Industry vet Paul Golden has launched FFAKE, a new production and animation production company in Portland, reports HIGHEND3D. The FFAKE talent roster includes such well-known animation directors as Carl Willat, Nicholas Weigel and the Maverix Art Collective, which includes Ed Bell, Robert Valley, Tom Rubalcava and Charlie Canfield. FFAKE's up-and-coming talents include David Lobser, Peter Richardson and Ben Meinhardt.
"I decided to open FFAKE because I saw a real opportunity in this evolving marketplace to create a boutique, hybrid production/animation studio/label that can offer the best talent and technology for each individual project and client," said Golden, founder/exec producer of FFAKE. "Large studios today have trouble dealing with the feast and famine realities of this business. With FFAKE, I wanted to free ourselves from the large overhead of a big facility, but also not have so many directors on our roster that we are a Rolodex company. We have selected our talent very carefully, and they are artists who like to be independent, yet want someone with my expertise to help guide their careers.
Golden's career has been spent at some of the most creative and innovative outfits in the business, including Wild Brain and Colossal Pictures in San Francisco, Hibbert Ralph in London, Dream Quest Images in Los Angeles and Broadcast Arts (now Curious) in New York.
Most recently, he was president of advertising at Vinton Studios in Portland, (now known as LAIKA), under the ownership of Phil Knight, founder of Nike. He has produced and managed many hundreds of projects, including national and international television commercials, music videos, television show packages, international programming, feature film material and special venue installations. Among his clients have been such household names as MTV, M&Ms, Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, HBO, Paramount, Warner Bros., Budweiser, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Nike.
Projects and talent under his direction have received numerous awards and accolades, including several Clios, an Emmy, a London International Advertising Award, a Broadcast Designers Assoc. Award, an Annecy Award, The San Francisco Show Award and an Annie Award, among others.
Golden has sought to create a roster made up of a fine balance between well-known artists, with whom he has worked for many years, as well as several young talents he looks forward to introducing to his clients. The first thing he looks for in an artist, he said, is creative self-sufficiency, as well as strong narrative abilities. "It's very important to me that they are dedicated to the art of filmmaking," he said, "and that they have a driving interest to make their own films, and to tell stories. In younger talent, Golden looks for what exactly makes them unique. "If they can make beautiful work with extremely limited resources, then I can only imagine what they can do when given a real budget," he said.
"I've joined FFAKE because I like the idea of working with a small and focused group of talented directors," said director Weigel. "There are a lot of agencies or reps that handle upwards of 10-20 directors at a time, and its easy to lose track of what exactly the group is doing that is unique. Paul Golden knows production on many levels and FFAKE offers great opportunities for expression. There is a true sense of ownership in the work we create. We all want to craft visually appealing work and retain a strong sense of individual style."
Ed Bell of Maverix Studios added, "A co-production arrangement between Maverix and FFAKE is a natural extension of an ongoing production history with Paul Golden. Paul knows our work, and he understands how we work."
The first year goal at FFAKE is to provide its directors, "with fulfilling projects without worrying too much about a profit motive. Golden adds, "There is a lot of noise right now about the transition to portable technology and its impact on animation. Even now, animation doesn't need to be dumbed-down to work on the web and mobile platforms, so the quality that FFAKE can create is a real plus in terms of cutting through. At the same time, we understand that the technology to create animation may indeed be easily available but not everyone has the talent or ability to use that technology in a way that creates truly high-quality and engaging animation.
Golden named his company FFAKE to pay homage to the title of Orson Welles final 1974 film, F FOR FAKE, which he considers a charming examination of the essential duplicity of art and cinema. "I became fascinated with fake-ness as a concept quite a while ago," he concludes. "I find it a really interesting idea that we accept something like good animation, which is really sleight of hand or essentially fake, as something very enjoyable. We don't worry about the fact that it's fake, but accept it as real. FFAKE is the new real."
Perry Schaffer and Corey Rogers of SchafferRogers/New York will rep FFAKE (www.ffake.com) for commercial projects in the east.