The OceanMaker Film and IndieGOGO campaign by Martell Animation
AUSTIN, TX. – Lucas Martell, wrote, animated and directed the award-winning animated short film “Pigeon: Impossible” in 2009 with a small group of friends which, to-date has had 8,585,379 views on YouTube. www.pigeonimpossible.com
After four years and numerous projects including TV commercials, 3D modeling and visual effects Lucas was ready to create another animated film of his own. He wrote the script for ‘The OceanMaker’ while
producing an animated TV pilot in New York in the spring of 2012.
“The film takes place after all the earth’s oceans have disappeared and the only source of water is the clouds. The hero is a pilot named Katrina who has learned how to seed the clouds to make it rain. There’s just one thing standing in her way… vicious air pirates who roam the skies, stealing every last drop of water they can find. The film has cool Mad Max style planes, lots of fun action sequences and a really moving story.” – LM
This new 9 minute, 3D animated film is now 80% complete in just under a year’s time. Martell Animation is launching an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise money to complete the film, pay the artists, travel the film and provide exceptional quality film products, based on the amount raised.
Not only is the film on the level of a professional animation studio in terms of visuals and action, it has a compelling story plot and a groundbreaking behind the scenes model. Raising additional funds will be essential to bringing the artists back together in one location to finish the film.
A New Model for making Indie Animation
“Pigeon: Impossible was 6 minutes long, but it took 5 years to make. I kept thinking that if we could just get a small team of people together, we could do it in a fraction of the time. The problem was I couldn’t afford the artists I needed, so I started to get creative…” – LM
The “how” this film is being made is very different in the film industry. On a typical independent animated short, hiring professionals to work full-time on projects is too expensive, so experienced people pitch in a few hours here and there, and the rest of the work falls to students and less experienced people. This usually adds up to a very slow production with lots of wasted time bouncing things back and forth.
For ‘The OceanMaker’, Lucas really wanted a small group of professionals, all in the same location and totally dedicated to the project. But, because he funded the main stretch of production out of his own pocket, he couldn’t afford to pay his team their proper rates. So he decided to entice them with something they couldn’t get at any other job….(Paradise). Instead of a boring office building or a warehouse in the cheap part of town, the production would take place on a small island off the coast of Belize. If the team would be willing to work for deferred payment, then Lucas would cover all of the travel and living expenses for the team to spend 7 weeks working on the film on a tropical island.
The result was much like an artists’ retreat but with everyone working on a single project. The crew of 8 traveled to Belize in the fall of 2012 and set up shop on Caye Caulker, an island of just 1200 people. Aside from a little rain and the Canadian team member discovering he had an unnatural fear of blue crabs, things went off without a hitch. In just 7 weeks, the crew of eight finished the majority of the 9-minute film using nothing but laptops.
A New Way of Crowd Funding – that gives as much as it gets
There are millions of crowd funding projects popping up and some are quite compelling. Martell Animation wants to give back as much as it gets in return. So Lucas is creating unique rewards in exchange for donations that support and grow the animation community. These rewards include a variety of focused online workshops, tutorials, group hangouts and a Master Class that multiple donors could join that will discuss new animation tools and industry expertise. With ‘Pigeon: Impossible’ Lucas’ podcasts were his way of sharing what he learned in real-time. They then created a dynamic dialogue of seasoned veterans sharing knowledge with first time animators. To see more of Lucas’ podcasts – http://martellanimation.com/
Once Lucas and his team reach their goal of $40,000 the film can officially go into post-production. The team can be brought to a decided location (this time much less exotic than Belize) and the film will go on a festival circuit for up to a year. With these funds the artists who have already worked incredible hours can be compensated to help cover living and basic travel costs while finishing the film.
Martell Animation is dedicated to creating engaging, lasting stories told through the exciting world of animation while contributing to the growing animation community.