Last year I made a website for fun and it triggered a wonderful, and familiar, feeling of having made something from start to ﬁnish. I’ve worked in the animation industry for about 20 years and contributed to a lot of big projects but at the end of 2016 I decided it was time to make another short ﬁlm.
My previous ﬁlm, ‘Devils Angels & Dating’, has millions of views and a number of awards. It was a project designed to look good in a portfolio (useful for attracting team members), and although it came from an idea with strong core values it was primarily a film to explore 3D animation and filmmaking (since I’d done many 2D films before). The message was a little buried in amongst all the visuals. I’ve helped out a couple of friends since then with their short ﬁlms, but that urge to make something myself was still there and I missed the community of indie animated ﬁlmmakers that I’d grown to love. So it was time to start anew, only this time I wanted to make a strong statement about something I felt passionate about and really believed in.
I asked myself what was the issue I was most passionate about? It had to be something that would keep me passionate about the project when I most want to give up. The answer was equality. It sounds very generic but my battle to work in animated ﬁlmmaking, having been born on a rock far away from the epicenter of the industry, was my greatest cause. Having made it across the pond a number of years ago now, I see other related causes with many of the same feelings of being an outsider, like sexism, ageism, racism, political, gender identity, social and religious diﬀerences that divide us all unnecessarily.
I wanted to make a statement that clariﬁes why we all need to stick together and choose better reasons to make judgments about each other. So the story of Martin the Mushroom was born. I wanted to make something simple so it started out as a pebble on a rock… but when I recognized how hard it would be to make a pebble emote I upgraded the cast to toadstools. Now it was possible to address a very broad theme that everyone could relate to.
I wrote the ﬁlm, and created some early tests in 3D, then put the project on Artella to see if there was any interest and to my surprise I started to get a lot of applications to work on the ﬁlm! It now has some great storyboards, concept artwork, models and previs. The ﬁlm is over half way complete on the strength of its volunteers. We’re opening the project up to crowd funding to try to pay the team and complete it in a timely manner, at the highest possible quality to reach the biggest audience we can.
We’re looking for all kinds of collaborators so please get in touch at TheWrongRock.com. Sign up to our newsletter for access to more behind the scenes material.