LA-based creative content studio Psyop has announced the world premiere of its most-recent short film, Bottle Cap from directors Marie Hyon and Marco Spier, at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France (Jan. 28-Feb. 5). The animated short film follows a fiddler crab named Shelton, who becomes an unwitting accomplice in the business of extinction as his dreams of being “average” are co-opted by new dreams of power and destiny.
“Psyop takes great pride in supporting creators, and bringing their unique voices to life. We are thrilled to see the curtain raised on Marie and Marco’s vision for Bottle Cap at Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival — their unique creative voices, and this vitally important story belong with a global audience,” said Neysa Horsburgh, Psyop Chief Strategy Officer.
Hyon and Spier were inspired to create Shelton’s journey when they traveled thousands of miles to a remote island off the coast of Brazil, only to be met by a bottle cap being washed up onto the beach. The two were moved to take action against ocean plastic pollution in the way they best know how – tell stories in the hopes that the narrative might inspire change.
“It has been a passion of ours to tell the tale of our little fiddler crab, Shelton, for a very long time,” said Hyon and Spier. “To do so at Clermont-Ferrand, at the world’s preeminent short film festival, is indeed a thrill and we especially look forward to the response of their renowned audience. We believe stories have the power to change behavior — we are excited and hopeful that in sharing our film, we can shine a light on real world problems and inspire all of us to become leaders for a better world.”
The directors created Bottle Cap at Psyop — the award-winning animation studio they co-founded with Todd Mueller, Kylie Matulick and Eben Mears — using Unreal Engine, with the support of an Epic MegaGrant. The short is produced in association with Parley for the Oceans, Content for Change and Epic Games.
“Bottle Cap was truly a labor of love for everyone involved. We were able to assemble the perfect team for the project — all long-time collaborators of the two directors. It really was a family affair at the end of the day, and everyone poured heart and soul into every frame of the film,” added Andrew Linsk, producer / executive producer.
Synopsis: Size matters to a fiddler crab — claw size, that is. And it’s a problem for Shelton. When a plastic bottle cap stands in for his worthless digging claw, Shelton believes he is about to become a god. But for a crab who hated being different and instead dreamt of being ‘just average,’ this kind of glory will come at a horrible cost.
Watch the trailer at psyop.com.
Bottle Cap pops off Psyop’s 2022 short film slate, with further selections at festivals throughout Europe and the U.S. to be announced soon.
Founded in 2001, Psyop is a creative content studio creating award-winning commercials, shorts, VR experiences, games, web series, VFX, interactive and digital. Recent commissioned projects from the Psyop talent stable include spots for hit games Clash of Clans, Apex Legends and Runeterra, the Aldi “Christmas Carrot” holiday ad, KFC’s Colonel Sanders anime dating sim spoof and the viral Ghibli-esque Travel Oregon campaign.