"The Willoughbys" "The Willoughbys"

Amid the upheavals of the pandemic, the Vancouver-based Bron Media Corp. has launched Bron Digital, a new virtual production shop focused on animation.

Here are the details:

  • Bron Digital will develop and produce long-form animation for series television, short-form content, and features. It is headed by vfx veteran Jason Chen (Jojo Rabbit, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, Thor: Ragnarok).
  • Bron previously produced the animated feature The Willoughbys (image at top), produced under the Bron Animation banner, and provided production services on The Addams Family. The new division is marrying linear animation pipelines with virtual production workflows based on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. The field of virtual production has been growing rapidly for years, but interest in it has spiked during the pandemic, as its previs and virtual scouting capabilities lend themselves well to remote working.
  • Bron, which mostly makes live-action features, has felt the brunt of the lockdown. With many of its productions on hold (including Candyman, The Green Knight, Fatherhood, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Respect), it is pivoting to animation, setting up the new division with financial support from Creative Wealth Media.
  • “We needed to shift,” said Bron’s CEO Aaron L. Gilbert. “The company directed much of its creative and production teams towards the creation and now launch of this new division. Animation has been the only area of Bron capable of being in production during this pandemic as our production team is set up remotely.”
  • Chen added: “Current advances in virtual production based remote workflows and real-time cinematic game engines allow Bron’s productions to be untethered from traditional physical studio spaces. It allows for our geographically distributed creative teams to collaborate within a purely virtual multi-user experience.”
  • The company revealed that it is in its eighth week of production on Fables, an animated series “of centuries-old stories teaching timeless lessons, now retold with a modern twist to engage and teach today’s young audiences.” The eight-episode series is created by Kevin Turen (producer, Waves) and directed by Azazel Jacobs (The Lovers). Three more original premium animated series and digital film productions are scheduled to begin over the summer.


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