After a year on the festival circuit, WÖNKY Films and The Spinkick Bros release their short film, Writer’s Block, online.
After a year on the festival circuit, WÖNKY Films and The Spinkick Bros (Tom Gran and Martin Woolley) have now released their short film Writer’s Block online. Set in a prison for criminally poor writers, it follows a gang of cons who get ahold of the script to their own lives and attempt to re-write it in order to order to make their escape.
"We usually build our projects from a genre or setting that we like and we felt like prison movies were an area we liked a lot but hadn’t really explored yet,” said Gran. “We thought something about a character trying to escape from the film itself in some way would give us a chance to play around with the narrative structure of the film but still have a fun straight-forward story.”
Elaborating further on the film’s production Gran explains the development process and the interesting approach they took in developing the films characters. “We actually built photomontage mugshot things of each character while we were trying to design them. Gill was based mostly on Gary Oldman and Bosco was mostly Ian McShane, with chunks of Jack Nicholson and Mel Gibson thrown in.
“It was animated in Flash and then comped together using After Effects,” Gran continues. “Our background artist, Adam Davis, worked in Photoshop and Artrage. The bulk of animation took place over about a month, during which I was working with another animator, Todd Setter, but after that I spent a few months doing clean up, color, adding in all the tattoos and regretting my life choices.”
Adding in all the tattoos wasn’t the only challenge and Gran says the biggest in the film’s production was the scene where the floor collapses: “The scene where the floor falls apart,” he relates. “It had to be assembled out of about 50 layers to get the perspective to work and it gave me a thousand headaches.”
The Spinkick Bros duo began writing together while in university at UWE Bristol. Since graduating in 2010, they have collaborated on several projects and Writer’s Block is their first independent short film together. The film was produced alongside WÖNKY Films, who also teamed up with The Spinkick Bros on the comedy pilot for Frederator Studios Cartoon Hangover called Ace Discovery.
The release of Writer’s Block marks a milestone in what has been a busy 18 months for WÖNKY Films and their short films having released their fast-paced short film Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? online back in January, while also having more shorts on the festival circuit including The Nether Regions which features the voice of Brian Blessed as the Devil.
In conjunction with the online release of Writer’s Block, WÖNKY Films have also updated the film’s companion iOS app. The app which is available for free via the Apple app store for both iPad, iPhone and iPod now contains the full film, a look behind the scenes with additional content including storyboards, animatics and original concept and development work for the short.
Also included in the app is the chance to create your own unique Ball Point Penitentiary prisoner I.D., a permanent record of your writing crimes, before going on to take on the word master challenge and prove your innocence against the charges of criminally poor writing.
Source: WÖNKY Films
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.