Crunchyroll’s in-house production team manages their YouTube channel, media projects from documentaries to podcasts, and global events, like their annual global Crunchyroll Anime Awards broadcast which garnered over 11 million votes in 2020.
Previously, the Crunchyroll team used external animation studios to create videos and stories featuring Crunchyroll-Hime, the brand's mascot, and Tim, Crunchyroll's host. With a talented team skilled in production, voice acting, editing, storyboarding, they decided to bring animated content production in-house to save time, reduce production costs, and have more control in the creative process.
The Crunchyroll Anime Awards presented a unique challenge for Senior Producer Jesse Gouldsbury and the Crunchyroll team. This marked the first time they approached a complete end-to-end 3D animation production in-house, and the timeline was extremely fast, just a few weeks. And with the new reality of COVID19 lockdowns and remote work, it was clear to Gouldsbury; they were going to need to get creative.
The team realized they needed an easy way to quickly bring together voice acting, motion capture, virtual scenes, characters, and creative direction, with a remote team spread across North America and beyond. For this, Gouldsbury tapped Aquifer for their remote-enabled cinematic animation platform.
The Aquifer team lended their sensibilities for production details, from cinematography, production design, and lighting. Combined with their novel technology, they were able to shorten the time between a first draft and a final cut.