Our Featured Animation Studio for April is the award-winning Cyclops Animation Studio. Cyclops is another Atlanta-based studio, but with a different medium — stop motion animation. With a heap of entrepreneurial spirit, they’re ready to bring more stop motion creation to the animation game in Atlanta.
“Atlanta is kicking butt in the entire entertainment industry, no question about it, and animation is no exception,” says Mikael Trench, Founder, Cyclops Animation Studios. “As a stop motion animator, I wish I could see more representation here for the medium, which is part of the goal of creating this studio.”
Still in its beginning stages, Trench founded Cyclops when he was still in high school, but the studio is already winning awards.
“In 2015, during my last year of high school, I made what I consider to be my first real short film, “Of Cat & Creature”, a stop motion horror short about a cat scientist with an oversized mustache who must confront a monster he has kept in captivity,” says Trench. With the creation of the film, came the creation of the studio, and Trench decided to brand his work under the studio name.
Trench is in his third year at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), but he is heavily involved in the animation community in Atlanta. He’s president of the Stop Motion Club at SCAD, and he’s working on a series of short stop motion animation films to help promote the company Club SciKidz, a science and tech summer camp for kids.
“The SciKidz, are a trio of science loving kiddos, who always find themselves in silly situations,” says Trench. “It’s been a great relationship so far, as they’ve allowed me plenty of creative freedom on these projects and have been good at communicating and accepting ideas.”
At the Isles, we’re firm believers in creating stories now, and Trench is no different.
“So many other people my age have stories they want to tell but think the only way you can do so is by working for the fanciest studios, using the highest-end tech, and making perfect, shiny animation,” he says. “While there’s nothing wrong with striving for this goal, there is nothing stopping those people from making their own stuff right now.”
Ready for Take Off
Being so new in his career, Trench has a good idea of where he wants to take things and is growing more and more as an artist. “First off, I want to improve myself as an artist and storyteller,” he says. “I just want the studio to grow both as a business and a place for artists to work with one another. My ultimate goal is to work in stop motion feature films, primarily focusing on writing and directing, and my studio would produce.”
And he really understands the importance of giving back. “So many young artists have a dying passion for this industry but may not have the resources to go to an expensive art school or know where to start their career. My hope is to reach out to young artists from various backgrounds through easy-access programs that allow them to collaborate and get their hands dirty in the field.”
With big ideas, fantastic storytelling skills, and the desire to invest in future animators, it’s clear that Cyclops Animation Studios is on its way. “It’s an exciting time to be alive for all creators, and I hope to be at least one small part in this ever-growing and lively industry.”