An image of everyone from Studio AKA at the tableAn image of everyone from Studio AKA at the table

Hello. We are a multi-BAFTA winning, multi-EMMY awarded and OSCAR-nominated independent animation studio. We’re known internationally for our idiosyncratic and innovative work, expressed across an eclectic range of projects.

Our close-knit team includes directors, designers, animators, writers, technical artists, and producers who create and consult on projects with a strong emphasis on story, design, and character. We both originate projects and work to commission, from commercials and title sequences to short films, documentary and drama sequences, and our original tv series. With a focus on accomplished design & craft, compelling ideas, and uncompromising attention to quality & detail, the studio houses a group of directors/designers who are constantly looking for novel ways to tell stories.

The wide range of work we produce together is a testament to our ability to reinvent ourselves and our willingness to explore new things —from the apocalyptic title sequence for Ridley Scott’s HBO Max series RAISED BY WOLVES to our worldwide hit pre-school show HEY DUGGEE.

 

Our Directors

Our directors and designers are each skilled at developing innovative visual solutions bespoke to the requirements of our commissioned work. Whether working individually or in collaboration, the project leads the visual and narrative response.


Manddy Wyckens

Director & Art Director

 

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Director, Art Director, and Illustrator Manddy Wyckens has an impressive repertoire, having collaborated on a range of projects across feature films, TV shows, and commercials. Her bold compositions and contrast create vibrant, atmospheric backgrounds, and her characters are drawn in an elegant line or a sharp edge, capturing attitude and personality in a few powerfully graceful strokes. Body language and cinematic lighting are at the heart of her work, making her images equally sensitive and moody, and her distinctive style combines drawing elegance with bold colours to create poetic images.

Manddy comes from an unusual mix of French and Californian animation background. She has been increasingly blurring lines between animation and illustration in recent years, letting both mediums feed off each other as she pursues her artistic practice. Her recent work with AKA includes Direction and design on the outstanding main title for QUEEN CHARLOTTE: A Brigerton Story, directing spots for ON and BELLFAIRE, Art Direction on designing on NATURNES & SAN PELLIGRINO – and production design on the EMMY winning HERE WE ARE.

As an animation director and designer, she brings a bold point of view to the medium, making character animation sensitive and straightforward, while her illustration persona delves increasingly into mellow conceptual territories, putting paper drawing & the human figure at the centre of her practice. Take a look at Manddy’s Instagram for some visual awesomeness…


Selected Projects by Manddy


Queen Charlotte  Bellfaire  Naturnes  San Pellegrino  


Kristian Andrews

Director / Creative Director for commercials

 

BAFTA-nominated Kristian Andrews’s films feature unconventional narratives and often use observational drawing as a means of communicating personal anecdotes, as typified in his celebrated short film ‘RABBIT PUNCH.

Kristian’s diversity of work has developed across a range of projects – marking him as an adept director who can approach any problem with a fresh & unique perspective. Kristian’s film ‘LET’S PLAY NOMAD X’ is a three-minute parody of a type of YouTube documentary film and typifies this unclassifiable approach—as does his game development work on the wonderful BARBARA-IAN. 

This eye for striking graphic styling can be seen in ads for JOULES, FEDRIGONI, TOYOTA, and the award-winning JOHNNIE WALKER. His diverse output includes sequence work for both the Cartoon Network series THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL, the Netflix drama ALTERED CARBON, the BAFTA-nominated TITLES to Drama Republic’s BBC/Netflix drama BLACK EARTH RISING, and his animated sequence work for Sister Picture’s BBC/Netflix drama GIRI HAJI.

 


Selected Projects by Kristian


Climate Healers  Fedrigoni  Giri / Haji  


Marcus Armitage

Director

 

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A BAFTA-nominated filmmaker, Marcus’ hand-drawn work employs bold colour and expressive motion, creating captivating visuals and thought-provoking stories. The diversity of his approaches can be seen in his commissioned work such as his animated sequences for the documentary LIMBO which premiered at SUNDANCE and in his award-winning, and BAFTA-nominated short film MY DAD, which explores inherited racism using a tactile approach of oil pastels and newspaper clippings. His recent film THAT YORKSHIRE SOUND draws upon his roots with a colourful and frenetic union of audio and image that documents a day of life in Yorkshire.

