Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano
Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano met working together at a New York City production company where they would do voices for the pigeons outside of their office. Phil, an illustrator in his free time, proposed animating a scene based off their pigeon-riffing to screen at Mike's monthly comedy show. Thus a series of animated-shorts dubbed, simply, Animals was born. The series quickly became a full-time passion project, screening in venues throughout NYC as well as festivals around the country. After winning Best Comedy at the 2013 New York Television Festival, the duo gained the attention of executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass, who convinced them to quit their jobs and move across the country to begin making 10 half-hour episodes independently of any studio or network. The inaugural two episodes premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.