The Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media (IFDM) Program is a relatively new addition to the University of New Mexico, and already has an impressive standing. "Slow & Steady" is the senior capstone project of the 2015 graduating class, and represents a culmination of the knowledge, skills, and experience our team has gained over our 4 years in the program.
We've been developing this project since May of 2014 and are ready to bring it to the next step. With animation, texturing, and render development tying up, we just need an additional push to deliver a beautiful, final product.
"Slow & Steady" times out at just over 3 and half minutes, which is 5112 frames! Each second of animation requires roughly 2 hours of work from our animator, and that doesn't even include the time spent building the 3D assets, texturing, rigging, and the other components that go into the project pipeline. Following that, each frame of the piece takes 2 or more hours to render!
"Slow & Steady" is a far sequel to the age-old Tortoise and the Hare tale. The tortoise, name Shelldon in this story, is almost ancient now, and his old friend Harris (the Hare) has long passed away. We find Shelldon spending an evening to himself on Harris' birthday, seeking peace and solidarity. A series of cricket chirps disrupt Shelldon's reflection, and anger him to a point where he tears his house apart in search of the annoyance.
Shelldon is a tortoise. He's lives alone since the passing of his best friend and racing partner, Harris. Shelldon now keeps to his burrow most of the time. Although he still likes to roam the area around his home, he don't travel as far as he used to. He's accepted his seclusion and has grown re-accustomed to it, sheltering himself from everything and everyone. He occasionally gets visits from old friends but has avoided making new friends and even lashes out at others to keep his distance.
Chester the cricket is an adorable little insect who's a bit of a nomad. He doesn't have a permanent residence, and we find him seeking shelter for the cold in Shelldon's burrow.
Harris is Shelldon's best and oldest friend. They spent their younger years competing in races together and exploring. He sadly passed years ago.
Alan Chee - Director
- Alan is in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in IFDM with a production concentration. He’s aspiring to be a 3D modeler and working on animated and/or live-action films.
Austin Madrid - Producer
- Austin is in the Anderson School of Management track in IFDM with aspirations to be a producer. When he’s not in class, he co-owns and manages a media company downtown where he works on photography and videography projects.
Jared Chavez - Technical Director, Modeler
- Jared is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the IFDM program with a Production concentration. He is aspiring to be a 3D modeler with a love for cartoon character modeling and photorealistic modeling.
Tommy Gallegos - Animation Lead
- Tommy is an aspiring animator in the Production Track at IFDM. He is committed to bettering his animation skill set and hopes to work professionally in the field some day. He has developed a love for people watching and photography during his studies and can’t go thirty minutes without a cup of coffee.
William Brenner - Art Director, Concept Artist
- Will is a student at the University of New Mexico pursuing a degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in production. He enjoys most kinds of media work and hopes to get a job working as an editor in the future.
Ashley Browning - Director of Photography, Camera Layout
- Ashley is a Fine Arts student with a concentration in production in the IFDM program. She is an award winning photographer and enjoys working in the photography field. She aspires to be a Director of Photography in the future.
Jeremiah Fuertes - Lead Editor, Sound, Concept Artist
- Jeremiah is a student at the University of New Mexico, currently pursuing a BA in Fine Arts through the IFDM program. He’s an aspiring filmmaker, looking to work in many possible avenues that film provides. Along with film, he love sports, video games and is a certified Nacho Libre quote expert.
Michael Lentz - Rigging, Animator
- Michael is currently enrolled at the University of New Mexico studying Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media with plans on graduating in the Fall semester of 2015. He is interested in animation and rigging as well as post-production. He looks forward to finding a career in the field after graduation and becoming a real adult.
Collin Wash - Modeler, Texture Artist
- Collin is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a production concentration in IFDM. His focus is on 3D modeling while also exploring animation,digital art, and design.
David Syler - Modeler, Animator, Texture Artist
- David Syler has been a modeler and animator on short films and video games since 2009. He has worked with others on several small projects and loves working as part of a team.
Ali Ghadimi - Animator
- Ali is a multidisciplinary artist who is passionate about motion graphic design and 3D art. He has studied all aspects of the film and post production pipeline, and has worked on films, advertisements, anima- tions and games.
Matthew Sanchez - Promotional Script Editor
- Matthew is a senior in the IFDM program with a focus on Screen and Dramatic writing. He likes long walks on the beach, and craft beer with a little bit of lemon on the side.
Mia Casesa - Digital Artist, Animator
- Mia is a graphic designer and illustrator currently studying film and digital media in the southwest. In her spare time she likes to drink tea, do yoga and write short stories.
Eric Geusz - Mentor
- Eric is an IFDM student who is also majoring in computer science. He loves art, graphics, animation, games and programming. He hopes to work in game development in the future.
Charlie O'Dowd - Executive Producer
- Charlie O’Dowd has worked in the film biz for twenty five years – on the crews of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and America’s Most Wanted – as a segment producer for NBC, AMC, and Entertainment Tonight – and on feature films City Slickers, Young Guns II and Suspect Zero. ‘Slow & Steady’ is Charlie’s eighth Capstone production.
Risks and challenges
As we mentioned, animation is tedious work. Even with a year to complete this project we'll be against wall as the deadline approaches trying to put as much polish on the piece as we are able.
We are also working with a render-engine we have never used on a production this scale before. There are certainly components of the render process that are being overlooked right now, and our technical director will need constantly review rendered shots to identify any need for troubleshooting. With our current computing power, each frame will take an estimated 40 minutes to complete. At 5112 frames, it will take efficient planning and a dash of luck to ensure we have enough time to render everything before the deadline.
Lastly, distribution is one of the most important parts of a film and one commonly overlooked. In order to let this project reach as wide an audience as possible, we need distribution elements and promotional materials to spread the word.
Contributions to the project will allow us to devote as much time as possible in the areas that need it most.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)