I’ve pulled this one out of the company archives this morning as a bit of retrospective for myself and readers alike. This statement was prepared over two years ago.
Sun Swing Media Company
16 November 2006
The Sun Swing Media Company was formed by Brent Leavitt on October 16, 2006, with a $500 donation of a close friend as small token gift to help cover start up costs. The company’s primary mission is to resume production on an animated series of children’s stories and follow through with their marketing and distribution.
A Gift for Kathryn is the pilot project for the proposed series of animated short stories from the Friend magazine. Intellectual property rights were obtained for the story early in 2005 from the LDS Church and story’s author. It went into pre-production in November 2005 under limited resources with donated time and services. Voice talent was scouted out from local performing arts students and members of the BYU performing company, Living Legends. What resulted was a dynamic and diverse range of voice talent!
The animation production process began in January 2006 with a two-animator team. Following a traditional production format, storyboards were hashed out, reviewed, and then redone for a more visual appeal and approach. Then animators proceeded with key framing the entire project, allowing them to flesh out character actions and behaviors. After key frames were complete, the animation process was in full throttle until early April 2006.
In April, funding was pulled on a Gift for Kathryn due to the evolving nature of the overall project concept. It no longer fell into the protocol for production or content for the company funding the project. Consequently, the project was postponed. Having decided not to continue with the funding company, project creator, Brent Leavitt, also resigned. Rights to continue production on A Gift for Kathryn were obtained from the former funding company in July 2006.
With approximately two-thirds of the production completed, an estimated 2 months are needed to complete production on this pilot program.
This was written over two years ago. It’s been a defining two years in which a great deal of work has been done in the area of promotion and fund raising to complete the project. While actual production has been put on hold, my efforts have been spent in establishing a company to produce these projects on my own.
In December, I put another thrust into promoting the project and other pending in-house work. Web pages were built and sent live via our main company site. I prepared promotional materials for the LDS Film Festival. In my prayers, I have petitioned heaven for the desires of my heart and I feel that those prayers are being heard. And still, there is no money to finance these projects.
While my faith in the project and its merit grows ever stronger, waiting for someone else to fund these projects is no longer a hope. I suspect this thing will never happen.
We in the LDS film business are now faced with a very challenging model to develop. After this year’s festival, Christian Vuissa and I were discussing the logistics of the business. From his perspective of having numerous short films under his belt and three features to date, he simply observed that funding wasn’t getting any easier.
I had suspected this was the case, but having worked this through with him allowed me to see that any hopes of getting this project funded are vain at best. The credit financing model that has driven the film industry for so many years will not work for LDS Cinema.
We’ve yet to see what will come of the determination to produce projects without the funds wherewithal to produce them.Technology continues to work in our favor. What in years past was prohibitively unthinkable has now become practically within reach.