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01 Apr 2010 |

Song of the Sea
Oscar nominated production house Cartoon Saloon, makers of the award winning ‘The Secret of Kells’, are currently in development with a new upcoming feature animation, ‘Song of the Sea’. The film is directed by ‘Kells’ helmer Tomm Moore and will tell the enchanted story of the last Seal Child’s journey home.

With character designs by Tomm Moore and art direction and backgrounds by Adrien Merigeau (background designer, The Secret of Kells), the film sees characters Ben and Saoirse sent to live with Granny in the city following their mother’s disappearance.

When they resolve to return to their home by the sea, their journey becomes a race against time as they are drawn into a world Ben knows only from his mother’s folktales. But this is no bedtime story; these fairy folk have been in our world far too long. It soon becomes clear to Ben that Saoirse is the key to their survival.

When asked about the inspiration behind the film’s story, director Tomm Moore tells IFTN that inspiration struck during research for ‘The Secret of Kells’: “The inspiration behind the project are the stories of the Selkies,” he says. “Also, the fairytales and beliefs that seem to be dying out around the country, lots of stuff that I had researched during the development of ‘The Secret of Kells’ but which did not have a place in that film.”

The feature’s main animation will be orchestrated by ‘Secret of Kells’ animation supervisor, Fabian Erlinghauser, Sean McCarron (George of the Jungle), Svend Rothmann Bonde (Draw Poker), Alessandra Sorrentino (Skunk Fu!) and Alfredo Cassano (Skunk Fu!). The CG animation, SFX and compositing will be carried out by Digital Graphics Studios in Belgium. In addition, ‘Song of the Sea’s theme music is Kila’s ‘Dees Tune’.

The co-production with Graphic Studios has already led to exploring new creative areas. “We are experimenting alongside Digital Graphics,” reveals Tomm, “with 3D stereo effects with our signature 2D style…but we are not decided yet if that will work!” he hastily adds.

With the hectic Awards season now over, Moore hopes production will get underway as soon as possible. “We are hoping to get it full production this year,” he says, “but it depends on the finance and our co-production partners.

”So far we have focused mostly on the script, I've been working with a talented young screenwriter called William Collins and we have gone through quite a few drafts over the past 16 months. We are hoping to get to the next draft completed during the storyboard phase which will begin in May. This way the visuals will inform the story.

“I will be working with Adrien Merigeau the Art Director and Alan Holly a talented animator and storyboard artist who animated some of the key scenes of Brendan in ‘The Secret of Kells’.”

’Song of the Sea’ is produced by Oscar nominee Paul Young (The Secret of Kells) and Ross Murray (Backwards Boy).

To view a conceptual trailer for the feature visit www.cartoonsaloon.ie

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