VFX and animation shop Blur Studio has announced plans to make a feature-length version of its Academy Award-nominated animated short film, Gopher Broke. The CG short is currently screening in Park City, Utah, as an official selection of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Blur Studio is focused on expanding into the feature film arena, joining a crowded field of contenders hoping to offer some competition for Disney and Pixar. Blur and other independent studios such as Exodus (Igor) and Phathom Studios (Delgo) have no doubt been spurred on by the recent success of The Weinstein Co.’s animated Hoodwinked, which was produced by Kanbar Ent. for less than $20 million and has earned nearly $30 million in two weeks.
In 2003, Blur moved into a 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art computer animation studio nearly triple the size of its original digs. The company also launched an international talent search to strengthen its ranks as it gears up for feature film production while continuing to provide service work. Blur apparently has several animated feature films in development, but is keeping a tight lid on details.
Directed and produced by Jeff Fowler and Blur founder Tim Miller, the Gopher Broke short is a comedic romp about a hungry Gopher intent on scoring a tasty veggie snack from one of the farm trucks that regularly passes down the dirt road near his hole. In traditional slapstick style, our hero ends up getting way more than he bargained for. The film was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar last year, but ended up losing to Chris Landreth’s Ryan, a computer-animated pseudo-documentary on the tragic life of animator Ryan Larkin.
No specific details about the feature version of Gopher Broke have been released at this time. More information on the film and Blur Studio in general can be found at www.blur.com.