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Cog & Turbine - The Short Film

An all-ages animated comedy about two misfit video game characters, who live and work in a next-generation gaming console.

Hi. I'm Daniel Cox and I want to create a short film, called Cog & Turbine.

I need $15,000 to make this dream come true, so I'm coming to you via Indiegogo and plead for the money. Please take your time to watch the short video above and then read through all the information presented below.

I first got serious about Cog & Turbine three years ago, when I realised I had developed the skill-sets and the talented group of friends, to make an animated short film with the high production values of the old 2d Disney short films, and the recent Pixar short films. Now, that might sound like a lofty goal (and totally admit that it is!), but I'm convinced that with the team and technology available, the only thing stopping us is lack of funding.

With your support and our passion, we can bring these characters to life!

THE SETUP

(The artwork below is current C&T Pre-Production Key Art

As stated, Cog & Turbine is a short film about two game characters who live and work in a next generation gaming console, called the XP-10.
 
Key Art 01

 
 
The basic concept is that there’s a whole world inside that console, even when the user is not playing.
 
C&T Key Art 02

You see, when the user puts in the game, Cog & Turbine must be rushed to the game loading platform. Errr, I said RUSH fellas!
 
C&T Key Art 03
 
Anyway, once there, they are transported into the game.
 
C&T Key Art 04

But that's just the setup! The game is really about what the two characters get up to when they're not working.
 
Cog & Turbine - Key Art 05
 
It's an all-ages comedy, that you can share with your family + friends.
 
C&T Key Art 06
 
WARNING: The final film may contain gratuitous images of game characters consuming oil shots!

C&T Key Art 07

 

THE STORY 

The script is currently being workshopped a final time, and will be made available to ALL BACKERS when production begins.
 
But the theme of the story is a simple one: Where do these two misfit video game characters belong?

They belong together.
 
Like the classic Walt Disney and Pixar shorts, first and foremost this is going to be an all ages comedy...something you can enjoy with your kids and family. Gags galore!  


THE CHARACTERS 


Let's talk a little bit more about the main characters:

COG
Cog - Pose Sheet 

Cog: n. A subordinate member of an organisation who performs necessary but usually minor or routine functions.

Occupation: Robot game character for the XP-10 Console system.

Favourite catch phrase: "What do I look like"?

COG is an adventurous and intelligent character, though he is emotionally brittle. Just the very description of his name (see above) sends him into a rage. He occasionally does show a softer side, mostly to Turbine when he's done something that wasn't well thought out. He can be daring, but is mostly just headstrong. He can be very intense and hyperactive when excited by something he likes, but also very cold, shrewd about achieving his lofty aspirations.

Cog is also freakishly obsessed by an older retired video game star. 
 
TURBINE
Turbine - Pose Sheet
 

Turbine: n. Part of a device that drives a machine.

Occupation: Robot game character for the XP-10 Console system

Favourite catch-phrase: "Turbine like!"

TURBINE is a cheerful, good-natured character. His usual disposition is carefree, magnanimous, and generally detached. When it comes to work though, he is a perfectionist and has never been late to work.

Physically, he is barrel-chested, and although about three times as large as Cog, tends to get lead around by his smaller, but more manipulative friend. He is also easily distracted, something which is an annoyance to Cog and his gaming floor foreman 'Betty Boss'.

His favourite thing to do is have an oil bath.

Of course, there's other characters who are in various stages of development (these are just explorative concept sketches and still need to be refined and then modelled in 3d). 
 
Betty Boss
 
Betty Boss - Concept skethes
 
Betty Boss: n. a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates

Occupation: Foreman of the XP-10 gaming floor.

Favourite catch-phrase: "Did I say it was quitting time?"

BETTY BOSS is the demanding female foreman on the XP-10 gaming floor. She is a straight-talking and serious character, always quoting the “XP-10 video game character handbook”. Omni-present through out XP-10 City and much to her chagrin, she invariably ends up involved in some hare-brained plot or swept up in some adventure with her annoying subordinates. 

