Epoch Ink has done a wide variety of shorts, pilots, and music videos since its inception. With the studio’s ability to work in a number of different styles, Epoch has specialized in developing a unique “look” for each short.
In 1993 Epoch produced its first animated short—the ten minute long, SF comedy, “Collet .45”. Produced by Epoch founder, Joe Pearson and Jeff Marsh, “Collet .45” is a fully animated short that recounts a part of the violent saga of sultry private detective/bounty hunter, “Collet .45”, and her adventures on the wild, space city — “The Spike”.
“Collet .45” was written by Joe Pearson and top industry director: Kevin Altieri. Kevin also storyboarded the short. Key designs for Collet were done in Los Angeles under Joe’s art direction and included a team of top industry artists, including Leonard Robinson, Sung Woo Hong, Jeff Marsh, Pam Long, Mike Deidrich, and Kevin Altieri. Music was provided by L.A. based band, Soy Cowboy, and Joe Romersa.
The short was directed in the Ukraine by Joe Pearson along with acclaimed Ukrainian director: Vladimir Goncherov. A team of artists, designers and animators under the direction of Goncherov and Nikoli Koshkin completed Collet, using traditional 2D animation and hand inked and painted cells.
Definitely not produced for children, “Collet .45” was an “R-rated” short, aimed for a teen/adult audience and has more then its share of bad language, flying bullets, and a high body count. Collet and her story are currently slated to go into production in 2006 as one of a trilogy of animated “Heavy Metal Video” feature films.
Epoch moved into the music video arena, producing two Grammy and MTV Award nominated, animated music videos for Todd McFarlane Entertainment.
PEARL JAM’S, “DO THE EVOLUTION”
Pearl Jam's "Do the Evolution" was produced by Epoch for Todd McFarlane Entertainment and Sony Music in 1998. Critically acclaimed, "Do The Evolution" was named "Best Video" in Rolling Stone Magazine's Annual Readers Poll, and in Spin Magazine's Reader Choice Awards. The music video was a Grammy Award nominee for Best Music Video of the year in the 41st Academy Awards.“DO THE EVOLUTION” was brought to Epoch by Todd McFarlane who gave the studio a production mandate from him and Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, “Do something strong, visual, and edgy, and deliver it in 16 weeks.” Acting as the producer on the video, Joe Pearson brought former “Batman” director Kevin Altieri in to direct the piece and help him conceptualize the story. They decided to base the video roughly on the song’s dark lyrics by Eddie Vedder, and tell the story of the Earth’s (and Mankind’s) rise and fall, from the first protoplasmic sperm through the Age of Dinosaurs, Neanderthal Man, the Roman Empire, the Industrial Revolution, World War 1, World War 2 and finally, into a dark technological future and the violent End of the World by nuclear war.
A team of top designers and storyboard artists was quickly assembled from the studio talent pool—Brad Coombs, Jim Mitchell, Young Yoon Gi, Kalvin Lee and Kevin Altieri storyboarded and designed all the characters and backgrounds. Tina Oliva and Lisa Pearson designed the character color and accomplished colorist Zhao Ping did the key background paintings. Under Kevin and Joe’s supervision the Epoch team boarded and designed the short in less then 6 weeks.
Once Todd, Eddy and Sony gave their final approval, the short was timed by Graham Morris and taken to Korea by Kevin and Joe for animation at Sun Min Image Pictures and Jireh Animation. Over a four week period, a team of more then one hundred artists worked around the clock in Seoul to deliver the finished animation. Once the final animation was back in L.A., Kevin, Todd, and Eddy edited the final cut.
The result was a dark, cautionary story of our species, told in strong, visual images and set to great music.
KORN’S “FREAK ON THE LEASH”
In 1999, Epoch was approached to produce another music video for TME—“Freak on the Leash” by Korn. Fully committed to his work on “The Roswell Conspiracies” TV series Joe brought longtime associate, Graham Morris, in to take over the production of the short, using a core team of Epoch artists.
Graham delivered an outstanding piece of animation, which went on to win a Grammy Award and two MTV Music Video Awards.
“DOT AND SPOT’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE”
In a departure from their edgy action adventure productions, Epoch produced this gentle Christmas Special for BKN and Toys ‘R us in 1997. “Dot and Spot’s Magical Christmas Adventure tells the story of two children and their two young Dalmatians, Dot and Spot, who team up to rescue Santa when his sled crashes in the mountain forest near their family cabin on Christmas eve.
David Schwartz directed the storyboards and Charles Zimballis art directed the Epoch design team. Jireh Animation provided animation.
“ATOMIC BABIES” AKA “MEGA BABIES”
Produced in 1998 for Landmark Entertainment and the Tremblay Brothers “, Atomic Babies” is an insanely action-packed four-minute series pilot. Produced and directed by Joe Pearson and Christian and Evan Tremblay and designed by the Brothers and the Epoch team, “Atomic Babies” literally explodes across the screen as its tiny heroes work terrible mayhem on a wide variety of disgusting alien monsters. Jireh Animation in Korea brought the babies and monsters to drooling life.
The pilot was successfully over-the-top, leading to the sale of the project as a thirteen episode animated series that subsequently ran on Fox’s Saturday morning lineup.
“THE WEIRD AL SHOW”
In the same year, Epoch produced the critically acclaimed opening credits for the “Weird Al Show” which aired on the CBS Saturday morning children’s block for one season. The Epoch storyboard and design team put together a very strong piece to some very odd lyrics. Again, Jireh Animation did the overseas work.
“THE ADVENTURES OF THE SPANISH FLY”
Epoch Ink collaborated again with Graham Morris Animation on the wild, nine minute short — "The Adventures of the Spanish Fly". This edgy, R-rate cartoon was originally intended to run before an MGM theatrical release, “Welcome to Woop Woop”. When Woop Woop went straight to video instead, "The Adventures of the Spanish Fly" dropped back into the ownership of Epoch and GMA.
Told in classic Warner’s style animation by Jireh Animation the short details what happens when a NASA Mars Probe mission goes terribly awry, destroying Disneyland and creating an out-of-control miniature superhero fly. The mayhem escalates, ultimately ending with our tiny “hero” being sworn in as the President of the United States.
“MIGHTY JOE YOUNG: THE ANIMATED SERIES”
In 2002, Epoch was approached by RKO Pictures to develop their classic feature film property/character, “Mighty Joe Young”, into an animated series proposal. Epoch’s team put together a complete series “Bible” for the property and produced a fully animated four-minute trailer.