Chic Spotlight: Flaming Medusa Studios Inc.

Chic Spotlight: Flaming Medusa Studios Inc.

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Darcy Vorhees is the CEO and Creative Director at Flaming Medusa Studios Inc.


Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Flaming Medusa Studios Inc.?
Darcy Vorhees, CEO and Creative Director at Flaming Medusa Studios Inc: Flaming Medusa was started by me. I’m the CEO and creative director.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the business concept?
I had the idea for the business while I was working in animation production for large studios in New York City. I grew up in Cincinnati and had a desire to move back here the cost of living was more reasonable and where the pace of life is less hectic – but I knew that there weren’t a lot of studios in the area to work for. That’s what made me think that there could be an opportunity here if I looked at it the right way – the idea was, and is, to provide animation services and animated videos to businesses that want to have their advertising materials compete with larger companies, but without the agency price tag.

Cincy Chic: How and when did you get started with Flaming Medusa Studios?
The company was formed in 2008 and started out small – I went through the inaugural class of Bad Girl Ventures in Cincinnati after that, where I learned more about business planning. After that the company started to grow.

Cincy Chic: How has Flaming Medusa Studios Inc grown since you first launched?
Well it really started out with just me in a spare bedroom in my apartment doing freelance work, but since then I have hired a couple of full time employees, we have a studio in Oakley now, and we have formed relationships with a pretty loyal brigade of freelancers that help us finish our projects in style. We are also doing more films and videos from start to finish now, instead of only performing specialized services (though we are still happy to do that now for agencies and production companies). Our clients are growing larger as well, though we still love small projects like web content and other videos that give us an opportunity to entertain and educate. We have entered into projects with some of the biggest companies in the city, and we love telling their stories as well.

Cincy Chic: What services do you currently offer?
We do 2D animation production for web videos and broadcast, whether it be commercials, TV or features. We also have a soft spot for original content like producing videos meant for the web. Animation is good for training, educating, demonstrating and, of course, entertaining.

We also provide specialized services like character/mascot/avatar design, storyboarding, animatic creation and we do animation from provided storyboards and provided scripts. We are very flexible and want to be able to help out in whatever capacity we are needed.
Another service we provide is illustration which comes in useful for products, books, websites, blogs and other projects that require imagery (which is everything these days!).

Cincy Chic: Can you share some examples of how your business helps clients?
Definitely – recently we were working on a video for a client and the goal was to create a video that would make a very complicated biological process clear. Reading the script was difficult and it was easy to see how it was very hard for anyone to retain the information because focusing was difficult, there were very difficult words being used and it was easy to get lost and tune out.

Well, we examined it, did research and did our “magic.” After we put together the video using visuals that explained the process, the client said she had watched it and wanted to cry from happiness because it was so clear and simple. We also had viewers thanking us for making the information accessible to them when they hadn’t understood it before.
Every business goes through the challenge of trying to convey their message clearly and simply to people who may not understand. This is where we excel – it becomes a lot easier to connect with someone and to be understood when you are using animation and storytelling, which is what our lives are dedicated to.

Cincy Chic: What makes Flaming Medusa Studios unique?
We are unique because we are storytellers before anything else. We don’t focus on fancy special effects or try to make a video work by throwing more and more money at it. Instead, we embrace limitation and recognize it as a framework within which we are at our most creative. We work to make our videos simple and memorable, which is also when they are the most effective.

We are also the only animation company in the city who is creating an independently distributed series about Cincinnati, for Cincinnati and IN Cincinnati. This series is called the Queen City Chronicles and it tells the real, personal stories behind some of the city’s most iconic companies. This is a project that the Museum Center, 3CDC and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are all being very supportive of.
We are also the only animation company that has started a group in order to encourage the development of a creative animation community in Cincinnati. We are a woman-owned animation company which isn’t very common either. And we’re a Better Business Bureau company! It is that important to us that our clients are happy.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
Definitely! We’re working to create new Queen City Chronicles videos about the Klosterman family story, the Coney Island story and we have the Mayfield Clinic videos coming up. We are also looking forward to working more with WCPO and creating content for them in the vein of the work we did for opening day. We are also excited to see some of our agency work premiere! you won’t know its ours, but we will still be proud! We’re also looking forward to more meetings, events and to growing the animation community in Cincinnati with the Cincinnati Animation Network.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Readers can learn more about Flaming Medusa Studios by visiting our website or liking us on Facebook for daily inspiration. To learn more about the Cincinnati Animation Network, visit our Facebook Page.