The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

Northeastern student celebrates his last final by winning an Emmy

Mitchell Rusitzky poses for a photo while holding his Emmy at the Children’s & Family Creative Arts Emmys Dec. 16.  The 2023 alum, along with his team at Baobab Studios, earned an Emmy in the Outstanding Interactive Media category for the game “Galactic Catch.” Photo courtesy of Alex Tinsman.
Mitchell Rusitzky poses for a photo while holding his Emmy at the Children’s & Family Creative Arts Emmys Dec. 16. The 2023 alum, along with his team at Baobab Studios, earned an Emmy in the Outstanding Interactive Media category for the game “Galactic Catch.” Photo courtesy of Alex Tinsman.

When Mitchell Rusitzky’s first co-op came to an end, he could have left his projects halfway finished. Instead, he dropped an anchor and continued working full-time on top of a full course load. The project was with an animation studio he now works for full-time, which would later go on to win an Emmy for the game “Galactic Catch.” 

Rusitzky, a fourth-year business administration major, graduated in December 2023 — a semester early. The day after his last final Dec. 15, Rusitzky was walking a red carpet in Los Angeles, reeling in an Emmy along with his team at Baobab Studios

Originally from San Francisco, Rusitzky came to Northeastern in 2020 during the height of the university’s COVID-19 lockdown and took advantage of his forced isolation to develop a knack for online storytelling. Rusitzky gained a large following on X, formerly Twitter, where he acquired the skills to become a digital marketer — all while taking undergraduate classes. 

Rusitzky had always been interested in storytelling. When he was gifted his first camera at age 8, he began creating films and later won first place at the 2015 Green Film Festival in San Francisco.

“I tend to be pretty quiet in person, so I listen a lot more than I talk,” Rusitzky said. “I’m constantly trying to figure out what people want to hear and what resonates with them. I find this really important when there are so many competing voices trying to tell stories online; it becomes clearer how to stand out.”

Before becoming the marketing manager at Baobab Studios, Rusitzky began working for them as a consultant through his co-op at Concept Labs, formerly Concept Art House, a multi-faceted digital agency. At this company, he was assigned to a project at Baobab Studios, which was creating a media franchise titled “Momoguro: Legends of Uno.” Once the co-op at Concept Labs concluded, Rusitzky continued working for Baobab Studios full-time while maintaining a full course load at Northeastern.

Baobab Studios is now a 10-time Emmy award-winning animation studio creating original stories for cutting-edge platforms and expanding franchises across media. Originally founded in 2015 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the studio has a small, dedicated team with leadership tenures at companies including Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and Zynga. The animation studio has also written and produced films starring notable actors such as John Legend, Daisy Ridley, Jennifer Hudson, Diego Luna, Ali Wong, Oprah Winfrey, Glenn Close and Edward Norton.

Most recently, Baobab Studios received Emmy nominations for the 2023 Children’s and Family Outstanding Interactive Media category for two creations — “Momoguro: Legends of Uno” and “Galactic Catch,” both of which Rusitzky was a marketing producer on.

“Galactic Catch” is a virtual reality fishing game playable on the Meta Quest. The setting is based on a fantasy world across various galaxies, where players tackle different quests and level up fishing gear to save the players’ “friends” Mac & Cheez.

To be nominated for an Emmy, Rusitzky and his team had to submit a short video compilation of their project to a panel of judges within the Emmy committee to be considered. 

“The night before the deadline, some of us were up until 3 a.m.,” Rusitzky said. “I’m so glad I have such a great team because I had a group project for class due around that time, too.” 

After submitting the video, the team made it to the next panel of interviews and attended an in-person pitch.

“It was nerve-wracking going to New York City to pitch the judges for the Emmy,” Rusitzky said. “Everyone was shocked at how young I was.”

Once Rusitzky found himself at the Los Angeles Westin Bonaventure on the red carpet at the Children’s & Family Creative Arts Emmys Dec. 16, he described how “overwhelming” it was with “cameras going off and publicists coaxing groups around.” 

Hours later, he and his team found themselves on stage after being announced as the winners of the Outstanding Interactive Media category.

As the CEO of Baobab Studios, Maureen Fan described in an interview on YouTube in 2021 how Baobab Studios was born and given a fighting chance against the animation giants because the novelty of virtual reality leveled the playing field. As the studio continues evolving at the intersection of entertainment and technology, Rusitzky plans to be a part of the team, gearing up for the next adventure.

“We’ll get to announce more exciting projects soon — Baobab has a powerhouse team and a unique approach to releasing new stories that will take them far,” Rusitzky said. “We recently launched both Web3 and Roblox games and have other projects on whole different mediums coming out this year.” 

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