French outfit Atlas V, the production company behind the critically acclaimed “Gloomy Eyes” and one of the industry leaders in narrative VR, has just launched production on its newest animated project, a 20-minute standalone film called “The Little Mouse.”
Sharing details of the project with Variety, Atlas V co-founder Antoine Cayrol called the film “a narrative driven fairy tale” that acts as the origin story for the Gallic equivalent of the tooth fairy (known in French-speaking countries as La Petite Souris – the little mouse).
Employing a storytelling approach similar to that of “Gloomy Eyes,” and furthering that film’s tone of playful melancholy, this “short story in virtual reality” tells the story of a headstrong young critter who goes off into the world to make herself known.
Moving from the countryside to Broadway to Santa Claus’ workshop as she tries to find a stage big enough for her self-regard, the brash mouse eventually finds the celebrity she craves as the fantasy figure who swaps coins for newly lost teeth – only to find that her fame comes at the price of never being seen.
Local animators Floriane Cortes and Nicolas Bourniquel will lead production on the film, which will take part of the NewImages XR financing market, and which is due for completion in December 2021.
In the near term, Atlas V is prepping an early 2021 festival run for its soon-to-launch immersive documentary with the working title “38 Minutes,” which it co-produced with U.K.-based studio Archer’s Mark.
Directed by Archer’s Mark founders Mike Brett & Steve Jamison alongside co-director Pierre Zandrowicz, made in collaboration with Princeton’s Nuclear Futures Lab, the Macarthur Foundation and socially engaged nonprofit Games for Change, and funded in part by Oculus, Arte, and France’s CNC, the immersive project tells the story of Jan. 13, 2018, when citizens of Hawaii received an alert that a nuclear attack was imminent.
Playing out in real time from the 38 minutes between the alert going out to the government’s subsequent retraction, the doc mixes real-life audio testimonies with volumetrically captured re-enactments as it tracks Hawaiians’ wildly divergent reactions.
“For 38 minutes everyone on the island thought they were going to die,” says Cayrol. “We have a woman who decided to spend her last minutes walking into the ocean, while another tried to hide her children in the sewers in order to protect them.”
“And then half an hour later, they received a message saying sorry it was a mistake,” he continues. “But for a lot of people, it changed their lives. When you think you’re going to die for 38 minutes, it impact your life forever.”