Production Notes

After seeing the Mondo Luigi animated short films by Brian Hoard and Elwood Smith, Bob contacted Brian asking if it is possible to animate his illustration style. Brian immediately took to Bob’s cross-hatch pen technique and began testing a way to animate these drawings while keeping their original look.

They started out to create an animation with Fergus along the lines of paper toy theater. Brian, whose day job has him animating technical topics for scientists and engineers loves the challenge of figuring out a new animation problem. Especially if that problem allows bringing to life a lovable character that children will enjoy. After some testing, Brian found he had the best control of the character and objects needed in the story by using Maya, a 3D program normally known for building 3D characters. But because of the advanced animation rigging possible, and complete control over motion, it was the best tool for the job.

The production pipeline involved Bob creating Fergus as pieces and parts, an arm here, a torso there and Brian assembling these elements into a complete character that could be controlled in Maya like a puppet. The beautifully inked in fish that play a big role in the film were also rigged in Maya to allow bending and jumping about in the scene.

From the beginning, Bob had a vision to create a story that was void of dialog. He liked the idea that an audience watching our films in any part of the world would have the same experience, regardless of language. With our first production behind us, we are now on our way to create more stories in this world that Fergus lives. Bob has ideas for several more stories, and we are looking forward to pushing ourselves creatively to continue to build animations that entertain and surprise audiences from around the world.

Statement of the Directors

Bob Seal, Co-Director

In my stories, themes revolve around Fergus embarking on a journey into uncovered territory where anything is possible, be it in his backyard or up a mountain. I want to surprise people with whatever solutions Fergus comes up with and leave them wanting more. I think the impulse for me is that I watch crime stories and usually have worked out who was the murderer about half way through the show. It would be good to keep people wondering about what happened in the animation and have them trying to work out exactly what it means. It can have several meanings and each could be the right meaning for the person who watched it. If it leaves someone feeling that they like Fergus and the story is a bit weird, that's what I'm after.

Brian H. Hoard, Co-Director

The inspiration in creating Fergus Goes Fishing simply boils down to a love of animating and working with artists who’s work I admire. These fantasy characters that we animate begin to take on a life of their own very quickly. Like our own children, they can be full of their own surprises that their creators never expected.

I am inspired by my many mentors both here now and those that have gone before us. Animators like Ub Iwerks who was an amazing problem solver of technical problems in the early days of animation, and Nick Park, whose more recent films have been an inspiration to me. Illustrator, Elwood H. Smith who I have had the pleasure of animating some of his illustrations all inspire me to push myself to continue to work hard, and enjoy what you do. There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing an original character take on a life of its own, to move, to act, to live, and make people smile.

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Film Information

Original Title:
Fergus Goes Fishing

Directors:
Bob Seal
Brian H. Hoard

Category:
Animated Short

Time:
3:36

Rating:
All Ages

Year Completed:
2013

Nationality:
USA/Australia

Media:
Ink on paper, 3D Computer

World Premiere:
AniMazSpot 2013

Online Information:
www.BrianHoard.com/fergus/

Contact:
Brian Hoard
703.408.0316
fergus@brianhoard.com