As a father of three, Bryan Ransom is reluctant to feed his children “junk food” entertainment. “It’s like Doritos,” Ransom says. “After you eat it, you’re like, ‘Why did I do that? It was entertaining, but why did I waste my time?’”
Luckily, this Georgetown native is in a position to concoct a more nourishing alternative. He’s the CEO and producer of MOONDOG Animation Studio, which he and partners Jean-Marc Khayat and Ben Davis are currently operating out of Mount Pleasant. Having met while collaborating on film projects in France, the trio (who count Nickelodeon, France Television, and high-end advertising agencies among past clients) rooted their newly formed endeavour in Charleston in 2013. They chose the Holy City in part for its ability to help attract top talents from around the globe, though they are also partnering with Clemson University to hire students from its digital production arts master’s program.
In fact, over the next 18 months, they plan to create 150 jobs as they make what they hope will be South Carolina’s first feature-length animated film—an approximately $25-million project that should hit theaters in 2017.
Ransom has big expectations for the father-and-son tale that MOONDOG is now scripting. “We want to build something that moves people to think about their lives and be better for it, that evolves people and changes them,” he says.
A look at a few of MOONDOG’s other animation projects
➼ Shorts for the South Carolina Aquarium: To promote the aquarium’s May 2015 ”Shark Shallows” exhibit, the firm is creating 60- and 30-second animated shorts featuring characters that will be used as aquarium mascots.
➼ ”The Life & Trials of Willy Grunch:” This series of animated shorts targeted to 15- to 35-year-olds was adapted from a Swiss comic book.
➼ Orbie for Orphans project: MOONDOG is working with nonprofit Orbie for Orphans on a series of films that will be distributed to orphanages worldwide ”to instill values and give hope” to kids aging out of orphanages, says Ransom.