Buck is without a doubt one of our favourite studios. Their work is fun, colourful and always seems to hit the mark. We caught up with their Principle/ECD Ryan Honey recently for a little natter about what makes Buck…well…Buck.
Who, what, where, why is Buck?
Buck- Founded in 2004 by Myself, our other ECD in NY Orion Tait and our Managing Director Jeff Ellermeyer. We are a conglomerate of designers, illustrators, animators, cg artists, directors and producers that work together to make things for money-most of the time.
We are currently about 70 fulltime across our NY and LA offices.
Why? No reason in particular.
One of the things we love about your work is the mix of mediums, from 2D cel animations to puppetry, how important is it to you to have variety in your portfolio?
Originally our exploration of every technique and medium was a mix of curiosity, doing what we thought was right for the project and a desire to challenge ourselves. I think the unintended consequence was that because we have experience in all these forms we are able to concept and produce media that mixes these techniques in a way that tricks us into thinking we are creating something original.
So important to us for our sanity - yes.
You guys tend to do some pretty elaborate animations for projects you wouldn’t expect to have huge budgets, Good Books and Childline being good examples, whats the story behind that?
Every year we pick 2-4 projects that we believe in and can control creatively and invest our own money in making them as amazing we can, those are two of them.
There’s a real spirit of collaboration on your projects and there doesn’t seem to be a specific director on any of your projects, do you feel that this approach has an advantage over more director-led pipelines?
I have only ever worked in this environment so I can only speak to the advantages of our workflow and because working on 12 projects at once has made my thoughts fracture I can only answer this question in short fragments made to look like an ordered list.
1. When you make creative decisions together everyone feels like they are part of the process and is more compelled to do their best.
2. When you make creative decisions together you can be more informed about how technique can influence design and storytelling.
3. When people are part of the process they are more fulfilled at work and don’t go looking for it elsewhere. This results in team members who have worked together for up to 10 years which has obvious benefits.
What would be your ultimate dream project?
A short animated film that is super weird that also informs people about a misperceived issue. In other words, uses art to open people’s eyes.
It’s rare to see studios include full list of credits on their sites, which you guys have, do you see it as an important thing to do?
I never understood why other studios don’t as everyone deserves credit for the work they do.
What does it take to become a Buck designer/animator?
Besides being extremely talented, we look for people who have a varied skill set, hutspa and who are not assholes.
A good work and play balance is important in any industry, what do you guys do for fun outside of the studio?
I really shouldn’t speak for everyone but in general terms I would say that we try to ingest the world around us as much as possible.
What is the best thing you’ve seen on the internet today?
Tell us about one thing you love…
Besides my wife and kids I can’t think of anything that won’t make me look like a deviant.