One man and fifty puppets. Vancouver independent filmmaker Innis Mack wanted to create a feature movie of the original comic strip “The Noo Croo”. The problem was how to create the movie
Would it be done in traditional 2D line drawings? This would require a decade of drawing by one person or would require major financing to hire a team of artists to do the project. Also 2D cartoon animation has a particular look and was not part of the vision of the director.
Another large part of the cost to 3D animated movies is texture and lighting of each of the characters and this requires huge computer resources. If you want to make cute furry characters in your film then it costs millions to animate and render moving fur to be convincing. Even although there are many 3D animated movies being made, most 3D generated characters lack sufficient detail and appear empty and soulless. It requires top notch modellers and animators to create authentic believable computer generated characters. Only the really big studios have the resources to produce the high quality that audiences are looking for.
Obviously, this option is out of the reach of most independent filmmakers. So what can an independent filmmaker who still wants to make a feature animated movie do? The answer: instead of spending a fortune to create realistic computer generated furry characters. Why not create the characters in real life as real furry puppets, film them in live action and then animate them?
So this is what Innis Mack did. He wrote an action packed fun script about a planet far in the future where a new breed of slaves escape their evil masters and encounter many scary adventures in their quest for love. Unfortunately with so much action the script had 50 characters. This meant spending over a year designing and creating 50 hand sewn unique puppets. After all the puppets were made, months were spent filming each puppet individually for each scene.
Next came two years of animating each character, cutting and cleaning the footage, compositing, colouring and editing. Then recording all the voices and sounds for each character. Then syncing all the voices and sounds and writing and editing in music. Finally, after almost four years with 50 puppets, the animated feature movie “The Noo Croo: Fables from the Future” is complete.
Now the plan is to get audiences to see the movie. In the meantime the movie is available in Spanish and will soon be in Mandarin. Also a Noo Croo video game is in early stages of development. Watch this space for more updates. Will “The Noo Croo” be the next big thing? If one man with fifty puppets can make an animated feature movie, then anything is possible!
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