Dear Friends of Sam
We realise that it’s been a long time since we sent an official progress update on Sam the Hedgehog, and sincerely apologise for this. Those of you who follow the project and/or MAAN Creative on other platforms may have picked up on the sad news that Michael Clark, who has spearheaded the project since its conception, has passed away. Mic suffered from a long-term heart condition which very suddenly deteriorated in mid-2022.
Needless to say, this came as a dreadful blow to Team Sam on both personal and practical levels. Mic is sorely missed for his boundless enthusiasm, originality and skill. His professional life was capped with a fitting accolade when MAAN Creative won an Emmy in November last year for their series, My Better World.
Despite this setback, we have been continuing our work on Sam, and the project is well on its way to
90% of the sets have now been shot The set building was always the main goal for our use of the funds from the Indiegogo campaign, so we are pleased to report that this work is all complete, and 90% of the sets have been shot for the film - one more set shoot to go! Mic and Jo’s beautiful hand-crafted sets, shot with our bespoke camera rig, are the backdrop for our 2D animation. Thanks to all the many interns who helped along the way, to Charl Smit who led the creative process, our internal team, and all the interns who so helped him out.
75% of animation is complete Big props to our animation director, Lesego Vorster, and his team at Tshimologong Precinct, as well as our lead animator, Craig Margolius. The characters have really come to life in their hands, and it is rewarding to see the emotional core of the project emerge. One of the upsides of the pandemic was that we all got in the habit of looking farther afield for collaborators. We were delighted to work with Henrike Lendowski, a Pratt Institute alumni; and Leana Lapointe, an amazing 2D animator based in Belgium. Both ladies made incredible contributions to the film.
37% of cleanup, colour and shading is complete Our home-team Rita and Jared have been beavering away at cleanup on our completed shots.
80% VO recording is complete We were blessed with the voice talents of Jason Cope, Tim Plewman, Kelebogile Motshwane and others; as well as the use of Dave Waugh’s studio in Cape Town and Sound and Motion Studios in Johannesburg. Thanks to all these talented audio cats for offering their services for free.
What’s the end-game?
While the end is in sight, doing the work as a love project in our spare time will mean slow progress. We had high hopes for an NFT campaign, which we launched in 2022, but unfortunately the campaign fell foul of the crash in that market. So we are pursuing new avenues of funding to get through the home stretch. We owe it to you guys, to Michael’s memory, and to the cause we have all become passionate about during the course of this project. We are truly grateful for the support shown thus far and for everything we’ve learned.