Feature Film Production Diary Vol 1

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In the last few months, we have decided to embark on one of the biggest journeys we have faced as a company – we want to make a completely independent animated feature film.


It was all sparked by a company exercise way back in late 2015, when we set ourselves a company vision exercise.


The challenge was simple; Jason, Mike and Tash sat down to draw their company vision – where would you like to see this company in five years, what will it look like?


Looking at the results, you can see that we may be visual people, but we certainly aren’t artists.


Jason’s vision was….


company vision jason


A bustling office with a bigger team, working on a whole variety of projects, including film, VR and gaming. There is also a ping pong table (of course), for a balance between work and play.


Mike’s vision was…


company vision mike


Tash sits in the office, managing a team of new employees, whilst Mike and his family relax on a beach and Jason and his wife Aine travel round the US as they both manage the studio remotely. Sounds pretty good.


Tash’s vision was (in portrait, for no reason at all)…


company vision tash


(The text reads:)


Engine House Win Big Animation Award!

Engine House VFX have won the big Film Festival or Animation Award for their very exciting project which aired on TV. Engine House are building up quite a name for themselves, and continue to create programming and characters we all love.

“These guys, though” commented John Lasseter


We talked them through, and then hung them up in the office as a constant reminder of where we wanted to be heading.


A fortnight or so later though, we realised that though they were displayed pride of place, we weren’t actively going after these visions. So we sat down again.


Ok, how do we actually win awards, build a name for ourselves, make John Lasseter comment “Those guys”.


And so there in that moment, we decided we were going to make a feature film.


The more we talked about it, the more excited and determined we became. This was a huge project to take on. Something we have such little experience in. And looking at Mike and Jason’s visions, no work life balance was coming their way, work was only about to get harder… There would be no dipping our toes in, this was full on jumping in at the deep end, with no idea if we could swim or not. But we were hungry for the challenge.


To us, the hard work we knew we’d face would be worth it. It would be a huge learning curve, teaching us so much on the way and bringing us new skills, understanding and connections. It would mean complete creative control, scratching an itch service work never fully can and giving us a freedom in all the creative decisions.


What’s the goal? Simply for now, to make the film. Whether we make a profit or breakeven, the aim is to produce a film we are proud of. Through financing, hiring, marketing, distribution and all the other stages we are yet to face, the aim is solely – let’s make a feature film.


We will be continuing our production diary as we go, being brutally honest at every step of the way.


Do we know what we are doing? Not really. Are we going to make mistakes. Haha, oh, so many. Are we going to make a kick ass feature film? Abso-fucking-lutely.


So to keep up to date with our progress, give our Facebook page a like.