STUDIO AKA are speakers at FMX 2021, talking through the making of ‘HERE WE ARE: Notes For Living On Planet Earth’; a 36min animated adaptation of the NY Times number one picture book and TIME Best Book of the Year by Oliver Jeffers. In this talk, Director Philip Hunt walks through the creative process that brought this unique film to life for Apple TV+, in celebration of Earth Day. A poignant love letter to our planet, this is a witty, thought-provoking and entirely optimistic young person's guide to the world, one thing at a time. FMX LINK
Double Oh! Duggee...
We have a new Hey Duggee cinema release out from the 16th October – Hey Duggee at the Movies 2. You can join Duggee and the squirrels at Vue Cinemas for a whole HOUR of fun and adventures, featuring Seven fun-filled episodes. More HERE
Congratulations to AKA Director Steve small and the BLACK EARTH RISING team for picking up the award for Best Animation at CPIFF over the weekend! AKA's Marcus Armitage donned his tux to collect the award on behalf of the entire production team and express our gratitude. The Crystal Palace International Film Festival presents a diverse programme of the very best Independent films from all over the world, and is known as 'London's coolest film festival'. In point of fact, The Simpsons writer, Mike Reiss, described the festival as: "the very best festival we've ever been to – and we've been to a lot! This is as good as it gets!" Find out more about Black Earth Rising HERE
Joe Wicks Workout Badge
The nation’s favourite exercise coach, Joe Wicks, joins forces with the nation’s most lovable pup, Duggee, to lead a series of short, energetic workouts for pre-schoolers: “The Workout Badges”. The new fitness series – aimed at pre-schoolers – combine the live-action of “The Body Coach” Joe Wicks with the educational animated Cbeebies series Hey Duggee. There’s lots to explore and learn along the way as the squirrels and children get their hearts pumping and their energy flowing in the hope of earning a coveted Workout Badge. Watch the free-to-stream series exclusively on “The Body Coach TV” YouTube channel and on the YouTube Kids app.
I'm Sticking With You Too
They’re back! Bear and Squirrel are a perfect pair, but what happens when Chicken wants to make friends too?
SMRITI HALL has penned another great story about the ups and downs of friendship, and STEVE SMALL had great fun catching up with Bear and Squirrel again. Chicken is quite a character and Smriti’s story, following this plucky bird’s hilarious rite of passage, is a touching reflection of what happens when we meet someone new. Published by SIMON & SCHUSTER, ‘I’m Sticking With You Too’ is out in the UK on October 14th and over the next few weeks, Steve is posting sketches and illustrations HERE
A Drink with STUDIO AKA...
See No Evil is London’s brilliant bi-monthly motion and animation event. In the Pandemic, they started a new show format called A Drink with...It is a Livestream chat with artists and studios around the globe. It happens every Tuesday 8 pm UK Time (GMT+1) on their YouTube Channel. Watch, Share and subscribe..
Two EMMYs for Here We Are!
We are delighted to have been honoured by the Television Academy with TWO EMMY® AWARDs for HERE WE ARE: Notes For Living On Planet Earth! The film picked up the OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS DAYTIME ANIMATED PROGRAM award, whilst Anne Moth was awarded for her INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHARACTER ANIMATION! Heartfelt thanks to all of the incredible artists and animators at STUDIO AKA - and our wonderful cast - who created such a beautiful story, and especially to APPLE TV, who made this film happen.
Project Page HERE
Raised By Wolves - Emmy Nom
Congratulations to director Steve Small, Ridely Scott Creative Group and the artists at Studio AKA for their Emmy nomination for HBO’s RAISED BY WOLVES - in the category of Outstanding Main Title design at the 73rd Emmy Awards.
“An elegiac opener full of grief, longing, and death, the title sequence provides the emotional underpinnings of the series while serving up backstory and a reminder that the characters are refugees fleeing devastation.” —Art Of The Title HERE
Project page HERE
We have lift off! Marking the launch of the 2nd single SPACE SONG, from the upcoming album @heyduggee GREATEST HITS - WOOF WOOF! The Space Song is available to download and stream on all music platforms now!
