‘Why Pray?’ by Cumi
June 6, 2012 in Recommendations
Recently, 24-7 Prayer, an international movement of prayer, contracted animation studio cumi to create a project entitled ‘Why Pray?’ The Artist Circle caught up Mark Kessler, Creative Director with cumi, for a quick Q&A regarding their roots and their creative process:
What is Cumi and where are you located?
Cumi is an animation company based in Wembley, London. After my wife and I had just got married we both lost our jobs and we felt that God wanted us to begin our own animation company. We prayed about the name and He gave us the name cumi (Mark 5:41). Over the past years we have been non-stop.
What type of work do you do? Animation, Illustration, Print? What types of clients do you serve?
We do all types of animation work and have a real passion for illustration which I think is apparent in the kind of work we do.
Cumi appears to do a lot of charity work. What value is there for cumi as a business to do work with charities?
A lot of companies pay a fortune to get the best advertisements done and I’ve always felt that charities deserve the best and shouldn’t have to pay for it. The charity work we do is an opportunity to give back plus I find it keeps us humble and not focused on money.
What was the creative brief that you got from 24-7 Prayer?
For the 24-7 Prayer animation we did, it began with a series of chats with the 24-7 team about some ides they had. Having not done any animation work before they wanted us to help steer them through the process, so we worked closely with them to help capture their ideas and rein things in to get to an idea which was doable with the restraints we had.
What is your typical process from getting a brief to creating your final product?
We are visual people, so whenever we get a brief, the first thing we like to do is create some concept art. This is very useful at the beginning of any project as it firstly irons out the look and feel, and secondly, it’s a great way to be inspired before the real work begins. When you create static images and characters you want to see them move.
What software did you use to create your designs and animation? Were any parts created using traditional animation techniques?
The characters were all hand drawn into Flash which is a great piece of software that a lot of traditional, hand-drawn animators are using as apposed to Toon Boom and other such software.
How many people worked on the project?
We had only two of us working on this project due to the work load we had on at the time. It’s one of those things where you wish you had more people available. However, I think we did a good job between us.
Did you design the characters? What was the process behind their design?
We worked with Bishoy Gendi,an extremely good designer and animator to develop the characters. I oversaw the designs and we tweaked them where necessary.
What was the most challenging part of the project?
I think the most challenging part of the project was getting a lot done in the tightness of the budget. We squeezed every penny and as we were employing someone there was only so much we could ask of them.
What part of the project was the most fun?
For some reason, the monkey on the rock floating in space was the most fun.
This video has become so popular, that 24-7 Prayer is even offering fun wallpaper downloads of various stills from the movie, which can be found HERE.
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