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From The Simpsons to Mogies: The Journey of Erick Tran & Chavvo Animation Studios 

The journey of the animators that brought The Simpsons series, The Simpsons Movie and VR attractions at Universal Studios Japan, to its first ever NFT animated series and metaverse is filled with adventure and curiosity.

CHAVVO Animation Studios is a tight-knit international family of creative storytellers, animators, and artists based in five countries. They embrace new challenges and use their collective experience to create meaningful and compelling content.

That collective experience harnessed a passion for TV and film production as well as merchandising spanning two decades.  These years of experience, which also includes video game and theme park design, has prepared the team for the NFT and metaverse revolution. 

Erick Tran who founded CHAVVO, with the animation team, put their collective experiences together with Mogul Productions to create the Mogies animated series, featuring 1,923 unique Hollywood inspired NFT characters that interact inside the Mogieland metaverse. 

Erick played a key role in building the digital pipeline for The Simpsons. In the process he also created and developed the training program for artists migrating from traditional paper animation to newer technology.  

That process helped start his collaboration with Toon Boom, the software company known for creating award-winning software for animation and story boarding to bring TV series and feature films from ideation to screen. This collaboration was pivotal because it allowed him to participate in various venues in the US and Canada where he was able to expand the CHAVVO brand. It was the opportunity for CHAVVO to scale as a “100% digital pipeline studio”.  

Erick shared his thoughts and journey from the success of Simpsons to the Mogies, the first real NFT animated series.  

“I’m an 80’s kid and grew up with new emerging technology and the start of the video gaming revolution. I was instantly hooked and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I started programming in high school and learned Photoshop quite early. As I started my career on The Simpsons I didn’t realize that having technological knowledge would give me an edge. I remember giving Final Cut Pro classes to staff members as well as developing a training program for The Simpsons Movie to help artists transition from traditional to digital workflow. When I founded CHAVVO we were already ahead of the game with the pandemic because our team had been working remotely since 2015. So when artists were figuring out how to be at home and work remotely, we had already mastered our pipeline and workflow.  We were essentially pandemic ready. 2020 ended up being a very good year (workwise) despite unfortunate events happening around the world.”  

Towards final delivery of the Simpsons Movie,  Erick worked with Universal Creative and Fox to co-design the Simpsons Ride attraction which developed his relationship with Universal.  Additionally, he worked on video gaming projects for The Simpsons available on major consoles such as PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Wii.

Artists from CHAVVO have worked on projects such as the Batman series, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Kung Fu Panda, Frozen and other feature films. “We are bringing our decades worth of experience from working on hit shows and award winning films to the Mogies NFT animation project. We’re so thankful that the Mogul team recognizes the need for high quality content in this space. Together we are stepping into new territory and it’s very exciting for what’s in the works.” said Tran. 

 One of Erick’s personal career high points was winning a Peabody Award.  Peabody Awards honor excellence in storytelling that reflect the social issues and the emerging voices of our day.

Erick Tran:  “Never in my life did I ever think I’d win a Peabody Award.”

“To me it’s kind of like winning a Nobel Prize. It’s the combination of what the Simpsons has signified in the entertainment industry and the decades of hard work we put into the show that makes this recognition a big deal for us all. It’s a great thing to have received awards through the work I’ve done thru FOX but it’s more special to me when we win thru CHAVVO. To say we are an award winning studio is a dream come true”

Erick Tran: “The Simpsons really helped me understand how to build the multi-billion dollar franchise.

“From development to the big screen, from licensing to merchandising, theme park and video games, Fox has given me the opportunity to understand so many aspects of the animation business.  With that knowledge I was ready to build CHAVVO into the studio it has become now. We have been able to recruit top talented artists in the industry, many who are close friends of mine.”

“We have a special working relationship with Universal Studios Japan.  It’s a treat to be able to work on big anime titles which fans can experience while being on a physical roller coaster, with VR headsets! When you put on the VR headset, you’re basically in this whole new world with awesome anime characters. We believe that VR, metaverse and NFTs are the future and so important to understand, and be a part of history.”

