Emmy-winning CG animation and visual effects company Brain Zoo Studios recently picked up two new awards, winning Best Animated Film at the Atlanta ShortsFest and both Best Animation and Best Animation Director at the Noor International Film Festival in October.
Recognized by major game publishers and toy companies for the studio’s efficient execution and reactivity, Pepe & Lucas’ objective was two-fold: to showcase the studio’s storytelling capabilities and to challenge the studio’s talent to bring emotion to life via the characters without relying on the help of dialogue that usually accompanies animated stories.
“Because the artists had to achieve a level of performance where emotions come across believably only through body language and facial expression, Pepe & Lucas pushed them to a level of creativity and execution that we don’t always get to explore when working on gaming cinematics or trailers,” said Pepe & Lucas director and Brain Zoo’s founder and CEO Mo Davoudian. “The level of detail in the work on the eye movements, for example, is very time consuming. The experience gathered by working on this film has enabled us to reduce the production pipeline in some instances by a third of the time it would normally take to achieve the same breadth of emotion conveyed.”
Pepe & Lucas is a CG animated romantic comedy modeled after the movies of Charlie Chaplin and the silent era. Two classic street entertainers, a colorful clown, named Pepe and an elegant mime, Lucas, try to outdo each other, competing for the audience’s attention and recognition. However, it is revealed that Lucas is actually a girl, and Pepe falls in love. They triumph on the streets by combining their talents and creating a new crowd-pleasing show.
Though the story’s inspiration came from the writer/director’s observation of people’s reactions during the economic downturn, the colorful, dynamic style and intricate character expressions and movements appeal to both younger and older audiences all over the globe. The short film is currently being developed as a broadcast series and interactive e-book.
Source: Brain Zoo Studios