Back in December I posted about three projects that I had been working on – Big Tree City, These Wounds Bleed Still, and The Wingfeather Saga.
Well, today I am writing more specifically about Wingfeather!
Before we go any further, there are minor spoilers in the video below! So before you check that out, head over the Angel Studios page to stream the whole series for free!
Below is an animation reel featuring a number of shots and sequences I worked on. I had to be pretty brutal in order to get this video under 3 minutes, over the seven months working on the project, I had accumulated around 9 minutes worth of shots, and I am really proud of most of them. So whittling my shots down to 2:30 was a challenge!
A Project with Heart
if you’ve never come across The Wingfeather Saga, it is a series of children’s books from author Andrew Peterson. It is a story about family set in a fantasy world, following the tradition of C.S. Lewis and the like. From what I can see, they were pretty popular in the States, but hardly heard of over here in the UK, so when I first heard of the project, I didn’t realise the scope of it.
But the thing I enjoyed about the books, and the key element that has been translated through to the show, is that the story has heart.
It is wholesome, with a focus on family and the dramas therein caused by the drama of the world in which they live. The personalities of each member of the family is really well thought out, as are the different relationships between them. these characters and relationships are tested and bent, but ultimately their bonds as a family hold them together – the love these characters have for each other, the care they show, is stronger than the aggressors trying to tear them apart.
This heart has been woven into each episode, not only through the scripts and voice performance, but through the art style, the models and matte paintings, and the animation. The heart was felt, personally, through the team I worked with, the joy and patience and passion each of them had for the project. It is no secret that the books are faith-centric, holding to Biblical themes and pointing to a Christian message. This was something held firmly by the producers of the series, reflecting my own faith in Jesus. And so, in the bible-phobic world of media production, being part of a show that mirrored my own values, was a deep, true and personal joy.
A Talented Team
When I first got a message from the legend that is Keith Lango, telling me that he liked my reel and wanted to have a chat, I almost lost my mind.
I think I mentioned this in the previous post, but Keith was the only guy doing online animation tutorials back when I started learning, and so he was a bit of a hero of mine. They say ‘don’t meet your heroes,’ but I don’t think those people have met Keith. Though I didn’t work with him directly, the times that we talked, or he gave feedback, proved that he was a genuine fella with a sharp wit and more passion for the project than should be contained in a single human!
The energy of the rest of the team, the enthusiasm of the other animators and the grace of Ron Smith, the animation director, all added to a great working environment. Everyone’s work ethic and talent was so high, that everyday was an inspiration, and it really goes to show how important a good team and encouraging words are in the places we work!
My own work
I’m not going to say much about my own involvement beyond the shots posted above. However, if you are interested in seeing a little more, check out the links to my tweets below!
I really enjoyed working on this show, and I hope that comes across as people watch it. And so all that is left to say is cheers for reading, and if you haven’t watched the series yet, the link is up above! What are you waiting for?