Quietly tucked away in the residential Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, Form & Fiction may not seem as majestic and whimsical as, say, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Even with years of experience in video production, we haven’t quite figured out how television chocolate works, and our famous Manhattans are only as everlasting as our current whiskey stock allows. Even so, there’s still plenty of pure imagination in our fuel tank. Taking a moment to reflect on the challenges we faced in 2017, the creative confections we dared to make, and the dreams we have going forward makes one thing abundantly clear: this ragtag crew of Oompa Loompas is here to do much more than just sing and dance.
2017 didn’t wait long to hand us our first challenge, since it was less than a month into January when a bad egg made 1600 Pennsylvania Ave his home. Like many communities all over the country, we wanted to take a stand against the hatred and discrimination Donald Trump represents in our country. To us, bringing light to this darkness wasn’t about angry protests. It was about finding unexpected hope, it was about remembering how to laugh, and it was about working to improve ourselves. Hair to the Throne allowed us to achieve all three. This animated short about Trump’s Hair breaking out as the unlikely superhero kept our message lighthearted, while pushing us to explore our artistic and political sensibilities.
Steering clear of flavor-changing bubble gum in 2017, we still managed to get a taste of the future. We developed and deepened our relationship with Mayfield Robotics to bring their adorable home robot Kuri into households all over the country. “But, what does it do?” was the question on a lot of people’s mind. “How do we promote something that’s first of its kind?” was the question on ours. We worked closely with the Kuri team through brainstorming marathons and challenging yet incredibly fun days on sets around the Bay Area. All said and done, we felt pretty lucky to nurture this friendship and loved the opportunity to be original storytellers of how a robot from the future connects with families of today.
Pumping a steady flow of scrumdidlyumptiousness through our chocolate idea pipes, we broke ground on another exciting and unfamiliar (to us) project: a mockumentary about the people of Form & Fiction. Most passion projects in the office begin with “wouldn’t it be funny if we made…?” and end with “wow, how the hell did we even pull that off?” and this 40 minute film was no different. You’ll hear much more on this soon, after we put the finishing touches on the project and package it up for viewing on a device near you.
Finally, what’s a more appropriate way to end the year than with a toast to the next? Over some adult sodas we decided that we’ve been drinking other people’s Fizzy Lifting Drinks for far too long, and that if the likes of George Clooney and Diddy (P Daddy? Puffy Doody?) could have their own cool brands of libations, so could we. Besides handsomeness for days and millions in the bank, what do they really have that we don’t, right? We released our first holiday batch of tequila to our good friends, and have more arriving in 2018 for all our thirsty amigos. If you’re interested in getting a taste, drop us a line or stop by the studio and we’ll hook you up. And for those of you who ruined your tequila palate at some regrettable house party back in college, don’t worry a bit. Tequila is only the beginning for our XXX XXX brand.
An animated adventure, a robot of the (near) future, a mockumentary, and our own line of tequila. And that’s just a fraction of all the work we created and new friendships we formed in 2017. Each of our accomplishments, big or small, grows the launchpad for the everything we’ll explore in the coming years. Just like Wonka experienced, some of these projects won’t turn out perfectly, and our transition from one challenge to the next may take us down some dark and mysterious tunnels. And much like “chocolate factory” cannot possibly describe everything that happens within the walls of Wonka’s manufacturing masterpiece, we hope that our adventures take us far beyond any traditional agency or studio out there in 2018 and beyond.
Cheers to you all, and happy new year!