About this project
What is Thundercluck?
Thundercluck is a character that popped into my head a few years ago. He's a Viking chicken with the power of thunder! The idea came to me in 2006 at the Savannah College of Art and Design; it started out as just a fun character in my mind, and over time it grew into a story about overcoming fear and facing what scares you. In 2011 I began production at SCAD-Atlanta, where Thundercluck became the concept for my MFA thesis film.
SCAD's animation program is excellent, and my instructors pushed me to make Thundercluck something special. Unfortunately, my attention was always divided between the film and other demands. I spent years balancing grad classes and freelance work, and upon finishing my classes last fall, I was hired full-time making graphics for mobile apps.
I was fortunate to have a stable job with great co-workers, but as months went by, it became clear I couldn't finish Thundercluck while working full-time. After agreeing with the company on a smooth transition, I've now left the job to make Thundercluck my main focus.
I'm coasting on my savings for now, but I need additional funding to get this film done. Your pledge can make that happen, and if funding goes well, I'd love to do more projects with Thundercluck! The more funds we raise, the faster Thundercluck will be ready, and the more of him we'll see in the future.
I hope you're as excited about Thundercluck as I am, and if you back this project, there's fun stuff to get in return:
Custom animations are not limited to .gif format; they can also be saved in a variety of file types for web and mobile devices. These can be showcased on www.thundercluck.com or kept private if preferred.
I've made significant progress on the film so far, but there's still a long way to go:
The goal is to finish the film by the end of 2013, and if funding permits, to start future projects in 2014.
For the trailer's audio I had the privilege of working with three talented artists, and it's crucial that I keep them on board. I know and like them all personally, and as a matter of both respect and practicality I can't expect them to work for free (they have lives outside of my cartoon, after all). My funding goals will help pay for their excellent work on this and future projects.
Dandy Barrett (voice actor): I met Dandy through local theatre when I was living in Savannah. She's a talented and accomplished actor, and her performance as Sister Aloysius Beauvier in a production of Doubt convinced me she should be Thundercluck's narrator.
James H. Hunt (sound designer): Jim and I met in the 2004 freshman show in SCAD's performing arts department. Since then he's been a reliable collaborator, a roommate for a while, and a close friend. Collaboration can put stress on some friendships, but Jim's skills and work ethic are so good we're still going strong.
Brandon J. Bush (composer): The newest member of the Thundercluck team, Brandon was recommended by a mutual friend here in Atlanta. I've enjoyed getting to know Brandon, and I'm blown away by the music he composed for the trailer! I can't wait to hear what he does for the film.
Window Pains was my 2008 senior film at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Five years later there are some things I'd do differently, but overall I'm still proud of it! Please note: while the grumpy old man only speaks gibberish, it's clear at times he's being fowl-mouthed. Viewer discretion is advised.
Window Pains screened in about two dozen film festivals between 2008 and 2010. Some highlights include:
The Savannah Film Festival 2008:
- Winner: Best Animated Student Film
- Winner: The Silver Screen Society Award for Best Short Film by a SCAD Student
BALD SHORTS Film Festival 2009:
- Winner: Best Animated Short
- Winner: Funniest Short
SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival 2009:
- Selected for nightly screenings at the Electronic Theater
ASIFA-Atlanta Roll-Yer-Own 2010:
- Winner: Audience Choice Award for Favorite Short Film
NerdHerder is a mobile game developed by Georgia Tech's Augmented Reality Game Studio. I was honored to be the project's art director! Augmented reality is very cool technology, plus the game was a blast to work on, and I met some awesome people along the way. NerdHerder is now available on iOS and Android.
That's it for me—if you'd like to know more, feel free to message me or leave a comment. Thanks so much for looking!
And just for fun, here are some outtakes from the pitch video, which I shot help from the one and only James Hunt:
Risks and challenges
For the Film:
I'm confident in my animation skill and my team's audio prowess. Really, the biggest challenge is time. If funding is successful, I'll be able to give Thundercluck my undivided attention, which will put the film in good shape for completion. If we exceed our funding goals, I can hire more help and get it done faster.
For the App:
This is where I'll be venturing into new territory. While I'm experienced with asset creation for apps, I'll need to hire the programmer(s), which is the purpose of the $5K stretch goal. More funding would definitely help! My hope is to recruit talent that sees Thundercluck as a long-term opportunity worth getting by on a shoestring budget for now.
For the Book:
I have so many ideas for a bigger Thundercluck adventure! The main CREATIVE challenges will be deciding what to leave in and take out, and developing a visual style that's similar to the film while playing to the strengths of book illustration. The main PRACTICAL challenge will be paying rent while I write and draw, which is where the $10K stretch goal comes into play. I'll also have to weigh my options for publishing and/or independent distribution.
The bottom line is this: if there's enough interest to see more Thundercluck beyond the film, I'll be overjoyed to make it happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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