Fancy lending a hand?

A new animated short film from Lucas Martell, the creator of Pigeon: Impossible.

Back on the 4th December, 2011 I published a post under the title of Pigeon: Impossible.  Here’s some of what I wrote:

A truly remarkable example of the level of film animation being produced.

The second item that came to me from Bob D. (yesterday’s is here) has clearly done the rounds; the YouTube video has been watched nearly 7 million times!  But if you haven’t seen this short film, just over 6 minutes long, then do watch it.  It shows just how close to reality film animation has become!  The story behind the film is from here, reproduced below.

Pigeon: Impossible is the tale of Walter, a rookie secret agent faced with a problem seldom covered in basic training: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase.

The film took nearly 5 years to complete and is the first attempt at animation by writer/director Lucas Martell: “When the project started, it was mostly an excuse to learn 3D animation, but by the end of the project I had spent so much time reworking and polishing the story that I just wanted people to laugh.

The end-result is a hilarious 6-minute romp through the streets of Washington D.C. as our hero fights to save himself, and the world from the chaos reigned down by a hungry pigeon. Breathtaking visuals and a sweeping soundtrack showcase the work of nearly one-hundred talented artists and musicians, and the film stands as a testament to what can be accomplished by a team of dedicated volunteers working for the love of their craft.

Personally, I think that last sentence is still an understatement.  Just watch this – and be amazed.

If you haven’t seen the film then you can watch it here.

Anyway, yesterday Lucas Martell left a comment to that post, as follows:

Lucas Martell
Lucas Martell

Hi, I’m the creator of Pigeon: Impossible and am so glad you enjoyed the film! We’re trying to finish our next animated short, and would love it if you could check it out and help us spread the word.


It seemed a worthwhile thing to do just that.  That next animated short is called The OceanMaker. Enjoy 4 minutes of it:

This is the website associated with the venture that explains more and also gives details of the way you can financially support the project, starting from as little as $10.  The website is great fun! (I couldn’t resist republishing the following)


About the Film

The OceanMaker is a 9-minute animated short film that takes place after Earth’s oceans have disappeared. It tells the tale of one courageous pilot who fights against vicious sky pirates for control of the last remaining source of water: the clouds.


From a visual standpoint, we’re steering away from the air pirates often found in steampunk and going straight-up “Mad Max” in the sky. The film is packed with old, beat-up planes that have been cobbled together from spare parts found in airplane graveyards.


Tonally, The OceanMaker is filled with exciting action, but the ending is emotional and powerful in a way that even feature-length films rarely achieve. The film also contains no dialogue, which means that the visuals and soundtrack need to be top notch in order to tell this story properly.

Finally, this film is unique in that it’s a complete story which stands on its own as a self-contained short film, but it’s also part of a even larger, more epic tale. Contributing to this project means a double dose of good karma, as you’re not only helping us complete the short, you’re getting us one step closer to making the feature! Our sights are set high and it’s going to be an amazing ride. We hope you’ll come along and share the adventure with us!


  • $10,000 – We can finish the models! – At the moment we have our hero models finished, but the story requires several other assets in order to set up the world and show how the loss of the oceans has affected life on earth. At $10,000, we’ll be able to bring on two model/texture artists to finish these assets.
  • $20,000 – We can finish the animation! – Animation is about 70% completed, but the remaining shots are the most challenging ones in the film. We’ll need two animators to bring these awesome shots to life!
  • $30,000 – We can finish the lighting! – Lighting and rendering are what make things pretty. It’s also a very technically challenging process, with each frame taking about an hour to render. At 24 frames per second, that’s just under 13,000 frames!
  • $40,000 – We can finish the film! – The last major step is the effects. In a word: clouds. They’re very tough to do right, and they’re pretty important for this whole story to work. Plus, these aren’t just static clouds in the background. We’re flying through them, scooping them up and making them grow!
  • $50,000 – Post Production! – This first stretch goal would allow us to hire a professional sound designer, as well as doing the final mix, color correction and output in a proper studio. This is crucial in order to submit the film to festivals and put it up on the big screen. If we reach this stretch goal, then all donors will also recieve a PDF copy of the script!
  • $60,000 – Live orchestra! – With this stretch goal, we could record Chris Reyman’s amazing score with a real live orchestra. This would be HUGE, as the film is extremely reliant on music, and the production value will increase dramatically. All donors at every level would receive a DRM-free copy of the score.
  • $70,000 – Expanded cast! – One thing that will make the film even better, is a second character. We already have a temporary version of that character in our animatic, but she’s very difficult to create and quite expensive for the few shots she’s in. However, that small addition would take the emotion and complexity of the story to a whole new level.
  • $80,000 – $100,000 The OceanMaker extended universe – As you can imagine, the OceanMaker is a really BIG story… too big to fit entirely within a short, but we’ve done an excellent job capturing the essence of it in a way that feels complete and stands on its own. However, if we hit $80,000, we can start to explore this broader story. This would be in the form of a graphic novel that delves deeper into the world both before and after the short film. The higher into this range we get, the longer this graphic novel could be and the more of the expanded story we could tell. Donors at every level would get a free digital copy of the graphic novel.
  • $100,000 and up – Feature!!! – OK, I realize we’re really reaching for the stars here, but you don’t do something like this without being a dreamer. If we somehow manage to reach the 100k mark, we’ll be able to start working on the feature film! It would be based in part on the content from the extended universe. The first step would be a treatment, then a script, then visual development and finally an animatic. Should we be able to complete any of these stages with money raised from this campaign, all donors will receive a digital copy of the completed work. You can take a sneak peek or remain unspoiled, but its the least we can do if your hard-earned dollars end up funding development of the feature.


So I hope you can contribute whatever you can afford.

Oh, and I should make it clear that neither Jean nor I have any financial or commercial connection with the project.

2 thoughts on “Fancy lending a hand?

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