L.A. // Telefantasy Studios
The location of Telefantasy Studios – literally and figuratively – is entirely appropriate to their work. From a home studio in Hollywood they create lovingly crafted works of episodic television that celebrate and transcend the known worlds of science-fiction, while remaining entirely outside the world of corporate television production. Using labor-intensive analog and early digital techniques long since abandoned by the studios, they fashion visions of parallel, post-apocalyptic universes frame by frame.
Telefantasy Studios is the creation of Jennifer Juniper Stratford and Christine Adolph, their union is the direct result of a meeting in an after-school high school video production class in 1990. Inspired by the work of maverick cinematic craftsmen/visionaries like Eiji Tsuburaya, Stan Winston and numerous nameless BBC technicians, they have devoted their energies to applying traditional production techniques to the realization of fanciful visions.
Telefantasy Studios are dedicated to the creation of realms no one has ever experienced before. Taking it a step beyond visual production, they also work with composers and audio designers (in the spirit of the legendary BBC Radiophonic Workshops) to create wildly implausible, yet entirely believable new universes. Their earlier collaborative work Dungeon Majesty introduced visions of alternate realities populated with extravagantly and exactingly created beings, and brought them a large and faithful following. Their most recent series The Multinauts explores themes of fantasy and memories of forgotten futures via an innovative mix of creature and miniature model making with 2D animation. They are currently completing production work on two exciting new episodes, following three heroes through time and space as they battle the Norks, a mutant empire hell bent on creating chaos in a post-nuke universe.
Uniquely, in the world of science-fiction-fantasy television they own both the means of production and distribution. They are free from the commercial pressures of Hollywood and the tyrannies of expediency that dog most commercial production. Where the studio system would create soulless, artless CGI universes from a bank of state of the art computers and a thousand programmers, the artists of Telefantasy Studios use the tools available to them, scavenging low-tech solutions from the history of television production and bending them to new uses. Their microscopic budgets become a liberating virtue and a source of pride. Working with recycled materials, borrowed cameras and the help of volunteers moonlighting from Hollywood day jobs, they carve creative solutions from thin air The majority of the sets in an upcoming Multinauts episode are made from the styrofoam casing that protects newly purchased electronic equipment.
Against the tedium, conformity and casual brutality of the corporate world represented by the Norks, their fantasy villains in the Multinauts, Telefantasy Studios are rebels fighting for work which expresses the true and lost values of fantasy television. Like their heroes, their playground is time and space. Their canvas is infinite. They exist in the gray area between Hollywood and art, the past and the future, this world and the others.
The places and people in LA Telefantasy think are awesome:
New Beverly Cinema
7165 West Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
LA’s oldest cinema revival house and supporters of the independent filmmaking community.
Phil Blankenship’s New
Every Saturday night at midnight Phil Blankenship hosts a vast collection of misunderstood & maligned films. As well as tracking down rare prints, Phil also finds many of the actors, writers, editors and musicians to come down for Q&A’s. Easily the most inspiring place in Los Angeles.
Sierra Madre, CA
Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd make paintings, comics, illustrate children’s books and zines. Esther Pearl Watson’s graphic novel “Unlovable” is a Telefantasy favorite.
Downtown, Los Angeles
Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh developed Osei-Duro to create socially responsible and sustainable clothing that encourages international/intercultural cooperation. The designers integrate West-African textiles with a contemporary Western approach to clothing design.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Ariel Pink and his band are becoming mega-stars and we’re so happy for them. They were some of the first big supporters of Telefantasy Studios and in 2005 Ariel Pink wrote a song called “Dungeon Majesty”. In an upcoming episode of The Multinauts, Ariel and the boys will make a nightmarish cameo.
What we are trying to achieve with Telefantasy, John Maus is trying to achieve with his music. He is a true inspiration and one of the best people in the multi-verse to discuss science fiction ideas with.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
At one time Universal Studios theme park offered some of the best attractions a Hollywood theme park could offer. ET—the ride, a tram ride that took you onto the bridge of original Battlestar Galactica, A-Team—the live action show, Back to the Future—the ride, where you boarded a Delorian, and all the props from The Incredibe Shrinking Woman on display. Only Terminator 2 in 3-D and Waterworld—the live action show, remain. However, we can’t deny the influence Universal Studios has and none of us would ever turn down a chance to get on the lot.
My Barbarian is a Los Angeles-based performance collective founded in 2000 by Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade. The trio performs in site-specific plays, musical concerts, theatrical situations and produces video installations that play with the spectacular while engaging viewers critically. Their interdisciplinary projects explore and exhume cross-cultural mishaps and misadventures drawn from history, mythology, art and popular culture.
7624 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA.
We hate Starbucks! It’s not just because the coffee tastes burnt, there was building that looked like a giant hamburger called “THE BURGER THAT ATE L.A.”
It closed down and Starbucks came in and tore it down.