Paramount Alum Jared Mass Launches Chalkdust Animation Studios


Veteran producer and Paramount alum Jared Mass has launched the Atlanta-based Chalkdust Animation Studios, focusing on real-time virtual production for film and TV.

The company has already lined up its first project, Boxen: The Childhood Chronicles of C.S. Lewis, a TV series adapted from the iconic Chronicles of Narnia author’s first-ever written stories. The show is being independently financed by Noble Road Media.

Between the ages of 8 and 15, Lewis and his brother conjured an entire world of walking and talking animals, which culminated in a series of short stories that were published by HarperCollins in 1986 and re-released as Boxen: Childhood Chronicles Before Narnia.

Mass most recently served as head of Reel FX originals and executive produced Super Giant Robot Brothers for Netflix, the first show to be completely visualized and rendered out of Epic Games’ Unreal Game Engine at scale. Prior to that, Mass was VP of Paramount Animation, where he was responsible for overseeing the feature films Sherlock Gnomes and Rumble and brought the live-action Clifford The Big Red Dog to the studio. His career started at Walden Media, where he oversaw a slate of live-action films including The Chronicles of Narnia, Bridge to Terabithia and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Noble Road Media, the new Atlanta-based entity financing the series adaptation, was formed by writer, director and producer Michael Carney (Same Kind of Different as Me, A Quiet Town).

Outside of the C.S. Lewis series, Chalkdust Animation is funding the development of original animated projects that can be made in its Atlanta-based real-time pipeline and can be modeled inside or outside of the studio distribution system. There are plans to collaborate with Noble Road on future projects as well.

“Chalkdust is pushing the envelope technically but will always uphold a creative-first approach,” Mass said. “We want to work with top creative partners who are entrepreneurial and understand that we are all seeking to make the best original, quality content in a smart and fiscally responsible way–without sacrificing quality or artists.”

On the company’s first project, he said, “It’s an absolute honor to be adapting the first stories ever written by one of the greatest authors of all time, C.S. Lewis. We have a tremendous responsibility to make sure the content lives up to Lewis’s pedigree and his inspirational worldviews. Our goal is to make a show parents will trust and kids will be entertained and inspired by. I’m so thankful to The C.S. Lewis Company and Noble Road Media for entrusting Chalkdust Animation with bringing to life this phenomenal piece of intellectual property.”

“Noble Road Media is excited to announce our collaboration with Chalkdust Animation Studios,” added Carney. “We are passionate about the transformative power of storytelling. Our collaboration with Chalkdust embodies our dedication to crafting engaging and inspiring narratives that resonate across all ages. Financing this project also underlines our belief in the incredible ability of Jared and the team he is building. Through this partnership, we aim to captivate audiences worldwide and introduce them to the whimsical and imaginative world of young C.S. Lewis. Bringing Boxen to life is a rare opportunity by which we aim to ensure that the values and legacy of C.S. Lewis continues to inspire people for generations to come.”