France’s Hue Dada! Unveils ‘Blackboard Monsters,’ Lineup, New-Generation Technology (EXCLUSIVE)

Blackboard Monsters
© Hue Dada ! Productions

Paris-based Hue Dada!, a startup CGI animation studio, has put into development “Blackboard Monsters” (“MonstrOtableau”), an edutainment comedy that looks set to roll off the technological innovation at the heart of the new company.

Forging a fun universe for 3-5s, “Blackboard Monsters” is written by Hue Dada! editorial director Sophie Decroisette whose lengthy screenplay credits take in multi-prized productions such as “The Babaloos,” “Code Lyoko,” “Cédric,” “Lou!,” “Sherlock Yack,” “Maya the Bee” Season 2 and “Heidi.”

The director of “Code Lyoko,” “Lou!,” “Sherlock Yack,” “Heidi,” “Maya the Bee” Season 2, Jérôme Mouscadet, Hue Dada! art director and director, will supervise various other directors on “Blackboard Monsters.”

The series turns on Crapieuvre and Souribou, two funny heroes who “take the blackboard by storm” – according to Hue Dada! – bringing learning, songs, nursery rhymes and participatory games to a pre-school audience.

“Blackboard Monsters” joins a burgeoning slate of originals and work for hire at the production and services outfit. Hue Dada! also has a series in development for 8-12 year olds turning on the very French theme of baking, with the participation of a famous pastry chef. as well as a short format series for adults, made in co-production with a stand-up comedian, about around the grey areas of open spaces.

As for work for hire, works in progress or already delivered take in the production on CGI animation of “Maya the Bee” for a TV commercial for Lidl Slovakia, in partnership with France’s Studio 100 group, production of modules for TF1’s interstitial program Les Hoofs to be broadcast on children’s service TFOU after Summer 2020; creation of 3D characters for a loyalty program based on a new Studio100 IP; and interactive CGI animation for a unspecified major European amusement park.

In line with the fast-broadening gamut of most French animation companies, Hue Dada! Productions aims to develop projects for a broad target audience of pre-school, kids, teenagers, young adults and adults.

It will provide three types of service, the company said in a written statement Thursday.  One is the production of CGI animation for all types of audiovisual projects. Two others take in prototyping of CGI animation projects, validating artistic and technical choices, and fine-tuning budgets and the production of additional CGI content bringing to life producers’ and publishers’ IPs, from editorial design to broadcast on web platforms.

Established in early 2020, Hue Dada! seven founders, who include Decroisette and Mouscadet, have all segued from Studio 100 Animation. Quentin Auger, who worked on animation and VFX processes at ILM in San Francisco, becomes its head of innovation.

Lazy loaded image
Les Hoofs © 2020 TF1

Having worked at Chaman Production and Xilam Animation and served as COO and CFO of Studio 100 Animation for 10 years, Emmanuelle Chabord has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. CG supervisor and digital content director at Studio 100 Animation, Fabrice Delapierre takes on a same-titled position at Hue Dada! Productions. Jonathan Giroux, Hue Dada!’s head of software, engineering, will oversee the company’s crucial real time technology.

Starting out at Xilam Animation as assistant director on cult series such as “Oggy and the Cockroaches,” atStudio 100 Animation, Jean-François Ramos line produced the studio’s major series (“Maya the Bee” Seasons 1 and 2, “Heidi” Season 1, “Nils Holgersson”).

Ramos created and managed Studio 100 Animation’s digital department. Hue Dada! Productions looks set to inherit the for technological innovation, now sweeping the world’s animation industry, including France.

“We are constantly investing in R&D and have set up a laboratory designed to test and industrialize recent technologies such as virtual reality or real time,”  explained Auger.

Inspired by web technology, tested at Studio 100 Animation, and the winner of the Autodesk Shotgun Award at 2019’s Siggraph, a new-generation production pipeline, optimized by Hue Dada!, will allow VR operators, boarders, directors to all interact in real time.

“It’s not real-time graphics that’s new, they’ve been around for a long time in our creative industries,” said Auger.

“What is new is the fact that today several people can all work together at the same time, on the same set, which is reminiscent of the methods and working configuration of live performance.”

For Mouscadet, “Being able to immerse yourself in the sets, understanding them and changing their artistic direction in situ, analyzing the distances and size relations of the characters, shooting shots using a virtual camera, are all mini-revolutions in technology facilitating work and making it easier to build better stories by limiting unnecessary mistakes.”

“The idea is not to ‘uberise’ our skills, but on the contrary to give our teams more creative time through innovation,” Ramos added.

Lazy loaded image
Team ©Julie Ansiau