Set in a dystopian universe, FLUTTER is a short animated film about despair, hope and the power of love. Fleo, the film’s main character, is an outcast, destined to trudge through the dark streets of his city. While the rest of the world goes about its business, Fleo has become invisible. Irrelevant. Trapped in a body that keeps him firmly pinned to the ground, Fleo can only watch from a distance as others defy the laws of gravity and fly freely above his head. His life is unbearable. If only Fleo can be like the rest of them! If only he could fly!
Desperation leads to innovation, and then to an unexpected encounter. With a pair of wings strapped to his back, Fleo’s first attempt at flying becomes a heart-stopping rescue mission. Having saved the life of a helpless stranger, Fleo has to make a choice. Does he continue on his flight path, or go back to his old life of being grounded? Realizing that there is something more powerful than gravity, Fleo embraces his old impediments. He has found the perfect solution.
Instead of literally taking to the air, he will let his heart soar to new and dizzying heights.
When I began making FLUTTER, my goal was to create a short animated film with a uniquely different look to the animated films I’d worked on in the past. Within the “constraints” of 2D animation, I wanted to achieve a more cinematic experience, resembling the visual styles of certain filmmakers who’d influenced me over the years.
FLUTTER started with a sketch of a crippled creature, and in many ways the film’s artwork led the story to its final conclusion. A dystopian fantasy world was the perfect setting for my dark and surreal visuals, allowing me to tell the story of an outcast in search of personal happiness. It would also be an opportunity to artistically underscore the film’s primary themes: despair, hope and the power of love.
The experience I'm most trying to communicate with FLUTTER is the thrill of stepping into an unknown world and finding meaning to what matters most in ours. I hope the film will create an emotional experience for viewers of all ages, and in the process help create a dialogue as to what it means to break free from constraints – whether they are self-imposed or external, physical or emotional... And that there’s always a silver lining to the dark cloud over your head.
Set in a dystopian world, FLUTTER is a new take on traditional 2D animation, a tribute to classic live-action films with a nod to steam-punk’s cinematic beauty; a reimagined visual approach to classic movie storytelling.
The artwork was executed using a specific technique which involved almost every single frame being painted, textured and animated by hand. At 4000x2250, this allowed for full 4K production and nearly flawless detail output.
The 2D layer system was ported to 3D compositing and VFX and then put back out to 2D 4K masters. In a sense, this 2D-3D-2D journey alludes to the arc of the film’s main character, and the loop of his flight trajectory.
The film was released in 2K in October 2017. A 4K online version will be available soon. Music and sound were recorded, mixed and mastered at PAAstudio, along with editing, post production output and web site development.
Vladimir Todorov is a concept artist, illustrator and animator. He studied Fine Art and Animation in his native country, Bulgaria, and began his career as an animator at Amblimation Studio in London, UK, where he worked on An American Tail 2, Fivel Goes West, We’re Back, and Balto.In 1995, Vladimir joined Uli Meyer Studio as a Lead Animator, working on Space Jam, Lost in Space and various TV commercials. In 1997 Vladimir moved to Warner Brothers, to work on their animated feature The Quest for Camelot. In 1998 Vladimir joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in LA as an animator, storyboard and concept Artist, working on Stuart Little, Stuart Little 2, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, as well as the Academy Award winning animated short The Chubb Chubbs. In 2002 began work as a character design supervisor for Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express. Vladimir left Sony in 2005 to become a freelance artist. He has worked as a character designer on Beowulf, Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Moms, Jack the Giant Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass and many other feature films.
Vladimir has also written and illustrated three children books - The Moon Rock, Oliver’s Tantrums and Archipelago NY. Visit Vladimir's web site here.
Boriana grew up on three continents – Asia, Australia and Europe. She has an MA in English Literature and American Studies and is a certified TEFL teacher. She spent fifteen years teaching English to children and adults before relocating to Los Angeles in 1998. She became a PA to jazz photographer William Claxton and spent three years working on archiving his work, listening to all-time jazz classics and hearing wonderful stories about Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker and many other great artists. During that time, she also became a mother of two and an avid bedtime reader of children’s books.
Her love of literature, storytelling and different cultures led to the creation of her first children’s fantasy novel, “The Moon Rock”, in collaboration with her husband, Vladimir Todorov. The book’s film rights were optioned by Disney and Robert Zemeckis, and Boriana spent a year developing the story for the big screen with ImageMovers.
The picture book “Oliver’s Tantrums” was another Todorov team project, dedicated to raising kids under the age of five. Their third book was a YA illustrated novel “Archipelago NY”, and written for all the children of the future. FLUTTER is Boriana’s first project as a producer.
Ivo Venkov is an architect, fine artist and composer, born and educated in Bulgaria. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 1987, he has designed a number of important projects in the United States and overseas. His architecture ranges from private residences to assembly facilities and has earned him international recognition, publications and awards. He is the founder of PAAstudio in 1992, a progressive multidisciplinary art collaborative. Since then, Ivo has been developing a broad spectrum of works, which have shaped PAA's line of thought in functional design, art and art applications.
He has also a successful art career with a number of works in international museums and private collections. Coincidentally, he is also author of a rock musical in 1984, which yet again shows architecture could be 'silent music'. Sometimes silent, that is.
The broad spectrum of Ivo’s works allows him to communicate seamlessly in different mediums and art forms. Besides design, he is currently working on large new print series of abstract art. He is also developing an animated feature musical together with Vladimir Todorov, “The Good Knight’s Sleep”. Visit the full PAAstudio web site here.
Written, Directed, Designed & Animated by Vladimir Todorov
Produced by Vladimir Todorov & Boriana Todorov
Co-produced by Ivo Venkov
Music Vladimir Todorov & Ivo Venkov
Sound Design, Mix & Engineering PAAstudio
VFX Architect Ivo Venkov
Editors Vladimir Todorov & Ivo Venkov
Special Thanks to
Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, Doug Chang, Jack Rapke, Ken Ralston, Till Nowak, Andrew Menzies ,Fergal Reilly, Uli Meyer, Sheena Duggal, J.J. Blumnkranz, Fatima Brown, Terry Brown, Philip Keller, Dan Sweetman, Mark Marren, Tom Hershey, Emil Mitev, Evgeni Tomov, Javor Gardev, Chouchkov Brothers, Jana Karaivanova, Rossi Venkov, Philip Venkov, Angelina Todorov, Alex Todorov, Malinka Staneva
© 2016 | 2017 Moonrock Pictures. All rights reserved
In a world, where everyone can defy gravity and fly at will, being stuck on the ground is no fun. If all you can do is shuffle on your own two feet, then loneliness, depression and despair will come knocking on your door. Letting them come in is an option. Finding the courage to soar is priceless.
Download and print your own free FLUTTER poster. Lo-res 2Kx3K JPG or 27"x40" print-ready CMYK PDF
2K frames from the film