The summer between by junior and senior year at The University of Tulsa I worked as a Production Coordinator for Radium/Reel FX in Dallas, Texas. Although the job started out as little more than a glorified internship I was able to do some valuable work for the company while working directly under the VP of Sales Chuck Peil.
My initial connection with Reel FX (Radium and Reel FX merged in March of 2007, just a couple months before I began working at the Dallas location) came from family, my mother having attended grade school with Brandon Oldenburg and his family. Brandon is one of the co-founding members of Reel FX in 1995.
During my brief time there I assisted him in a minor role on a couple projects, but getting to watch him work on his art was worth much more than my meager paycheck. As a skilled visual artist and storyteller, Brandon’s professional accolades are many, but his biggest one may yet be before him.
A couple years ago Brandon left Radium/Reel FX to join up with a group called Moonbot Studios. Radium/Reel FX had long been focused on animating the intellectual properties of other companies, but Brandon’s passion was developing original characters and stories. His training is in visual art, but he specifically loves using that skill to tell stories.
The synthesis of these traits is evident in Moonbot Studios’ new short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morriss Lessmore. Please enjoy the video above.
This is what Brandon and Moonbot Studios have to say about their work:
Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story.
Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
To date, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” film has drummed up fans all over the world taking home the following awards:
· Cinequest Film Fest: Best Animated Short
· Palm Springs International ShortFest: Audience Favorite Award
· SIGGRAPH: Best in Show
Here is a link to their Academy Awards Press release.
Congratulations, Brandon. Can’t wait to see you bring home the statue.