Full-service creative production company Where the Buffalo Roam (WTBR) has signed directing duo Practice Studios, a Denver-based film and animation workshop led by Directors Mike Slane and Adrian Bishop, for commercial and branded content representation (confirm).
Slane and Bishop combine offbeat humor, design, stagecraft, and music to create commercials, branded entertainment, social media content, and explainer videos for such clients as Sesame Street, Evol Foods, Silk Coconut Milk, and Waze.
“You couldn’t ask to work with a nicer, more talented group of folks,” says Co-Founder and Head of Production PJ Koll. “The energy and passion Mike and Adrian bring to their craft, not to mention their quirky sense of style, are just a few reasons we wanted them on our roster. We just love them.”
“We feel our unique skill-sets complement WTBR’s diverse roster,” says Slane. “They are kindred spirits who share an appreciation for the kind of mixed-media storytelling we do, while bringing a sense of fun and irreverence to all of it.”
Positive, playful, and free of cynicism, Slane and Bishop shaped their unique brand of storytelling, producing, and directing short films together for “Sesame Street.” During the course of many discussions and dog walks in the park, they realized their synergistic vision and launched Practice Studios in 2017, combining Slane’s design and animation skills with Bishop’s live-action skills spanning scriptwriting, directing, and producing.
Music and songwriting are also integral to their creative process, as heard in an animated sing-along campaign they produced for the State of Colorado. The spots highlight the seven principles of being stewards of the outdoors. The music-driven campaign saw high community engagement and spawned a series of educational videos. Their music also played into a viral short film they produced about plastic waste in the oceans called “How Far is Away?” The project combined 3D animation, puppetry, stop-motion, and an original song by Slane and Bishop. The piece was picked up by the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global advocacy group, and became part of its educational program in elementary schools.
“Music is very much a part of our DNA, and it’s always extra special when clients welcome us into that aspect of the creative,” explains Bishop. “Even if we’re not writing a song for a piece, we’re always exploring how to inflect musicality into the visual storytelling.”
Leaning into their penchant for creating hyper-fantastical worlds with built sets and handmade props, Slane and Bishop are currently pitching The Happy Broadcast, a mixed-media animated series they’ll co-direct, based on the illustrated collection of good news from around the world by Mauro Gatti. In addition, they’re developing a Christmas special on the origin story of Christmas lights. Singer Lisa Loeb is attached to write the music.
“We’re constantly exploring new techniques,” concludes Bishop. “It’s an especially exciting time to be working in mixed media and having partners like WTBR pushing our art form into the entertainment space and into new opportunities.”
About Where the Buffalo Roam:
WTBR is a full-service production company with offices in Oakland and Los Angeles. Its approach is simple: Be good people. Make good things. Recent clients include Google, Nike, Webflow, Robinhood, Gymshark, and Vespa.