HOW WE DO IT
The journey linking technology, art, and storytelling.
Film & Animation
The origin story. A group of independent artists came together in Brooklyn, New York and leaned into film and animation with a collective understanding of each other’s passions, aspirations, and direction. Every artist freelance, but with a creative backbone to support and encourage one another. No nepotism, no cults, and no overlords managing an artists’ creative. A family, if you will.
With early access to beta technology from HTC and Oculus came the opportunity to expand capabilities into virtual reality. While working out of a home office in Crown Heights, artist Yo-Yo Lin brought her art installation into the digital space with Ricerca VR, showcased at festivals around the world. The success of Ricerca VR sparked the Family’s deep dive into using VR, and through a collaboration with Neurostorm Studios came STROKE VR, an experience depicting the after-effects of having a Stroke based on a true story backed by neurological facts. The niche combination of tech and science provided a space to heighten user empathy especially following crisis, but this would be a cornerstone example of the Family’s desire to merge technology and storytelling.
Physical + Digital
The exploration of virtual reality as an artistic medium led the Family to combine its newfound digital knowledge with physical spaces. Alongside local New York performers, the Family launched BeingWith_, an environment encouraging immersive storytelling and group reflection through physiological engagement. The Family then collaborated with Google’s Tiltbrush, furthering knowledge in the mixed reality medium. This became the Family’s first R&D opportunity with virtual production, real-time camera tracking, and a real-deal project. The first of many, as the Family designed multiple (NDA-heavy) VR experiences using Unity and Unreal Engine. The Family closed out the year producing STEEZ Day, a concert and music video honoring the late Brooklyn rapper Capital STEEZ.
The end of 2016 set the tone for the upcoming year; in 2017, the Family’s expertise in physical production, animation, and film came together to support musicians on a local and worldwide level. The year began with an original immersive installation for Sunni Colon called MANIFEST 1.0 in an effort to build a multi-sensory space connecting unrealeased music to participants. And it worked. Going into the second half of 2017, the Family dug into its animation side, building fully-original visuals accommodating respective artists’ performances - Joey Bada$$, Young M.A, Wale, Sean Price, T-Pain. Sometimes this also involved going on tour sending Family all over the world to VJ live. It would be the first time the Family went on tour, but certainly not the last.
Creating digital animations for musicians rekindled the Family’s love for projections. Focusing on projection mapping, the Family alongside the Taiwanese Tourism Board created Blue Tears with the intent of building an experiential cinematic installation highlighting the bioluminscent algae that lives on the Matsu Islands. The Family also worked with Kafnu Taipei to build custom projections for a tech-centric co-working space. To keep up with rising technology, the Family also continued to R&D photogrammetry and augmented reality techniques. One of which included an installation for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, mapping famous Frankestein visuals over participants’ faces. Spooky.
Back to the Family’s film roots. And film they did. Tapping into the world of Broadway, the Family became a major vendor for theater by producing the marketing material for Sing Street, Chicago, Ms. Doubtfire, Derren Brown, Slave Play, Mike Birbiglia's The New One, Phantom of the Opera, and Moulin Rouge. On top of physical and post-production, the Family built out marketing campaigns for Facebook Boost, Walmart, PayPal, Simon G, and more.
To mention the effects of a worldwide pandemic on an independent studio would be stating the obvious. To kick off an unprecedented year, the Family designed and built a visual identity for the 2020 Splice Awards then created and developed a show for Arctic Basecamp at the World Economic Forum. Written and produced by the Family, Make Earth Cool Again was filmed across multiple continents and programmed into a 3+ hour live-stream event in partnership with SoulPancake. And yes, Robert Downey Jr. and Billie Eilish were there.
When life gives you vaccines, you take a leap of faith in advancing your industry. The latest development is an accumulation of all of the Family’s experiences merging technology with art. A venture located in the heart of their favorite borough, where the limit of production doesn’t come from asking “what can’t be done” but “what can we do?” Virtual Production is the process of physical production integrated with digital realtime animation. The Family’s Brooklyn studio features over 80’ of LED screens outfitted with Disguise, Arri Alexa, virtual camera tracking systems, Unreal Engine, and unreleased digital tools. Years in the making, this technology allows a new breed of filmmakers to bring ideas to life and opens up a world of narrative exploration.
Now let’s tell your story.