Animation house Stratostorm presents UMBRELLA, an original animated homage to empathy and kindness. The film will debut November 16 at Ireland’s Foyle Film Festival, in contention for the Light in Motion Awards for Best Animation. It will then hit the international film festival circuit in 2020. See the teaser here.
UMBRELLA follows the story of Joseph, a boy who lives in an orphanage and dreams of having a yellow umbrella. “The story is inspired by heartbreaking true events,” says Executive Producer Helena Hilario, who co-founded Stratostorm five years ago with CEO/Creative Director Mario Pece. “The message of the film is empathy for others,” says Hilario. “That one can make a huge difference in the lives of others by just being kind. We never know what others are going through or what they may be struggling with. Every shot in UMBRELLA is very emotional for us; every color and texture and every character is inspired by someone or something in our lives. The Stratostorm team loved the story, because our main character never turns negative on the world or his life. Through the story, we find out why a simple yellow umbrella holds a lifelong fascination for him.”
According to Hilario, her small but resourceful animation team took 20 months to bring UMBRELLA to life, but in reality the project took a total of eight years from ideation to completion. “We wanted to do this film, not just for Stratostorm, but to spotlight the highest level of craft and execution,” says Hilario. We hope UMBRELLA shows that great, animated storytelling now originates outside the mainstream, with some of the best talent found at Stratostorm.” Hilario added that the debut of this film also marks the beginning of Stratostorm operations in the US, at their new studio in Los Angeles.
Character design of Joseph and six supporting characters was completed by award-winning 3D artist Victor Hugo (Moana, Disney, Marvel). Danilo Pinheiro executed rigging while Hannry Pschera supervised the animation. Stratostorm’s team included supervisor Alan Prado, art director Dhiego Guimaraes and character designer Felipe Pardini.
Key to evoking complex emotions of empathy, forgiveness and kindness is the original music score by Gabriel Dib (McFarland, Drumline, Criminal Minds). “What Gabriel did for the film is amazing,” says Hilario. The music had to be perfect to quickly establish an authentic connection between Joseph and the audience.” Through the music, viewers share his sense of abandonment.” Dib completed the score, which was handed off to conductor Peter Rotter (Avatar, Deadpool, Frozen) for recording a full orchestral track at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. Luis Augusto and Vivian Aguiar Buff produced the final track, while audio post was headed up by James Tose with Blue Infinity Media handling re-recording. Colorist was Charles Bunnag (Avengers End Game, The Lion King, Guardians of Galaxy).
Stratostorm is about passion, craft and amazing collaboration. We are an independently owned creative studio specializing in 3D and 2D animation and original content for film, television and advertising. Stratostorm was founded in 2014 to advance the craft of animation storytelling. Our staff is a talented team made up of visual artists, designers, animators, writers and producers, executing at the highest level. Our company is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil with studios in Los Angeles.