ARE YOU READY TO RAVE!? The Stick Song is now available to download and stream!
You. Have. Been. Warned.
The Duck Who Didn't Like Water
AKA's STEVE SMALL has published his first solo book, ‘The Duck Who Didn’t Like Water’ Published by SIMON & SCHUSTER in the UK, US, France, Holland, Germany to name but a few. Duck is not like other ducks. Duck doesn’t like water and is perfectly fine alone, thank you very much. But then, one dark and stormy night, an outgoing, water-loving, and very lost Frog turns up at Duck’s door. Can this odd couple find Frog’s home? And will they find friendship along the way? This endearing, gorgeously illustrated tale marks the author-illustrator debut for Steve, illustrator of the highly acclaimed, I’m Sticking with You by Smriti Halls. You can find more about Steve's books HERE
You DO have authority here Mrs Weaver! — Join Mrs Weaver for a brand new bath time song! Feat. @anelisavontease Head to the @heyduggee YouTube Channel for the full video ..
One Earth Film Festival
We were invited to screen HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH, during the tenth anniversary season of the One Earth Film Festival. This year’s festival theme was “10 Years of Inspiring Change,” & people were invited to watch more than 25 outstanding short and feature-length films that shine a light on the most important issues of our time. AKA also participated in a panel discussion after the film was screened. FestivalLINK
Kidscreen Awards 2021
The 2021 Kidscreen Awards, which received a record number of entries, celebrated the year’s best work in children’s television and digital media. Assessed by two panels of highly respected industry judges, we are delighted that HERE WE ARE: Notes For Living On Planet Earth was awarded ‘Best One-Off Special or TV movie'!
Congratulations to our amazing team!
Project page HERE
ComArts Magazine Award
Studio AKA Director Manddy Wyckens has been recognised by the Communication Arts Annual, for her stunning new PSA work for Bellefaire JCB, as 'an example of the best illustration work in the animation category'. To garner recognition at this level is outstanding. Out of 4,000+ submissions, only 128 projects were selected. Kudos to Manddy and the team!
CommArts Link HERE / Project page HERE
CICFF Stem Award
Thank you to The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival for giving the 2020 STEM AWARD to HERE WE ARE: Notes For Living On Planet Earth. The award is given in recognition of a production which inspires children in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math!
"What's that Duggee? Deeply Anarchic?"
HEY DUGGEE recently featured in 5th August's Guardian.
'Its fans include Orbital and Evan Davies, and it has won awards galore. Now the CBeebies show Hey Duggee is the smash hit of lockdown.'
In case you missed it, Tim Jonze's lovely piece is HERE
I'm Sticking with You
Written by SMRITI HALL and illustrated by AKA Director Steve Small, I'M STICKING WITH YOU is a gorgeously warm, funny book about everything a friendship can be – for anyone who's ever had a friend.
Visual artist OLIVER JEFFERS offers observations of the "beautiful, fragile drama of human civilization" in this poetic TED talk paired with his original illustrations and animations - brought to life by Studio AKA director KRISTIAN ANDREWS working in conjunction with NORTH HARBOUR PRODUCTIONS,
WOW! Congratulations to all the @HEYDUGGEE team for their amazing triple BAFTA wins! - A-WOOOOOF!
Studio AKA’s Hey Duggee, won three awards at the 2018 Children’s BAFTA's , winning in the Pre-School Animation, Director and Digital categories.
This is the third pre-school animation BAFTA win for Hey Duggee. Hey Duggee’s creator and director Grant Orchard also picked up the Director award. The educational app, Hey Duggee: The Counting Badge, was awarded the Digital Award. The app was created by digital agency Scary Beasties, in association with BBC Studios and Studio AKA.
More than 40 international leading and inspirational artists gathered in Eindhoven, the Dutch capitol of design for Playgrounds 2017: The Art Department. This two day conference focused on the design and concept art for film, animation and media. The Art Department program cvers artist talks, industry workshops, demo’s, paint-overs, an expo, portfolio reviews and recruiting. We gave a talk...
