Hi everyone

Lots has been happening over at Team Sam HQ so we thought we’d share a general update on our progress…

First things first…

We’ve been in the news!

eNCA interview

Producer / Director Michael Clark being interviewed on eNCA by Uveka Rangappa.

As you may have gathered, we have launched another funding drive for the animation phase of the project and we have had some nice coverage in the South African media. Here are some of the articles & interviews that have been published so far:

We are really grateful for the exposure and have had a great response to the project. Big thanks to the amazing ladies at Nadia Rossouw PR for helping set it all up.

And don’t forget to visit our DONATION PAGE to help bring the project to life…

Website overhaul

If you are here then you have noticed we have rebooted our website so we can share a whole lot more content with y’all. We will be posting regular updates on our blog and have published our full budget and progress as well.

We also have a new donation page where people who missed last year’s IndieGogo campaign can contribute directly to the project. We are also actively seeking corporate sponsorship and other funding avenues. If you have any leads, please let us know.

We are also working on some online store options so we can start spreading Sam’s love with some merchandise – speaking of which!

Merchandise

We have used the designs for our perks as the basis of a line of merchandise. These are already available from Zazzle, the American print-on-demand service.

Sam merch

Sam merch! T-shirts, posters, stickers, button badges…

For every item sold, we get a cut that goes straight to Sam (our Sam, not Uncle Sam!). Zazzle ships world-wide which is great. Since shipping to SA would be like bringing coals to Newcastle, as they say, we are working on providing a local option as well. We have some stock in studio already, email us to find out what is available so far.

Our Zazzle storefront – zazzle.com/store/samthehedgehog

We have added some new T-shirt designs & posters that tackle the autism theme directly.

T-shirts

New Sam the Hedgehog t-shirts!

Finally, where did your hard-earned Madibas (and Benjamins and Queen Lizzies) go?

For those of you who contributed to our IndieGoGo campaign last year, you will know that we planned to use the money raised to create our sets. We are making slow but steady progress on the ten sets we want to build: five interior and five exterior. Here is a sneak peak into the process:

The process starts with cardboard mock-ups…

Cardboard mockups

Cardboard mockups of the kitchen, entrance hall, school reception and principal’s office.

We then begin building the actual rooms which are all modular so they fit together.

Kitchen & office floors

The kitchen and office floors being made.

While this is underway, we also begin designing and building the actual props. Most of these are sketched out by hand before being drawn out in detail in Adobe Illustrator and sent off to the laser cutter to be cut out of the final material (usually MDF or plywood).

Designing the stove

Designing the kitchen stove; first by hand, then digitally in Adobe Illustrator. Final vector artwork is then sent to the laser-cutting studio.

Laser-cut piecesLaser-cut pieces arrive back from the laser-cutting studio, ready for assembly.

Assembling the stove

The stove being assembled. Lots of sanding along the way…

We then move on to the super fine work, such as the fruit in Mrs. Mouton’s fruit basket and even the fridge magnets on her fridge! We sculpt these out of Sculpey clay which gets baked in a small oven before being painted. We have had a small army of interns from local animation/art schools who have been very helpful with sticking and glueing and painting etc. Thanks guys!

Kitchen props: lots of vegetables, fruit and baked goods for Mrs Mouton’s kitchen; all sculpted from Super Sculpey clay.

More Super Sculpey props. Other materials are used as necessary: wire for the egg beater, wood carved into a wooden spoon and a plastic shot glass sawn off to make a mixing bowl.

Things really start coming to life: the Super Sculpey models are being painted.

Fruit displayAdd some hand-carved wooden props and – voila! The final product looks pretty convincing.

So far the kitchen is well underway, on to the entrance hall next…

Kitchen progress

The kitchen set is coming along nicely – partway between cardboard mockup and the final product.

That’s it for now…

To keep up to date with our progress, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Thank you so much once again for your support.

Help support Sam’s project by donating!

Team Sam