We won an Emmy for our VR animation, Invasion! We are execs from Pixar, Blizzard, and DreamWorks. We are Baobab Studios, ask us anything!
Update: Thank you all so much for your questions!! We’re thrilled to see so much interest in our studio, team and projects! We have to sign off for now, but we will be back to chime in and answer questions as our schedules allow. Thanks again, and we hope you all learned something today! -The Baobab Team
We’re Baobab Studios, an Emmy-award winning VR animation studio! Our first VR animation, “Invasion!” starring Ethan Hawke, just won the Emmy, with Roth Kirschenbaum Films (Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman, Alice in Wonderland) signed on to adapt it into a feature film. Invasion! garnered laurels from film festivals globally, from Tribeca to Cannes. It is one of the most downloaded experiences across the VR ecosystem, and is available on all major VR platforms including Oculus, Daydream, PSVR, VIVE, Samsung, Within, Hulu and others. Our second animation ASTEROIDS! starring Elizabeth Banks was an official 2017 Sundance Film Festival selection and our latest Rainbow Crow, starring John Legend, Diego Luna, and Constance Wu made its premiere at Tribeca Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival this year.
Maureen Fan (Maureen4Baobab)
Hey reddit! I’m Maureen, CEO and co-founder of Baobab Studios. I love animation and took a circuitous path to get here. FF8 convinced me to pursue a career in it (though 9 is my favorite), but my parents told me I'd be destitute if I worked in film and forbade it. I was UI designer and PM at eBay, then assistant to Zach Braff and Joseph Gordon Levitt's talent manager, then got an MBA, interned at Pixar on the Toy Story 3 production team, then joined Zynga at the very beginning (crazy ride), became VP of games looking over the Farmvilles. Still couldn't shake my first love of animation, so worked with my friends Dice and Robert from Pixar (and now Tonko House) on Totoro Forest Project, Sketchtravel, and then The Dam Keeper (2015 Oscar nom animated short). I fell in love with VR when my game devs hacked animation into a headset. Realized it was the future of animation and jumped head in. In my spare time, I play Zelda (am a bit obsessive about collecting all the korok seeds) and hope one day Baobab will be so successful that I can ride Shadowfax in my own Shire.
Eric Darnell (Eric4Baobab)
Whats up Reddit?! I’m chief creative officer and co-founder of Baobab Studios. I earned my degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and my master’s degree in experimental animation from The California Institute of the Arts. My first "real" animation job was directing a music video for REM ("Get Up", from Green). Over the past 25 years as a computer animation director, screenwriter, story artist, film director, and executive producer. I was the director and screenwriter on all four films in the “Madagascar” franchise. This was a DECADE of my life/career. Today I'm running into adults who say that the Madagascar movies were a big part of their growin' up. That's pretty cool. Before Baobab, I directed DreamWorks' very first animated feature film, “Antz,” which features Woody Allen, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken, and Sharon Stone -- and yes, I got to work with all of them! Woody Allen was amazing, had great ideas and had more stamina that almost any other actor I've worked with. When I'm not at work I like to ride my electic fatbike, hike, go to museums, goof around on my guitars, watch movies, go to Hanalei Bay and I still play TF2 on my PC -- look for Mr. Peppertree. Okay, I confess to playing Hearthstone and Clash of Clans, too. I got into VR after my future co-founder, Maureen, put a headset on my head. VR is definitely something you have to try in order to fully understand. Well, on that first try I was blown away and together, with Larry, we formed Baobab a few weeks later.
Larry Cutler (Larry4Baobab)
What’s up Reddit! I am the CTO and co-founder of Baobab Studios. I admit to being a computer geek from a very young age, using my elementary school’s PET computer to create Star Wars video games. I studied computer science at Stanford, and as a grad student did early VR research into two-handed interactions with 6DOF input devices (a topic that is now relevant 20 years later). I never realized that I could combine CG and storytelling until I watched Toy Story. So I began my career in computer animation at Pixar as a Technical Director on the films Monster’s Inc.,Toy Story 2, and A Bug’s Life. After Pixar, I joined DreamWorks Animation, where I became the Global Head of Character Technology, leading character development, animation workflow, rigging, and character simulation. I worked on a number of films including Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and How to Train Your Dragon. I left DreamWorks to be VP of Solutions at an early-stage big data analytics startup company Metanautix which was acquired by Microsoft. During this time I put on a DK2 and immediately fell in love again with the magic and promise of VR. Maureen, Eric, and I formed Baobab soon after to redefine animation in this new storytelling medium.
- Website: www.baobabstudios.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/baobabstudios
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/baobabstudios
Invasion! 360 Full Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ0fKW5PttM
Asteroids! Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BPKp0PYjBs
Rainbow Crow Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTm1wPqF4YQ