Transistor Studios Opens Australian Arm
According to both Meena and Price, now is also the time for Transistor to capitalize on its true passion --design based storytelling. Once Transistor made the jump from Los Angeles to New York, perpetually growing its business opportunities and client roster was mandatory for survival. And it pulled through on that score, landing quite a bit of interactive business and development, visual effects and live-action work, and more. But the core of its mission, partially obscured by its own justifiable ambition, has always been to extract knowledge and value from graphic design and illustrative art's centuries-old traditions, while reinventing them for a future too easily distracted by media overstimulation. And a decade after its birth, Transistor is ready to pursue that mission with full faith in its fruition.
"Damon and I made the decision that art and design are really where our hearts are at," said Price. "Those are the projects we're most excited about and that we're the best at doing, although we possess the skill sets to do many different things. The core creators of the studio have varied histories, but we all share a strong affinity for not just the history of graphic design, but art and culture. We like to draw that into our work, and pay homage to art and design movements that literally shaped the way we see the world. I think that's what makes us interesting. We'll put those references out there and then try to reinvent contexts in a way to make them feel new."
Since making that internal push and resetting its operational narrative over the last year, Transistor Studios has seen a considerable shift in the projects coming its way, as well as the manner in which clients and colleagues perceive it. And as a result, it's making even more of the type of work that it is proud to make. That includes a Victorian-flavored commercial for Kraken Rum featuring the fantastically animated mythic beast of the same name, Sprint spots starring anthropomorphized CGI iconography like Facebook and Twitter logos frolicking in the snow and clubbing in the desert, and even a dizzying Hewlett-Packard reel that manages to mash computer-aided design and cinematic live-action into light-speed animation that tickles your cerebral cortex.
The HP project is a perfect example of the company's evolution as a design force. Extending its design eye across the spectrums of live-action has always been a natural extension of Transistor's focus. Price explains, "So much production is now about providing a consistent vision. The live-action projects we create we proudly shelter from pre-production through to post. Design for us is about controlling the details all the way through to handing off the finished product."
It's not just hybrid projects that combine live-action with motion graphics that are garnering the company respect. The recent Sonos campaign through 72andSunny highlights not only the versatility of Price, Baumle and Rockaway as creative leads, but also the breadth of Transistor's live-action capabilities. Some of the work is pure live-action storytelling without a graphic in sight, while other spots combine the company's strength in live-action, animation, design and editorial.
"That project is a perfect example of our strengths," says Meena. "It's the ultimate design compliment to have someone trust you with such diverse stories told in such a variety of mediums. It's more than artistic continuity that made the project such a success. Our soup-to-nuts mentality extends beyond creative vision. We were able to stretch the production further because we took it on holistically. It's the future of production, both creatively and financially, and we are excited to be offering that to our clients, wherever they are in the world."
Once Transistor's expansion into Australia is complete, its next decade of existence promises to be even more productive than its last, despite its unorthodoxy. Even though it has fit quite nicely into an evolving industry, it has still managed to keep its outsider spirit alive in a sea of conformity. "We are firm believers that observing and understanding from the outside allows you to project back something that is new and unexpected," explains Price. "This has become Transistor's badge of honor of sorts: It thrives on existing apart from the moment, while taking advantage of the moment's opportunities."