Kickstarter campaign launched to raise funds for matching grant
— Akron production company Red Point Digital, with help from a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge grant, has begun work on a virtual reality and animation studio with a focus on stop-motion animation.
University of Akron associate professor Anthony Samangy and Red Point Digital founder Eric Vaughan started Red Point VR Skunkwerkz after their proposal for a VR stop-motion studio and education program was awarded a matching grant from Knight Foundation.
They have since built a team and infrastructure to run and house both the Skunkwerkz studio projects and their related education initiative Akronstein Labs.
“After winning the grant, the biggest challenge has been building the team and resources to make our dream happen. We really do feel that we can create a ‘Pixar of the Midwest,’ as audacious as that sounds,” said Vaughan. “But we have been very successful in our recruiting of talent. We will soon be announcing two new members of the team from the West Coast, both of which are recognized top talent in spherical video and VR production. It is a really exciting time for us.”
Concurrent with recruiting top national talent, the Skunkwerkz team is nearing completion of its first stop-motion animation project, a traditional flat screen short film entitled “The Cat.” Not only is this the first stop-motion project of the Akron startup, it is also the test piece for the slate of VR or immersive films Skunkwerkz has recently unveiled.
The company also has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise its matching funds (click here to see the campaign.)
The three-project slate includes the 3D VR reimagining of “The Cat,” a 3D VR adaptation of a script from local University of Akron student Faryl O’Neil, called “Asphyx” and a stop-motion and digital animation fused documentary featuring Chuck Auerbach about the inspiration and production of his recent music release, “My Old Man.”
The Akronstein Labs is a community outreach and education program of Red Point VR Skunkwerkz and is the tangible sign of their long-term commitment to Akron, and the Midwest. Akronstein Labs will create interest in VR and stop-motion animation in the community at large, but especially to high school aged students who may not be aware of the artistic and career opportunities available in these art forms.
RPVR Skunkwerkz will share space with parent company Red Point Digital. Akronstein Labs will be located in offices adjacent to Red Point Digital at the Union Pointe building north of the University of Akron Campus.
For info, visit www.redpointdigital.com.