New Orleans played a very large role in the making of an independent animated film
Out of Our Minds Animation Studio is thrilled to announce that "The Magistical" is an official screening selection to be shown at as part of The Big Easy International Film Festival.
Wanting music to play a very large role to not just support the story, but to become a part of it, the studio relied on the talents of many of New Orleans finest musicians. John Autin, "The New Orleans Piano Man" and featured artist at the Carousel Bar in The Monteleone Hotel wrote, directed and recorded many songs for the film as well as some of the background music. Big Daddy 'O', Theresa Andersson, Rick Trolsen, Tim Laughlin, Milo Mannino, Herman LeBeaux, Endre Rice, Zen Crook, Christopher Sharkey and others added their time and talents.
The close association, friendship and love of New Orleans began when the Creative Director, John Cernak and the Administrative Director, Lori (John's wife) attended French Quarter Fest and heard John Autin perform "Oreo Cookie Blues". "John Autin has come to symbolize everything we find true and amazing about New Orleans and New Orleanians", John Cernak believes. "John (Autin) and New Orleans represent the very best side of what a human being can and should be". Production on the movie began shortly before Katrina and wrapped up shortly after. The history of everything going on in the country played a part, mostly in a subtle way, but sometimes a bit more blatantly in shaping the story and New Orleans was always on the studio's mind as production was in full swing. "We are the little, guy, making a movie about the little guy who can rely on little beyond his belief in himself and his ability to make a difference. Much of the spirit of our main character, Foible, came from listening to the many whose lives became twisted all around by Katrina", Lori says.
Many "behind the scenes" stories came as a direct result of the events that new Orleans has dealt with. The "Sacharine Blues" recording session provided an opportunity to reunite several local musicians with each other and New Orleans after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The need for a lyrics change in "Oreo Cookie Blues" required rerecording the voice track. It was imperative that we kept all of the other tracks intact since the harmonica player, Wesley Rhodes had sadly passed away and we wanted with all our hearts to honor him for his talents and contribution to the project. Katrina, however, had other plans. Flood waters all but destroyed the original tracks which had been recorded on tape. John Autin worked successfully to find someone who could restore them and preserve Wesley's memory.
"At times I wondered if everyone "in the know" was right, if you really need a billion bucks, all the latest resources, gadgets and gizmos, thousand of workers and you had to be "an insider" to make an animated full feature that would get anywhere", says John. "Our goal was never to prove that we could do the impossible, it was our hope that we could produce something that would encourage others to try."
Thus far, the film has been an official selection at over thirty film festivals. It has won ten awards including best animation at the Hollywood International Film Festival and The California Independent Film Festival. Most recently it won a "Seahorse Award" at the Moondance International Film Festival in Boulder Colorado as well as the "audience choice" award.
"Whenever we wonder if all we have gone through and all the impossible hurdles we still face to break through, I think of the friends we have made in New Orleans because of this project and it makes it all so very worth it."
"The Magistical" will be appearing as an official selection at the Big Easy International Film Festival on Saturday, November 14th, 2009 at 4:00 P.M. at The Canal Place Theatre, 333 Canal Place, New Orleans on the Mall's 3rd floor. It is suitable for kids ages 8 to 80.
Tickets can be obtained at www.bigeasyfilmfestivals.com