Amsterdam, October 2020.
It’s almost Halloween. Seems like the ideal moment to announce Blender’s spooky Open Movie project. The thirteenth Open Movie project, no less.
Meet Sprite Fright, a horror-comedy inspired by Eighties' classics like Gremlins, the American Werewolf films and the more recent Shaun of the Dead. When a group of rowdy teenagers trek into an isolated forest, they stumble across a tribe of peaceful mushroom creatures. Except these creatures may be less innocent than they seem...
For Sprite Fright, Blender Studio wanted to level-up, so it contacted world-class talent in order to learn from the absolute best.
Former Pixar Story Supervisor Matthew Luhn takes the director’s chair. Matthew is a story expert with almost thirty years of experience in Hollywood. Starting as The Simpsons’ youngest animator, Matthew has dedicated his career to a vision of story as a vehicle for evoking emotion. His filmography speaks for itself: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up, and more.
Concept art by Ricky Nierva
Joining Matthew is veteran artist Ricky Nierva, Production Designer for Monsters University and Up, and artist on a raft of other prestigious titles, including Inside Out and Finding Nemo. Yet more top-drawer talent comes in the form of story artist Dirk van Dulmen, whose credits include Shaun the Sheep and UglyDolls.
Sprite Fright is co-directed by Blender Studio’s own Hjalti Hjalmarsson, director of Agent 327: Operation Barbershop. Blender Studio’s team of gifted creatives will bring Sprite Fright to life over the coming months.
As with previous Open Movies, Sprite Fright will challenge Blender’s development team to create new technical capabilities within a high-pressure production environment. This time the main focus is on pipeline development; on tools and systems to help artists to collaborate and work more efficiently.
But this Open Movie has another priority too. How should artists work together? How should they get the best out of themselves? How should they develop an outstanding story?
And how can we share the journey with Blender’s community?
That would be the easy part. Easier, anyway.
Because Cloud members can follow every design, model, rig, animatic, and debate. Not just the triumphs either. We’ll be sharing each doubt, not-quite design, and half-finished gag. Because defeats teach us as much as victories. That’s a year’s worth of exclusive content, straight from some of the most fertile minds imaginable.
Think of it as a no-holds-barred reality show… crossed with a masterclass in creative thinking and innovation.
Join the journey at cloud.blender.org.