Forgot to post earlier:/
Studio Aka is a multi bafta winning animation company based in Berswick Street London, known internationally for their idiosyncratic and innovative work. I recently had the opportunity to meet with one of the studio’s producer’s and visit the studio whilst on a research trip into London and we had the opportunity to view the studio’s showreel and ask a few questions.
The talk started with a brief introduction to the studio and its successes within the commercial world and the organisational structure within the company itself.He explained how it was the directors who were usually responsible for the overall design of the work,while the producers usually were the ones who liased with the agencies for the companies the work was being produced for.The talk was given by the producer Ren Pesci who himself worked on animations for playhouse Disney.The advert for playhouse Disney,a huge name in the film and entertainment industry, reflects the innovative approach to animation the company is internationally recognised for,and is made almost entirely in a low tech manner quite different from the cgi generated rendered animations for adverts such as the popular Lloyds TSB commercials or the recent BBC winter Olympics commercials.
These commercials are mainly the work of the director Mark Craste who has designed and created many award winning shorts at studio aka,including memorable work for Guiness,the big win and orange.Mark also directed three short films that went on to be the inspiration for his twelve minute short film JoJo in the stars which won a bafta in 2004 for best animation short.His most recent work is a 30 minute short film called Varmints based on the book by childrens author Helen Ward and illustrated by Mark.It features the same megalithic,powerful characters seen characteristic and indiosyncratic of the style of work he has become known for, personally I thought the black and white high contrast style combined with heavily stylised ,exaggerated characters as seen in the guiness and winter Olympics adverts were engaging and dynamic,while at the same time gracefully simple in their idea and execution,yet also moving and serene in JoJo in the Stars,this is juxtaposed with mutated,dark and menacing connotations.
The success of studio Aka is set to continue,with a number of big productions underway and the continuing success of their ongoing campaigns,with the release of Lost and Found based on the award winning childrens book by Oliver Jeffers winning the bafta for best childrens animation,a great credit to the studio and the director Phillip Hunt.