Everyone is talking about IP. And it’s no exaggeration to say that there are mounting concerns around infringement of rights and the impact this might have on the future of our industry. Annnd yet, ever the optimist, we firmly believe that in order to deliver engaged audiences, there will always be a creative solution, therefore requiring… you guessed it, creativity.
In our third edition, creatively named ‘The IP Edition’ we’ll walk you through some of our proudest original moments in time, IP we’ve developed from the ground up. As well as a glance at some of the long lasting, fan fueling, technology bending and impact driving IP we’ve helped to deliver for our clients.
How have we been? Shucks, thanks for asking! The past few months have been a real *riot* with the release of our music video for Riot Games' League of Legends 2023 world championship anthem, Amazon Ads showing big love to small businesses, unleashing advancements for Quantum Fiber and of course the third chapter of our serial lore exploration for EA's Apex Legends.
HERE'S OUR LATEST...
It is often discussed how art imitates life or how the inverse sentiment can also be true, but not talked about often enough is the point that art can be life’s harshest critic - as is the case in Psyop co-Founders and co-Directors Marie Hyon and Marco Spier’s short film ‘Bottle Cap’.
Inspired by a trip to a remote island where even the tiniest nugget of plastic managed to wash ashore, the story explores how one human’s trash became a fiddler crab’s treasure and the main source of his misguided optimism.
In a heartbreakingly poetic dose of dramatic irony, our hero ShelTon's relatable fast-acting euphoria over his new toy plunges the audience into a wave of sympathy that is too close for comfort and subsequently ushers in the unsettling understanding of what feeds our societal commitment to overconsumption and, therefore, our culture of copious waste.
GOING DEEP WITH
CO-DIRECTORS MARCO + MARIE
Q: We live in a consumerist culture that is too hung up on obtaining the latest iPhone or complying with the “TikTok Made Me Buy It” craze to consider the existence and strife of other living things. How can entertainment be used to open humanity's eyes to the world that we’re too busy to think about and help us to understand the role we play in it all?
Marie: The struggle is real in our new normal. It’s true that our attention is pulled in a million directions, so it's more important than ever to ground ourselves in the stories that remind us of our shared humanity, inspire empathy for earth’s living creatures, to love our world’s nature that binds us all, and see the cost of the materials we consume and discard so easily. As creators, we can utilize entertainment to raise awareness of our causes we believe in, become its champion, and embrace narratives that challenge our perception
Stories have a powerful ability to transport us, to introduce us to unfamiliar cultures, ideas, and perspectives. Stories, as old as time, have the power to change our world. It is our universal language that can teach us empathy and compassion. Having been working in the commercial world for years, I’d be a hypocrite to say that I wasn’t an accomplice to our world’s pollution. It was our job to tell a story to connect with our audience- in the service of selling a product. But we began to realize that our stories had such unintended consequences in the world — that is when we decided we need to pay back for the damages we cause over the years.TAKE ME DEEPER
BOOKWORM-Y CINEPHILES... YOU MAY WANT TO SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE. LEGENDARY FILMMAKER WERNER HERZOG'S NOVEL, THE TWILIGHT WORLD, WHICH HAS CAPTIVATED READERS SINCE ITS RELEASE IN 2021, HAS BEEN OPTIONED ( YES, BY US ) TO BE ADAPTED INTO AN ANIMATED FEATURE.
The story immortalizes the life of Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese soldier who, unaware the fighting was over, defended a small island in the Philippines for twenty-nine years after the end of World War II. Meditating on the purpose and meaning we give our lives, the novel is part documentary, part poem, and part dream which equates to an account absolutely begging to be adapted into motion.
PSYOP EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS AMANDA MILLER AND ANDREW LINSK HAVE NOSES WELL TUNED FOR SNIFFING OUT THIS SORT OF ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY AND WE COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED THAT HERZOG HIMSELF IS ATTACHED AS CO-WRITER AND CO-DIRECTOR FOR HIS FIRST FORAY INTO THE WORLD OF ANIMATION.
psyop: How long have you been Psyop and what is your role?
AM: I was working at a stodgy old school ad agency and I had a deep love of animation. When I joined Psyop, I knew that the format and distribution of advertising was already changing, so I wanted to be in a place that was prepared to thrive in that “new media environment” which is now really just a “media environment”. I started at Psyop as a producer and became an EP shortly thereafter. We had a development executive who was brought in to help explore the long form and original content space. She was super generous with her information and her contacts. Crucially, she helped me think about how creative works within the marketplace – where does your idea fit in the marketplace and how can you position your project? She also flogged the idea that STORYSTORYSTORY is the most important part of the long form space. I have since diversified my role outside Psyop. I manage all Supercell work which has been a career highlight, I’m part of the Psyop Originals program and I have a play in a variety of other projects working with the likes of Hulu, Nike and Google. But I also have projects that I produce independently including a short film anthology at HBO Max called Only You. I've had multiple projects in development at Netflix and Cartoon Network.
