Search form

Directing Duo Launches Bullpen Design and Animation Studio

Elliot Lim and Aaron Kemnitzer join forces in new bi-coastal partnership, providing their clients flexible, hands-on creative services. 

Longtime creative partners Elliot Lim and Aaron Kemnitzer have once again joined forces to launch Bullpen, a bi-coastal design and animation studio dedicated to providing a more hands-on, narrative-driven approach.

Lim and Kemnitzer open this new venture with over 25 years of combined experience in the motion design industry. After first meeting at acclaimed design shop Digital Kitchen, the two became fast friends, collaborating off and on ever since. In that time, they have worked with some of the world’s best post-production and animation studios including Buck, PSYOP, Gentlemen Scholar, Hornet, and Not to Scale, leading to a string of creative successes, most notably a Lim-created animated homage inspired by HBO’s seminal series The Wire, which was covered by Vice, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today and many others.

With Bullpen, the team is now looking to create a new kind of studio defined by its leaner model and hands-on approach – flexible, agile and adaptable to clients’ shifting needs. “Working in the industry, we have learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of servicing projects and clients,” Kemnitzer explains. “That’s why for everything we take on, the client is always assured that both principals of the company, Elliot and I, are fully dedicated to the project. This is unlike other studios where you might be passed to freelancers or less experienced creatives within the company. Also, our lower overhead allows us to be competitive while still remaining nimble enough to expand for bigger projects.” This more considerate approach has already attracted a strong slate of clients, including HP, Amazon and Charles Schwab.

Besides its agile offering, the studio’s other hallmark is its creative range, earned over a long career working with a wide variety of clients. To showcase this strength, Bullpen is releasing several new projects and animations created especially for the launch. Consisting of a mix of illustrative 2D and 3D short films - from an overweight bumble bee to a factory that produces the alphabet - each piece purposefully plays with different looks, tones and rhythms to show the breadth and impact of well-crafted design.

These shorts all culminate in a text-driven animated video in celebration of the concept of “style,” using a host of techniques to demonstrate how distinct visual elements play a vital role in conveying emotion, shifting expectations and telling a story. According to Lim, this film perfectly encapsulates what sets them apart. “We’re capable of a lot of different styles,” he notes. “We’re flexible. When you look at these brand films, you can see that diversity of techniques and our love for using style to tell a good story.”

Shimo from Bullpen on Vimeo.

Other launch videos include:

Despite these many skills, Kemnitzer does stress that Bullpen’s singular voice is what ultimately makes it attractive to clients. “Creatively we always try to focus on the story, trying to understand the clients and viewer to tell a story that resonates,” he adds. “When you look at our work, there’s a unique level of relatable charm to each illustration and character that we create. Our ability to add that personality is what drives everything we do at Bullpen.”

Source: Bullpen