Most noted in the Vishus Productions vault is the overtly gothic Figaro Pho.
Figaro Pho is a cross-platform animation series for broadcast on ABC1 and ABC Online. It was created with the generous support and investment of the South Australian Film Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Screen Australia.
The series focuses on the comic misadventures of Figaro, a boy beset by an entire alphabet of phobias. Whether it is fear of spiders, vegetables, beards, or vibrating to pieces, Figaro has experienced them all! In fact, you’d be strapped to think of a single phobia that Figaro has not harboured, lodged or morbidly entertained. Figaro takes absurd and comedic journey as he reveals to us his own personal A-Z of phobias.
Luke Jurevicius dreamt up the series concept virtually on the spot, whilst entertaining family over brunch.
After a fine feast of culinary delights, mints were distributed around the table. This sent Luke into conniptions, as his fear of mint came rushing to the fore. This of course sent the family into hysterics and confusion, and it was from this moment that he suddenly realised that an audience could be entertained and engaged by a chronically phobic character.
Luke notoriously exhibits a ream of unusual phobias, which suggests that the series is somewhat autobiographic! Fear of mint, prickly woollen jumpers and a fast beating heart are high on his list of phobias.
Luke produced, directed, co-wrote the scripts, co-designed, storyboarded, co-wrote the music and voiced the entire Figaro Pho series, including the voice of Figaro.
The series reached a world class level of quality due to the dedication and skills of a small but talented team.
On the top of the list, Luke engaged the interest of Deane Taylor, who is hailed a legend for his Art Direction on Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. As the Creative Consultant, Deane aided Luke throughout the project as both a mentor and valued friend.
Animation Technical Directors Andrew Kunzel and Anto Bond led the animation team armed with a bevy of credits under their belts, including extensive experience at WETA Digital. Animation TD’s Nathan Jones and Matthew Ziegeler joined the ranks to form a highly skilled and exciting team.
As part of the SAFC Digital Media Attachment Scheme, Vishus Productions took on board talented newcomers Christian Kuntz and Ryan Kirby who jumped into the deep end by lighting and compositing the entire series.
It should be noted that the quality of the production is by no means reflected in the overall budget. The entire team worked tirelessly on a shoestring budget fuelled by the inner desire to create something beautiful and world class. Vishus Productions commends the entire team who dedicated a good portion of their lives to the creation of such a unique and creative project.
Endeavouring to tell an engaging, non-dialogue driven story successfully in one minute was one of the great challenges of the project. The storyboarding was very satisfying yet equally exhausting. We tried to keep the stories as simple as possible given the fact that we only had 1500 frames to work with.
However, there were a few exceptions to the rule, as we wanted to push the bar on what we could achieve into almost foolish levels.
A classic example is the episode Fear of Vegetables. Luke wanted to create a classic World War I trench warfare scene, where Figaro is the last man standing against a bevy of advancing enemy vegetable soldiers!
Animation TD Anto Bond was able to capture the vision portrayed in the storyboards accuracy, making this episode one of the most elaborate and original episodes.
Checkout the Fear of Vegetables Storyboards.
The linear broadcast component of Figaro Pho consists of 26 x 90 second episodes. The interactive component serves as an immersive extension of Figaro’s world in the form of an overarching adventure game and a suite of mini-games.
Visit www.abc.net.au/figaropho for a full list of credits and to view all 26 episodes. Enjoy!
2010 KidsScreen Awards
2009 AFI Awards
2009 ATOM Awards
2009 Gold Panda Awards
2009 APRA-AGSC Screen Music Awards
2009 TV Week Logies
2009 South Australian Screen Awards
You can use the scrollbar, mouse wheel or arrow keys to navigate!