So yes, it's true. It's in the works. It's going to take some time. It's ground to a bit of a halt with everyone's day jobs getting in the way but we'll be back at it as soon as we can and knocking this back into shape. What can I say without getting myself into trouble with my partners-in-crime...?
It's probably only going to be five minutes long or so. We have the blessing of Dredd's owners although that comes with a major caveat - no funding, no Kickstarter, etc. It has to be purely not-for-profit so really any budget we have is made up of people's goodwill and enthusiasm for the character.
It's classic-era Dredd. Probably pre-Apocalypse War. We're sticking very close to the comics. There's no radical reinvention of the concept here although as every other attempt to bring Dredd's world to life has involved some reworking, this might be the closest incarnation to the strip in style and tone so I'm going to say that's pretty radical in itself.
It's too early to start showing off everything we have so far but we've let this one out of the bag to give some idea of the style.
So anyway - for those of you who don't know, animation is a painfully slow, meticulous process. (Especially if you want it done right.) It takes a long time to get from point A to point B and don't mistake any long silences as anything other than we're toiling away on this thing behind the scenes.
Preliminary character designs are being wrapped up. I'm very proud of what's been produced so far.
I finally have the answer to a question I've often been asked (and often wondered myself!): WHY HASN'T ANYONE TRIED THIS BEFORE?
It's a disappointingly simple answer, folks: Dredd is SHIT hard to draw right. He really is. Despite being drawn and reinterpreted by dozens of different artists over almost 40 years, it's still really easy to get him wrong. One element out of place and it's all pear-shaped. Don't even get me started on the helmet. (I had a particularly humbling and galling moment at San Diego Comic-Con watching 2000AD artist extraordinaire Henry Flint fart out a wondrous sketch of Dredd for me in sixty seconds while I tried to forget it took me almost two weeks of murderous wailing and gnashing of teeth to get the same design right.)
Dredd's costume is detailed and ornate and completely impractical and trying to figure out what/how/why to simplify so that somebody can animate it, draw it over and over and over again from various angles is hard work. But it's all worked out. We have a Dredd we're happy with along with plenty of other assorted oiks, muckers and denizens of Mega City One.
What else? The mighty Rich McAuliffe has written us up a fantastic script. We don't have a lot of time to tell a huge tale but the script he wrote perfectly captures the tone of John Wagner and one of those one-off six pager lumps of awesomeness.
The inimitable Flint Lockjaw has been a trooper having drawn, voiced and edited together a rough animatic from the script so we can see how it all fits together and we can tweak/edit ideas. This is a painfully familiar process in animation but for us, it's even more crucial. Just like the cast and crew of the mind-blowing JUDGE MINTY film, we have no budget to work from. We need to be sure our planning's as tight and lean as it can be so there's no waste of anyone's time or talent.
So there you have it. Train's still rolling. Dredd's in VERY good hands right now. We'll keep you posted.
Updates and progress can be followed HERE at the film's website.