Reproduced from: http://thewatermark.co.uk/2010/10/2d-tales-chog-zoo-animation/
Take 2D: Chog Zoo Animation
Award-winning animation duo Kyle Webster and Andrew Jolly, founders of Chog Zoo Animation have joined The Watermark party and we’re just a little bit tipsy about it. As if it wasn’t enough that they scooped this year’s European Entrepreneurship Video Award (under 25’s) and have been splashed across the local, national and European media, they’ve now leaped onto Insider Magazine’s list of the North West’s most promising entrepreneurs to watch: ’42 Under 42’. We may have to put down a bit of red carpet outside their studio at this rate! Has all this fame and glory gone to their head? Not at all, but it has given them the confidence to take risks and strike out from the pack:
“At this moment we’re moving against the curve by staying within 2D animation, when a lot of companies these days are working in 3D. This has worked quite well for us, because 2D is becoming more of a sought out medium. We don’t know many other companies in the North West doing what we do, which means we attract a great portion of the interest for our field.”
Friends since childhood, Kyle and Andrew graduated from UCLAN together (after scooping an animation award there too of course). Inspired by a combination of contemporary animation, old-style Disney and Japanese originals, especially the work of Studio Ghibli, setting-up their own studio seemed the only sensible option.
After a six-month NESTA business development course, the boys successfully pitched for enough funding to create their business identity, before throwing themselves into the professional bear-pit of competitions and the real marketplace. It didn’t take them long to scoop another prize, this time with the help of some climate-change-conquering-koalas, and the good ship Chog Zoo Animation had been launched.
“People don’t always realize that a business like ours requires daunting investment in technology just to set-up”, said Kyle. ”Talent comes first but to be really competitive and cutting-edge in this field, you need serious computing equipment.” Fortunately, talent usually finds a way and in this case secured the recent graduates the ‘Manchester is My Planet’ / CIS Insurance competition cash prize and their first serious computer, setting them on their path to a pan-European business profile. Even so, software and hardware updates are a constant reality of this business. ”That’s probably one of our biggest challenges now as a growing business”, muses Kyle.
Joining us from a converted studio garage, Stream Studio in The Watermark is quite a change for Chog Zoo. There’s so much digital media in The Watermark that there’s a really useful hub of computer knowledge, which is handy in such a technology-dependent sector. On the networking side, they’re now part of a community of creative sector businesses and can even source collaborators and even new clients within the complex itself. Stream Studio is a new incubator programme developed by The Watermark and funded initially by Preston City Council, set-up to support creative entrepreneurs with innovative new ideas and recently started businesses to grow and develop into new markets and areas of work.
18 months after setting up, Chog Zoo Animation’s client base is strikingly broad, ranging from corporate clients to children’s workshops. Encompassing character design to animated advertising, the studio pretty much caters for all those who need animation to boost their brand. Clients have included JamPR, Farida Guitars, Loving Outdoors, The Debt Advice Foundation, Bluestreak Arts, The African Caribbean Society and of course CIS insurance amongst others.
We asked them how they balance the practical aspects of business life with keeping creative inspiration flowing:
“Sometimes we can base a whole idea on one thing that makes us laugh. I think if you start off with something funny it can inspire you to flesh out a whole concept. I’d like to think that we get inspired to create animations after we’ve seen other pieces that we consider to be really good, but you can sometimes fall into the trap of feeling that your work will never be as good as that! On the whole though, staying up to date with what everyone else is doing, and trying to make each other laugh are the two things that we constantly do to try and inspire each other to make better pieces.”
Ali Kay, 2010
This is a Creative Profile by Piction Media
Tags: 2D animation, 42 under 42, Ali Kay, Andrew Jolly, Animation, Chog Zoo, creative profile, European Entrepreneurship Video Award, Kyle Webster, Matt Kay, NESTA, Piction Media, The Watermark, UCLAN