SEASON ONE, EPISODE ONE
[ TRANSCRIPT ]
A film which at first glance seems like the tale of a cargo ship's landlubber passenger attempting to form his own pair of sea legs, 'Christopher at Sea' paints the feeling of desire as a palpable saline mist and tackles the telling of one man's journey through intense bouts of introspection REGARDING HIS SEXUALITY that ultimately culminateS into the uncorking of an effervescent obsession that’s been bubbling restlessly beneath the surface of his seemingly subdued facade.
Seven years in the making, with Director Tom CJ Brown spending 21 days of that time as a passenger aboard a cargo ship himself making the pilgrimage from Southampton to New York firsthand, the story is juxtaposed against a hyper-masculine backdrop which casts the industrial pocket of our world in an entirely alien context of distilled lust and waltzes with bursts of homoeroticism.
PERHAPS YOU KNEW ALL THIS ALREADY THOUGH... IF YOU MANAGED TO CATCH ONE OF THE SCREENINGS DURING THE QUEER THRILLER'S BEHEMOTH FESTIVAL RUN:
School's out for summer in Coventry, the capital city of the Witching Realm, however Liliandra is forced to hang back and skip out on on the witchy summer camp fun. just like every other year, SHE'S orderED to practice her potioncraft as decreed by her mega-successful, perfectionist mother, Mila. Fresh out of the 7th grade but operating with apathy at a 10th grade level, Lil discovers a portal to the human world which she uses to crash the chronically magic-less party and finally achieve the dream of attending summer camp. The only catch is that her identity as a spell-casting, cauldron-toting, broom-riding sorceress must be kept secret from her fellow, abundantly "normal" campers.
Our self proclaimed "profusely illustrated tale of friendship and mystery", Camp W, is a storybook-style visual novel ( available free to play on Steam ) that makes players feel as though they're clicking through a distant childhood memory as they progress the story through a maze of choices that ultimately lead their character down the path to self-acceptance. A piece of work with this much heart, this many charming monsters and ghouls, and this good looking deserves a longer form approach. Perhaps even serial. Right? Right... we're working on that. We'll have an update next time we're lined 'round the campfire singing kumbaya.
In our adult animated comedy series 'Devil May Care', it was, at first, only Heaven and Earth. However, it didn't take all that long for God ( voiced by Jack McBrayer because it's the only logical choice ) to realize there needed to be a dark, pustulating, decrepit, seedy corner of the universe to stow away all of humanity's undesirables. Enter: Devil ( voiced by Alan Tudyk because we are of sound mind).
Devil misunderstood the assignment and tossed the previous fire and brimstone schtick by the wayside in order to gentrify the hell outta Hell. He's given it a metropolis makeover and tacked on the freshly deceased Beans ( voiced by Asif Ali ) as social media manager to the Underworld for the complete package.
Created by Emmy award winning, 'Robot Chicken' Head Writer / Executive Producer and our friend Doug Goldstein, the coming-of-eternal-damnation story follows Beans as he settles into his new position that adds a secondary definition to WFH ( work from hell... get it? ) and his budding friendship with the HEAD HONCHO himself. Playing on demand via the SyFy app and rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes thank you very much.
Everyone knows cats have insatiable bloodlust- science tells us the feline brain is the size of a 2 year old human's balled fist and 90% is dedicated to fabricating lethal booby traps while the remaining 10% is equal parts 'canned tuna' and 'expensive chaise lounge as scratching post’. We’re inspired by the imaginative nature of it all, thus our series 'Grandma's Cats Are Trying to Kill Her', created in collaboration with DreamWorksTV, was born.
Spry, young Lucas is spending the summer at Grandma's house and even though all he had on his to-do list for the next two months was "engorge self with candy" and "play video games while engorging self with candy", his moral compass usurped his annual sabbatical from school and dedicated it to preventing his Grandma's cats from committing a murder most foul. We're talkin' robotic cat monsters! Jerry–rigged mini golf disasters! La-Z-Boy leisure time gone awry!
Season one, Executive Produced by Amanda Miller and Directed by Psyop’s Head of Animation Jean-Dominique Fievet, is now available to watch free via Peacock Kids on YouTube.