Hello folks. Check out this Animatic Feature Film called The Kings World: Duel Of Shades by Asher Pike. The films comprises of still pictures playing one after the other to create a fully developed feature film. Most unique, you can watch it below. I also did an interview with Asher where he gives us his backstory and how it all fell together.
Interview With Asher Pike
This Is Barry: Hi Asher, I recently watched The Kings World: Duel of Shades, excellent storytelling. It’s incredible to see young Indie Filmmakers continually trying to innovate, especially when the budgets are tight. When and how did you conceive the plot and the theme of the film?
Asher: Very glad to meet you Barry and I am thankful to be invited.
This movie and the following sequels have been in planning for an uncountable amount of years. I’m 16 currently and I first made the original iterations of the story when I was around 5, 6 or 7 in writing. However some sources and drawings I did concerning some of the fantasy elements go back further so it’s really hard to make a pinpoint starting date. I do know however that I was greatly influenced as a child by 3 franchises to start writing these stories. Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars. With Lord of the rings coming in much later. And then certainly when I was 9 to 11 I spent loads of time world building each of the worlds in the Kings world universe. After that I put it all into concrete structure and began to look at how to put it all in novel form and even movie format. And it’s a dream come true to finally see the first chapter of he saga as a feature.
This Is Barry: How did you conceive the idea of executing the story as an Animatic Feature Film?
Up until September the 18th I was creating the film in standard animation. However then on the 18th, at night after a rather tiresome day, I was listening to the song Epiphany by Taylor Swift, thinking of how to make the movie more unique probably. And I was looking at the video and the clouds in it and thought. “What if someone was standing in those clouds?” And I thought up images of battles in the clouds, certain characters surrounded in them. So that’s why there are thunder clouds all throughout the movie because of the epiphany I had while listening to a song called epiphany. As for the animatic part? At first I did it because it was the cheapest way, less time consuming. But soon after some thorough searches I realised that no one had ever made a full animatic feature ever before. Which was quite a surprise. So naturally I went ahead with it and I guess that makes this movie the first of its kind. Which is always a treat.
This Is Barry: Tell us about the artwork; I thought I could see the style of ancient hieroglyphics. Am I seeing things, or did you intend it to be that way?
Your right that I did have Egyptian wall art in mind while making this yes.
This Is Barry: What is the era that you intended for this story to be part of? The film mentions seven worlds, which one does the movie follow?
The era is kind of weird depending on which way you look at it. According to the story humanity has regressed from a high technological, magical stage back into the kind of medieval era. Sort of post-apocalyptic. This movie takes place in the first world of the Kings.
A good comparison is the doctor from doctor who, when he gets old or is damaged his face changes into another. Same with this fantasy world. It transforms, in the end there can only be 7 of these versions of the Kings World. The animated feature takes place in the first.
This Is Barry: We need to talk about the movie’s message as it’s vital that it goes out there. It’s also very pertinent to these pandemic times where many feel helplessness and despair, and long for the past. An enemy manifested from fear and despair, is probably the greatest enemy of all. There is also a thin line between bravery and recklessness. How would you like to summarize your message?
As for the message of the movie, it definitely is meant to be a deeper one. The fact that all humanities fears have been made real is a really driving factor of the story, and even the villain is subject to his own fears. In the end a brave group of people without witness or reward recklessly try to save the world knowing it probably won’t work. They realise it doesn’t matter anymore, the world is at its end. All that matters is to try your best before that end. Which is a direct reflection of life. Death will always come and no matter how hard we try it will take you and me. All we can do is try our best anyways and hope that it’s all for something. To not shy away from that end and fear it, but to fight on despite its looming presence.
This Is Barry: I know you state this both in person and in writing at the end of The Kings World: Duel of Shades there being tribute to real-life people.
The feature film is in a way a tribute to my friends Chloe and Trixon. Chloe who is paid tribute through the character made in her honour and Trixon had a tribute written for him. Both were really great people and I think for all the remaining films they will play a role in a way. Both of them committed suicide. Both were great people, kind, caring and creative.
This Is Barry: I noticed that Chloe was the only one speaking in an American accent. At the end of the film, I understood why. You ensured you got an American voice over for her character. How difficult was it doing the recordings and editing over long-distance?
The American accent is thanks to Hailey Hammer, who is a great friend of mine from the US yes. Really amazing person. Because of her great personality and willingness to play Chloe it was really easy and efficient to record, God bless her.
This Is Barry: What’s next in The Kings World storyline, do we get to see another iteration? Another World? Are you already working on the storyline?
Already the next movie has entered official pre-production. This time it will be full live action and already all the 8 miniature sets and the costumes have been designed. With creation of these costumes beginning very very shortly in a few days. Maybe even created by the time you the reader are seeing this. 3 trailers will be releasing throughout the year, the first on March 16. The film will fully release near or at Christmas 2021.
Thanks a lot for this Barry, you are an excellent host and I appreciate it. Make sure to follow him and his reviews!
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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