 
SOCKET
Socket - Concept sketches 
Socket: n. a hollow part or piece for receiving and holding some part or thing.

Occupation: Evil robot game character for the XP-10 Console system

Favourite catch-phrase: "I'll get you Cog & Turbine, even if it's the last thing I dooooooooooo --!"

In the game, SOCKET is the arch-nemesis of Cog & Turbine, and is the leader of a space force. Outside the game, Socket is comically nervous, malcontent, and an oddball. His main motivator is that he has become sickly envious that Cog & Turbine are the stars of the game, and that invariably Socket must fail so the user can win. This irks him to the point of being manic, and his jealously has consumed him. Therefore, Cog & Turbine must pay!
 

THE INSPIRATION


The show is inspired by the classic Walt Disney 2d shorts of the early 30’s, through to the 60's, as well as the modern 3d Pixar short films. If you watch the turntables and walk cycles presented in the video at the top, you'll see that I've kept alot of the classic design elements of the 2d Disney characters (such as the over sized gloved hands). That's because -- they work! No need to reinvent the wheel. I've spent many hours studying the great Mickey Mouse shorts with my kids, and I'd like to create something similar for modern audiences to enjoy.

 

THE PRE-PRODUCTION

Please find below a few of my favourite pieces of art that have gone in the development so far (and you'll be able to see all of this work if the film is funded -- one of the pledge rewards is a "Making Of..." booklet, so see reward details below)!

Colour keys
CT Colour Keys

C&T - Colour Keys 2

C&T Shape Design
C&T - Shape Design 

C&T Explorative Colour Swatches
C&T - Colour Swatches 

C&T - Polaroids!
C&T - Polaroids 

THE FUNDING

So what will I be doing with the money?

Great question! I’ll be using the funds to hire the team I've put together to make this dream come true. It'll also be used for hiring voiceover talent, an original musical score and all aspects of post-production.

I'll be setting up a production company here in Sydney as a HUB, and hiring a Producer to schedule and coordinate the team. We'll also be working with one of the many post houses here in Sydney on the audio and post.

THE SPECS

The final film will be approximately 4 - 5 minutes in length. Now, this may change depending on the final amount of funding we receive. If its more, the running time will be extended, so just consider that when you're pledging. We'll be delivering at HD Resolution, so it'll be cinema quality. 

As an added bonus (and this is something I'm really excited about), we'll also be setting up a production blog so ALL BACKERS will have access to the storyboards, animatics, pre-viz animation etc. all at every stage of the production, and youi'll also be able to give feedback and contribute ideas, if you wish. I want this to be completely transparent for you, since it is your support making this possible and you never know where great ideas come from!

The final run time will include a new .45 second version of the title song, which has been brilliantly performed by Jib Khan (and mixed by Steve Peach, at his Stereo Missile Recording Studio). This new recording will be unlocked at a certain milestone in the campaign, but for now here's the Work In Progress story boards for you to enjoy:
 
OPENING TITLES .45 SEC - STORYBOARDS
 
C&T - .45 sec Opening Title storyboards

THE CREDENTIALS

For the last decade, I’ve been working as a visual development artist on everything from kids animation to feature films to TV Series. I've also had my work appear in comic books by ImageDark Horse and Ape Entertainment, and have been featured in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art.

For the last three years though, I’ve been working on Cog & Turbine steadily, and getting this short film made is my real passion and dream project.
 

THE TEAM


I've been lucky enough to work with some very talented colleagues during my time in film & tv, most who are now close friends. Below is a list of the team members, their role and a snap shot of some of the projects they've worked on in the past.

Daniel James Cox
Creator/Director
http://danieljamescox.com/
Cox - Credits

 
Chris Bradley
Animation Supervisor
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0103172/
Bradley - Credits
 

Mike Paech
Lead Animator
http://www.mikepaech.com/
Paech - Credits
 
Jason Li
Lead Modeller
http://www.jase3d.com/
Li - Credits
 
Tim Kenyon
Lead Lighting Artist
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3365204/
Kenyon - Credits
 
 
 
Cameron Smith
Lead Compositor
Smith - Credits
 
 
Mike Rule
Background Artist
Rule - Credits
 
 
Mayo - Credits
 
Rizaldy Valencia
Storyboard Artist
 
 
CT Theme Song
Lyrics by Daniel Cox & Adam Cox, Music and Performance by Jib Khan

Score
Damien Spanjer
(Evolver)

THE REWARDS (finally!)

