I realize there's been some off topic posts, apologies for that. It was my goal when I started this blog to stay on target.

This is the production blog for my upcoming short film, "Mutwale." (Moot-wall-ay) It is based on the true story and folk legend of an elephant whose life is irrevocably altered by the events and circumstances surrounding the Hundred Days genocide in Rwanda.

This film will be animated by my hand, with the help of a few and the support of many. It is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts collective based out of NYC. Donations in behalf of this project may always be made via the offical site, or through whatever means is most convenient.

The film started as a sort of blip on my creative radar; my sister came home from a six month stay in Kigali with a brilliant story about an elephant that befriends a fisherman. From there the idea simmered for a while- years, maybe- before it finally opened up in my brain and presented itself as The Next One to tackle. My sister and I broke it down into plot points and research. She dove into the history of the story and locale, and I read up on elephant behavior and started rough thumbnails of the story in summer/fall of 2008. After an intense stint as a jack-of-all-trades freelancer at design firm Plus et Plus, and an even more intense relocation from NYC to South Carolina, I finally sat down to hammer out the story into complete storyboards. I'm still working on storyboards as we speak.

It seems like preproduction is taking forever. It's coming up on a year since I started preproduction proper. But I'd rather get it done right from the start so that there are fewer surprises when animation is underway. Nothing's worse than having to redo a scene or fix a big error during production itself. So the boards are being done digitally for the first time in my workflow- I'm literally putting together a full-length, fully-edited animatic (complete with camera moves, layers, all that) simultaneously with the boards. New territory for me. And while it's meant to be a time-saver (so far it's been a fairly successful one,) there have been plenty of necessary distractions to keep my from my film. Everything from designing tee-shirts to working as a Production Assistant on Bridezillas (Season 6 if you must know- and yes, reality TV is so produced it might as well be scripted,) have kept my hours a bit too divided.

So that's where things stand. I may put a few scenes of the animatic online for feedback and whatnot. Certainly all contributors will be getting a look at the whole thing. I look forward to animation starting- the film is my most ambitious to date, and a regular flow of pencil tests would help liven up this production blog as well.

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