Yes, I chose a book by it’s cover. I brought the book home and got half way through before before running to the computer to emphatically email the author. The book was called “CRIME” and that’s how Alix and I started talking. We clicked. We were fans of each others work and we really wanted to work on something together. Over the course of two years, we emailed/chatted, and we developed the idea for the Animated Series. After hours, we’d cut some storyboards together and I’d show her. My team and I even started animating a few scenes, which later became the trailer for the series. We got the attention of MOCAtv, and luckily for us they decided to help us finance it as a part of their YouTube Channel. A Museum financing an animated web series? That was unheard of, but we certainly weren’t complaining. We are so grateful for MOCAtv, they supported us with a Series Launch at MOCA, Q & A Panel and a packed house.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the person I had been conversing with for the last two years. This photo was taken at the MOCA Event, the day I met Alix Lambert for the first time.
Some of you might recognize that address. Yep, that’s the home of Smiley Guy Studios! Style5.tv and Smiley Guy are now under the same roof, a team-up that we’ve been talking about for a while now.
First of our collaborations is the Captain Canuck web series. Our beloved Canadian Superhero, Captain Canuck is back. We’ve brought him out of the woodwork and revamped him for the newer generation. Here are the first 2 episodes! (3 more to come by the end of the year)
Also, the CRIMEproject that we had developed with prolific writer/filmmaker Alix Lambert, got a web-distribution deal and we’re so happy to tell you that can now been seen on the MOCAtv web-channel.
It’s a 6 part mini-series revolving around the subject of Crime. These are all REAL stories told by the people themselves, all in an animated form. We had such contrasting stories from criminals to law enforcement to victims of crime, we enlisted the the help of a variety of incredible artists to help bring these stories to life.
It’s tough being a small studio. We don’t get contracts from Disney or Nelvana. We don’t have tax credits to cushion us, nor have millionaire moguls to back us. For the most part, we are a handful of passionate artists and storytellers and we battle everyday to continue doing what we love, which is telling compelling stories through animation. 2012 was a great year, filled with little battles and little victories.
Here is our top five moments or HIGHS of the year.
Call it, the….um….. Style 5 HIGH FIVE! (*high five)
ON TO THE TOP 5!! (in no particular order)
We were so very excited when we were approached with an opportunity to work with Richard Comely’s iconic Canadian Super-Hero. All I can say right now is that the project has been quietly in development by the newly formed Captain Canuck Incorporated and the Toronto animation house, Smiley Guy Studios. Stay Tuned!!
This is an action-packed documentary about the Barefoot Bandit. It is half live-action, half animated. We’ve been producing the animation for the 90-minute documentary since mid 2011. Look out for the festival tour, it’s gonna be a wild one!
It has been a great year filled with exciting projects, milestones, small hiccups and small victories. Thank you all for your kind words, love and support! We will continue to give you kick-ass animation and to tell compelling stories. We have lots in store for you in 2013!!
We are at the tail end of our Production, and we are still in constant awe at how brazen this kid was. Btw, he never had flown before, let alone formal flight training. You’d think after a crash landing his first flight and narrowly escaping death, you’d kinda lay low a bit, re-examine your priorities. You know, maybe some soul searching.
Or maybe he did that……. and that’s what led him to steal another four more planes.
I admit that he was a criminal and he was quite reckless at times, but I’ve developed a bit of admiration for him. He had a goal, and nothing was going to stop him from getting it.
On the Production side:
It’s funny, but we still get questions on how we do our animation, and we still get shocked reactions when we tell them that it’s mostly drawn. Yes, we still draw. This is a 2D production, with traditionally techniques. We just do it on a Cintiq.
Almost two years ago, we were approached with a very exciting project. I can’t disclose the title yet, but I can tell you it’s a Live-action/Animated Feature Documentary about um…a boy that likes to steal things. ( and by “things” I mean large flying locomotives.) No, this is not fiction, this actually happened.
Anyhoo, we’ve been working pretty hard on this project and wanted to start documenting our progress and at the same time give you a sneak peak of what’s going on behind our doors.
Phew! Now that we caught up on a bit of sleep I can finally say….WOW! What an incredible weekend! The Toronto Animation Arts Festival (TAAFI) launched their inaugural festival and it was a huge success, bringing in quite an amazing crowd. Style 5.TV contributed to the festival, creating the pre-screening bumper for the Fest. We’ve kept this under wraps for quite a bit of time, I’m so glad we can finally share it with you!
Wow! It has been such a crazy and exciting time for us. This year has been chock full of surprises, ups and downs but we couldn’t be happier. I shouldn’t reflect too much, because there is still SO MUCH TO DO! Yes, we are still hammering away on the Feature Documentary which by the way, is looking pretty sweet. I can’t wait to show you…um….next year.
In just 30 seconds of animation, Sam Chou and his team of artists have captured exactly what it’s like to live in Toronto.
Chou, from the Style5.TV animation studio, is the director behind the new “bumper ad” for the inaugural Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), which runs July 6-8 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The short film, which will play before every festival screening, uses a wealth of animation styles and locales to celebrate what “defines the city.”
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at a few of the stages we go through to get our glossy final product.
The process is definitely a slow one, it took me two weeks to do all the rough character animation, and another week for it to be cleaned up and painted. FX, tones and highlights took one more week, totaling to around 4 weeks.
FYI. This RAID project was completed almost 10 years ago, but the stages and principles have remained relatively the same, only now we’d animate using the Cintiq rather than Pencil and Paper.
Director: Sam Chou
Producer: Chuck Gammage
Final Composite: crushinc.com/