It’s been 7 years since this blog started. It all began with little doodles that – turned into an unfinished graphic novel – that transformed into a series of production diaries for a short film – that is now turning into a feature. While the film is shaping up nicely it’s perfect time to put the short out in the open. Hope you all enjoy it.

It’s been months since the last production diary which means we have been keeping real busy. Also, at this point I feel I can’t share much about the film anymore be it stills or clips, I can only talk about them. Unfortunately I am not much of a talker either, hence the delay.

Opening Scene

I will still try my best to keep this going. May be have a bi-monthly vlog or something easier. Let’s see how that goes.

Opening Scene

We are sort of reaching the halfway mark here. Many renders from first half are underway. A good number of scenes and shots need tremendous amount of polishing and will take a longer time to reach the render stage. The voice over pickups and brain storming for music is next on the schedule. I already have pretty good idea about both just need to find the right balance. Schirkoa is not an easy film to score given the stark contrast between it’s first and second halves.

Calling film’s progress reaching a half-way mark is rather bold. Film’s second half contains too many ambitious sequences both in terms of narrative and scale. The storyboards are monstrously exciting and building those scenes is going to be months of stressful fun.

What an insane year it has been for the film. Equally divided into highly creative and technical aspects of the production. While a major chunk of the year was spent on paper, drafting and redrafting the original script several times, the second half was straight on 3d production spending long stretches of days/weeks in front of computer without break.

Meeting Minutes

It has been one of the toughest and most rewarding time we have had. Some major milestones were achieved, on time, despite a few unforeseen hurdles. But isn’t that the case with every passion project?

Employee of the year: Mr. 197A

Around 50 unique characters, 24 vehicles, 22 sets, 64 minutes of animatic and hundreds of props have been produced this year. Lot of plans, milestones, spreadsheets, render ques, errors and comps await Schirkoa’s production next year. A glimpse into some cool animated sequences is right around the corner. You all have a good one and stay tuned.

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While creating a good narrative it’s important to equally focus on creating a plausible world. What cars do they drive? What’s the current fashion? Which movie is playing in the theaters? What is the current state of technology? How about social issues? When is the next election day? The most sought after diner?

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What really is the zeitgeist of Schirkoa today? These are the questions we have tried to answer in past few weeks. From the text on a flyer in a lost alley right to the zeppelin flying up above..

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.. Schirkoa’s world, now swells with character.

Where to start.
It has been grueling 6 months of production. It was just not possible to write down the progress. We have built dozens of sets, props, characters, rigs and designs. The countless pages of storyboards are fluttering about everywhere (reaching almost 100 mins now).

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A still from one of the first scenes of the film

Last 3 months went into extremely satisfying and creative recordings with the primary cast of the film. The sheer range of talent that has come on board is terrific. Although independent, Schirkoa is a large film with at least 10 primary characters, numerous secondary characters scattered across three fictitious countries with varied cultures, factions and societies.

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Primary Cast

Matthew Wade – a brilliant stage actor and a voice over artist from London is playing 197A – the protagonist. The nuances and depth he has brought to the difficult multi-layered character of 197A is astounding. Other stage actors such as Janna Fox, Bethany Blake and Emma Vane Roberts play a wide range of vibrant roles. The primary cast also comprises veteran voice actors including Kira Buckland (Nier:Automata, 5 centimeters per second), Jhonny Stone (PBS’s Black Jack Pershing), Quinn Kitmitto (Marvel’s Avengers Academy) with Vince Melamed (Mafia 3).

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A busy market scene from one of the three fictitious countries of the film

The CGI team Sushil Suryavanshi (Asset lead), Yash Soni, Milan Padhiyar (Animators), Sachendra Shukla (Rigging TD) and Yaning Feng (Character Designer) have already pulled an enormous amount of work in limited time. Sound designer Nicolas Titeux (who has already worked on the original short) will be returning for the feature film.
There is a mountain to climb from here as the running time from the intial storyboard-animatic has exceeded 100 minutes (it looks fascinating by the way!). But with a big heart and steady pace, we are on it!

 

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Studio 197A begins production on the feature length animation film. With a highly ambitious script we are now rolling the cameras! (inside the computer of course). With a terrific cast from all over the world, a passionate core team from India, Singapore, New Zealand and France, Schirkoa is swiftly moving to an exciting phase of production. Expect lot of colorful posts in the coming months!