String Theory has launched yet another impressively creative short film to promote not-for-profit organisation Good Books, using production company Plenty. The result is an ethereal rendition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which is a hearty and satisfying feast for the eyeballs.
The clip is called ‘We need to talk about Alice’ and is the third promotion released for Good Books, following on from the original viral movie Metamorphosis (a twisted look at the Good Books story as might have been told by Hunter S Thompson, by LA production heavyweights Buck) followed by Havana Heat (a steamy animated love letter to Good Books produced by world-famous duo Macbess and Simon of The Mill), the Good Books website says.
The current film has amazing animation and is set in the classic Alice in Wonderland surreal universe with the same old characters. Alice sups with the Mad Hatter at a tea party before the White Rabbit bursts in with a pile of books, which is when the Good Books story starts. This Alice is a bit more modern and a bit more of a badass, sporting tattoos on her arms and a bold, slightly less girlish haircut.
Good Books founder and String Theory founding partner Dr. Jane Cherrington says the agency decided to leave a lot of the decision making and creative process with Plenty throughout the almost two-year project.
"As with all of these pieces of work we leave it with the people we are working with which is part of the beauty of it. That’s why when Metamorphosis happened, it was mad and psychedelic, when the Mills and Boon [Havana Heat] was done it had a South American sensibility. This one was done by an Argentinean agency and they went nuts with what they wanted to do," she says.
"Giving them [Plenty] the liberation to work with complete creative freedom brought the idea to life."
String Theory chose Plenty as they do great work, Cherrington says. "They are a bit out-of-the-box and their response to us was really good when we first asked them."
Cherrington created the charity back in 2006. It's an online store that sells books and donates all proceeds to Oxfam, an organisation that fights hunger and poverty.
One hundred percent of its profits go to supporting communities in need through Oxfam. There is no catch. The online bookstore sells exactly the same books as Amazon or Fishpond, only cheaper, with no mark-up and free delivery worldwide. Each of the short films attempt to creatively tell the Good Books story in the style of the world’s most famous literary talents, and hand-picked directors donate their skill and time, free of charge, to create films for the charity.
"They are [the films] generally works that everybody knows and would have a sense of connection with, and Lewis Carroll and Alice are global and we were looking for things that connected with different audiences," Cherrington says.
"An army of people read Mills and Boon and an army of people read Alice and an army of people read Hunter S Thompson."
She says the next film will be a "noir detective piece" and the script for it, and the other films String Theory plans to release, has already been written.
The reception to the film so far has been great, she says. "Awesome, really good. I mean, nobody has not liked it."
The Good Books scheme is also chugging along well, she says. "We've rebuilt the website here at String, because the people in the UK didn't want to host it for us anymore. So we have devoted half a year of time to the website ... And so we were just really making sure everything was tight before it [the latest film] went out," she says.
The next phase in the film's launch will be "getting it out there" she says, in the hope that folk will make Good Books their cause. "Other great people have made it their cause, so make it yours," she says.
String Theory executive creative director Jeremy Taine says it's great that people are prepared to put a lot of effort into something that is for the greater good.
"There is no money involved. No money changed hands at all. So Plenty are the latest to join ... doing something to show their creative chops and to do something philanthropic, so it was really satisfying," he says. "It's interesting when you take the dollar out of it and people are doing it for the right reasons. It's the latest in a bunch of really great work coming from people with hearts."
So, when will the next instalment be released? You might be wondering.
In a year or so, says Cherrington. "Watch this space."
Directed & produced by Plenty
Creative directors: Pablo Alfieri & Mariano Farías
Art director: Elda Broglio
Animation director: Mariano Farías
Executive producer: Inés Palmas
Producer: César Morán Mazo
Concept by: String Theory
Executive creative director Jeremy Taine
Writers: Devon Wood & Jeremy Taine
Music & Sound Design: Liquid Studios
Music Composer: Peter van der Fluit & Liquid Studios
Storyboard & Animatic: Claudio Iriarte & Mariano Farías
Character Design: Elda Broglio, Claudio Iriarte & German Merlo
Production Design: Elda Broglio, Carolina Carballo & Eugenia Mello
Background Design: Eugenia Mello & Elda Broglio
Books Covers Design: Pablo Alfieri
3D Modelling: Juan Martín Miyagi, Matías Fernandez, Juan Pablo Fernandez , Benjamín Jagusieczko & Natalia Urrutia
Scripting: Agustín Schilling & Ago Carrera
CG Supervisor, 3D Technical Direction and FX: Agustín Schilling
Character Rigging: Germán Merlo, Agustín Schilling, Benjamín Jagusieczko, Ramiro Tell & Guillermo Comoli
Skin Fixing: Agustín Schilling, German Merlo & Nicolás Mandelman
3D Character Animation: Mauro Serei, Pablo Lorenzo, Laura Lempert & German Merlo
3D Animation: German Merlo, Mariano Farías & Hernán Estevez
2D Animation & Transitions: Germán Merlo, Mau Lencinas , Sergio Slepczuk, Hernán Estevez & Mariano Farías
Animation Consulting: Federico Radero
Painting & Texturing: Carolina Carballo, Elda Broglio, Benjamín Jagusieczko & Eugenia Mello
Shading: Ago Carrera
Lead Lighter: Ago Carrera
Lighting: Ago Carrera, Benjamín Jagusieczko, Juan Casale, Natalia Urrutia & Matias Mastrogiano
3D Rendering: Ago Carrera, Benjamín Jagusiecsko & Agustín Schilling
Lead VFX & 2D Technical Direction: Matías Mastrogiano
Compositors: Matías Mastrogiano & Nicolás Holodovsky, Benjamín Jagusiecsko, Milena Girini & Edgardo Osornio
Edition & Montage: Mariano Farías
Live Action Actors Coach:: Valeria Grossi
Live Action Casting Camera: Sandra Grossi
Alice: Catalina Alexander
Mad Hatter: Julián Puchetta
White Rabbit & Rose: Karina Hernandez
VO Presenter: Michael Hurst
Voice Over Artists
Alice: Brie Ana Hill
Mad Hatter: Syd Jackson
Lady Rose: Tania Anderson
White Rabbit: Ian Hughes
Cheshire Cat: Michael Hurst