A Look back at our animation studio in 2018

2018 has been and gone so we’re now all getting used to putting a nine at the end of the date (or if you’re anything like me it’s more a case of scribbling over the eight with a bold nine once you’ve realised your mistake!).

The last year was a really fun one here at the studio with a variety of animations created by our team (some of which still aren’t in the public domain yet). We produced campaigns ranging from experimental in-house content to our very first online YouTube series with LEGO.

In 2018 we grabbed more frames than ever before, worked with clients from Singapore to New York and grew our LEGO collection to over 100,000 bricks.

My favourite commercial production of the year was our ‘Check-in Guide’ for British Airways. This beautiful paper-craft animation was put together by our team over 9 weeks.  Creating the airport and characters from only paper was a real challenge, especially considering the average character was only 12cm tall. A combination of laser cutting, a paper plotter and good old fashioned scissors and scalpels helped us to produce thousands of paper pieces you see in the final film.

At the start of last year we set ourselves the task of using any studio down time to experiment with different techniques and styles using the theme ‘National Days’. My favourite animation in the series was the ‘World Oceans Day’ film which used an idea I’ve had for ages of animating on-top of cappuccino foam using stencils and chocolate. Achieving this involved a very scientific and painstaking process, but I was delighted with the final result especially as it helped highlight such an important global message.

Away from stop-frame animation, I was really proud of our 2D animators and Illustrators for their work on Ascot’s 2018 Spring Garden Show film. Creating beautiful water coloured drawings and bringing them to life in 2D animation was the perfect way to showcase the shows unique heritage and beauty.

It was a great year for stop-motion animation in general with releases of Isle of Dogs and Early Man, not to mention the announcement of a whole host of feature films to begin production in 2019. It seems stop-motion is at its peak, with audiences having a real appetite for hand crafted productions.  The dominance of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime means the demand for content has never been greater.

Looking forward at 2019, there’s an exciting year of growth ahead. We have two new staff members joining the office team to build on our recent commercial successes. Lou and Georgina bring bucket loads of passion and experience to the studio heading up our marketing and sales strategy. The Old Laundry building, the home of A+C, is also getting a refit beginning with switching our production office and workshop around in order to increase our model making capacity even further. We moved into the new office this week with construction on the new workshop beginning in the next month.

The new workshop will be four times the size of our previous space and will be kitted out with new equipment.  A major goal for the studio in 2019 is to develop our own narrative film project. Storytelling is a passion for everyone at the studio and is something we would like to grow alongside commercial productions.

I’d like to finish by saying thank you to all of the amazing creatives we’ve worked with over the last year. Without these talented people we wouldn’t be able to produce the animations we all love here. Thanks also to everyone who has watched our films, read our blogs and liked, commented and shared our work on social media.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2019 full of fun and creativity.

Dan Richards, A+C Director


Also published on Medium.