Athena Studios has begun production on a new, stop-motion animated short film titled Mermaids on Mars.
Jon V. Peters, founder of the Emeryville, Calif.-based studio, is director of the new film.
Mermaids on Mars came to Athena Studios from children’s book author Nancy Guettier, who is producing the film. Guettier had written the book that the film is loosely based on in 2012, as a dedication to her three adopted children. Guettier also wrote the five songs that are featured in the short.
The story is about a young boy named Julian who takes a fantastic adventure to Mars. There, he discovers that the last surviving mermaids in the universe are living in a small body of water on that planet.
Athena Studios is doing all of the production work and animation on the film. The studio also helped to adapt the original full-length screenplay by Guettier and Jarrett Galante into a short film format.
To bring the story of “Mermaids on Mars” to life, Athena has assembled a crew comprised of a number of stop-motion animation and feature film luminaries: Athena producer Kat Alioshin (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride), director of photography Pete Kozachik (Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones, Corpse Bride, Ghostbusters 2, Nightmare Before Christmas) cinematographer Timothy Taylor (Back to the Future Part II, Frankenweenie, Coraline) art director Tom Proost (Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, A.I., James and the Giant Peach, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions), and puppet fabricator Victoria Rose Zalewski (Coraline, Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas).
Mermaids on Mars will be released in January to film festivals. Check out the production’s Facebook page for a sneak peek: www.facebook.com/mermaidsonmarsthefilm.