Almost one year ago it came to me. I was going to make my very own feature animation! I decided not to pursue a job at Pixar or dreamworks when I grew up, but instead I decided to start my own project. You know, just an entertaining 3D animated movie with a good story and a global release. That’s all.
Now I’m from Holland and saying you’ll start your very own feature animation isn’t something you hear on a daily basis. You can imagine the reactions...
The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. ~Napoleon Hill
There were three very important ingredients that made me believe that this dream could become a reality! The first most important thing was that I had something to say, something that still is, after one year the foundation for my story. Something that I have to get off my chest for a long time and at the same time is something that everyone can relate to. I could tell by the way people responded. I had my ‘universal’ theme.
The second most important thing: I had found an historical event and a unique and dramatic location; the perfect setting for my ‘universal’ theme!
Third: I discovered a promotional opportunity for my movie. I found a second and earlier date, but my first discovery was a date set in the year 2018! So, that gave me 8 years time to work out a plan, get to work and finish what I started!
This combination made me feel I had something here. Something that could last once it was executed in a good way. And I needed that belief, because I would have to stay motivated for 8 years! This was the easy part...
No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. ~H.E. Luccock
How was I going to start? I didn’t have any experience in story development, let alone that I knew how to start -or even end- a monster project like this. The only thing I knew, was that this project was going to be my major personal project for the next coming 8 years.
Was I going to do everything myself? The answer was easy. I wasn’t. After all, my primary goal was not to release a movie that is produced, written, drawn and animated all by myself, but to release a movie in 2018 for a mainstream audience.
I had to understand how the industry works, how much money is involved and more importantly, where you get money from.
Before I had read anything on screenplays, I started with every historical book I could find on my subject. Because this was going to be an animated movie based on true events. I wanted as much information I could get my hands on, to see if it was worth exploring for my story. Second I bought ‘Invisible Ink’ (Brian McDonald) which seemed like a good first book. Like the title says: ‘Invisible Ink. A practical guide to building stories that resonate’. It was written for me.