Doug spent his birthday in Tel Aviv, presenting our work on SurgeTrain, a real-time PC/Mac strategy game designed to prepare emergency hospital staff for critical surge disaster response. The game was presented at the International Preparedness & Response to Emergencies and Disasters (IPRED) conference hosted bi-annually by Israel. You can play the current beta of SurgeTrain online for free in most browsers at http://surgeworld.lachildrenshospital.net
We are excited to announce we have signed with Yvette Lubinsky of Yvette Represents for west coast representation in advertising and marketing!
After careful consideration and about seventy trillion emails, phone calls, and meetings it was clear that Yvette would be a great match for the spirit of our company and our work as directors. We’re excited to be working with her and join the formidable companies on her roster.
We collaborated closely with the KERN Agency to write, direct, and produce a suite of videos for ShoreTel about their new unified communications solution: ShoreTel Connect. This included shooting a live-action “A Day in the Life” video to show off the actual product, and 3 animated videos to highlight the differences between ShoreTel and their competitors. Producing all 4 videos together saved our client time, money, and gave the suite a complimentary look and feel.
Just another day in the life of Psychic Bunny.
For info on the video's life after production, check out ShoreTel's blog!
Our big ten-year bash was a huge success. Hosted at Angel City Brewery just a few blocks from our downtown offices, we partied the night away with Angel City’s delicious brews and grub from the Slanging Corea food truck. But what really made the party great was reconnecting with all the people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the past ten years. It's amazing how many clients, filmmakers, and past employees it takes to keep a company going, and how many have become our dear friends. So a big THANK YOU to everyone who has made our journey possible. On to future projects, future collaborators, and even wilder creativity.
We approach all our documentary work with a fly on the wall vibe while still getting stellar, cinematic footage. Interviews are conducted as people work or move between locations, so nothing feels staged, our subjects stay in the moment, and everyone can still get their jobs done. We worked with Riot Games at the previous League of Legends World Championship here in Los Angeles, and that was child’s play compared to the show they put on in Seoul. This time around the stadium was larger, the performance was crazier, and the band was one of the biggest acts on the planet. Even so, the guys from Imagine Dragons are incredibly down-to-earth, and it was a real treat to see them let loose their true gamer selves, enjoying the Seoul nightlife playing LoL at a PC Bang until the wee hours.
The final performance, in front of 40,000 fans, was a brilliant capper to an incredible three day shoot. It’s always a pleasure to work with the team at Riot Games, and it was an honor to get a glimpse behind the scenes with the fine fellows in the band. We are extremely pleased to see our Behind-The-Scenes released as part of the launch for their new album.
Our Interactive Producer Joe Spradley will be speaking at this year's IndieCade East about indie game development based on his time working in South Korea. Make sure to attend if you are on the East Coast! He'll speak February 13th at 1:00 pm.
Jesse Vigil's feature screenplay for Midnight Daisy won Bronze at this year's Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival! Watch the award winning short that inspired the feature, now available on Vimeo.
Created for the Norman Lear Center's Media Impact Project, this short, sixties style animation uses a crazy contraption and the plight of the mythical Mongoose Dove to explain an otherwise complex methodology with humor and style.
Storytelling has been an integral part of the human experience for millennia. Psychic Bunny recently explored this concept with Creative Technologies at USC through the Heider-Simmel film which uses simple shapes to illicit stories. We had a lot of fun showing the film to comedians which you can see here, and was featured on a podcast NPR did exploring mankind's inclination for storytelling.
Our short documentary about online privacy, researchers, and the wonderfully down to Earth folks who blog every single day for years at a stretch will be premiering at the Dances With Films festival in Hollywood next week. Go here for more info about the festival and to grab your tickets!
Director Rick Castaneda, producer Doug Spice, actress Kristina Guerrero, AD John Ross, and sound designer Lawrence Everson returned to their alma mater Wednesday to showcase Cement Suitcase as part of USC's Alumni Screening Series.
The film was warmly received in the newly rebuilt George Lucas Building that didn't exist when these oldtimers used to attend. After a lively Q&A panel, the filmmakers milled around and reminisced about the time Doug got expelled from film school, the pranks that John would play on his freshman roomate, and which buildings were Rick's favorite ones to nap in.
The Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) just announced the nominees for the 18th annual PRISM Awards, which includes our short film, Next Week's GameI
Our short tackles tramautic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions in the world of youth sports. We produced it in partnership with Dr. Baron, Vice Chair And Chief Psychiatric Services For Keck Hospital at USC. He's a leading voice in the world of sports psychiatry and has worked tirelessly to bring TBI awareness to the world of sports.
