Gooseberry Pilot kick-off – first day

30 July, 2014 |  11 Comments | by Ton Roosendaal

The Story Room

This morning the story team arrived for the kick-off. I’ve temporary rented an empty unit from our neighbors, this office has long walls that can be filled entirely with storyboards and concept art. A great place to work undisturbed from the other activities in Blender Institute – which is mainly Blender coding20140730_114019 and Blender Cloud work right now. I know how sensitive and vulnerable story development can be. Giving the director, writer and and artists an own place might well help a lot in the end! 

Plan is to work the months of August and September there, have a final script by the end of August and a final storyboard a month later.


20140730_172154Is the Pilot a teaser? Is it a short film? Or is it a trailer with the highlights of the real movie? Well – it’s basically all of it, more or less. That made it such a hard thing to develop and write the past months. We certainly will go for quality first – not quantity. Rather a bit short than lacking impact, sophisticated design and acting quality. But a usual – when you write it out – things get too long as well. The last draft from Esther goes into the 14 minutes already!

However, if needed we’ll involve one or more of the external units – who were ready to join Gooseberry this year anyway. This is one of the big decisions to make the coming months.


20140730_172125We spent an hour to map out for each person in the meeting what we expect them to be contributing, and to hear them about what they’d like to do.
Pablo Vazquez: concept art and character concepts and designs
Sarah Laufer: concept art, story boards.
David Revoy: concept art, looks development, prepare for having ‘his world’ in the final film.
Francesco Siddi: production coordination, project and asset management.
Esther Wouda: writing the script, closely work with director on getting the story and characters as strong as possible20140730_172349
Mathieu Auvray: director, having a final creative control on every aspect of the film.Ton Roosendaal: producer, make sure we all collaborate to the best of our abilities, well empowered, sticking to previously made agreements and plans – with Blender and other free/open source software, in open production – to deliver a Pilot that will help to fund our feature film.

Lined up to join as a storyboarder is Matias Mendiola, he will get a planning confirmation from me tomorrow or friday latest.

Sharing & Openess20140730_171952

Oh yes… people are feeling nervous already!
Should we already scare this script now? The characters? That important pivotal scene? The movie title? How to prevent it to become a massive energy drain that drags us down?

All of these doubts are valid and honest. We certainly will have to respect the real emotional attachment of an artist to his or her creation – which shouldn’t be ruthlessly be torn away and thrown at the wolves out there.
On the other hand we’re confident with a long past experience of sharing – which really never has harmed us or our work at all – in contrary, looking back it only worked awesome!20140730_173111

So yes – we’ll share. And we’ll share it all. It’s just a matter of setting up the right systems here for project management and versioning. Just the first basics to share text and images, which could be just a matter of days to have working.
As promised – our supporters will get the same level of access as we do for ourselves – via Blender Cloud. But we’ll share here in the blog as well – more of the highlights, and also preventing too annoying spoilers to be published or discussed.

Stay tuned! :)


11 Responses

  1. JG Loquet says:

    Glad to read news about the projet, and good ones with that ! Exciting … Bring on the sharing : a lot of us are really looking forward to following the production closely :)

  2. Jay says:

    This is something to be excited about and to be proud of. I trust you will enjoy the journey as we will. Good luck and thanks to all involved for a wonderful product we can use, be proud of and most of all, enjoy – Blender. Great productions are given birth from it and may Gooseberry set new heights for films to come.

  3. rick says:

    Can you include a forum inside the blender cloud preferbably phbb?

  4. metaTomato says:

    Reading those lines, we already have the feeling to follow the project from inside, as a team member! Sounds really good & exciting!!
    Bon courage!

  5. Gare Cline says:

    Ms. Läufer,

    What are your thoughts on doing the boards in Blender, as 3D boards, as opposed to doing them as traditionally drawn boards on paper?

    G. Cline

  6. Big Fan says:

    I don’t wish to be a party pooper but it seems like this movie has lost some momentum in the community since the fund raising fell a bit short. How about a bit of a restart of interest with a nice group video introduced by Ton. Otherwise I sort of think this project is something of a remnant, going on in relative obscurity, for a diehard few… Not meaning to be critical just saying it might benefit from a quick visit to the powder room to freshen up before the main event…

    • matray says:

      Hello, there is the first friday meeting online already ( ) and I’m preparing a short video with me, David and Sarah talking a bit about where we are right now on the designs and story.
      So new content is being prepared as we speak :)
      And the cloud is being rethink and prepared to present all those new things in a nice and pleasant way.

  7. Big Fan says:

    Very good but I was thinking it needs to intersect with people again. Maybe an article at BlenderNation, a thread at Blender Artists??
    BTW I think Ester is very nice ;) so I will tune in again to Friday meetings especially for…ha….

    • Big Fan says:

      Actually I clarify that for you. Ester reminds me of a girl I knew in high school.First girl I took to a dance. Same captivating lively personality. Is like a pair of socks you wore twice and then you lost one at the Laundromat. You wonder what became of the other sock and then you see one the same…but it is twenty years and half a world away. It sort of fits in the movie story you see.. Anyway carry on, carry on…

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