 
I've thought long and hard about these, and I think I've come up with some really great perks for your support. Please see complete details on the sidebar, but here's a breakdown:
 
 
A 4.25 x 6 INCH POSTCARD
ct 4.25 x 6_postcard
This postcard was printed for 2011 Comic-Con and will be yours to keep.
 
 

THE FINISHED FILM 
C&T Short Film - Digital Download version
Upon completion, You will receive a DVD or Blu-ray copy of the film. BTW, this is just a temporary cover and will change as we complete the film (as in, It'll be heaps better).
 
 
COMPLETE SET OF 12 PRE-PRODUCTION KEY ART LOBBY CARDS
Complete Set of 12 Key Art Lobby Cards
 
 
 

AN ORIGINAL DRAWING
Original C&T sketch samples
These will drawn in pencil on animation paper, with a light colour wash, and then stamped with a "CT Productions" stamp and signed by myself. 
 
 
 
"THE MAKING OF..." BOOKLET (Digital or Hard Copy)
C&T Making Of... Preview
 
The above pages are currently just mockups, but I can say the booklet will definitely document the entire production process, from early concepts (as above) right through to final post-production. Final page numbers will be determined upon the completion of the film (since we're still in pre-production) and hence why I'm just calling it a booklet for the time being, but again...the amount of funding will determine the page count, and I may even be able to upgrade everyone to a hard copy (fingers crossed). 
  
 
A JACK DAVIS LIMITED-EDITION PRINT
Jack Davis C&T print
Yes, "that" Jack Davis (of Mad Magazine fame). Jack is one of my all-time favourite artists and I commisioned this brillant pen & ink illustration from him. Now, you can have a beautiful print to keep, which will be presented on a thick stock, numbered (x of 100) and signed by myself, and stamped with a "CT Productions" logo. 
 
What do you think? Pretty exciting, heh?
 
 

THE UNLOCKS


There will also be several exciting unlocks during this campaign, which will affect some of the rewards, so the more you promote the project, the better your reward will be. I'll be updating the unlocks as we get closer to each milestone, but I can promise you -- they will be worth it.
 

THE SUMMARY


So thanks for taking the time to read through my campaign. I can promise you, this is going to be a great film but we can't do it without your help! During the campaign, I'll be making regular updates on this site, like adding pages to the book, and uploading any new designs or concept pieces. 

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/CogTurbine

PRODUCTION BLOG:  cogandturbine.com
 

THE THANKS


I couldn't have gotten this far without the generous help and support of the following friends and family:
 
Hovig Alahaidoyan - Misc Concepts & Colour Keys
Jib Khan - C&T Theme Song Music and Performance
Steve Peach - Theme Song mixing
Gavin Walters - Opening Titles Animatic editor
Mike Paech - Title Animation, 3D Walkcycle animation & Turbine Rig
Jason Li - 3D Models
Andreas Wanda - 3D Logo renders
Cameron Smith - 3D Logo compositing
Harsh Borah - XP-10 City and misc 3D Models
Daniel Cohn - Cog Rig
Tim Kenyon - Lighting and rendering
James Bennett - Rigging feedback
Andy Sutton - Misc rigging
Rizaldy Valencia  - Storyboards
Damien Spanjer - Indiegogo voiceover recording
Scott Smith - Voice-Over
Neil Mayo - Indiegogo Pitch Video editor
Lisa Hague - EP advice
Linda Simensky - EP advice & for choosing C&T first in the 2011 Animag Pitch Party
Adam Cox - Theme song lyrics
Jamie & April - My kids & inspiration
My Mum & Dad

And of course, you!

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