The world’s most ambitious (and possibly most disruptive) student film needs your help
A group of students from the University of Portsmouth in Jolly Ol’ England is creating what is quite possibly the most ambitious student film ever made. The project is a feature length, CGI animated movie that has already earned some of the students that worked on it full time jobs in the industry.
Yeah, it’s that impressive looking.
Stina & the Wolf is being written and directed by Paul Charisse, who created it as a teaching tool. Charisse is known in the industry for his work in visual effects on several projects, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Production began in 2011, and it has continued to expand in scope and technology.
Check out the image above. That’s what the movie actually looks like. That’s fairly incredible for anyone, let alone for a film created by students learning what is essentially still a new type of technology, using a brand new technique.
The story is being kept quiet for the most part, but it is set in an alternative world where a young girl named Stina lives in a oppressive military town, steeped in superstition. When a band of gypsies come calling, Stina catches a glimpse of a bigger, more incredible, and possibly more dangerous world than she ever imagined.
“Stina & the Wolf is an adventure, a dream world and a strange, mystifying experience we think could become one of the most exciting animated films to ever NOT come out of Hollywood,” the filmmakers say. “And we need your help to make it a (magical) reality.”
The production is using a combination of CGI animation and motion capture footage, which isn’t easy (or cheap) for Hollywood studios, let alone students working under a university budget. To help get the film made, the team has turned to Kickstarter to raise enough money to finish the project.
The filmmakers are looking for just shy of $75,000 total. Check out the campaign if you ‘re interested in contributing.
And you should, because it’s a one of a kind project that could be a disruptive force in the film industry.
“We are doing something never attempted before (as far as we know) trying to make an extremely ambitious independent feature film, both in terms of style, narrative and production values, using computer animation and motion capture, along side a University,” the campaign reads.
The film looks amazing so far, and it is far from done. If it lives up to its potential – which admittedly is still a big “if” – it could slightly change the dynamic of how making CGI films works, and open the door to a flood of student driven animated films. Given the complexity and time demands required for an animated project, students dedicated to the craft are typically limited to shorts, and those are often relatively primitive. If this film succeeds, it could be the first of many like it.
It could also set the standard for similar programs around the world.
CGI films are still a new niche in film, and the technology needed to create them advances so rapidly that it is a constant learning process. If this project succeeds, it could help to set a standard for teaching it. Several of the students that previously worked on the film went on to full time jobs in the industry, so it is already successful in that sense.
Check out the trailer for the film below and decide for yourself.