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CDM – Tell me about D’Art Shtajio ? how did it form? from what need? how do you fit into the mainstream industry? & what can we expect from this studio in the future?
Henry – D`Art Shtajio is really Background-artist/Art-director Arthell Isom`s brain child. Arthell has worked in the Japanese anime industry for longer than I have, and since the very beginning, eventually opening up a studio has been a dream of his. There was a point about a year ago when Arthell and I were both working as freelancers, not attached to any particular company, and everything just fell into place so it made sense for us to start up the studio now and not put it off any longer. For now we are based in Tokyo Japan, though another founder, Darnell Isom (lead designer at Legacy Effects) is based in Califorina. That, on top of the fact that the internet now connects us all, leads me to feel we`re not really based anywhere. We`re international.
As for why we wanted to start up a studio in the first place …I don`t want to speak on Arthell`s behalf (so you should probably do a separate interview with him. Haha.) but for me personally, producing projects at your own studio means finally having the power to make decisions. Until now, outside of my own personal side-projects made just for fun, I`ve always taken directions. That`s not a bad thing, but there comes a point where you want to finally be able to make certain decisions and not just say “yes sir” to everything even when you think it`s a bad idea. As much as I love anime and animation in general, I think there are still lots of Genre`s, Theme`s, Styles, etc that no studio seems to be willing to explore. Arthell and I will be making a conscious effort to bring unique projects to people. Pierrot has already produced Naruto, and Toei has already produced Dragonball … those exist already for anyone who wants to watch them. Our goal is not to make our own D`Art Shtajio versions of stuff that already exists, but to produce things that don`t yet exist at all. I can`t go into specifics about future projects since we haven`t announced them yet, but for our first project we`re producing a 5 minute pilot film called “Indigo Ignited” based on an American Indy comic series of the same name. (Created by David Pinter and Samuel Dalton) Even popular American comics don`t often get turned into anime, so I think the fact that a small indy comic now has a chance at an anime of its own speaks to the way D`Art Shtajio is already changing the game.
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