Jan 4, 2011
There have been a few moments in my career that I’ve been truly passionate about a project. Most jobs get my regular level of balanced work/life creativity and focus. It’s a learned strategy because my natural obsessive, compulsive passion towards a project is simply not sustainable. So I often find myself in a situation where I need to choose between several great projects, and focus my energies on one which has some aspect of personal creative fulfillment.
Zeitoun was no such job. It was abnormal and special.
I met with the artist Charlie Griak, and we went over his boards, which were incredible. Then I read the book Zeitoun and any defenses I had built up over the years to try and maintain a balanced life were shattered:)
There were so many pieces of the puzzle in place. We had all the talented artists at Curious Pictures to pull the animated film off. We had already created two animated features with our new pipeline, and it was robust. The story of Zeitoun is amazing. The visuals Charlie created were inspiring. The year before Tekkonkinkreet had a huge show at the MOMA, and the world was starting to recognize the art of commercial artists and in animation! All the parts were there to make something amazing.
There was no money of course for a motion test. So Charlie and I spent a few months pouring over his images, trying to figure out what we could reasonably animate in after-work hours, and weekends.
The video above is the fruit of that labor. We had originally planned on making a tryptic of animation tests, but the project was shut down indefinitely before we managed to complete the trio. No studio was willing to back an animated drama. Scanner Darkly, while groundbreaking…made no money apparently. They offered us a budget of $250K dollars. It would have been kinder to simply tell us no. I could not produced hand drawn animated feature for that.
I was sad at the time. But, I really enjoyed my time working with Charlie. Also, since the stereo conversion of A Little Spirit, I had not allowed myself to be so deeply invested in a project. So that felt nice also.
Please enjoy this motion test brought to you by a couple of passionate artists:)