Friday Faves – March 24, 2017

This week, we’ve gathered an eclectic mix of animation and live action work that features a wide range of talented animators! Sit back and enjoy this playlist filled with nostalgia, unique storytelling, and education about learning disorders.


Frances – Grow
This beautiful and sophisticated music video, created by Le Cube, follows a woman who is slowly fading away while she ventures around the city. In the end, it has an important message about domestic violence. Making Of video:


Longing for Wilderness
360 videos are usually a hit or miss, but this piece stands out in particular with its immersive grittiness and moody atmosphere. This piece takes you on a ride through a noisy city and into a deep dark forest with rich sound design.


Toonami 20th Anniversary
Simon Wilches-Castro brought together a bunch of stellar animators together to create a tribute to Toonami, the network that brought over Japanese anime to Cartoon Network. It’s eclectic with many surprises and a joy to watch. We’re a big fan of these collaborative animations, and even participated in one that centered around one of Obama’s most infamous speeches:


This is perhaps one of the must unique animated shorts that we’ve seen in recent memory. It’s about a cow tipping the balance of destiny.

Dyslexia PSA
Wendy Eduarte made this PSA that shows what it’s like to read while having Dyslexia. She masterfully choreographs the text to fragment apart and somehow link to the next phrase. Definitely check this one out.


That’s all folks! We hope you enjoyed this week’s inspiration list.
Have a great weekend.

2017 Studio Reel

Music: “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon (

List of projects (in order of appearance):
– National Trust for Historic Preservation (
– YMCA Basketball (
– Atlantic, “Fired Up” Obama Speech (
– Volkswagen, Agency: iStrategy Labs (
– Stages Smart Headphones (
– Mobile Year in Review (
– Invest Americas
– Funk Parade DC (
– Samuel Adams Beer, Agency: iStrategy Labs (
– IFC SME Ventures
– Thomson Reuters
– (
– CuidadoDeSalud Campaign – Catastrophes! (
– Edelman
– Partners in Preservation
– YMCA (
– TGIF, Internal Video
– National Academy of Science, Anti-bullying PSA (
– The Science of Science Communication


Follow/like us on the following channels for more great video content:

Friday Favorites – March 17, 2017

Welcome to Friday Favorites, our new weekly blog post that highlights some of our favorite animation, film, and motion graphics work that we’ve recently stumbled upon. It’s a short and sweet curated collection with the goal of inspiring others to get their creative juices flowing. Enjoy!

1. PowerPuff Girls “Arm Rasslin”
Kicking off this week’s playlist is Benjy Brooke’s TV spot for the 2017 season of Powerpuff Girls. It begins with Buttercup arm wrestling a forklift truck… and then all of the sudden, Brooke reveals many more fearsome opponents with a long tracking wide shot that juxtaposes with the beginning anime-esque quick cuts. Diggin’ how each baddie has their own unique character design and animation.


2. MTV Ident
Directed by Masanobu Hiraoka, this crazy abstract/organic 2D animation reminds me of this horrifying ending scene in the movie, Akira. Enjoy!


3. Hikkikomori Infinity Room
Oscar Hudson and Pulse Films created this mesmerizing “one-take” music video for Bonobo’s “No Reason” song. Hudson draws us in by making the video into one long dolly shot. The camera goes through an infinite series of Japanese rooms that bend reality and perception. This behind the scenes video blew us away with how they constructed the set. Spectacular.


4. Ruben Leaves
Frederic Siegel’s animated short film is a psychological thriller that follow’s Ruben’s road to insanity that merges reality with “increasingly absurd scenarios.” Really diggin’ the minimalism here with the 2D animation style and simple sound design.


5. Dunk Flip Run
Once again, Radio kills it with another fun sports-heavy animation that contains their signature dynamic angles and fluid transitions.

That is all for our weekly inspiration so far! We hope you enjoyed this first collection of many.
What are some of your favorite videos and animations that you have stumbled across this past week? Aside from our Anti-Bullying PSAof course!

You’re Not Helpless (Anti-Bullying PSA)


Most of us have some experience with bullying either as a victim, a bystander, or a perpetrator. The National Academies of Science conducted the most comprehensive scientific review of the evidence behind why bullying happens and how to effectively intervene or prevent it. They put all that into an impressive report but they wanted to do more to get the message out there. That’s why they partnered with us to create the video above. In it, we put viewers into the shoes of a teacher who has to stand by and watch one of his favorite students fade under the harsh glare of bullying.bully-dark-gif-3After interviewing several teachers about their experiences with bullying, we wrote different versions of a one minute script that follows a helpless teacher who witnesses one of his best students being bullied. We worked with local dancer Lauren De Vera and composer Chris Carlone, to create original music and dance choreography that we filmed and transformed through rotoscoping into the finished animation. For the final look of the animation, we used visceral chalk style to accompany the emotional content of the script and subject matter.

