A Monkeystack and Shackleton Epic Expedition production, Thin Ice VR is 20-minute world-first historical re-creation documentary VR experience presented by Tm Jarvis AM supported by the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Australia, Adelaide Film Festival, Torrens University, Kathmandu and One Ocean Expeditions and Documentary Foundation Australia.
Thin Ice VR, currently in production for release in 2021, will offer an unrivalled immersive experience that will leave viewers in no doubt about the devastating effect of climate change.
Our collaboration with Michael Cusack and Princess Pictures for Koala Man was just the beginning. YOLO Crystal Fantasy is the next chapter, and with the series being commissioned by Adult Swim, part of the giant Cartoon Network in the US, what a chapter it is. It is the first time that Adult Swim has commissioned a series outside of the US!
This time around, Justin Wight (Monkeystack Director) Co-Produced the series and Monkeystack put together a team of 19 to produce the 8 x 10min episodes for the first season. We think that it’s one of the largest 2D animated series ever produced in South Australia.
For over 10 months, our talented team produced the series that follows the surreal misadventures of friends Rachel and Sarah as they traverse the strange land that is Australia. (Sarah attempts to look for social acceptance and love while Rachel wants nothing but partying and chaos.)
It premiered on Sunday, August 9 at midnight US ET/PT on Adult Swim. You can check out the whole series if you’re clever (or in the US!).
Content Warning. The series is rated TV14LV in the US so not suitable for children under 14.
As a core component in the launch of Adelaide’s Rundle Mall rebrand developed by Cummins and Partners Advertising, Monkeystack created the Unfold 30 second TVC taking viewers on a tour of some of the mall’s iconic spaces and events.
Primal Surfacing, part of the VSA Roads Group of Companies, commissioned Monkeystack to produce this realistic animation of their new OBV Production Unit. It’s the world’s first high production synchronised spraying and aggregate spreader and it’s in Australia. This unit is a game changer, setting new standards in road surfacing safety, innovation and environmental sustainability and we hope that our animation sets a new standard in photo-realistic industrial visualisations.
Initially conceived as a tool to support St Hallett representatives, Monkeystack created a ‘handcrafted’ illustrated history of the vineyard.
It celebrates the 70 year milestone of an iconic South Australian brand through raw earthy tones and flowing movement; an artistic direction developed alongside agency Fuller Brand Communications that represents the essence of the brand presented in a beautifully engaging timeline.
Young people participate in a survey run by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research called the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. For some, their responses can seem meaningless in isolation.
Monkeystack was commissioned by Algos Mas Marketing to develop an interactive entertainment solution to share some of the data with their respondents. The result was League of Heroes – an interactive ‘character builder’ where players answer questions to create a fictional heroic persona. The questions are similar to those in the real surveys and on the conclusion of the game, it gives them metrics on how they compare with their peers based on this real-world data.
Learn first aid, because you don’t need a cape or superpowers to be a real hero!
Building on previous award winning World First Aid Day campaigns, Monkeystack created this series of quirky animated shorts to spread a message from Red Cross about first aid training; a reminder to everyone that simply knowing first aid could save a life – no cape or superpowers required.
Combining thousands of still images set within digitally created environments, The Moment tells the story of an old man torn from his slumber by a horrible and unshakable vision.
The Moment is an adaptation of a short story originally written by award-winning comedian Shaun Micallef and co-produced by Monkeystack and Smoking Gun Productions.
The film stars Ralph Cotterill and Barbara West and was funded by the South Australian Film Corporation and Adelaide Film Festival to premiere in March 2011 at the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival. The Moment explores the themes of memory, guilt and identity as it chronicles the inner narrative of an octogenarian struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease and a nagging belief that he may have killed his wife.
Produced for Nickelodeon, Bridget Goddess is about a teenage dung beetle, Bridget, who believes she’s a descendent of Egyptian royalty.
Bridget is infatuated with Emo, a good looking praying mantis, and like many teenage girls, finds her little brother annoying and is embarrassed by her dung beetle father. Bridget’s angst-ridden life is played out on reality television with her and her friends happily talking to the cameras, hoping they will become reality TV stars. Produced with assistance from the South Australian Film Corporation.
“A warm and furry series about being a ‘Nuff’ in a world where enough is never enough.” Zuzu & the SuperNuffs is a 8 x 5 minute 2D animated children’s comedy series for ages 4-8 animated by Monkeystack.
It follows the adventures of 5 furry aliens called Nuffs after their intergalactic bathtub almost crash-lands on top of 13 year old ZuZu Becky-Jones.
Produced by KidsCo and Matchbox Pictures, the first episode aired online on August 12, 2013 and international cable channel KidsCo on August 19, 2013.
“There are some things you shouldn’t do stoned – Make driving one of them” – a message from South Australia’s Motor Accident Commission to be communicated via viral video that Monkeystack were commissioned to produce by Clemenger Advertising Adelaide.
