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Chalkdust Animation Studios Launches in Atlanta, Announces New TV Series

Former Paramount Exec Jared Mass launches real-time virtual production studio, partners with Noble Road Media to produce and finance C.S. Lewis animated series ‘Boxen.’

Veteran producer Jared Mass has launched Chalkdust Animation Studios, a 3D animation studio in Atlanta, GA focusing on real-time, virtual production film and television.

Its first project is the television show, Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis, adapted from the legendary Chronicles of Narnia author’s first-ever written stories. Aimed to inspire and entertain kids worldwide, the children’s animated series is independently financed by Noble Road Media, a new Atlanta-based entity formed by writer-director-producer Michael Carney (Same Kind of Different as Me, A Quiet Town). Executive producers are Mass, Carney, and Vincent Sieber-Smith, producer and co-director of The C.S. Lewis Company. The team plans to produce Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis and license rights worldwide.

Between the ages of eight and 15, C.S. Lewis and his brother conjured up an entire world of walking and talking animals, which culminated in a series of short stories that were published by HarperCollins in 1986 and re-released as Boxen: Childhood Chronicles Before Narnia. Inspired by the stories and themes for which Lewis is known worldwide, the Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis series aims to capture the imagination of young children and serve as an introduction to the genre of true fantasy adventure.

“It’s an absolute honor to be adapting the first stories ever written by one of the greatest authors of all time, C.S. Lewis,” said Mass. “We have a tremendous responsibility to make sure the content lives up to Lewis’s pedigree and his inspirational worldviews. Our goal is to make a show parents will trust and kids will be entertained and inspired. I’m so thankful to The C.S. Lewis Company and Noble Road Media for entrusting Chalkdust Animation with bringing to life this phenomenal piece of intellectual property.”

Mass most recently served as Head of Reel FX Originals and executive produced Super Giant Robot Brothers for Netflix, a series which pushed the envelope in technical execution. Under his supervision, it was the first show to be completely visualized and rendered out of Epic Games’ Unreal Game Engine at scale. The series used motion capture and real-time animation techniques and was directed by Oscar-winning director Mark Andrews (Brave). Prior to Reel FX, Mass served as Vice President of Paramount Animation where he was responsible for overseeing a slate of animated feature films including Sherlock Gnomes and Rumble, also bringing the live-action Clifford The Big Red Dog to the studio. His career started at Walden Media where he oversaw a slate of live-action films including The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia, and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

“Noble Road Media is excited to announce our collaboration with Chalkdust Animation Studios. We are passionate about the transformative power of storytelling. Our collaboration with Chalkdust embodies our dedication to crafting engaging and inspiring narratives that resonate across all ages. Financing this project also underlines our belief in the incredible ability of Jared and the team he is building,” said Carney. “Through this partnership, we aim to captivate audiences worldwide and introduce them to the whimsical and imaginative world of young C.S. Lewis. Bringing Boxen to life is a rare opportunity by which we aim to ensure that the values and legacy of C.S. Lewis continues to inspire people for generations to come.”

Mass added, “Chalkdust is pushing the envelope technically but will always uphold a creative-first approach. We want to work with top creative partners who are entrepreneurial and understand that we are all seeking to make the best original quality content in a smart and fiscally responsible way — without sacrificing quality or artists.”

Outside of the C.S. Lewis series, Chalkdust Animation is funding the development of original animated projects that can be made in their Atlanta-based real-time virtual production pipeline and can be modeled inside or outside of the studio distribution system. There are plans to collaborate with Noble Road on future projects as well.

Source: Chalkdust Animation Studios