The PRISM Awards honor TV, movie, music, online, and comic book entertainment that accurately depicts drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and addiction, as well as mental health issues. This year's nominees include August: Osage County, Degrassi, Bones, Parenthood, and Law & Order SVU, among others.
A press release with a full list of nominees can be found here. To watch Next Week's Game, check out the video below.
In 1944, Dr. Fritz Heider and Dr. Mary-Ann Simmel ran a psychological experiment with a short animated film they created to study social perception and causal attribution. 70 years later, we got our hands on it...
The Institute of Creative Technologies asked us to redo the experiment and our reactions were 1) SCIENCE! and 2) Time to call in the improv crew! We brought in a top-notch team, including folks from the Upright Citizens Brigade LA and The Groundlings Theater LA and recreated the experiment.
A couple of months ago, we had a chance to get in everyone's way at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX while filming this commercial for VXi's new noise canceling bluetooth headset - and it was totally worth it! Check out this spot in all it's noisy glory:
We recently had a chance to work with the good folks over at Patchworks Colorant on their ITG Pro campaign. We had a GREAT time destroying iPhone 5s to prove that their ITG Pro protective glass can take on life's reasonable dangers.
Got a big battle coming up? YOU BETTER FILL YOUR FACE WITH MILK!!
Berserker Hero: Chuck McCarthy
Director: Doug Spice
Produced by: Doug Spice and Sonia Pineda
Director of Photography: Kenton Drew Johnson
Assistant Camera: Lynne He
Key Grip: Joe Toledo
Grip: Harrison Lee
Grip: Quin O'Brien
Swordmaster: Damien Romero
Sound Recordist: Adam Sperry
Post-Production Sound: Jeff Dodson
VFX & Compositing: Doug Spice
Production Assistant: Michael Gearhart
Special Thanks: Stacey Wilson and Rick Castañeda
We recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Batonk!, a "robot sport" where players compete to control adorable and slightly snarky robots on the field of glory. The robots dumbly follow a command until they get a new command, or score a goal. Depending on the combination of cards you use, you can confuse the robots by sending conflicting commands, or even team up with one of your opponents to gang up on other players. It's somewhere in the realm between soccer, Uno, and Super Smash Bros. It takes no time at all to learn how to play and is easy enough that even the self-identified "non-gamers" can pick it up and have a blast.
Check out this video to see how to play!
We love it, and we know you will too, so we're asking for a little help to build on our progress so far. We've been using every spare minute we have to build the core game system, but if we reach our goal, we can work on this full-time to finish the art, add support for more devices, polish up the gameplay and user experience, and bring the game to OUYA and PC.
Please visit our Kickstarter page to read more about this adorably snarky robot sports game and the great rewards that can be scored by investing early on.
Batonk!, the game we designed for people who like yelling and pretending to be robots, will be featured at Come and Play San Francisco this weekend!
Come Out and Play was founded in New York in 2006 to offer the public new ways to enjoy and experience their city through games played in public spaces. Since then, they've headed west and will be having their 4th San Francisco edition this Saturday and Sunday at SOMArts. If you're around town, come on down and play Batonk! Our session is on Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30pm.
This, by the way, is the kind of fun you'll be having:
We made you a Halloween treat! After 5 days of game jammin', we're happy to bring you a game about not getting eaten by monsters by defeating them in a series of paper-rock-scissors matches. Finally, amirite? You can create your own monster and then walk down the road to Monstertown looking for roshambo enemies. Download it and pick a fight you can actually win! (Free snark with every download.)
Here are some of the bestest serious features:
We're still running off the excitement from last week's festivals! Our games Batonk! and FREEQ were at IndieCade, while "Midnight Daisy" had its 3D premiere at Shriekfest in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Cement Suitcase had a wild Washington weekend, screening at both the Tacoma Film Festival and the Ellensburg Film Festival, where it picked up the Audience Choice and the "Best of Northwest" awards!
We just got word that Shriekfest will be screening Midnight Daisy during the four-day festival at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA, October 3 - 6. Shriekfest is the oldest continually running horror festival in Los Angeles, and a perfect place for Midnight Daisy to haunt a few souls. This marks Daisy's 8th film festival!
We're taking our show on the road!
Cement Suitcase got accepted into 4 more film festivals! We will be screening at:
Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (CA): September 20, 2013
Ellensburg Film Festival (WA): October 4, 2013
Tacoma Film Festival (WA): October 5, 2013
Seattle Latino Film Festival (WA): October 13, 2013
Be sure to follow us for news and updates!
