Former Sony Digital prexy lines up next project

Former Sony Pictures Digital prexy Yair Landau has lined up some powerful partners for his next project.

Mass Animation is a project that invites artists to collaborate via Facebook on a computer-animated short. Besides Facebook, companies involved in the project are tech giant Intel; animation software maker Autodesk, animation website Aniboom and Reel FX Entertainment.

Intel will sponsor the development and promotion of the Facebook page where fans and animators will be able to view the work in progress. Autodesk will provide a downloadable version its Maya Unlimited software for artists working on the film. Reel FX will convert selected artists’ contributions for posting on the Facebook page. Aniboom will manage the community aspect of the project.

Landau told Variety, “The goal is twofold. One is to is to empower animators who might not feel they could ever get involved in a high-level Hollywood project to have their work reach the screen.

“The other is to introduce a new set of characters and stories to the public today. If you look at what people are doing today, it’s big pre-sold content. If we’re successful and people feel attachment to our story and characters that will serve as a basis for further exploitation.”

The collaborative production effort will start this fall. Landau will produce and direct the 5-minute short, whose title has not yet been announced. Other key creatives will be announced before production begins.

Landau said if the short is good, “we’ll figure out how to do a feature film.”

Landau said the speed in which this deal came together — he only ankled Sony in April — is indicative of a hunger among companies and consumers for “social creativity.” He pointed to a Facebook project where the company let users translate the site so pages could be shared across Europe.

“I thought that’s a powerful thing, it would be interesting to apply that in animation,” said Landau. “This points the way to a lot of future artistic collaborations.”

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