With over 370k views on YouTube, ‘Pull a Mainy’ is the first in a series of animations aimed at motorists in South Australia, reminding them of the consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs.
Double Happy Vs. the Infinite Sadness is an energetic story driven experience interactively covering PC, iOS and Android, as well as animated short films and a web/social media presence.
The property stars a pair of neo pop edgy cute rabbits called Pink and Blue, as they set out on a quest to vanquish an all consuming entropic force called the Infinite Sadness from their homeland.
The Constant App is an iOS application which uses augmented reality to deliver The Constant, 52 musical compositions from several genres, in a unified manner.
Monkeystack was commissioned to produce an interactive method of presenting the compositions to a new audience in a festival environment. The result is an application which uses an iPhone or iPad to reveal sound and vision not present in real life. A unique artwork was created for each composition that acts as an AR marker, and even when the marker is not in sight the audio continues to play providing the user with a portable way to remain engaged with the application.
With educational outcomes in mind, Monkeystack and SA Water developed 2 games for SA Water’s Kauwi Interpretive Centre.
The games were designed to teach the visiting public about desalination and water management, explaining processes and the reasons behind them in an entertaining and easy to understand manner.
After finalising the game design during collaborative workshops with SA Water, Monkeystack then took on the creative direction of the project. The team created the still and animated components and produced the games for multiple platforms; putting them through focused audience testing before final delivery.
The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) track young people as they move from school into further study, work, and other destinations. Monkeystack were tasked with creating an engaging experience for existing participants to encourage and motivate continued participating in the annual survey.
Understanding what motivates youth audience (sub 25) and the power educating through games, we developed a mobile-friendly game concept called Fib or Fact. This short, fun and engaging, web game sees participants race the clock to correctly answer questions relating the survey topics. The competitive nature and sense achievement along with a streamlined UX design helped make this project a success.
Want to see if you’re in the know? Play LSAY Fact or Fib
In a project produced and designed by ABC – Behind the News, Torrens Valley University and Novus Res, our animation team contributed to this world-first VR project to bring the Kokoda story to life like never before.
Midnight Revolution was created as a passion project in our studio. We wanted to make use of the knowledge in photo realistic 3D assets and game design to create an experience that you might see in a gaming cut scene.
We took a cinematic approach to the visual styling and edited fast and furiously to engage an audience with heart-stopping racing scenes set in a fictional, yet familiar cityscape.
With a gear grinding sound design and composition from local composer, Justin Pounsett from The Audio Embassy, Midnight Revolution would be one awesome game to play.
A game designed around a darkly humorous sci-fi story, The Vault was developed through a partnership with the University of Adelaide’s ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, the Queen Mary University of London and Monkeystack.
The Vault game is a journey into history, an immersion into the experiences and emotions of those whose lives were very different from our own. There, we discover unfamiliar feelings, uncanny characters who are like us and yet unlike. It is also a journey into the human condition, into a metaphoric space in which being truly, richly human is the only way to survive-provoking us to consider not only our past but our future.
The Vault won the Best Console / PC Hardcore Console and Best Indie Game categories for the Game Connection Development Awards at Game Connection Europe 2018.
See more at The Vault website.
Monkeystack was commissioned by the University of South Australia Museum of Discovery (MOD.) to bring to life an exhibit conceptualised and scripted by Karl ‘Winda’ Telfer, a Kaurna cultural bearer, artist and community leader.
The exhibit at the entrance to MOD. is presented on the Street Gallery Touch Screens – a video wall of ten 55” HD touchscreens mounted side-by-side in portrait orientation to provide a seamless 10800×1920 pixel Windows desktop. The screens offer 32 simultaneous points of touch across the entire surface so multiple people can play, discover and learn at the same time.
It’s a truly stunning canvas to tell a magnificent story of the seasons from the perspective of Indigenous Australians – our first scientists and astronomers.
The VR visualisation of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R and the fictional apartment of a young engineer is an internal project that we undertook as a studio to push the graphic rendering and interactive capabilities of VR headsets.
The viewer is placed within a highly detailed apartment complete with cinematic lighting and sound design where they can move within the environment and interact with a series of objects.
This approach to building interactive worlds in XR is one that we are constantly refining and employing with other VR projects. From an industry training and education perspective, we want to enable people to better navigate environments and objects and familiarise themselves with their function or specification while in an immersive, low-risk environment.
The animated piece for Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness Australia and Neptune Bio Innovations aims to spread awareness of this problem and promotes the use of their alternative, Heartsalt – a healthier alternative to regular table salt, containing 56 per cent less sodium but maintaining the same taste.
We drew on the golden era of animation from the 1940s and produced Heart A-Salt, a tongue-and-cheek film about the overuse of salt in Australian’s diet. To get the animation style to match the creative vision, the Monkeystack team used a hand drawn, frame by frame process with over 2300 individual drawings produced and hand coloured!
In a bid to move away from the perception that they only work with police officers, Police Credit Union engaged Monkeystack to develop a new mascot for their brand. In the six years since, POCU has surprised his TVC, web and in-branch audience with his unique universe and all that live in it – all the while telling the story of PCU and their excellent financial and insurance services and products.