Our very own Rick Castañeda and Stacey Wilson, a long-time friend of The Bunny, will be on the Making Money & Marketing Your Brand in the Film Industry panel organized by Edge Up Network. The event will be held at Rush Street Restaurant in Culver City on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 (update: it's sold out!).
Rick and Stacey will be talking about what it was like to direct and produce Cement Suitcase, their first feature-length fim together. Cement Suitcase recently won the 2013 Audience Award at the Dances With Films film festival in Hollywood. It will also be screened at the Tacoma Film Festival, the Ellensburg Film Festival, and the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.
For 5 glorious years, The Bunny has partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive in downtown LA. To join the life-saving effort, stop by the Bloodmobile!
5th & Spring
Thursday, August 22, 2013
10am - 4pm
The process, from "Hi!" to "Here's a cookie!" takes about 20 minutes. If you want to make an appointment, please give us a call at 310-862-4262, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be sure to get you in and out in a jiffy.
Bunnies will be rolling hard at Comic-Con down in San Diego. As always, if you're at the convention hit us up! Asa will be at the Thrillbent panel on Thursday to announce his new digital comic, "Blood," and will be wandering the convention floor on Friday gathering audio for an upcoming MYSTERY PROJECT.
Fresh off our longstanding commitment to early childhood brain development, we are producing a short film dedicated to raising awareness about Traumatic Brain Injury, particularly among young athletes. Production begins tomorrow, and we are excited to say the film will star Emmy Award winner Doug Davidson and Kathleen Wilhoite.
Cement Suitcase won the Audience Award in the Competition Features category at the 16th annual Dances With Films Festival!
The award was accepted by writer/director J. Rick Castañeda and producers Doug Spice, Stacey Wilson, and Sonia Pineda, presented by festival founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent. The film's World Premiere screened during the 11-day festival hosted at the Mann's Chinese Theatre complex in Hollywood, alongside 15 competition features
The movie tells the story of Franklin, the best wine salesman in the Yakima Valley, who discovers that his girlfriend is cheating on him and then accidentally befriends the “other man”. "More than anything, this is a film about letting go," said Castañeda. "Writing the film was a way of giving myself the courage to actually take chances myself."
Last night Cement Suitcase, had its official premiere as part of the Dances With Films festival in Hollywood! We were overjoyed to see so many fellow filmmakers, friends, press, and movie lovers in attendance. The crowd's enthusiasm and laughter definitely made the last two years of hard work feel completely worth it.
After the film, DWF Associate Director, Robert Mellette, led a spirited Q&A, which included charmingly shameless pandering by actor Nathan Sapsford and a mesmerizing raccoon analogy by writer-director Rick Castañeda. The film is in competition at the festival, so keep your fingers crossed that our name gets called at the closing ceremony on June 9th!
Tickets are available now for $11: http://www.tinyurl.com/cspremiere
The price will go up after May 30th, and seating is limited, so get yours early!
We are proud to announce the release of FREEQ!
FREEQ is an audio adventure game for mobile devices that turns your handheld device into an antenna that can pick up and hijack radio signals from the distant future. Spy on the last society on earth, interfere with people's lives, and try to solve the mystery of what ended the world.
Using a unique storytelling engine, players can influence the events of the future by choosing who speaks to whom, when, and what information is shared. It's just like one of those old style classic radio dramas, except that FREEQ allows the audience to lose themselves in a future no one ever imagined.
The Webby nominees and honorees were announced today, and we have some exciting news!
Re:Active, our interactive comics app, is an official honoree in the "Experimental & Innovations" category. Other honorees include the runaway app hit, Current Called ID, by WhitePages, a virtual Mazda car builder by Burrows, and a really cool Keyfree Login app built for Ford by Ogilvy France. Check out the rest of the bunch.
If you haven't downloaded Re:Active, do it now! It's free!
Last night's ADDY Awards Gala in Los Angeles brought us three gifts: Surf and Turf, non-awkward table mates, and AN AWARD!
That's right, folks. We won a shiny new Silver Award in the Commercials category for our work on the game trailer for Rad Dragon's iPhone game, Shove Pro.
If you haven't seen it, here it is in all its faux-documentary glory:
Our lovely and creepy 3D short, Midnight Daisy, is getting some love! So far, we have screened at 7 festivals, including the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival, where our very own Jesse Vigil picked up an award for Best Screenplay, Short. And this past weekend, Midnight Daisy received eight nominations at the 2013 Indie Horror Film Festival:
Best Director - Asa Shumskas Tait
Best Cinematography - Max Gutierrez
Best Special Effects - Psychic Bunny
Best Actress - Najarra Townsend
Best Supporting Actor - Daniel Roberts
Best Supporting Actress - Claire Scott
UPDATE: We won!
