This short trailer was sent to us by Jilli Rose, an animator from Australia. I love the idea behind this production and I am looking forward to seeing the finished piece. The cel-shading brings a nice illustrative charm to the 3D, and although the 'scratchy film' look adds a bit of texture, perhaps this is a little overdone and proves distracting for me.

This is what Jilli had to say: The film is partly a celebration of the cape-worthy team at the Melbourne zoo who, behind a secret door in the butterfly house, in modest facilities, have quietly, diligently and quite literally saved a species from extinction. It's partly a love song to evolution, uniqueness, life and the little creatures underfoot. And it's partly a retelling of the astonishing story of the insects themselves. . . They evolved on Lord Howe Island, a tiny speck in the sea between Australia and New Zealand, and they exist nowhere else. They're strikingly different to other stick insects - they are robust, fast, shiny, jet black and huge - islanders used to call them tree lobsters.

In 1918 rats were accidentally introduced to Lord Howe and they quickly munched their way through the entire stick insect population. Within a few years the insects were extinct. Or were they? There were some tantalising clues to suggest that they may, against all the odds, have colonised the most remote, inhospitable place you can imagine. . . Ball's Pyramid is the tallest sea stack in the world, as high as a skyscraper, as thin as a blade, rising almost vertically from the sea 25km off Lord Howe Island.

It looks exactly like a super-villain's secret island. Seepage from rainwater supports just one bush on Ball's Pyramid, and under this one bush in 2001 a team of scientists found a tiny population of LHI phasmids, the last of their kind. Nobody knows how they got there. There are so many grim and worrying conservation films out there, and it's easy to feel hopeless in the face of them.

My team and I believe that this story will inspire and energise viewers, and create an icon of hope. We're so excited about getting this film out, and spreading this story as far and as loudly as we can. It'd be great if you could get behind it, or pass it along to anyone you know who's interested in stick insects, uplifting conservation stories, bobble-eyed smudges of life, the illusion of movement, awesome colour and hope!

You can visit the facebook page and the website to follow the development.

By: Jonny
Posted: Thu 25th Oct 2012

Tags: Motion, animation, trailer


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