Marcus’s commissioned works include a collaboration with designer Izak Zenou for ESTÉE LAUDER, directing work on our Campaign for KEY and the beautifully realised 2D sequences in the Emmy-winning HERE WE ARE.


Steve Small

Director / Illustrator & Author

 

BAFTA & Emmy-nominated Director Steve Small is a master craftsman & artist. His work has varied from working on Disney features to designing and directing shorts, TV series, and commercials. Steve has directed and animated a formidable slate of commercials at AKA, including spots for TELE2, NICKTOONS, ORANGE, TSB, ADMIRAL and the utterly charming SING UP.

More recently, Steve has been developing animation for more adult themes, beginning with a series of BAFTA-nominated animated sequences for the BBC Netflix drama BLACK EARTH RISING and moving onto to an Emmy Nominated title sequence for Ridley Scott’s Sci-fi series RAISED BY WOLVES, and a title sequence and inserts for Jake Scott’s documentary KIPCHOGE.

In Steve’s alternate universe, he has also embarked on a career of illustrating and writing for children’s picture books. The first book, which Steve illustrated, ‘I’M STICKING WITH YOU,’ was nominated for a Nibbie, a book Oscar, and the Klaus Flugge award, winning a Silver at the Junior design awards and an honorary mention at the Ezra Keats awards. Steve has followed this up with THE DUCK WHO DIDN’T LIKE WATER, which he both wrote & illustrated. Steve lives in London, and when he’s not painting and drawing, you’ll likely find him feeding the crows on Blackheath Common.


Gergely Wootsch

Director

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Gergely is an award-winning animation director who has made a name with projects across commercials, television and feature animation, building a formidable reputation and experience at some high profile and frankly awesome studios (including AKA). We are continually blown away by the work he produces.

Aside from his assured directing and art directing, Gergely is one of those rare people who can pivot around different axes, jumping between the more technical aspects of production and creative direction and production design. An underlying theme that permeates the work is a fascination with dark, moody and textural worlds and the challenges involved in exploring and bring them to life by whatever creative means best suit the solution, often merging different techniques into one cohesive universe.


Selected Projects by Gergely


Godmothered  Lincolns Dilemma  A Trip To Infinity  


Philip Hunt

Partner, Director & Creative Director

 

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Philip’s diverse body of directing work spans an eclectic range of animation projects, including the double-EMMY-winning ‘HERE WE ARE: NOTES FOR LIVING ON PLANET EARTH’ —a half-hour animated adaptation of the best-selling book by Oliver Jeffers for Apple tv+; featuring the voices of Meryl Streep, Chris O’Dowd, Jacob Tremblay and Ruth Negga. Philip’s previous collaboration with Jeffers was the BAFTA (& 61 international awards) winning children’s film LOST AND FOUND, narrated by Jim Broadbent and featuring a score by Max Richter. Alongside this, his work includes the multi-award winning short film AH POOK IS HERE – an interpretation of recordings by William s. Burroughs and commissioned projects for BMW, Kradvat, Herman Miller, One.org and (RED).org.

An alumnus of both Central St. Martins & the Royal College of Art, Philip is an advisory board member of the FMX & ITFF festivals, a visiting tutor at the Filmakademie Animation Institute in Stuttgart, and currently the course reviewer for Animation at the NFTS. As a longtime faculty member of the Pictoplasma Academy in Berlin, he teaches idea & story development and is a regular speaker at countless festivals & design conferences, including Pictoplasma / Styleframes NYC / Broad.cat / Playgrounds / Onedotzero / Offset / FMX / The Story London / Semi-permanent & many more.


Selected Projects by Philip


Here We Are  KVADRAT  Lost And Found  BMW  Herman Miller  


Grant Orchard

Director

 

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Director Grant Orchard is renowned for his distinctive design and direction style. Not only has he crafted numerous impactful TV spots, but he’s also a two-time D&AD Award winner for Interaction design. His initial short film, WELCOME TO GLARINGLY, paved the way for the PARK FOOT BALL series, garnering over a million YouTube hits. His 2011 masterpiece, A MORNING STROLL, clinched 25 awards, including Sundance’s animation award, a BAFTA, and an Oscar nomination.

Grant then developed STUDIO AKA’s first original pre-school series ‘HEY DUGGEE’ for CBEEBIES & BBC STUDIOS. Since its 2014 debut, Hey Duggee has earned six BAFTAs, multiple international Emmys, and was BBC iPlayer’s top kids’ show in 2020 and 2021. Now in its fourth season, the series boasts over 1.2 million social media followers and a YouTube channel with over a billion views.