Midnight Daisy picked up Beast Actress (Najarra Townsend), Director's Choice, and a Special Recognition award for having been nominated in 4+ categories!
Our animated series Advice is listed in today's "TV on the Web" in USA Today!
Advice - an animated series recorded at bars and parties, and then animated for your viewing pleasure - was picked up by My Damn Channel's new Comedy Network a couple of weeks ago. Here's the first episode, and stay tuned to My Damn Channel for the second episode, coming soon!
Good news from the Bunny!
Our recently launched animated series, "Advice" - which is recorded at real bars and parties, with real drunk people, and then animated for your viewing pleasure - will be featured on Mydamnchannel.com's new Comedy Network!
Tucked away in a lost arcade is the game you never knew existed, and always wanted to play. An exploration of that most quintessential human feat: Bouncing. "A Game About Bouncing" is the latest and greatest from the creator of the PS3 hit Dyad, and we had a blast creating this trailer for it.
Psst! Hey. Hey. Hey. I love you. No for reals. This is not like some…I’m not drunk! Lissen. I’magonna give u some ADVICE.
You should tolly totes totally watch our new limited series. It's called "Advice" and it's real advice given to us in real bars by real people who like us, are not rilly that drunk. And then we animated it and it's great. Like you. You're...GREAT.
Hey, hey...know what? You can totally do us a solid and help more Advice get out there by sending us a recording of some good drunkety drunk drunk advice from you or someone you love to email@example.com.
You’re the BEST.
In 1917, while recovering from shell shock in a Scottish war hospital, Wilfred Owen wrote "Dulce Et Decorum Est," considered by many to be the preeminent poem of World War I. Owen was later returned to the front, only to be shot and killed on November 4, 1918 – one week before the end of the war.
Today, 95 years later, tens of thousands of US and NATO troops serve out a 10th year of combat in Afghanistan, and continue to struggle and die against a resilient and determined enemy. Doug Spice's single-take short film, also entitled "Dulce Et Decorum Est," adapts Owen's classic poem to the circumstances of the modern day, and a situation of grief and torment all too many soldiers, families, and friends are once again familiar with.
Veterans Day was yesterday, but we hope you'll find a few minutes today to watch and think of those that have served and continue to serve.
Hello fine denizen of Bunnsylvania,
I write this missive with a heavy heart, for I fear that dark forces watch me even now, and I may not last out even the shortest of motor carriage rides through these lovely Carpathian mountains. Please, I implore you, consume the following media. I have learned that it may be the only way to save yourself.
It will take but minutes to watch this short film, "House of the Darned," assembled from recently discovered video footage of Ryan and Mary Mitchell, back when they had all of their socks...and their lives.
The world has been burned to ash, the population has been decimated, a race of super-beings has built mysterious, frightening monuments of unknown purpose, and tribes of violent, fashion-forward priestesses roam the wastes. All in all, things have gotten a little bit weird – but you've still gotta make a buck, am I right?
That's why our very own Doug Spice directed a spot for "Retribution," the fragrance for diviners of the One True Blade. It's the first in a series of "commercials from the post-apocalypse," and in case you were concerned, things will probably just get weirder from here.
We love comics. We love them to tiny little bits.
We love them so much that we've had a ton of different ideas about how comics can evolve with interactivity, and rather than just sit around talking about it, we decided to make our own free iPad app.
Re:Active features three immersive stories, each with its own interesting features.
QUALIA is a 360° mystery - the very first of its kind. Pan around the world in 360° to find all the clues.
TILT utilizes gyroscope sensors in order to advance the story. So every time you tilt your iPad, it affects the characters!
And INDELIBLE uses the weather in your area, and a shuffling of pages to give you a new experience.
Watch the promo, or go ahead and download the free app now on your iPad! Take a moment to realize that you're living in the future, and the future is good.
Psychic Bunny is a Los Angeles-based creative studio that brings a strong sense of narrative and visual storytelling to every project.
Originally brought together as a writing team, the partners – Rick Castañeda, Asa Shumskas-Tait, Doug Spice, and Jesse Vigil – believe that character, story, and powerful visuals are the best way to grab attention and communicate ideas. That's true for jobs big or small, whether the medium is a broadcast commercial, a making-of documentary, or a 360° VR experience.
We provide production, post, motion design, and creative services for commercials, branded content, PSAs, interactive experiences and games, and feature films.
Our clients embody an eclectic exaltation of elite entertainment and educational entities!
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
Henry Ford (not a Psychic Bunny employee)