Walter Beckett in … “Pigeon: Impossible”
“Pigeon: Impossible” is the tale of Walter, a rookie secret agent faced with a problem seldom covered in basic training: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase.
Production on the film spanned for nearly 5 years and is the first attempt at animation by writer/director Lucas Martell: ‘When the project started, it was really just an excuse to learn 3D animation, but by the end of the project I had spent so much time reworking and polishing the story that I just wanted people to laugh.’
The end result is a hilarious 6-minute romp through the streets of Washington D.C. as our hero fights to save himself, and the world from the chaos reigned down by a hungry pigeon. Breathtaking visuals and a sweeping soundtrack showcase the work of nearly one-hundred talented artists and musicians, and the film stands as a testament to what can be accomplished by a team of dedicated volunteers working for the love of their craft.
Although the project started out as a simple test animation, it quickly ballooned into a no-holds-barred attempt at studio-level CGI filmmaking. The repeated emphasis on solid storytelling meant that technical considerations often came second to what the story required.
This resulted in a level of technical hurdles far beyond what most independent shorts attempt, especially one that was made for less than $10,000 and created entirely in people’s spare time.
Countless weeks were spent optimizing assets in order to render the expansive environment, a passbased look was developed to allow for the use of more expensive ray-tracing techniques, and hundreds of custom tools were written to accommodate the massive amount of data that had to flow through the pipeline.
Lucas Martell (Writer/Director/Animator)
Lucas is a freelance animator and VFX artist. After graduating from Millikin University with a bachelor degree in Commercial Music, he moved to Austin, Texas and began production on “Pigeon: Impossible” in the summer of 2004. The film is his first animation, and took nearly 5 years to complete. Since then, he has also become widely known for his weekly podcast that chronicles the techniques and obstacles he’s faced throughout production of the film.
Austen Menges (Editor/Additional Story)
Austen began his editing career in 2003 with the short film ‘Toward the Near,’ which screened at the Director’s Guild of America Theatre and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Most recently, Menges co-wrote and edited the short film/web series ‘Script Cops,’ a film industry favorite about cops who arrest people for bad screenwriting.
Christopher Reyman (Composer)
Christopher is a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at the University of Illinois. In addition to performing regularly with various jazz and chamber orchestras, Chris has written over 200 pieces and spent nearly a year composing the score for ‘Pigeon: Impossible’ which was performed by two orchestras and required 74 musicians.
Running time: 6m12s
Format: 35mm & HDCam
Color / Stereo
Release Date: May 7th, 2009
Additional Story :Scott Rice & Gopal Bidari
Animators: Jason Lindsay, Adrian Zambrano, Rodney Brunet & Adnan Chatriwala
Models/Textures: Tad Catalano, Jason Nichols, Don DeGrasse, Ousama Itani & Eric Burke
Hair/Cloth: Tad Catalano
Environment Coordinator: Ousama Itani
Lighting/Rigging: Lucas Martell
Art Director: Belal Hibri
Additional Character Design: Amalia Litsa, Lindsey Villareal & Magnus Skold
Sound Design and Mix: David Bewley, Corey Roberts & 501 Audio
Post Services: 501 Post
Executive Producer: George O’Dwyer
eQ Artist: Jim Reed
Associate Producer: Gopal Bidari
The Millikin University Jazz Orchestra
Director: Randy Reyman
Engineers: John Scott & Steve Andreas
Mastering: Caleb Willitz
The Austin Wind Symphony
Conductor: Patrick Phillips
Vice President: Shelly Eager
Engineers: Chris Keyland & Luke Lovett
Videographer: Graham Davidson
Video Playback: Gary Huff
Additional Support Provided by: The Austin Film Society