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YNN Lone Star Scene covers 'Flight of Magic'



The North Pole sets the scene for a comical crisis in "Flight of Magic." It's the first animated short film from Spiderwood Studios which aims to put Central Texas on the map for fully produced animated films.

"Flight of Magic” and Spiderwood Studios was the little train that could, literally, out in Bastrop, Texas we started with some buildings and some talent," producer Brian McNulty said.

Spiderwood Studios founder Tommy Warrren calls animation the future of the Texas film, with the potential to unite workers from the gaming industry and motion pictures.

This December, he premiered the 13-minute short film to his cast and crew, who made it on a fraction of the budget used by studios like Pixar and Dreamworks.

"We did all of it here and we're still a lot less cost per second. That's the way they price animation. It's just unbelievable the difference what we can do here in Texas," Warren said.

Warren wrote the script, developed the studio's infrastructure and hired a producer with big studio experience in crafting compelling images.

"It's the story of a precocious Elf who wants to help Santa by delivering presents faster by having an engine on the back of the sleigh. Now having worked at Pixar what I suggested is we have it play on several levels," McNulty said.

Warren is most proud that every aspect of the film was completed locally, including all design and post-production. The short film earned an Award of Excellence in Animation from The Accolade Competition and Warren believes that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"Animation is something I think we can do here in a good way. There's a lot of animators and people who work in animation through gaming so we're able to bounce off of that to make movies. This is our first one and I believe it will be the first of a lot," Warren said.

The future for "Flight of Magic" could be on television as producers consider making an extended version for TV networks. They'll also look at submitting it to festivals in the coming year.

Warren said his long term goal is to produce entire feature length animated films at his Bastrop-based studios.

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