Celebrating 10 years in operation, ka-chew!, the commercial production company owned by Klasky Csupo founders Gabor Csupo and Arlene Klasky, has announced a significant expansion of its directorial roster. The studio’s animation work can currently be seen in careerbuilder.com’s ‘Firefly’ spot, which debuted during the Super Bowl. Other recent achievements include several currently airing spots for Mucinex and Campbell’s Soups.
Among those Joining the ka-chew! crew is Six Point Harness, a character animation collective the produced Where My Dogs At for MTV and El Tigre for Nickelodeon, as well as BET’s notorious ‘Read a Book’ PSA, which got more than two million hits on YouTube. The group also animated the recent Annie Award-winning Powershares spot ‘Escape Average,’ working under Acme Filmworks director Dave Wasson. Currently, the artists are working with ka-chew! to produce animation for a campaign promoting Sweet Peppers Deli for client Maris West & Baker in Jackson, Mississippi.
Miles Flanagan has been animating and directing TV titles for Klasky Csupo since 1997. He now heads Parallax Studio, which is signed for spot work with ka-chew! Flanagan’s direction on the long-running rotoscope ‘Your Potential/Our Passion’ campaign for Microsoft and cut-out animation for Visa were both widely recognized.
To create a commercial campaign for Captain D’s Seafood Restaurants, ka-chew! turned to Seattle-based independent filmmaker David Russo, whose award-winning film, I Am (Not) Van Gogh, toured with Don Hertzfeldt’s and Mike Judge’s The Animation Show. he has also created original animation for the Thom Yorke video ‘Harrowdown Hill.’
Also tapped by ka-chew! are YouTube stars Paul Cummings and Tony Fiandaca, who created the pixelated live-action fight film Tony vs Paul. They also shot a series of comic shorts to promote last year’s Balls of Fury movie release and a tie-in with Butterfingers.
Working under renowned international director Suthon Petchsuman, Elliot M. Bour directed animation for the careerbuilder.com ‘Firefly’ Super bowl spot for ad agency Wieden+Kennedy. Bour previously co-directed with Saul Blinkoff a five-spot anti-smoking campaign titled ‘The Sunny Side of Truth’ through Curious Pictures. He also helmed the direct-to-DVD feature Kronk’s New Groove and the MTV animated series Spy Groove.
Liz Blazer directed the award-winning animated documentary Backseat Bingo, which was based on interviews with retirees about their sex lives. For ka-chew!, she has directed a web campaign to promote the reality TV series Bridezillas and a series of animated shorts for Cartoon Network. Ka-chew! hopes to sell Blazer’s warm, animated documentary style to the advertising community.
Last, but not, least, ka-chew! has enlisted the talents of Carolle-Shelley Abrams, who created the animated character Natalie the French Coquette. Her shorts, including Oola Oop L’eau de Ooh, Oola Oop Diner and Alien Dinner Theater, have been widely seen on the animation festival circuit and are available on iTunes.
In addition to the new directors mentioned above, ka-chew! recently signed vfx supervisor Lochlon Johnston, formerly of Zoic Studios; CG supervisor Matt Rosenfeld, a veteran of the company’s Mucinex campaign and also from Zoic; and senior producer/head of production Michaela Zerbib, most recently of Nickelodeon’s Burbank studio.