to be honest, I wasn't sure how to write this post. I played such a nominal role in this 'ginormous' project, but to me it was a big step into a field I have always been curious about. (which is character design and development)
I am indebted to Mark Osborne for entrusting me with producing visuals that would in turn help convince folks that this film could be pulled off.
back in 2011 I was commissioned to develop how characters of the Little Prince, the Aviator and the Fox might look as puppets for a stop-motion animation.
i will not go into the original story of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery other than if you haven't read it, please do.
it wrenches my tears every time i finish reading it to one of my kids.
one of the key things Mark told me during the process was to think 'puppety and abstract'
i admit i didnt make much from those two words. until i let them sit on my desktop for a weekend.
when I came back to it I realized my sketches were going too mainstream, too 3D CGI animation. I was trying to draw like I thought development sketches should look.
I was abandoning all the flaws and inherent truths that make my drawings 'mine'
the final round circled back closer to how I draw and allowed Mark and I to both see how these three characters might look through my filter.
here are the finished puppets.
the next phase was to determine what was the best single image/scenario that i could create for each character to try to capture the magic of a tactile, hand/made stop-motion animation could contribute to this story.
These three images were created in stereo so that they could be viewed in 3D with special viewers. They accompanied a magic suitcase that was part of the pitch that Mark would present to financiers, actors and talent that were needed to make the film happen.
in the end Alex Juhaz created the art for the stop-motion parts of the film. it is clear that he was the right choice. amazing designs with texture and emotion that strikes a delightful balance with the original story and drawings by Antoine de Saint Exupery.
For more information on how the film was put together, pick up 'The Little Prince - the art of the movie' book by Ramin Zahed.
the results from the Full Circle: the art of the stop-motion animated loop. that was part of ICON 9 in Austin.
for a short story called Typecasting penned by Harry Turtledove. about a father who wants the best for his daughter's acting career. he just happens to be governor and a towering Sasquatch.
link to the story here: http://www.tor.com/2016/06/15/typecasting/
Tall thanks to Irene Gallo of Tor.com for the assignment.
below are the roughs i submitted:
once the sketch was approved, i set out to figure out how to create a Sasquatch without using hair. don't get me wrong, i think meticulously placing sable hair on a puppet would be immensely satisfying, but being i was on deadline AND i like to try to figure out how to use unconventional materials i wanted to see what i could come up with. we headed to the fabric store with a swatch of fabric i found in the studio that i knew would have a great look on this character. yet when we arrived at the shop, we discovered that my swatch was several years old and finding a match would be futile. so we decided to see if there was anything in the store that might be a better solution. it was my oldest daughter who stumbled across this orange material that had these terrific striations of brown, ocher and red. it turned out to be a better solution than i had ever imagined.
i can't imagine that CEO's would have have a tough time getting good retirement packages, but apparently there are winners and losers. here are two fellas just trying to make it out there. one playing it cool and has it going on, the other is a bit green with envy as he sees that he didnt quite negotiate the best deal. Thanks to AD Orlie Kraus for the assignment. here is a link the article
here is the final cover as it appeared in print: