Brian Edenfield
Available for freelance
Photoshop, 3DS Max 7, Maya 7, Flash, Torque Game Engine
Sketching, Illustration, Concept Design, Animation, 3D Modeling and Sculpture
Beeline Studios
Evil Twin/Doppelganger
Electronic Arts
A.S.K. Learning
Tektonic Studios
SCEA, Inc.
Spunky Productions
Pixel Technologies
Juggernaut Studios
Jellyman Productions
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Friday, October 07, 2005

Catching Kringle

In 2002, I worked on an animated holiday short. I guess you could call it a short. It was along the lines of those classic holiday films like Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus is Coming to Town that beat us into holiday cheer during the Christmas season. I assume the desire of the people producing it was to have their little short become one of these classics. Played to death every Christmas.

My output was minimal at best. At the time I was concentrating on my own stuff and wasn't interested in putting creative time in on someone else's vision. I wasn't too keen on the story either, but it did lend itself to trips of militaristic fancy. Being a military buff, I dove into designing some of the more martial elements of the story.

At the time the short was called Holy Night. It was set in a future where suburban America had become like a walled fortress and Santa was seen as a home invader. The antagonist was this Napoleonic General who had a score to settle with ol' St. Nick. Like I said, lots of militaristic imagery to sink my teeth into.

There wasn't a lot of direction in the beginning. The producers were just looking for some sound designs to jump from. My first assignment was to dive into the design of Santa's North Pole compound. A first stab was a hallway:

Nothing spectacular. Just a typical sci-fi looking hallway. I think my super imaginative leap from the banal was the bows of holly as the "red alert" signal at the center top of the image. The producers seemed to like it, but I got no direction so I just continued to go my own way. I felt the first thing I had to do was get a *big picture* of the North Pole Command Center as I called it. So my next concept was an isometric layout of the compound:

I imagined in this future world, the Santa would have been influenced by the extremism in the world and would have developed a fortress to protect him from the forces arrayed against him. So the design had a missile silo or bunker quality to it. All the elf families lived within the bunker in their own compartments. They ate together in the giant mess hall fed by Ms. Claus' kitchen. I had fun drawing this at the time. I imagined little elves running down the hallways toward their workstations when general quarters was called.

After I finished that up I went into whipping up some color concepts of the *bridge* of the compound:

Everything had a very cold, unfestive feel to it. And the feedback I got back from the producers suggested as much. I guess the depressing nature of the story led me in that direction. I produced a number of concepts for the project before I went on to other things. I didn't give it much thought until a few months ago.

Browsing the web recently I found myself on the website for the company that produced the short- Jellyman Productions. The name of the cartoon was changed to "Catching Kringle". Watching the trailer I caught a glimse of something that looked very familiar:

The Bridge was made much more festive, but maintained the overall layout that I designed. I'm kind of proud of that fact. My name is mentioned on the crew page in the "additional artists" section. That's cool. After glancing through the website I shot over to IMDB to see if they had a listing. And sure enough: Catching Kringle.

"Sweet!!", I thought. My name's listed on IMDB! Hah. No such luck. That would have been cool, though. The cartoon looks very professional and well done. Looks like they may have used Flash for the production. But it's tightly done. Round of applause for everyone involved. I really didn't think it would get as far as it did. But I have yet to see it on television.


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