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Blur Studio’s Gopher Broke Receives Oscar NominationComputer-Animated Short One of Two New Films from Expanding Animation Studio
Gopher Broke, one of two new computer-animated shorts from Blur Studio, has been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Animated Short Film. The film is directed by Jeff Fowler and Tim Miller served as Executive Producer.
In the Rough, Blur Studio’s second new short directed by Paul Taylor, was short-listed for Academy Award consideration, as were two previous films from the studio, RockFish (2004) and Aunt Luisa (2003). RockFish, directed by Blur co-founder Tim Miller, was recently optioned by One Race Productions, actor Vin Diesel’s production company, for development as a feature film and video game.
“We are honored and grateful to the Academy for this nomination,” said Miller. “We are also extremely proud of our team and the imagination, artistic skill and hard work that made it possible. We produce short films to stretch our creative wings and to create content that is entirely our own. They provide an opportunity to exercise our storytelling skills and to explore new animation techniques and processes. To receive this recognition from our peers is a wonderful bonus.”
Miller added that Blur Studio was able to produce two films this year due to the recent growth of its staff and resources. “We were coming off a large project for Disney,” Miller said, referring to the studio’s work on the best-selling DVD release Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas. “We were ready for a another challenge that would give our staff a chance to grow as artists and for the company to grow as an artistic entity.”
The production of original shorts underscores Blur’s commitment to artistic achievement as its first priority. “We invest as much time, effort and resources as we can into these projects,” Miller said. “The vision of this company is to nurture creative talent and produce great animated stories.”
In contrast to RockFish, a futuristic space epic, the two new films are styled in classic cartoon comedy tradition. In the Rough, written and directed by Paul Taylor, is a wry prehistoric fable on the pursuit of marital bliss. Gopher Broke, written and directed by Jeff Fowler, tells the tale of a cunning rodent’s smashing encounter with a produce truck on a lonely country road.
While highlighting the studio’s versatility and exquisite animation skills, the two films also showcase its abilities in character development, storytelling and humor. “On contract work we are not always involved in developing the concept, writing the script or creating the characters,” said Taylor. “Short films give us the opportunity to see a project through from start to finish and develop skills that can be applied toward the production of a feature-length film.”
Both Fowler and Taylor are first time directors. Each won the right to direct a short by winning an internal story competition among Blur staff. “This was a fantastic opportunity for me and one that I could only have received at Blur,” Fowler said. “This company is unrivaled in its support and commitment to the development of artists, not only through projects like Gopher Broke, but in every aspect of our work.”
RockFish and Aunt Luisa have enjoyed extremely successful runs in international film festivals and competitions. RockFish recently won awards for Best Animation at the Imagina Awards in Monte Carlo and for Best Animated Short at London’s Raindance Film Festival. It won similar awards at the Malibu Film Festival, the Dragon*Con Independent Short Festival in Atlanta, the Internet-based Action/Cut Short Film Competition and the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival in Florida. RockFish is currently nominated for an Annie Award as Best Animated Short Subject and is airing on Nicktoons as part of the Nicktoons Film Festival.
About Blur Studio
Blur Studio is a state-of-the-art visual effects and animation studio built on a solid foundation of artistic talent and client relationships. Founded in 1995, a group of highly motivated digital artists built an environment in which artists can thrive and creative excellence is the sole measure of success. The company has produced numerous projects spanning a wide range of media – large format films, commercials, concept art, feature effects, ride films and game cinematics. Notable recent projects include over 40 minutes of CG for Disney’s Twice Upon a Christmas DVD, photo-real effects in James Cameron’s latest 3D stereoscopic IMAX film Aliens of the Deep, a cinematic THQ’s Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, the on-air promotional campaign for Nickelodeon and the feature film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, a TV commercial spot for Xmen: Legends, as well as two original short films. Also included under the Blur banner is a broadcast design division dedicated to creating innovative motion graphics for television and film with clients including ABC, NBC, CBS, WB and E! Entertainment. Blur Studio is located at 589 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291. For more information, call (310) 581-8848.
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