Emeryville, Calif.-based Athena Studios announced today that it is producing a stop-motion animated feature based on Elise Primavera’s book Auntie Claus.
The announcement was made today by Jon V. Peters, CEO/Founder, Athena Studios. Please see: www.facebook.com/auntieclausthemovie.
Peters and Athena Studios are actively involved in preproduction on a 90-minute, stop-motion animated motion picture based on Auntie Claus. Several heavyweight animation industry figures have already committed to the production, including:
Pete Kozachik, Director of Photography: Kozachik has served as DP on Coraline, The Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was involved with the Visual Effects on Star Wars Episode II, Ghostbusters 2, Starship Troopers, Star Trek IV, and Robocop 2 and 3.
Tom Proost, Art Director: Proost has served as Art Director on Coraline, and worked in Visual Effects for Galaxy Quest, Star Wars: Episode II, The Mummy, AI: Artificial Intelligence, and The Matrix 2 and 3.
Brice Parker, Producer: Parker is a Pixar Animation Studios and ILM alum and was involved with Visual Effects management on the Jurassic Park and The Matrix film franchises.
Tim Taylor, Camera and Lighting: Taylor ran camera for Coraline and Frankenweenie, and worked in Visual Effects for Con Air and Back to the Future 2.
Auntie Claus has been a favorite of my family for years, says studio founder and CEO Jon V. Peters.
“It has a very appealing story and a strong message. We reached out to Elise Primavera, and were fortunate enough to negotiate a solid deal with her for the film rights. We couldn’t be more excited to have been bestowed with the honor of turning her wondrous book into a perennial Christmas-holiday classic.”
Adds Parker, “We chose stop motion as the format for this new, upcoming film because it has a fantastic look and feel that we knew would be perfect for telling this story. It can also be extremely cost-effective to produce stop-motion when it’s managed properly, and the box office returns of a four-quadrant Christmas film are indisputable. We think Auntie Claus is ideally suited to perform to those expectations.”
Athena has already begun a treatment for the book as well as development on character design and animation tests. Studio executives are currently interviewing potential directors for the film, as well as developing a package for funding and distribution.
Originally released in 1999 by Harcourt, Auntie Claus tells the holiday story of 11-year old Sophie, an entitled girl who doesn’t understand the true meaning of Christmas. One day, she gets a surprise visit from her mysterious Aunt who reveals to her that she’s part of Santa Claus family and that she has to travel to the North Pole to save the holiday for children around the world.
Athena Studios was launched as a full service production facility for companies seeking to produce their own videos or shoot a feature film. In addition to producing outside projects, Athena Studios is developing its own original content for motion pictures, television, web and multi-media presentations. For more info, visit www.athenastudios.com.