Toon house announces first slate of original content
Vancouver-based vfx and animation studio Rainmaker has unveiled its first-ever slate of original animated feature projects and is pitching them to distributors.Rainmaker has been primarily known as a service business, doing visual effects and animation for Mattel’s successful Barbie animated pics. But a year ago company hired former Lucasfilm exec Catherine Winder to revamp the company and get it into original features. Winder, now prexy and exec producer, said Rainmaker hopes to get its first feature out in two to three years and release a feature every 12 to 18 months. Announcement continues a trend of visual effects houses and for-hire service companies shifting to producing their own content — in part because the feature vfx business is proving unprofitable for most companies. Winder unveiled two projects that are seeking distribution, creative attachments or both. “Ogo” is about a little girl who discovers that the legendary Ogo- pogo monster of British Columbia’s Lake Okangan really exists. Former DreamWorks animator and indie filmmaker Jacob Medjuck is attached to write and direct. “Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes” is based on the 1939 children’s book by DuBose Heyward, who also wrote the play “Porgy & Bess” was based on. Bernice Vanderlaan (“Life With Derek”) is writing the script and Alison Snowden and David Fine, Oscar winners for the short “Bob’s Birthday,” are attached as consulting directors.