Moonbot Studios founder discusses decision to stay in Shreveport

Moonbot Studios founder discusses decision to stay in Shreveport
Moonbot Studios founder William "Bill" Joyce (Source: KSLA News 12)
Moonbot Studios founder William "Bill" Joyce (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - After rumors that a Shreveport animation studio would be purchased and moved out of the city, its founder definitively stated it is staying in the same city where he grew up.

Moonbot Studios founder William "Bill" Joyce can even name his perfect Shreveport Sunday.

"Waking up when I'm ready," he said with a smile. "Then having a cup of coffee and then deciding where I'm going to eat too much."

Check any resume and you probably won't find Joyce's self-described occupation.

"Whimsycologist," he stated. "The power, meaning, the history of whimsy and how it is curative in all known and unknown ailments of the human spirit."

During the eight years since he founded Moonbot Studios, that's what he and his team have created: a multi-platform storytelling studio that's netted four Emmy Awards and an Oscar.

At one point, it was rumored that Shreveport would lose Moonbot Studios.

"There was talk, but it's something that we all signed non-disclosure agreements. I'll say this,: I'm glad I was able to keep it here," said Joyce.

Last week, while on the road to Baton Rouge to accept a Humanist of the Year award, he announced that Moonbot Studios would be staying put.

"There have been hundreds of people in this city that have taken the time to say: 'Hey, I think this kid has something.' You know?"

Not only that, Joyce said Shreveport has returned that sentiment back to Moonbot Studios.

That was never more evident than in 2012 when Moonbot's "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, he said.

"No other Academy Award winners that year and I don't know in any year received a ticker tape parade when they got home," said Joyce.

"In a downtown where most of the buildings are five or six stories tall, it's not easy to pull off a ticker tape parade."

Now that Joyce is back from his travels and Moonbot Studios is ready to plant roots in Shreveport, he said more is coming from their studio in just months.

"This summer, we'll be able to announce our first feature film," he said. "What I wish I could tell you, but I can't yet, is the studio that will be financing it! I'm hoping that some of the production can be done here."

Joyce also said he hopes this will be a beacon bringing other local creators back home.

"There's that old saying: 'Better to light one candle than curse the darkness.' You're still going to end up someplace cool where you want to be.

"Just chill out and wait for the good stuff to happen because it will."

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