Fatkat Teams Up With Supa Strikas

Andrew “Beans” Embury here – I’m a creative producer and designer at Fatkat Animation Studios, and Aaron Simpson at Coldhardflash.com has added me on as a “reporter in the field.” Here at Fatkat, we’ve recently taken on a new project – Supa Strikas, an action series produced in Flash. Traditional techniques, and symbol-based animation combined with 3D action soccer scenes and backgrounds make for a unique look and feel, which you can see below:


I recently sat down with Hennie Blaauw, head of the Animation Department at Cape Town-based Strika Entertainment, for an interview. This summer, he spent 3 weeks at our studio to help oversee and steer the team.EMBURY: What’s the best aspect of utilizing Flash on a production?
HENNIE BLAAUW: Well, the whole re-usability aspect. Flash allows you to make changes and tweak colors much easier than the traditional pen and paper route. The cool thing about Flash is that it works so well with our current pipeline which utilizes Flash, After FX and the rest of the CS3 Suite. And since the newest versions allow a greater capacity to be integrated with one another it allows us to have a quicker turnaround and deliver higher quality animation.EMBURY: What’s the most difficult part of the production pipeline?
BLAAUW: The most difficult part of our production would have to be the soccer action scenes themselves. I found it being one of the hardest things to animate since you’re dealing with the human body first of all and secondly, soccer is a really technical sport so it’s actually quite hard to get all those things working for you. Not to mention it is probably the most watched sport in the world so that means we are going to have a lot of critics. At the end of the day we want to make an entertaining, action packed show for kids.

The HD Format presented some challenges as well that we managed to overcome, and thankfully we have an experienced post production team on board, so the rest of the production pipeline should run pretty smoothly.

EMBURY: How has the animated Strika concept been received in South Africa?
BLAAUW: Supa Strikas is well known in South Africa since the comic is very popular over there and it even gets distributed with one of our Sunday newspapers. Our first series was really well received and we got amazing feedback from fans and the TV broadcasters alike. A second series of one minute episodes will hit the small screen soon and I have no doubt that the full length series will be a huge hit. The fans hasn’t seen anything yet!

EMBURY: Could you give us a brief synopsis of an episode?
BLAAUW: Sure – determined to win the world’s greatest soccer league, Supa Strikas gather urgently at the Secret Training Compound. Here, Coach reveals their most fearsome rival ever: De Los Santos, the giant goalkeeper from Mexico’s The Azul. In the team jet, Shakes, discovers Mexico’s rich Aztec history, but he and El Matador discover how difficult it is to score through De Los Santos. Issued an ultimatum by Coach, Shakes and El Matador embark on a quest that leads them to an Aztec temple, a world of invention and, possibly, the key to success.

Thanks, Hennie. Let’s turn the mike over to Andrew Blodgett, the Senior Producer here at Fatkat – and the man we like to call ‘Big Show.’

EMBURY: So, Big Show, what separates Supa Strikas from other similar series?
ANDREW BLODGETT: The series is based on the phenomenally successful soccer comic by the same name that has a massive monthly readership in excess of 10 million people, across 4 continents and multiple languages. It’s a proven concept with a massive existing fan base that have been excitedly awaiting the animated television version of their favorite soccer comic for many years. Check out supastrikas.com to see the comic.

EMBURY: Was it difficult to merge the Maya environments and the 2D Flash animation?
BLODGETT: No – just basic compositing — throw on some motion blurs, and post lighting, and it blends quite nicely.

EMBURY: Where are you hoping this show will sell?
BLODGETT: As soccer is the by far the most watched and loved sport across the globe, the series will be targeting broadcast sales everywhere. More kids under-12 play soccer in the USA than any other sport – so we are confident that a world class soccer action adventure series, based on a phenomenally successful print comic book, will have no problem attracting a leading North American broadcaster.

EMBURY: Thanks for your time, Big Show. And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

3 Comments

  1. ’tis not soccer, ’tis Football!

  2. Gene Fowler August 17, 2007

    It’s gonna be a good show. Got some great people on it.

    Leon Arispunandar, Craig Schriver, Jeremy Donovan, Jeff Davis and Cindy Blakney heading up the animation team.

    Ryan Kiezer, KC Gallant, Michelle Legendre and Mike Kettela heading up the design and assembly teams

    Also Patrick Proulx with Hennie directing animation. A tight squad to be sure.

    Can’t wait to start seeing what’s coming in from post at strikas! Greg Tarlton is the shizzle!

  3. ‘Tis not football Bentos…’tis Shaolin Football (‘fo shizzle)

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