For a peek behind the curtain, check out this behind the scenes video and a little more description of the process from our artists.



Figuring out choreography at Bahay Base dance studio with Lauren De Vera.



Before (live action footage) and after (rotoscope animation).


2017-03-10 15_22_28-bully-IG-timelapse-rotoscope-V1.mp4 - VLC media player

Over 1000 frames were drawn while using the live action dance footage as a reference for some scenes.


This was probably one of our most experimental projects in recent memory and we’re proud to have worked with many different talented creatives to spread this message.


Client: National Academy of Sciences (
Dance Studio: Bahay Base (

Ric Cunningham, Producer
Alex Herder, Creative Director & Writer
Joseph Le, Art Director & Director of Photography & Animator
Dave Ellington, Animator
Alex Au, 2nd Camera
Lauren De Vera, Choreographer & Principal Dancer
Chris Carlone, Music Composer
Daniel Howard Àlásong, Assistant Music Composer
Bryan Kopta, Voice Actor

Amy Phan
Charles H. Boyer
Cindy Hoang
Jarell Mique
Vinh Si Ngo



Inspiring women in animation, 2017 edition

Happy International Women’s Day! All around the world people are celebrating the achievements of women, as well as bringing attention to issues still present.

In film and animation, women make up only a small percentage of the industry. In film, only 17% of women filled the roles of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers (source). Animation is slightly higher with around 20% filling the creative roles (source) but that’s still not nearly enough. Going one more level into motion graphics, the stats are about the same. The Motionographer last year published a great article highlighting the gender gap in the industry that you should read.


We asked around the office for people’s top creative women who influence them and got some pretty awesome results.

Kei Acedera is a beyond-talented independent artist who does concept art, visual development and character design for film. Her work is so enchanting, expressive and sophisticated. When asked what she enjoys most about being an independent artist, her response is the “The creative freedom…it allows an artist to have the courage to explore and therefore become even more creative.”

Follow Kei here:

Mingjue Helen Chen: Another talented visual development artist is Mingjue Helen Chen. Her artwork is full of vibrant colors and beautiful designs. A lot of the scenes she creates for feature films such as Wreck it Ralph and Big Hero 6, really bring the worlds to life.  

Follow Mingjue here:

Rebecca Sugar: Most widely known for her show Steven Universe, Rebecca Sugar is another awesome women to highlight. She became Cartoon Network’s first solo women show creator. Not only is she a talented animator and story artist, but she’s a pretty great musician as well.

Follow Rebecca here:

Cindy Suen: Happy, vibrant and cats are all words that describe the work of Cindy Suen. She is a talented illustrator, animator and GIF artist, whose work has been seen across the interwebs. Her GIFs are mesmerizing, as her animation style is so fluid. Let’s see how long it takes you to look away from this adorable GIF.


Follow Cindy here:

Linn Fritz: Another talented animator and designer is Linn Fritz. Her artwork is the perfect example that less is more. The fluid movement of her animation, and her bold vibrant colors (and the addition of some cats…we may be cat biased…) leaves you wanting to see more of her art.

Follow Linn here:


And last but not least we want to highlight our very own animator/illustrator/art director, Hannah Churn! She has a positive and playful mind which is reflected in her work.

Follow Hannah here:

Having diversity, not only in gender, in the creative process is important on so many levels. It allows the story to be told in a different light and from different perspectives. We obviously didn’t highlight all the awesome talent that is out there, and would love to hear your favorite! Tweet us or send us a note telling us which creative women inspire you.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the awesome creatives out there!

Duck School #6 – Bear, Buff, and kitty cat

Duck School #5 – Romantic Relationships

Duck School #4 –  Myers Briggs Day!

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Duck School #3 – Male Archetypes~

Women’s March Recap

This weekend the Women’s March took place not just in Washington D.C. but all over the world! This isn’t news to anyone since coverage of the Women’s March was on just about every news channel. But we thought we’d share a recount of our own personal experiences at the march. Here’s the Duck recap of the Women’s March.


Erin’s Experience

erin-gotta-brand-new-hatLet me start by saying, The march was more amazing than I could’ve predicted! I couldn’t attend the speeches at the beginning because I volunteer at my yoga studio every Saturday morning. But after I finished my volunteer shift I went straight to the march.

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