Stop-motion animated short from directorial duo Josh and Vince was written and directed by Peone and produced at //kneeon Studios for YouTube channel Field Day.
Vincent Peone’s The Sea is Blue is an impeccably crafted touching journey about a girl trying to find her way back home from the depths of the ocean.
The stop-motion animated passion project was written and directed by Peone, who makes up half of directorial duo Josh and Vince, both of whom were part of the founding team for YouTube channel College Humor. Produced by //kneeon Studios, the short premiered online earlier this month on YouTube channel Field Day, which is produced in conjunction with YouTube and award-winning creative company 1stAveMachine.
On a literal level, The Sea is Blue depicts a girl sinking slowly into the watery void, lost to an underwater world. Like folkloric tales from a variety of cultures, the film’s origin story of how the ocean got its blue color is largely metaphorical in nature.
Pulling from his personal experiences, Peone began writing the film more than 10 years ago, after his sister Dina was left badly burned from a fire that ravaged their childhood home. The resulting film is a poignant metaphor for what Peone thought might be going on in his sister’s mind while she lay in the hospital. As Peone writes in his director’s statement, “The short is very personal to me, and I care about it very much. It’s a story about loss, learning to appreciate what you have, and new beginnings. It gave me hope when I needed it.”
Pre-production alone took nearly a year and half to complete. Peone and his team received a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, which provided the funding to start the visual conception of the piece, from character creation to set-building. Working with a small army of talent, the production spanned seven months. The puppets were shot and animated using stop-motion, but the physical faces were then tracked, rigged, and lit in CG. The resulting film, quite simply, looks gorgeous -- brimming with subtle details and movements that really bring the puppet characters to life.
Check out some of the concept art from the project and watch the making-of video below: