Producing animation for adult audiences, though buzzing through the public consciousness more and more, can still feel relatively unexplored at times. But as animation enthusiasts are well aware, the patience and dedication with which young studios and veteran artists have tackled this challenge continues to grow. In Dublin, Ireland, animation production group Brown Bag Films has decided to wade into the conversation as well, establishing a production label that will focus exclusively on "entertainment for grown-ups."
Icehouse is the new brand through which the writers, artists, and producers of Brown Bag Films will brainstorm, explore, and experiment with animation storytelling and technology. The company will still churn out quality computer animation for children's programming -- as with Disney's Doc McStuffins
and CBeebies' Octonauts
-- but the time to expand to include the adult segment is now. According to the studio, just about everything is on the table, from animation for primetime programming to larger-scale productions for feature audiences. Brown Bag Films will operate many of Icehouse's production efforts out of their Los Angeles, CA, animation unit.
Individuals with Icehouse are already reported to be pitching television concepts to broadcasters in Ireland, the UK, and the United States. However, even with this early testing of the TV waters for adult-targeted content, Icehouse will focus most of its efforts on digital distribution. The label will be "looking to road-test material online," building audience support in advance of more lucrative pitches to primetime.
"We want to have a strong two-way dialogue with fans," Gregory R. Little, producer with Brown Bag Films' U.S. location, commented on the digital approach. "[This dialogue] means getting content out early in the process. We learn more from producing than developing, and keeping budgets low means that we can take more risks and experiment.
Because of the experimental approach that Icehouse will embody using as its writers and artists charge forward, the genres under consideration will likewise include animated comedy and action for both traditional and digital distribution platforms. According to Cathal Gaffney, CEO of Brown Bag Films, the opportunity couldn't be more ripe to diversify the company and reach into new markets.