The Mogies NFT Animated Series

“We are committed to the NFT community. As an NFT producer we want to be a major player in the NFT space. Working with Mogul, I can see that really coming to fruition.”

“It’s the first ever NFT Animated series that’s a real legit series.   It’s a homage to Hollywood, to our favorite characters, actors, and movies that have made us. Mogul has given us creative freedom to develop something original and special in this space. It’s great to see Mogul supporting creators and the animation community like very few others have.”

Erick Tran:  “Mogieland is a play on reality which is what the metaverse is.  It’s a place where we can interact, connect and roleplay. We wanted to create a show that eventually could intertwine, or have the ability to intertwine every single character at one moment in time.”

“Probably the one exciting thing that everyone is expecting out of The Mogies is cross mixing characters from other universes and becoming a melting pot of unlimited possibilities.”

“That’s one of the scenes from our trailer where we had Mogie characters from a classic novel and movie series  fighting an evil wizard from another series.

Another is when we crossed one superhero with the alien in the trailer. The idea is that we are mixing different characters into different universes. That will be pretty interesting. I think that’s where the fun starts.” 

“The thing that is really cool about the Mogies concept are the NFT characters themselves.  If you happen to own a special character, let’s say the white wizard.  If and when he appears in an episode and plays a pivotal role, it has the ability to gain rank and increase in value over time. 

The derivatives market is an opportunity we cannot ignore and have to hit out of the park.”

“We are currently developing ideas that have never been done before in the entertainment world with direct-to-consumer applications. We can’t get into details at the moment but we know these concepts haven’t been done before and Mogul’s platform is fully capable to execute.” 

Animating The Mogie NFTs

Erick explained parts of how CHAVVO designed the Mogie NFTs using CG (Computer Graphics).  

“The design team researched, created and designed the NFT characters based off of Mogul’s original concept ideas.  Our 2D design team would digitally hand sketch each drawing. That goes through an approval process through one of our supervisors.  

Afterwards, our supervisor would send designs for me to review. I only see things that are filtered through her. Afterwards, I make my own final notes before it goes on to the CG design team.  The CG design team would go ahead and build based off that design and would start basically CG sculpting the characters. 

Once it goes to the design process we start rigging characters for the animation.  With a rigged character it allows animators to move them around and add the proper acting for each scene. 

The decision between 2D or CG  was more for visual aesthetics for the brand. If we were to have designed the Mogies in 2D, it would be difficult to exist in a 3D metaverse space.

That is why going CG was more visually appealing and practical. It looks more polished. Our goal is that owners can actually walk in a 3D Mogieland metaverse space that’s functional and interactive. I’m excited to see the characters move through the streets of Mogieland.”

“This is a fun and great opportunity for everyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit Hollywood to explore it through Mogieland. Things like going to a nightclub, visiting a recording studio, gift shops and buying digital memorabilia. How about winning a Mogie award for your short film that users can watch at the Mogie theater!  

 I think there’s huge potential for that in the marketplace.”

“There’s so much potential for creating more Mogies. I think it’s great to think about other celebrities from other countries with a fanbase. That becomes a whole other drop to represent other celebrities around the world, like having Latin Grammys after having the Grammys. And we haven’t tapped into the sports world. Yes, the potential is endless.”

“The future of Mogieland is about bringing the most entertaining experience to our community and creating monetary value. Mogieland becomes this fantasy place where our community can plug in and play.”

And then lastly, I’m excited about digital real estate within Mogieland.  

“I think anybody and everybody here who appreciates real estate can understand the value of digital real estate.  We have plans to have the ability to put your own star on the Mogie Walk of Fame. Also, buying digital storefronts, restaurants, museums are just a few things that will be available for purchase.”

Mogies pays homage to the top entertainers and creators that helped make Hollywood what it is today, and create a standard for the next 100 years of filmmaking that will occur within Film3.

Film3 is a movement spearheaded by Mogul Productions and our community to empower film and content creators to create movies and content in better fan exclusive ways using blockchain technology. 

Mogul is where movies meet blockchain through DeFi and NFTs, and now, the Metaverse through Mogies and their new home, Mogieland.