In the short, children are being kidnapped by foxes and forced to work in mines. The feature-length “Foxed!” will continue the story of Emily and the other children who have been kidnapped and must work together to escape and save their town.
The original short opened at the top spot on iTunes in six countries when it bowed in October, and it is still featured in the iTunes store. The short also picked up a handful of noms and wins in animated short categories after appearing in more than 90 film festivals.
The feature version of “Foxed!” will be distributed worldwide by Prospero Pictures with Stewart’s Geneva Film Co.; they are aiming for a 2017 release. It will be shot in native 3D. Martin Katz (“Hotel Rwanda”) will produce. For production funding, Prospero will pursue an international co-financing deal. Prospero has worked with partners in the U.K., France, Germany, South Africa and the U.S. in the past and hopes to use a similar structure on “Foxed!”
Stewart said the VR experience will be a hybrid of 3D stop-motion animation, CG animation and live action. He told Variety he is enthusiastic about the opportunity develop the VR experience.
“As a storyteller, it’s exciting to work on multiple platforms at once,” Stewart said. “I’m excited about telling the story in an immersive environment, where the viewer is able to have a very different experience with the same story. The VR experience will be a separate, similar story, but it will obviously be nonlinear and be an active experience in 360.”
Stewart said the VR platform offers a host of new opportunities for storytellers, which he finds energizing.
“From a narrative point of view, the difference between VR and linear storytelling is very much like the difference between reading a book and having a dream,” he said. “The way we dream is very nonlinear and very abstract, and I think that is what VR is going to closely resemble, as opposed to something that starts with a beginning, middle and end. It’s definitely going to have a beginning, it’s definitely going to have a middle and it may not have an end, depending on who you are and how enthusiastic you are about it.”