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Trunk Animation’s Pete Mellor Directs New Short, ‘Saving Joule’

Trunk Animation and Peepshow Collective director Pete Mellor creates a new 12-minute educational film for Saudi children.

Trunk and Peepshow Collective director Pete Mellor has created a new 12-minute educational film for Saudi children. Peepshow was approached by The Edge Picture Company to produce an animation for KCA London and their client the Mishkat Interactive Centre for Atomic and Renewable Energy in Saudi Arabia.

The film is aimed at six-to-10 year olds and tells the story of Joule, an adorable robot trying to power his ship and rejoin his lost fleet. He is assisted in his search by a friendly alien who shows him that there are alternative energy sources available such as solar, wind and nuclear power. With nods to great sci-fi classics such as WALL-E, Avatar and Star Wars the short is full of humor, tension and jeopardy as Joule completes his quest.

Nick Canner, creative director at The Edge, wrote the film’s initial story line, which was fleshed out during the production process with the help of the guys at Peepshow who worked out more of the narrative structure and flow to make a truly enjoyable film.

A child-friendly palette is used throughout the short, which uses solid colors for the main characters, designed by Spencer Wilson, juxtaposed against textured backgrounds that are reminiscent of the illustrations in 1960’s books about space. These were created by Luke Best who, to obtain that particular look, created lots of hand-painted watercolor textures.

“The design and colors within the film had to look as if they had come from an alien world,” Mellor notes. “It was also important to the client that each landscape had a unique palette. It was interesting that Luke designed a whole forest of mushroom like trees which meant nothing to the Saudi client as mushrooms are not native to that part of the world.”

Working to a tight schedule the short was created using Maxon Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects and is accompanied by a soaring and majestic score put together by Simon Keep from Holkham Sound Design studio using Audio Network’s huge library of orchestral tracks.

The finished film will be shown exclusively to visitors on the Centre’s hi-tech, 18-meter wide screen in Riyadh and, as there are no cinemas in Saudi Arabia, for some viewers this will be a unique and exciting experience.

Source: Trunk Animation

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.