Conference Expanding Realities AR / VR / MR
ONLINE Meidinger-Saal presented by Unity Technologies Friday, May 06, 17:00

The Intersection Of Innovation And Creative Storytelling At Baobab Studios - A presentation with the filmmakers of Namoo

A world leader in independent interactive animation, Baobab Studios embraces a unique technological and creative spirit that is consistent throughout every project it embarks upon. In this 45 minute presentation, the filmmakers will discuss the making of Namoo, winner of this year's Annie Award for Best Special Production, and how the intersection of storytelling, art and technology is enabling the story to be told across different, equally captivating mediums from headsets and TV screens, to cinemas and even planetariums. 

NAMOO is a narrative poem come to life through hand-crafted animation. Inspired by the passing of the director's grandfather, NAMOO—which translates to “tree” in Korean— follows both the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end. It was written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Erick Oh (OPERA) and marks his most personal and ambitious work to date. The film was produced by nine-time Emmy Award-winning Baobab Studios, executive produced by John Cho and produced by Larry Cutler, Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan and Kane Lee. It most recently received the Best Animated Short prize from the 2022 Gold List Awards, and the 2022 Annie Award for Best Special Production. 

Please note, this presentation is only available on May 6.

Erick Oh, Oscar-nominated Director

Erick Oh is a 2021 Oscar nominated Korean filmmaker / artist based in California, USA. His films have been introduced and awarded at numerous film festivals including Academy Awards, Annie Awards, Annecy Animation Festival, Zagreb Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, Anima Mundi and more. With his background in fine art in Seoul National University, Korea and film at UCLA, USA, Erick became an animator at Pixar Animation Studios from 2010 to 2016. Then Erick directed ‘PIG : The Dam Keeper Poems’ which won the Crystal Award at Annecy Animation Festival 2018. His recent project, Opera, was just nominated for this year’s Oscars for Best Animated Short. Erick joined Baobab Studios to create Namoo and will be working on a variety of projects in film/animation, VR/AR, and also the contemporary art scene in US and South Korea.

Kane Lee, Head of Content, Baobab Studios

Multi-Emmy Award-winning producer Kane Lee heads content for Baobab Studios.  Lee has always led at the intersection of technology and media. He masterminded the first- ever adaptation of VR IP (Invasion!) into a traditional feature film. With new technology mediums, IP is usually adapted the opposite way, from Hollywood to new medium, but Roth Kirschenbaum Films signed on to partner with Baobab to bring Invasion! to the silver screen. Lee is lead producer of 20th Century Fox’s feature film based on the Academy Award - nominated short, The Dam Keeper, and is on producing teams for projects ranging from The School for Good and Evil at Universal Pictures to Frozen writer/director Jennifer Lee’s The Way Between to the international award-winning children’s series Spooksville. Previously Lee was Vice President of Development and Production for Jane Startz Productions and worked on Horton Hears A Who!, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Robots for Blue Sky Studios. He is an advisor in interactive media for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Anika Nagpal, Production Manager, Baobab Studios

Anika Nagpal is Creative Development Supervisor at Baobab Studios where she manages the earliest stages of story and art development on a number of animated series and feature projects. Previously she was the Production Manager on Baobab Studio’s Namoo. She has been a speaker at conferences and events including the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Kidscreen, SIGGRAPH and VIEW Conference. Anika holds undergraduate degrees in Visual Art and Human Biology from Stanford University.

Dan Franke, Lead Quill Artist, Studio Syro

Dan Franke is co-founder of Studio Syro, a virtual animation studio with an international team of designers, animators, and developers using the VR painting tool Quill to produce hand-crafted experiences both in and out of VR. He has recently directed “Tales from Soda Island”, the world's first VR series entirely created in VR. 

Having directed the children’s TV series “Petzi” at Studio Soi in Germany and coming from a professional background in 3D Modeling, Animation, and Concept Art, he has always felt the need to create stories without the limits of huge teams and production budgets.

The VR tool Quill allowed him to overcome those boundaries and since then he has realized a variety of projects, ranging from installations, educational programs, short films, game design, and music videos.  

VR enables him to create and experience his work in a fully immersive and intuitive way and he is convinced it has the potential to profoundly revolutionize the animation industry profoundly. Being able to walk within his painting and stand right next to his characters lets him engage with his art on an entirely different, emotional level. He is sharing his knowledge with the VR community with great enthusiasm and has begun teaching Quill in workshops all over Europe.