HEY DUGGEE is featured in @WIREDUK magazine’s annual list of summer picks that they just can’t live without. A-WOOF!...
"Meet Duggee, the titular character of award-winning TV show @heyduggee. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that Duggee is channelling Steve Jobs here while surrounded by his tech-enthusiast pals from the Squirrel Club. We included the show, which is created by the UK-based @studioaka (who also created this illustration) in our annual list of summer picks that we just can’t live without. @wireduk."
HEY DUGGEE has TWICE won the INTERNATIONAL EMMY® KIDS AWARD for Kids Pre-School winning in 2017 and again in 2019 ...Hurrah!
Devised & Directed by AKA's GRANT ORCHARD, Hey Duggee is based around 'The Squirrel Club'; run by a big friendly dog called Duggee. It's a place where kids take part in all kinds of activities, have adventures and earn activity badges along the way. Duggee teaches the kids about being responsible, working as a team, and taking acceptable risks.
Exec Producer. SUE GOFFE & Series Producer. JANINE VOONG pick up the Award in 2017:: HERE
"Hey Duggee has been a huge success around the world and we’re thrilled to see the series receive international recognition from Emmy. Since first winning this award in 2017 Hey Duggee has continued to inspire children everywhere, and it’s a real privilege to be awarded again this year"
- Henrietta Hurford-Jones, Executive Producer, BBC Studios
AKA director KRISTIAN ANDREWS Picked up a Gold Award for our Johnnie Walker spot 'Keep Walking at the ITFS/SPOTLIGHT Animated Com Award International Gala Awards 2017 in Stuttgart. Hurrah! BBH London came to Studio AKA looking for a unique, abstract and sophisticated piece to tell the 200 year history of Johnnie Walker. With one uninterrupted camera move, we see an unbroken path - a relay race of wisdom - following the footsteps of each mentor and mentee as knowledge of the Johnnie Walker craft is passed between the generations from Scotland to Shanghai...and beyond.
The Berlin based Pictoplasma Academy recently decamped to Mexico City and invited a selected group of participants for a unique 1-week CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT COURSE, supervised by tutors Rilla Alexander and Nathan Jurevicius. STUDIO AKA's Philip Hunt ran a course on character driven storytelling, as part of a program challenging participants to explore specific personal projects or their general style right across the media spectrum – from drawing and illustration to sculpture and visual storytelling – to find the right path for their further development.
Did you know that we teach at the Pictoplasma Academy? In this week-long course,selected participants engage in workshops, lectures and other tasks - all to challenge them in how they create their work - whilst an exclusive ACADEMY GROUP-SHOW also forms part of the annual Pictoplasma Festival & Conference. The regular tutors and lecturers include: Rilla Alexander, Nathan Jurevicius, and STUDIO AKA's PHILIP HUNT, hosting a 2 day Lecture & Animation Workshop on Character driven story telling looking at “writing, sequencing & visual narration …” PICTOPLASMA ACADEMY.
AKA is honoured to be regular guest speaking at the FMX Conference in Stuttgart, Europe's most influential conference for digital entertainment. We have given a number of talks about what we do, showcasing a selection of work from the archives to the present day, illustrating how we got 'from there to here' … INFO
The first game app for Hey Duggee is NOW LIVE! Join Duggee and the Squirrels as they work hard to earn their six club badges. Fun missions include styling Duggee's hair, making your very own funny-faced Totem Pole, baking cakes for the Squirrels, hunting down Duggee’s leaf collection, colouring in your favourite characters, and even dressing up each of the Squirrels in their heroic Super Squirrel costume. Completing each activity wins you a badge and a Duggee Hug!
This HEY DUGGEE PICTURE BOOK comes with activity ideas and cut-out-and-keep badge so that little Squirrels can join in the fun at home! Duggee and the Squirrels want to grow some corn, but cheeky birds keep eating the seeds. This can only be a job for . . . the best scarecrow ever!
