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Titmouse Founder Chris Prynoski to Be Honored at Los Angeles Animation Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

The animator sat down with Variety at Annecy to discuss his companies two films in competition and their 5 Second Films exhibition

The 2018 Los Angeles Animation Festival has announced that this year’s honoree is artist, animator, director, president and founder of independent animation studio Titmouse, Chris Prynoski.

“With Chris’ growing international reputation and his role in raising the profile of independent animation studios in the L.A. community and elsewhere, the Los Angeles Animation Festival is thrilled to feature Chris and his work at our festival this fall, [running] Nov. 30-Dec.2,” Festival co-director John Andrews told Variety.

“We know Chris’ involvement will inspire animation filmmakers from around the world to join the fun and enter their films into this year’s competitions and maybe even plan a trip to L.A.!”

Prynoski started working as an animator for MTV in the ‘90s. There he worked on iconic shows such as “Beavis and Butthead” and “Daria,” and created the Primetime Emmy-nominated “Downtown.”

In 2000, Prynoski and wife Shannon Prynoski relocated to L.A. and started Titmouse. Today the studio focuses on both original and licensed content including TV, advertising, VR, digital, music videos and feature films. They have also opened studios in Vancouver and New York.

In the past decade, the independent animation studio has racked up six Daytime Emmy nominations – winning two, one Primetime Emmy award, 16 Annie Awards and a host of other international honors.

Most recently it was announced that Titmouse animation director Mike Carlo was involved on Bobcat Goldthwait’s new TV series, “Misfits & Monsters.” Carlo updated existing designs for the characters, storyboarded and directed the animation for the series pilot which stars Seth Green, co-creator of Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken.”

It joins a jam-packed slate of content currently in production across a number of platforms, which is likely to get bigger in the near future. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements.

Currently in production, Titmouse produces content for Disney – “T.O.T.S.” “Goldie and Bear,” “Future Worm,” and “Kirby Buckets”; Netflix – “Neo Yokio,” “Big Mouth,” “Captain Underpants,” and “Home,” – the latter two with Dreamworks; Adult Swim – “Ballmastrz 9009,” “The Venture Bros.” and a host of others including Amazon, TruTV and Fox.

Variety met up with Prynoski at this year’s Annecy Intl. Animation Festival to discuss the various things he brought with him to the French festival.

You have the music video for Jay Z’s “The Story of O.J.” and a Toonami short in the Commissioned Films competition here. Can you talk a bit about them?

Yeah and I want to make sure to credit The Mill for “The Story of O.J.” They are the ones that brought the job to us. They have been so cool about giving us the credit for the work we did on it. Sometimes companies, when they sub the work out to you it’s not like they give you that credit. They really saw us as partners which is very cool.

The Toonami thing, “This Exquisite Corpse,” is like a 2.5 minute short that’s very cool. Toonami is all about acquisitions, so we’ve been featured on there [before]. We have another project we are working on now for them.

And you’re hosting an exhibit of 5-second films here as well. Can you explain the idea behind that?

Yeah, we have a day where we make a bunch of films internally. We do it every year and it’s called “5 Second Day.” We’ve been doing it for 10-11 years now. The original intent was to allow the artists to do whatever they want for that day. Initially the idea was to make a film at least 5 seconds long. Now, over the years it’s expanded and people team up and plan for it. There are hardly any films only 5 seconds long now. So this is a selection of films from the last six or seven years.

What do you animators do with such strict limitations?

There are a lot, especially in the early years, which were made to shock. We didn’t bring so many of those super-inappropriate films in our selection. There are still some adult-content films in there, but not the ones that make you say: “Oh my goodness, that’s horrible.”

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