GRAFx Studios (partially found production material; 1989-1993)
Cover for Me, Myself, & Bob, which covers the full history of GRAFx Studios.
Status: Partially Found
In 1989, Phil Vischer founded GRAFx Studios, a company with the sole purpose of CGI commercial work. Originally, the company was meant for live-action material, such as The Phil & Mike Show. GRAFx Studios didn't start using CGI until 1991, starting with a logo for Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). Since then, GRAFx Studios has done multiple animation tests and commercials. Around the same time, Phil Vischer was coming up with a new idea for a children's series, which would eventually become VeggieTales. The first VeggieTales episode premiered in 1993, and on August 6th, 1993, GRAFx Studios was rebranded into BigIdea Productions. As of now, the only known employee of GRAFx Studios was Phil Vischer himself.
The Phil & Mike Show
Due to the limitations of CGI at the time, Phil Vischer decided to start on something small with GRAFx Studios, a live-action show for Christian teenagers called The Phil & Mike Show. The show would've starred Phil Vischer and college buddy, Mike Nawrocki. However, when Phil Vischer pitched the idea to a publisher, they said that not very many teenagers bought videos. Thus, The Phil & Mike Show was scrapped. Due to the fact that the show was scrapped before production started, it is unlikely The Phil & Mike Show will ever see the light of day.
The first animation GRAFx Studios made was a logo for an educational show by ComEd, Safety Town. GRAFx Studios also made commercials for Pop-Tarts, Miller Beer, McDonald's, 7-Up and Southwest Airlines. (The latter three remain unconfirmed as of now.) It is currently unknown how much commercial work GRAFx Studios made.
Phil Vischer made four animation tests for GRAFx Studios. The first test was a 4-second animation of a walking orange. The second test was of a bending chocolate bar, which his wife turned down, fearing that a children's show featuring a candy bar wouldn't work well, and so vegetables become the main focus of the then-new series. The third was an 11-second animation called Mr. Cuke's Screen Test. This animation was pitched to multiple distributors to see if they would pick it up. However, all of them turned it down. The fourth test was a 2-minute promo, VeggieTales: Take 38. This test was made as a sneak peek at Phil's new series, VeggieTales. According to Phil Vischer's autobiography, Me, Myself, & Bob, GRAFx Studios also made demo reels.
The only material from GRAFx Studios to ever be released is the walking orange, Mr. Cuke's Screen Test, and VeggieTales Take 38. It is currently unknown how much material GRAFx Studios made, let alone if Phil Vischer still has the animations.
- Take 38 (found VeggieTales promotional short; 1992)
- Mr. Cuke's Screen Test (found VeggieTales animation test; 1991)
- A sample of Phil Vischer's autobiography, Me, Myself, & Bob. Retrieved 06 Jul '18
- Archived website from 1997 detailing Big Idea Productions. Retrieved 06 Jul '18