Company/Organization Profiles | Local Industry

CF Video & Interactive

1 Jan , 1999  

Written by Gentry Menzel | Posted by:

CF Video & Interactive of Watertown, MA is not your average post house. Nor is it your average animation studio. Or your average interactive media studio. Or your average... well, you'll see.

CF Video & Interactive of Watertown, MA is not your average post house. Nor is it your average animation studio. Or your average interactive media studio. Or your average… well, you’ll see.

CF Video & Interactive–soon celebrating its 15th anniversary–actually comprises two separate-yet-intertwined halves: Cosmic Blender ("A creative blend of editorial, design, production, & interactive") and FableVision ("Character design, animation, & stories that move"). Both are under the exuberant guidance of Paul Reynolds, vice president of CF Video, whose enthusiasm for the work they do is infectious; by the end of my interview, I was ready to pack my bags, move into the company, and work gratis.

cfvideo-2.gif (18186 bytes)Reynolds’ take on the world is this: learning should be a lifelong process. True learning happens when there is playfulness and novelty involved. And old- fashioned storytelling–paced at a leisurely stroll, based on animated (in all senses of the word) characters–is the perfect foundation for this learning. All of CF Video’s productions, no matter what the final medium, whatever the final message, begin with the story.

Cosmic Blender, under the creative direction of John Bennett, is an "evolution of the old post house," as Reynolds puts it, filled with creative people who are "cut from a different cloth; they care passionately about their work." Their projects are campaign-based–built around an idea, theme, slogan–and they work in all media: video, CD-ROMs, print ads, web sites. And since the world has gone digital, experimentation is easier, and they have many of what Reynolds terms "unpredictable creative results." When I remarked that it sounded like serendipity, he heartily agreed: "We LOVE serendipity."

FableVision was begun by Reynolds’ twin brother, Peter, who came from Tom Snyder Productions in 1996. In only three years, with Peter Reynolds as creative director, FableVision has become nationally known, and has won numerous awards. FableVision does work both for corporate clients-producing short pieces for the NBA, a web site for Pepperdine University, the upcoming animated series "American Girl TV," and the opening sequence to WGBH’s "Pets ‘n’ Vets," to name a few of their many projects. They also develop their own projects. Peter Reynolds’ animated short "Blue Shoe" was picked up to go national with Spike and Mike’s next animation tour, and his children’s book "North Star," written to help kids (and adults, too) discover and follow their true calling, was just published by Cambridge-based Candlewick Press. Currently FableVision has four or five new animated series in development, an upcoming animated short ("Living Forever"), and is also becoming involved in the museum market, producing work that Paul Reynolds hopes will make museum-going more a part of the crucial lifelong learning process.

What amazes Paul Reynolds the most about the evolution of CF Video’s unique "cosmic blend" of talented people–the company has grown to 32 people, from an initial four founders–is that the intimate creativity has continued, even as they’ve expanded. "We’ve never lost the flavor, no matter how large we’ve become," he says. "It’s just as good, if not better, than when we started."

For more information, visit their web site at It’s currently undergoing some renovation (the Cosmic Blender half is only one page at time of writing; FableVision is much further along), but it’s a lot of fun. As one of the first pages says, "Make yourself some tea and wander around." Sounds good to me.