Artist Spotlight: Development Team

Welcome to the first in a series of pieces spotlighting different members of the Kickstart team, and the work they do both inside and outside of the studio, starting with a look our development process. 

Create. Collaborate. Kickstart!

Our new company tagline isn’t just a staccato collection of buzzwords. Along with the roll-out of our new website and branding is a fresh ethos: we’ve re-organized our entire development process around the idea that creative collaboration within our walls breeds better, more engaging content. Here’s a look at the first step in long process of getting new ideas from our brains to your screens.

While our core development department consists of coordinators and producers, when it comes to creative vision, we believe in casting a wide net. For each project we handpick a unique team from our staff, taking in account each artist’s style, experience and interests. Gathering in our conference room, we discuss each level of the development property from top to bottom: character, plot, visual style, theme, and more.

Using our fine-tuned creative brief to distill the needs of our clients, we narrow down what steps need to be taken to meet our goals, and then let our imaginations run wild. By collectively brainstorming we can think outside the box and come up with solutions that will excite and engage both broadcasters and viewers.



“I like that there are people from different departments working together. Everyone has a different background and skills so each person has something to bring to the table. They can contribute ideas or thoughts that someone else may not have thought of. In the beginning, it's great to just throw everything in and see what might stick or resonate with people.”

  • Lillian Lai, Art Director

After our initial discovery session, we split up to do separate explorations, seeking answers to the questions that were raised:

Do the character designs need a jump-start?

Does the theme need to be more clearly defined?

Is it clear what challenges we could face in animation?

When we come back together, our writers, designers, storyboard artists, animators and technical leads will each bring their own perspective on the answers to these questions. At this point, we’ll see what new concerns have arisen, and what mysteries still need to be explored.

The room where it happens!

The room where it happens!

“I really like the feeling of the a sort of open door on ideas that can happen within the range of what is being presented. So it becomes a bit like focused brainstorming and ideas bounce around. I look forward to those meetings for how fun they are.”

  • Troy Alden, Comp Supervisor

This process of asking questions and finding solutions continues on until we’re satisfied we’ve produced work that both ourselves and our clients will feel excited in and confident about, whether it be a pitch package, test reel, or any other form of creative material.

The reality of animated story-telling is that it is collaborative by nature. There are multiple people in every department contributing to the final product of a given project, and each of us have a fresh perspective to bring. Kickstart’s philosophy is this: Placing value in our diverse viewpoints at the outset of a project improves our final product and allows us to tell bigger, better & more powerful stories than ever before.