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When Pigs Fly

To comfort a grieving child, you need compassion, understanding; to see the world through their eyes. If you can’t do any that… settle for beer.

A fantasy film about magic and drinking, loss and the joys of swearing. When Pigs Fly will probably make parents cringe at the beginning as an uncle comforts his grieving ten year old niece with a beer, and several profanities. But as we are subtlely engulfed into a series of flashbacks filled with family drama and a child with vivid in imagination, we quickly come to understand where the joys of swearing are coming from.

The film was created as my thesis at USC. I was playing around texturing to do the drawn look from A-Ha’s classic ‘Take On Me’ music video much faster. Initially I was going to try to do it all by hand. But I did the math and it would of taken ten years to animate ten seconds. Luckily I was sitting next to a brilliant VFX supervisor named Johnson Thomasson who figured out a better way. From there we got really lucky we were given a fellowship from 21st Century Fox for students using VFX for storytelling. Then we got really lucky and were able to get Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to play the lead for free (USC students can’t pay actors.) I’m a huge fan of the show and him, so it was a really intimidating. But he couldn’t have been any nicer and it was an amazing experience getting to work with an actor like that. All in all the film took about two years to create.

While the film holds itself up quite strongly cinematically, it’s the magical VFX and CG characters that bring the story and film up to high praise. Children have quite an impressive imagination, and when filmmakers like Andrew Wood are capable of bringing that vividness to life on film, it does nothing but brighten our eyes. A real gem and memorable film.

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