Storyboard Pro is the Backbone of Platinum Films' Pre-Production
Platinum Films, based at Pinewood Studios, is recognised for its innovative, high quality and commercial entertainment brands. Established fifteen years ago, the leading UK indie develops, produces and distributes children's programming throughout the world. Platinum Films' production portfolio represents a $40 million investment and includes the hit global boys' franchise, Matt Hatter Chronicles, BAFTA nominated preschool series Dream Street and the popular kid's cooking adventure format, Planet Cook. For Matt Hatter Chronicles, their most recent 3D animation production, Platinum Films chose to use Toon Boom Storyboard Pro and only has praises for it.
When you check Platinum Films' track record, their success is simply well deserved. Nigel Stone, executive producer and chief executive officer, is the creative energy behind the corporation. His latest creation is Matt Hatter Chronicles, a property aimed at boys aged 5-10 that introduces an innovative new state-of-the-art animation technique. His previous creations include Planet Cook, the live-action cooking adventure show that achieved the biggest commission in the BBC's history outside of pre-school. Prior to the eight series commission for Planet Cook, Nigel was focused on the pre-school programming market where he developed and created the BAFTA nominated, Dream Street. Dream Street is a model animation show combining animatronics and CGI that became a hit in over 65 countries and was directed by Oscar® winning SFX Director (The Empire Strikes Back; Alien), Brian Johnson.Learning his craft from the film industry, Nigel has the unique ability to combine award-winning feature film technicians with the most talented directors and writers from within the children's programming world.
Along Nigel's side, you will meet Rebecca Lewis, creative director and producer, who joined Platinum Films in 2002. During her tenure as in-house producer Rebecca has encountered a broad spectrum of production processes across Platinum's IP portfolio, from live-action to state of the art model animation to CGI.
During the Planet Cook production an idea about a boy called Matt Hatter started to take form and soon became the prime focus of a new animated production for Platinum. Nigel entrusted Rebecca with the role of Producer on this new twenty-six episode adventure series and six years on the team has pushed the boundaries of kids TV with the creation of new and innovative animation processes.
Matt Hatteris a 13 year-old schoolboy whose life is changed forever when he discovers a huge family secret. The Hatters are guardians of a secret dimension known as the Multiverse, the gateway to which is accessed through the Coronet Movie Theatre, Matt's home. Infamous villains from movies screened at the Coronet have been seeping into the Multiverse and wreaking havoc. Matt must now become the new Hatter Hero and with the help of his two best friends Roxie and Gomez, battle and recapture the Super Villains, save the Multiverse and free his Grandpa!
Principle photography on the $12 million HD CGI animated series began in 2010 and was produced by Platinum Films with Dream Mill Inc and animated by Canada's leading CG-animation and Visual FX Studio Arc Productions, the studio behind hit animated movie Gnomeo and Juliet and Tim Burton's 9. There are twenty-six 22' episodes completed and a third season (13 x 22') in pre-production.
Nigel's vision was to produce a truly 360◦ brand, marrying state of the art CGI/3D animation techniques with rich, digital content and second screen innovation.
Platinum Films combined various visual effect techniques to create an immersive and innovative 3D viewing experience without the need to wear 3D glasses, called 'Multivision'. This is complimented by a fully interactive website, www.matthatter.com featuring games, apps, activities, clips, gossip and hidden content so 'Hatter Fans' can capture and imprison villains just as Matt does. Since launching nine months ago, matthatter.com has attracted over 7.2 million hits!
Visually, Matt Hatter Chronicles is distinct by its stylised comic book inspired design and rich, diverse landscapes including Sea of Sands, Region of Ruins and Carnival City. Every episode has been conceived as a stand-alone mini-movie and draws on the very best bits of classic adventure stories.
Platinum Films is responsible for all writing, character design, storyboarding, voice casting and leica creation. They amalgamate all of these elements into a comprehensive production pack, which then gets delivered to their animation studio.
"The storyboard is essentially the backbone to the production; it informs the creative for all pre-production materials and is essential to achieving the right timing and emotion in the animation. We created all storyboards in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro to ensure efficiency," stated Nigel.
"The biggest advantage of creating the storyboards in Storyboard Pro was the time efficiencies the software gave us at every stage of pre-production. We were able to call revisions during a storyboard approval session and our storyboard artists could change the panels in a matter of minutes. Another time saving feature is the ability to share a library of locations with a team of artists, which also ensure continuity throughout the production. To top it off, the full integration with other production software like Final Draft and Final Cut allowed for easy file management and smooth pipelines of workflow. I'd certainly recommend other producers to invest in Storyboard Pro, whatever the scale of their productions," he added.
Once layouts, animation, FX, render and compositing have been completed the episode comes back to the UK where the Academy Award winning sound designers and music composers at Pinewood Studios add the final touch of magic to really bring Matt Hatter Chronicles to life.
The focus for the next twelve months is to fuel the success of Platinum's rapidly expanding commercial business whilst delivering creative excellence and innovation on an exciting third season of Matt Hatter Chronicles.
Ex-Jakks Pacific Head of Licensing Carl England has recently joined Platinum as Managing Director and will lead the international licensing and merchandising roll-out of the Matt Hatter brand, managing a global network of licensing agents and executing a multi-territory, cross-platform product launch in 2014.
Platinum continues to develop and invest in new IP, partnering with the industry's finest production and commercial talent, to produce enduring and entertaining properties, which are made for and loved by kids all around the world. Watch this space!
About Platinum Films
Matt Hatter Chronicles, a Commendable international Success Matt Hatter Chronicles has now been picked up by eighty countries worldwide and will be dubbed in eighteen languages by the end of 2013. Broadcast partners include Nickelodeon and ITV in the UK, Teletoon in Canada, Network Ten in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand, Nickelodeon ANZ, RTVE (Clan TV) in Spain, Canal Panda in Portugal and Spain, SABC in South Africa, Syfy Kids in Asia and Central Europe and JCC in Middle East. Several new major European partners will be announced shortly. On ITV/CiTV in the UK, Matt Hatter has pulled in bigger audiences than ever with an impressive 3.5 million individuals tuning in between January and April 2013 and an episode high of 327,000 viewers, up a staggering 92% on the slot average. The show has also become a ratings winner for SABC1 in South Africa pulling in a season high of 1.4 million viewers across all ages for a single episode and attracting a massive 45% audience share for girls and boys aged 4 – 14. In Spain and Portugal, the show has soared to the top of the charts on Canal Panda and already become the number one animated series for boys (6 - 12yrs) and the second most viewed animated series for girls and boys of all ages, across all kid’s cable channels in Portugal whilst in Spain the show has taken the channel’s average ratings to an all-time high, increasing the slot average by 41%.