2012 was our first year, and much like bull riding, it was exciting and exhausting.
Unlike bull riding, no bulls were involved.
As a small animation production company, we don't have a heap of admin or infrastructure, and that gives us the advantage of being pretty nimble and able to respond and react quickly to feedback, and to what we learn as we put stuff out. We can make essential decisions quickly, and that keeps things FUN, and exciting.
The flip side of that is, well- we don't have a heap of admin or infrastructure! That means all the heavy lifting, creatively and admin-wise, is done by the two idiots (wait, wrong word- geniuses) who head the company up, Geri and Chris. Thank goodness both guys possess incredible amounts of energy, passion, talent, and most importantly- good looks.
We spent the year pursuing TWO things: service work for clients, and development of our own animated content, made entirely from within our company. This is a pretty classic pair of objectives for media production companies, so why should Mad Lab reinvent the wheel?
In the realm of providing animation services, we found ourselves working with a fantastic client in Inhabit Media. This company has offices in Toronto and Iqaluit (which is in Nunavut, which is in Canada's far, FAR north). Inhabit Media focuses on telling stories of the north, with a focus on Inuit legends, myths, and tales. And so Inhabit and Mad Lab are working together to create a stop motion tale of childhood friendship, bravery, and child-eating ogres.
The use of stop motion, with its tactile, physical quality, works wonderfully as a way to tell these tales that are honest, primal, and very, very magical.
The project is ongoing, with Mad Lab overseeing storyboards, puppet fabrication, sets, and animation, under the direction of Neil Christopher of Inhabit Media. We'll post more information about the project over time... but it's looking wonderful so far, and is truly exciting and inspiring to work on.
Another client we worked with was the Burlington Animation Festival. We created their signal film that was shown around online and at the event itself.
Here it is.
This little project was a great chance to do some NON- stop motion work, since the animation is drawn. It went over with a big bang (pun certainly intended).
As for our second objective, making our own content- we spent the year making MORE zombie shorts, which played in festivals like TAAFI (Toronto Animation Arts Festival International), we created a mini-series using drawn animation called Vampire Instructionals, and we created a couple of "secret projects"- these are short animated pieces that we're very proud of. We're planning to reveal these pieces over the course of 2013. Based on audience responses, these could be the projects we continue to pursue over time.
We'd like to thank a bunch of folks for their efforts in 2012, namely Noam Sussman, Peter Grecco, Phillip Stamp, Rich Duhaney, Pete Emslie, Ben McEvoy, Alex Gorelick, Nora Keely, Daniel Baker, Carla Veldman, Max Racz, Larry MacDougall, Patrick Sweeney and Amy Pagnotta from SPACE. All these folks have websites/blogs, so look 'em up!
Thanks also to SPACE, Rue Morgue, Fangoria, Daily Dead, and Strange Kids Club, for the great coverage of our new business and our various projects.
Extra special thanks to Jason "Thumbs" Burch for his work as our intern. He created fabulous stuff you'll see in 2013... and to Phil Postma for his continued (and amazing) Mad Lab-inspired artwork that can be seen via our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed.
Best and last thanks goes to our families. Without their support and love we'd still be lying on a couch just watching cartoons, instead of out in the world, MAKING 'em.
What does 2013 hold? Invasion by alien overlords? The rise of a bizarre superbug that will crush the human race beneath its feet? Perhaps a new album from Justin Bieber? We really can't say.. but regardless of how crazy the new year gets, we'll just keep making with the Mad Lab goodness...