MTV Sunday Stew



Over two years, between 2003 and 2005, Brand New School under my creative direction provided the identity for Sunday Stew, a block of programming on MTV’s most watched night, featuring shows such as Punk’d, Wildboyz and Viva La Bam. We did promos, the block identity, as well as dozens of “Art Breaks,” little short films serving as distractions from the programming structure.

The identity, essentially eight bumpers, are like pieces of wrapping paper packaging the line-up of shows. When I say “wrapping paper,” I mean that these things cannot have a story structure; they cut in and out before and after commercial breaks and are used in multiple lengths.

For the first two seasons, we created “Parades,” After Effects collages made from film, photographs, drawings, vector art and 3D animation.
In the second year, our client, Aaron Stoller, asked us to not do a collage again. Unable to think of this weird hodge podge of prankster shows in a single-image-big-idea-kind of way, we decided to devise a system of limitations: We’d collect junk from Manhattan shops, anything that looked cool and is cheap, and we’d build a miniature environment, and we’d animate all of it in stop motion.

In addition, I felt like too much of contemporaneous animation was taking place in environments that merely follow the structures of the real world — there is a ground and a sky, there are plants and man-made things, and there are creature-like characters moving through this world of artifacts.

My initial sketch to explain to the team the kind of density I had in mind;
and a production still of one of the miniature sets.

I asked my team to build this world like the inside of a machine, where any element can move as if it was a character, and where there’s no up or down, no sense of gravity, and no distinction between biological and mechanical elements. Finally, we distorted the colors to furthermore enhance the sense of disorientation.

MTV Sunday Seasons III—IV / Montage (2004/1:20)


Client: MTV Networks, New York
Design & Production: Brand New School, New York
Creative Director & Designer: Jens Gehlhaar

Designers/Animators: Sarah Ancalmo, Bran Dougherty-Johnson, Dennis Go, Jon Santos, Jocelyn Shipley
Animator: Chad Colby Flame Artist: Blake Huber
Producers: Kevin Hanney, Jonathan Trueblood

Music: Ear Goo, New York

See also:
MTV Sunday Stew "Parade"
MTV Art Breaks