Directed by Grant Sputore and starring Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Rose Byne and Luke Hawker, I Am Mother is a Netflix sci-fi thriller about a teenage girl, who is the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother, a robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of humankind.
Monkeystack produced the on set practical screen content. On over 15 various screens we crafted animated sequences for the interactive door panels and touchscreens, various computer boot up sequences and all of the screens on the robot ‘Mother’ by Weta Workshop.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on 25 January 2019 with distribution across Netflix in several countries on 7 June 2019. It was nominated as one of the thirty-four feature films in competition to be nominated for the 2019 AACTA Awards.
As part of the Hedonism exhibit at MOD. (Museum of Discovery at the University of South Australia), Monkeystack produced F.A.B.L.E, an AR led experiential game about consent that visitors navigate via a phone app.
Marshman Foundation, the research and development arm of Youth Opportunites, is an organisation who works with young people with the goal of empowering them with the tools and skills they need to overcome challenges now and in the future. This animated short film was developed to introduce young people to the Stars and Blackholes narrative. This concept looks at the effects of positive and negative energy and how it affects interactions and attitudes between people.
Monkeystack developed the animation in graphic novel art style, bringing the narrative to life over seven and a half minutes with subtle animation and dynamic compositions with a young adult audience in mind.
Stars and Black Holes is a project that we’re proud to have produced and fits perfectly with our development lens of entertainment, leading to engagement and education and in contributing positively to the social consciousness.
Monkeystack was engaged by Austroads to produce a library of Hazard Perception Test (HPT) videos and supporting material.
This library includes 197 animated videos for motorcycle riders as well as car drivers, providing materials for the world’s first motorcycle-specific HPT.
Shown to reduce the likelihood of crashes, the computer based HPT measures a driver’s or rider’s ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations on the road and respond appropriately. The test is part of the licensing process in NSW, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
The brief from the agency was pretty simple.
We’re going to ask a bunch of kids what they want to be when they grow up. We’d like you to capture them telling us this story in front of a green screen then bring their imagination to life using 2D animation for a TV campaign. They also wanted us to produce a range of images that could be used in Print, Digital and Out Of Home to compliment the campaign over the active period of the back to school sales.
The signature installation of the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Yabarra – Dreaming in Light, ran at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute from 12 Feb to 15 March. For the 31 days of the Fringe, from 10am until 10pm, over 40,000 people experienced the creation story of Tjilbruke, as interpreted by Karl Winda Telfer and the Williams clan in one of the most complex indoor projected experiences created in Australia.
“Dreaming in Light tells the story of Tjirbruki, but there are so many other elements – the stories of the stars and the ancestors are so important … It’s about looking after and caring for our environment and protecting these few open space places we have left.”—Karl ‘Winda’ Telfer
Quirky and edgy-cute, this animated short was aimed at the public to encourage them to learn first aid, linking in with World First Aid Day. It was part of a series – Band-Aids Can’t Fix Everything.
The clip has over 122 000 views on YouTube making it the most viewed video on the Australian Red Cross YouTube Channel. It won many awards for our studio and it also became AdWeek’s ‘Ad of the Day’, was featured by Australian Creative, B&T, Campaign Brief amongst others in Australia and raved about by international publications Huffington Post, Little Black Book and Ads of the World.
Monkeystack worked with Defence SA and the Australian Space Agency to create an animated chronicle of Australia’s long association with space and space activities.
The History of Space in Australia takes audiences from the early days of Woomera in 1947 through to our current contributions to space exploration and the global Deep Space Network. Working with archives, libraries, museums, historians, agencies, personal collections and cultural leaders in Australia and internationally to produce the animation which is what we believe the most accurate, animation and video depiction of the topic from an Australian perspective in existence. We commissioned South Australian composer Chris Larkin to create the moving score.
This 9 minute video had its first official premier at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington in October 2019.
Monkeystack was commissioned to produce the animated pilot for Koala Man, a collaboration between Princess Pictures and Michael Cusack, with support from Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation.
Monkeystack put together a team of exceptional animators to work on the project over several months to bring to life Koala Man – whose world is just like Batman, but much less rich and not as cool.
We were so very proud to see the Koala Man premiere was on Tuesday 20th November 2018 on ABC COMEDY as part of the Fresh Blood series. In late 2019, Koala Man was shortlisted for an AACTA Award for Best Online Video or Series.
The show is classified MA…so is our case study!
Are You Tougher than Your Ancestors? is a fun and immersive living history series that pits the skills of today’s kids against the exploits of children from Australia’s past, to find out how they measure up! Monkeystack was commissioned with Flying Kite Pictures and Sticky Pictures to produce the animations for the entire 10 part series.
The first episode aired on ABC ME in June 2020 and has gone on to win an AEAF Special Merit Award and gained Official Selection at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
You can watch the series on ABC iView or purchase episodes from the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.