See GRANT ORCHARD talking at HERE 2012. WATCH
SHOW & TELL
Studio AKA have lectured at the PICTOPLASMA festival since its launch in 2004 - with talks by Philip Hunt, Marc Craste & Grant Orchard at events in Argentina 2008, NYC 2009 & in Berlin 2004, 2006, 2012 & 2015 - and in 2020 as part of Pictoplasma Online..
For a candid slice of Marc Craste - Watch this10 min edit of his lecture at the 2009 Berlin Pictoplasma Conference on contemporary character design and art.
Studio AKA’s Philip Hunt was honoured to be a guest speaker at 'THE STORY', a one-day conference about stories and story-telling. The day is an eclectic celebration of everything that is wonderful, inspiring and awesome about stories, in whatever medium possible - written, spoken, played, described, enacted, whispered, projected, orchestrated, performed, printed – whatever form stories come in. THE STORY 2015
FAUX IMAGES XIV...
SUDIO AKA was delighted to be a guest speaker at FAUX IMAGES on December 16th in Berlin. FAUX IMAGES is a quarterly meeting for local and international filmmakers, designers and artists from related disciplines, who are invited to present their work through lectures and screenings. FAUX IMAGES is organized by Mate Steinforth in cooperation with LEAP (Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance). MORE
A Southbank Show...
STUDIO AKA's BAFTA-winning, animated adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ much loved picture book, LOST AND FOUND was screened to a packed house in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the 1st November as part of a weekend of events celebrating 10 years since 'The Boy' first appeared in Oliver's 'How To Catch A Star'. This was followed by a Q&A with Oliver Jeffers & Director Philip Hunt who adapted the book for the screen...Missed the screening? Fear not, it's but a click away...PAL DVDNTSC DVDAbout The Film
Issue 02 of MINCHO - The Illustration & Graphic Arts magazine - has a feature on STUDIO AKA ( and as a bonus there's a piece on Chris Haughton too!) READ
Moving Stories …
The National Media Museum & Seven Stories (the National Centre for Children's Books) are again staging an exciting exhibition showcasing innovative & influential film and television adaptations, inspired by children's books. Featuring manuscripts, illustrations, storyboards, costumes and film footage from some of your favourite authors, including Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll and Julia Donaldson, as well as AKA's telling of Oliver Jeffers LOST AND FOUND … 05/04/2014 - 27/04/2015 Seven Stories, Newcastle upon Tyne. ABOUT SEVEN STORIESNMM
A Morning Stroll Soundtrack...
For those of you who've been asking about the availability of Composer NIC GILL's aeon-spanning soundtrack to the BAFTA Winning & OSCAR Nominated short: A MORNING STROLL… you can now listen to it & also purchase it as a download via Bandcamp and iTunes. BANDCAMPITUNES
Kristian Andrews Interview...
The Animation Research Centre visited AKA to talk to Kristian about his practice as an animator. He talked about his influences and inspiration and showed his fantastic collection of sketchbooks. Conducted as part of 'Oral Histories and Visible Witness' - an exploratory project into the documentation of the creative practice of current UK animators. WATCHMORE INFORMATIONhttp://www.kristian-andrews.com
WATCH: Varmints ...
VIMEO ON DEMAND
After 123 Film Festival appearances and 27 Awards - including both BAFTA Nomination & OSCAR shortlist commendation - VARMINTS is now on both VIMEO-ON-DEMAND & iTunes. VIMEO-ON-DEMANDiTUNES UKiTUNES USA
Directors Notes invited AKA's creative powerhouse Kristian Andrews to become the latest filmmaker featured in their 'They Are Animators' series. READ
BAFTA for A MORNING STROLL...
Sue Goffe & Grant Orchard chat about their BAFTA win for our short animation, A Morning Stroll, and their trip to the Oscars...READ
Taiwan’s Dpi Magazine ‘The Variation of Comic Art and Animation’ - A collection featuring dozens of Eastern and Western artists and a selection of their work organized into the subcategories of "Sheer Vision", "Tangible Illusion", and "Satiny Boundary". Oh, and us...
