First off, my name is Michael P. Heneghan. I am an independent animator/writer/artist living in Fishtown, Philadelphia. As mentioned in my last post, I just finished directing my first animated feature film, The Romantic, with a small group of friends and absolutely no budget whatsoever. The Romantic is slated to hit the festivals a bit later this year. Hopefully during that time I'll be able to meet and great some folks who'll want to help me make my next film, Burp's Christmas, the film who's blog you are reading right now.
That's not to say I haven't already met a bunch of great folks that want to help me make my next film. Let me talk about some of them. First up is Veronica Williams, a friend of mine from my college days at The University of The Arts. Since leaving Philadelphia, Veronica has become a full fledged movie producer. She is producing Burp's Christmas. I am very lucky for this.
Next up we have Dan Gauthier, another Uarts graduate. Dan works at a post production house called Get-Kinetic!. He will be doing special effects work on Burp's Christmas. He also did SFX work on The Romantic. He's a talented artist and a great friend.
That's all the team members I'm going to introduce so far. There are a few more, but I don't want to throw them up here until I'm 100% sure they are on board. See, here's the thing. This film is going to cost $200,000 to make. I have $0.00 right now. Veronica and I have a lot of work to do.
That's why I need to meet some new great folks who want to give me lots of money because: 1.) They believe I'm a maker of good films. 2.) They want good films to get made. 3.) I can get them a good return on their money (ie, I'm a safe investment. Really, I am! Or at least this film is. I'm not too concerned with making money but this film will make a lot of it).
So, the film. What about the film, anyway?
Well, Burp's Christmas is a Christmas movie. Obviously. But it's really about Christmas - the whole spectrum of the holiday. This is how our website, burpschristmas.com, will describe it once it's up and running:
The small family in question consists of two adults and two children. The adults are Charles Burp and Norma Burp. The children (or grandchildren, I should say), are Walter Burp and Elijah Burp. Charles has recently come out of retirement. He works at a shoe store and this embarrasses him. Norma stays at home raising the kids and is not sure how she feels about that but she does her best. Walter and Elijah are great kids but they're pretty lonely and they're pretty scared and they have a lot of reason to be. In fact, the entire family is scared. Christmas is coming and not only is everything not perfect, everything is getting worse by the hour. Because sometimes life hands you lemons and no matter how hard you try you just can't make lemonade out of them.
Burp's Christmas is about when life hands you the kind of lemons you can't make lemonade from.
This is how much of the film is done right now, aka where we are at and where we are headed:
-We have a screenplay. It's in it's second draft. It's awaiting a third draft.
-We have a vague web presence. This blog, and a website that should be up shortly.
-We have a few sketches of the characters. Right now I'm trying to lock down the aesthetic for the film. I will post a great big article about this next week.
And that's it. Right now we need more pre-vis artwork (character designs, a couple of scene paintings, and so forth) so that people can look at them and say "A-hah! This looks like something I can invest in!". The more of this visual stuff we have the more likely people are to say "A-hah!".
The more likely you are to say "A-hah!".
Anyway. That's the introduction. Will show you more soon!
Michael P. Heneghan