Flash specialty studio ANIMAX is producing a 35mm-animated short film for Jellyman Prods., CATCHING KRINGLE, in a mix of 2D techniques. ANIMAX is using Flash, USAnimation and traditional hand animation for the holiday themed short, featuring the voices of Danny De Vito and John Rhy-Davies, with a cameo by Larry King. The film will be ready to exhibit at film and animation festivals in time for the holiday season.
CATCHING KRINGLE is an action/adventure film for families about the not-so-distant future of Christmas, when suburban America has become so home-s security obsessed that Santa Claus is declared a national security risk. A rookie elf must save Santa from General "Naughty" Norman Needham, and help everyone rediscover the spirit of Christmas.
Jellyman Prods. co-founders Adam Himoff and Andrea Stern are producing the script by Himoff, which is being directed by Jeff Wadlow, winner of the 2002 Chrysler Million dollar Film Festival. Formerly an investment banker/venture capitalist, Himoff worked with some of the ANIMAX crew when they were at Icebox. Himoff helped Internet company Icebox with its early stages of financing.
The producer admitted he was nervous at first about using Flash as production tool for his film. "ANIMAX was able to show us a series of tests that they were doing for several TV programs and we were literally blown away," said Himoff. "We totally reevaluated Flash. Not only is a traditional animation look possible in Flash, we were able to take advantage of the efficiencies that make Flash such a cost-effective production tool. We were getting the best of both worlds."
Himoff said they also chose to work with ANIMAX because it is locally-based with additional animators abroad. "We benefit from being able to meet on a moments notice to make sure that everything this is coming out the way we wanted," he said. "Many of the other overseas houses that we talked with seemed to have a dont worry - no problem attitude. We appreciated ANIMAXs hands-on approach."
ANIMAX is using Flash as a platform to combine traditional hand animation with digitally manipulated images to produce the 2D character and effects animation. The animation is then colored and composited in Toom Booms USAnimation, with additional camera movements and effects added in an interesting and eclectic mix of technologies, according to Tim Jones, vp of production at ANIMAX. Jones was recently spoke on the "Re-Animating Film and TV" panel at The Digital Studio conference in Los Angeles, June 20, 2003.
Founded in 2002, Anmax (www.ANIMAXentertainment.com) produces animation and interactive entertainment, including 80 minutes of entertainment for e-learning applications for Peachtree Software and StudyDog. ANIMAX is headquartered in Los Angels with sister production facilities in Vancouver, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine.
Jellyman Prods was formed in January 2003 in Los Angeles to create and produce original, story-driven TV and film properties. Himoff also worked at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles as he transitioned from investor to a producer/writer. Stern was a creative exec for Weintraub-Kuhn Prods., where she worked on six films. They also have each worked on films shot in Xagreb, Croatia. Himoff has raised some financing for CATCHING KRINGLE from friends and family. "We are particularly interested in leveraging the skills that we have gained from producing this film to utilizing a diverse group of production technologies into future projects," he said. For more about Jellyman Prods., contact firstname.lastname@example.org.