From Hollywood blockbuster to striving independent filmmaker, from mobile phone games to characters advertising products on television, from pseudo live action through to virtual environments, animation is able to transcend boundaries to reach new audiences. This book (featuring AKA's LOVESPORT by Grant Orchard) shows how artists, designers, filmmakers, programmers, directors, writers, and producers have seized the chance to entertain using a versatile and compelling medium.
DIGITAL ARTS asked us a few questions about Sing Up - a government-funded music education organisation which aims to get primary school children to realise that singing is an infectious and liberating experience that has the power to build confidence and self-esteem and to assist learning. Sing Up delivers training and tools to teachers and works to inspire children all over the country to find their voice.
AKA Dir. STEVE SMALL was asked by agency AMV/BBDO to bring the campaign to life & DIGITAL ARTS asked him a few questions about it...
LOST AND FOUND was awarded the BAFTA for CHILDREN'S ANIMATION at the 2009 British Academy Children's Awards.
Accepting the award (Ifrom Mr Johnny Vegas no less...) were Producer SUE GOFFE & Director PHILIP HUNT of production company STUDIO AKA. This recognition from the British academy adds to an amazing 61 Awards for the film.
Directors Notes invited AKA's Eamonn O'Neill to feature in their 'They Are Animators' series...READ
The Book Of Varmints...
The most overlooked threat in the world is the loss of peace and quiet…
Marc Craste & Helen Ward's beautiful book - Winner of the English Association's 4-11 Book Awards 2008 / Judge’s Top Choice for the Fiction and Poetry Ages 5-7 - Scholastic Best Books 2008 / Shortlisted for the British Book Design and Production Awards 2008. / Shortlisted for the 2009 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. / Green Earth Book Award, Picture Book Category.
After 86 Film Festival appearances & winning both the 2004 Short animation BAFTA and the 2005 CARTOON D'OR, JO JO IN THE STARS is FREE to watch on VIMEO and available to keep on iTunes. The debut film from Studio aka Director Marc Craste, 'JO JO IN THE STARS' was independently funded & produced by Studio AKA and plays out the heart wrenching tale of two unlikely lovers; Jo Jo, a silver-plated trapeze artist and the nameless hero who worships her. Together they make a desperate stand in the face of murderous jealousy within a beautifully bleak and brutal world. VIMEOiTUNES UKiTUNES USASHORT OF THE WEEKPROJECT PAGE
WATCH: A Morning Stroll ...
VIMEO ON DEMAND
A MORNING STROLL was awarded the Short Film Animation BAFTA at the 2012 Orange British Academy Film Awards and was nominated for an OSCAR the same year. You can now download it via Vimeo-On-Demand & iTunes.
From scriptwriting through to production, Andrew Selby's introduction to animation for students surveys key technical processes and examines a variety of stylistic approaches. The book includes visual examples from key animators (ahem, including AKA) and illustrated features on how to create exciting animation for a variety of audiences...
"AND IN THE ENDLESS PAUSE THERE CAME THE SOUND OF BEES …" Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson draws the title of his latest album from the original VARMINTS book written by Helen Ward and illustrated by Marc Craste. The album is based on the music he composed for the 24-minute film version of Varmints Directed by Marc Craste at STUDIO AKA.
The SEMI-PERMANENT design conferences are a week-long celebration of all things Graphic Design, Film, Art, Illustration, Web Design, Photography, Visual Effects, Animation, Graffiti, Motion Graphics, Stop Motion; tand more.
We fondly remember SEMI-PERMANENT's Aukland 2009 conference which featured a stellar line up from all over the globe including among others: Simon (Sanky) Sankarayya, Tim Beard (Bibliotheque) James Jean, Kate Moross, Arvind Palep & Aaron Duffy (1stAveMachine), Harry Pearce (Pentagram), Alexia Sinclair, David Carson and Philip Hunt of STUDIO AKA chatting to an intimate audience of 2,000...