Marc Craste

Partner & Senior Director

Marc has designed & directed a myriad of award-winning short films and commercials. His original micro-trilogy Pica Towers, inspired the BAFTA & Cartoon D’Or, winning 12 min short film JOJO IN THE STARS; and his beautiful half-hour film VARMINTS, nominated for a BAFTA & shortlisted for an OSCAR, was the winner of 27 Film Festival Awards.

Marc’s directing work includes titles for the BAFTA-winning BBC WINTER OLYMPICS, The GUINNESS idents for the RUGBY WORLD CUP, a stunning Christmas spot for OTTO, the classic THE BIG WIN ad for the National Lottery, and a whopping 48 ads for the LLOYDS TSB campaign – not to mention the subsequent launch film for the (now independent) TSB campaign. He recently directed a seven-minute 2D animated sequence for the live-action Disney+ film GODMOTHERED and is currently deep into production development of a much-anticipated project we will be sharing later in 2023 …


Ross Phillips

Designer

 

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Ross is a designer and animator who loves creating characters in a simple, graphic style.

His characters have appeared on the Netflix series STORYBOTS, the front cover of Financial Times Magazine and as the backdrop to the ‘HELLO UNIVERSE’ exhibition at the Science & Media Museum.

As the HEY DUGGEE series designer since the outset, Ross has also lost count of the number of characters made for our hit pre-school show … can some one please count them?


Selected Projects by Ross


HEY DUGGEE  


Margherita Premuroso

Director & Art Director

 

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Margherita Premuroso is an acclaimed art director, character designer, animator, and illustrator, with an impressive portfolio encompassing title sequences, commercials, film, video games, and print media. Her passion for drawing manifested early in life, motivating her to pursue formal education in animation and illustration at the esteemed European Institute of Design in Milan, where she achieved academic distinction upon graduation. While Margherita’s initial passion lay in traditional art forms such as painting and sculpture, her professional trajectory gradually shifted towards the realm of computer graphics. Notably, she assumed pivotal roles as an artistic director within renowned animation and video game studios across Europe and the US, gaining extensive experience across diverse animation mediums, including CG, stop-motion, 2D, rotoscope, and hand-drawn techniques.

Margherita’s career has transcended geographical boundaries, and her proficiency in crafting mesmerizing title sequences is evident in works such as Suburbicon (2017), The Putin Interviews (2017), Lodge 49 (2018), Tell Me A Story (2018), Velvet Buzzsaw (2019), and Semi-Permanent Sydney 2019. Her artistic achievements have also garnered widespread recognition, with numerous accolades and screenings at esteemed events such as Siggraph, Siggraph Asia, OneDotZero, Vimeo Film Festival, Tokyo Anime, and Future Film Festival. Particularly noteworthy was her nomination for the prestigious Outstanding Main Title Design Emmy Award in 2017, for her exceptional contribution to the title sequence of Feud: Bette and Joan (2017). Presently, Margherita is based in Milan, Italy, where her creative prowess continues to flourish, leaving an indelible mark on the world of animation and visual storytelling.

We are delighted to be representing Margherita worldwide for directing and Art direction  – except in the USA, where she is represented by the fine folks at Elastic TV

 


Dermot Flynn

Art Director & Illustrator

 

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Born on the Northside of Dublin, Dermot is an artist, illustrator, and animation designer who works between Ireland and the United Kingdom. He has worked with a diverse base of high profile international clients, including Pentagram, Paramount, Apple, Disney, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Macmillan, Adidas, Vodafone, Vogue, HSBC, Christie’s, Harpers Bazaar, Winkreative, Canongate, Toyota Japan, Oxford University Press, UBS, The Irish Times, StudioAKA, Pernod-Ricard, and British Airways. His work has won numerous awards, including the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Book Illustration and a Silver Lion at Cannes Advertising Festival.

Highlights of his career include illustrations for Mary Portas’ report on the state of the British High Street; appearing on TV creating portraits of celebrities in chocolate, toast, and Marmite; being threatened with legal action for creating portraits of celebrities in toothpaste, production designs for a Disney film about a school for fairy godmothers, and illustrating a Christmas poem for Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.


Selected Projects by Dermot


Godmothered  Here We Are  BMW