Tuesday, March 21, 2017

'Wolfwalkers' Concept Trailer Released (& Funding Puts Film Officially Into Pre-production)

Things are moving along very well for Wolfwalkers right now! Today a concept trailer, as well as a look behind the scenes of the development to date, was released - take a look:
It was also announced that:
Wolfwalkers has received development funding from the Irish Film Board and Creative Europe MEDIA. Cartoon Saloon are currently in the process of pulling co-producers and financiers together to allow full production to begin in early 2018. (IrishFilm)
Wonderful news! If you missed the pitch trailer released very recently and are wondering what this film is about, you can catch up HERE.

This film harks back to the gorgeous stylings of both Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, but adds it's own elements and visual language too.
(Co-directors) Moore and Stewart have spent time developing a graphic language that reinforces the themes and values of their story through the visual design of the film. As seen in scenes from the trailer, the Puritans and English army are rendered in an ascetic woodblock style, while the wolfwalkers and wolves exhibit a freer, more expressive line style. 
“When we see the world from the point of view the wolves, it’s animated in charcoal with a very limited palette and color only where there are scents,” Moore said. “In contrast to the block print style in Kilkenny we have a much looser look to the forest — lots of ink splats and loose watercolors and scribbly pencil lines.” (Cartoon Brew)

The film's story takes place in the 1600's, during the English Civil War, in Kilkenny, Ireland, which makes for a unique research opportunity for the crew, as this is also the location of the studio Cartoon Saloon. The folklore and history of the local area have been wonderfully preserved and getting out and about is a great way for the crew to get to know the town, and the production better. They made a behind-the-scenes film of the crew doing just that. (And you get glimpses of even more folkloric, artistic goodness!)
Tomm Moore, part owner of Cartoon Saloon and director of Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, along with one of the animated short films within The Prophet, has as strong commitment to hand drawn animation, and though, he's open to using technology to enhance production, hand drawn animation will be the medium for this film too.
Drawing isn’t simply a defiant aesthetic choice in our cg times, but integral to how Moore wants to tell his stories. “We are hoping to show how the characters feel with great acting, movement and facial expressions, but also with how they are drawn,” he explained to Cartoon Brew. “As our characters moods and emotions change, the linework can become more expressive.”
Being willing and able to develop a human-driven graphic style that can adapt to the storytelling and characters guarantees a unique look and feel, part of which is 'the human connection behind the pencil', something which audiences today are responding to as strongly as ever.
We know we have a while to wait yet but we'll keep you posted on developments are they happen. We're really looking forward to this one!

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