this instance the author has so perfectly captured my feelings on the matter that to edit his words would be to diminish them. So I shall make do with crediting him (Alex Collier. Nice bloke) and bowing to his superior ability to make pithy, cutting remarks, then copy pasting his words here:

"The new Dreamworks film has got me Turbo charged...

Whilst idly clicking my way through IMDb last night I noticed that a new film from Dreamworks is due out in the not too distant future. 'Turbo', charts the story of a snail who is the fastest snail in the world. I'm not sure what else happens in the film. I would have read on through the description, but unfortunately I had thrown my computer at a wall. Yet again we are to be faced with another dire sounding 'animal-characteristic-turned-on-it's-head' movie.

This is from the studio that brought us a movie about a bee that doesn't want to make honey. A rat what is all posh. A vegetarian shark. And a whole sodding zoo in New York that is filled with creatures that have hilariously juxtaposed character attributes; a lion that is a pussy, a hippo with a weight problem, a zebra who, despite not knowing if he is black and white or white and black, is in fact as black as Chris Rock, and a giraffe with a badly designed neck.

If all that doesn't sound bad enough, at least two of the characters listed above are ripped off from Pixar. (Well, obviously, I'm sure things are more innocent than that. They're probably just 'borrowed').

Animation is such an exciting medium to work in. But I'd rather be at a conference for monotone duster salesmen than sit through a Dreamworks ideas pitching session. Grey dusters, as well, none of your eye catching yellow cloths at this conference.

"Hey guys. Welcome to the Dreamworks pitching session. We're lookin' for only the most dynamic, whacked out zany ideas that the kids are just gonna go nuts for. Show me what you got!"

"Erm... well, actually... I kind of, erm... left my ideas on the bus..."

"Left them on the bus?"

"Yeah. And the dog ate them"

"I hope your ideas were more original than your excuses"

"They were! They were about, a... erm... a ...snail?"

"A snail? That doesn't sound very dynamic. Snails are slow, aren't they?"

"This one is fast! It's the fastest snail in the world!"

"Brilliant! Here's half a million dollars! Get that sucker in pre production"

"Don't you want to know the story?"

"That's not important! Hold on a minute though... snails.... aren't cute! How will we shift merchandise? I'm sorry, I'm gonna have to cancel this project."

"We can sell pots of slime or something, I guess?"

"Brilliant! Here's two hundred million dollars and a bank holiday weekend release date!"

Actually, if it's that easy then here's my list of film ideas for the next Dreamworks thinktank day.

Cheetah: A film about a cheetah who is the slowest cheetah in the world. His mum and dad are disappointed, so he, get this, get this, cheats to win a race. Then he's a hero, but has to admit his dishonesty, and all the other cheetahs learn that life is best lived slowed down, and that's what counts.

Ellie Funt: The adventures of Ellie Funt, the worlds most forgetful Elephant. Absent minded Ellie is bullied by the other Elephants and runs away from home. Unfortunately Ellie is so forgetful that she forgets where she lives, and moves in with a family of mice, because she forgets that elephants are scared of mice. The mice accept her as one of their own and when the Elephant herd accidentally stumble upon her they realise that it doesn't matter how small you are, it's how big your heart is that counts.

Baboon! Sadly, Bab the Baboon has been born with a normal arse. Without a ridiculous bright red hanging down arse Bab is unlikely to attract a mate, and is destined to be alone forever. However, the forest is under attack by man. The only way to stop them is to sabotage their machinery in the dead of night. Unfortunately though, Man can see the baboons coming a mile off what with their glowing arses and all. It's up to Bab to save the day with his normal arse. In the end the Baboons learn the valuable life lesson that it's not how red and hangy-downy your arse is, it's being able to sneak up on machinery and sabotage it in the middle of the night that counts.

From Me to Flu: Flo, the influenza virus, is cast out from the Orthomyxoviridae family when she decides she doesn't want to make people sick anymore. Instead, caring Flo wants to help people, and tries to develop a cure for the common cold. She goes to live in a petrie dish in the lab of Louis Pastuer. Unfortunately, before her work is complete her big brother H5N1 mutates into a human form of bird flu and threatens to wipe out the human race! Flo must return to her family and try to stop a pandemic before it's too late. Her big brother realises he must choose between his family and global domination, and chooses family, realising that the bonds of family are stronger than the bonds of a small infectious agent inside the living cells of an organism, and that's what counts.

Monkey See, Monkey Doo: A big room with an infinite amount of monkeys typing at computers are tasked to come up with the next Dreamworks script idea. They all manage it on their first go. Monkey Doo however has ideas above his station and wants to write the next Shakespeare sonnet. He disowns his friends and becomes a successful theatre scribe. However, he soon returns to his roots when he realises it is lonely at the top. His friends welcome him back, as they are primates for life. And that's what counts.

Remember, if these ideas sound terrible, the potential for merchandising is huge. And really, at the end of the day, that's what counts."

By Alex Collier