Happy Birthday Neil!

I thought this image would be appropriate to share on Neil’s birthday; working on the shot had me thinking once again about the generosity and  compassion (towards both animals and people) that were clearly evident during my visit to Castle Gaiman.


As this is the first feline you meet in the movie, it was important for him to be adorable enough so that the audience would understand why the narrator can’t refuse to take pity, and invites him to stay.

That in turn meant that the reaction of my cinematic version of Mr. Gaiman (as he opens the front door and sees this furry face looking up at him) also needed to convey the same level of warmth and welcoming I had felt while there, in great abundance. Getting these emotions to “read,” along with maintaining the desired balance of stylization and realism has been among the most exciting challenges of this project.

And to Neil (himself): our thanks for who you are and what you do — more than ever, it is no small thing to have someone to look-up to.

Best wishes for a most excellent birthday!

About Xtopher

Director of The Price, and Owner/Creative Director of Silver Fish Creative, LLC.
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8 Responses to Happy Birthday Neil!

  1. Jordi Kroon says:

    I really like your use of colour. The daytime, happy, scenes are filled with a rich gold and this shows in the image of the cat here. It looks very welcoming and inviting.

    The harsh blues of the nights (very visible in the blog background, too!) are a great contrast to this. Scary, ill at ease.

    Happy birthday to Neil. Should you read this, Mr. Gaiman: I still love your work.

    • Xtopher says:

      Dude … you respond fast … like, scary-fast! 😉 (Which is awesome, I must say!) Thank you for your comments on the colors (aka “colours”); it is gratifying that you notice these kinds of subtle (yet carefully considered) choices! And you know what? I think Mr. G actually may read some of these (providing he has time)!

  2. A lovely rendering! And happy birthday to Mr. Gaiman, who seems to be well and truly enjoying himself these days.

  3. Cat says:

    Happy birthday, Neil.

    @Christopher Can you estimate how long it will be until the movie is done?

  4. Tad says:

    Your fortitude is a creative inspiration… every frame a work of art. This surreal image speaks volumes about the vibe and attention to detail that you’re striving for. I recall one the Pre-Raphaelite painters who spent like ten years working, and reworking a portrait of his then lover… he was obviously obsessed with both her and his vision for her! Keep on truckin, man… you’ll get there!

  5. Casper says:

    We’re approaching 2020. This project was funded in 2010 I believe. That’s around the time I started in university. Since then I’ve completed a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and worked at my current job for around 4 years. I wrote a screenplay, a novel, started an online business, met my girlfriend and have a kid on the way. Christopher, are you happy with how long this is taking? I know you’re only one man, but Voices of a Distant Star by Makoto Shinkai, Away by Gints Zilbalodis, Kaze: Ghost Warrior by Amadhia Albee and countless others were also one-man animation projects — FULL animation — and they got done in much less time. The two former were feature-length no less and, to my knowledge, none of them had the benefit of crowdfunding either. I think it’s safe to say you’re either overcomplicating things (being too much of a perfectionist — perhaps too much reverence for the source material?) or you weren’t fully equipped to take on a project like this at the onset and have had way too much learning-as-you-go. I have a background in 3D animation and it shouldn’t take almost a decade to create a beautiful animatic, especially with the tools available today, if you know what you’re doing. What’s going on? Did you suffer a massive burnout or something? What’s the timeline for completion at this point?

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