Kutchaver, the Emmy-Winning VFX Artist on ABC’s Lost, teamed up with The DAVE School to produce a three-minute animated short based on legendary comic book illustrator Bernie Wrightson’s popular antihero, Captain Sternn. Sternn made his feature debut in the 1981 animated cult classic, Heavy Metal: The Movie.
“In the movie, Captain Sternn was a tight, contained story in its own little world,” said Kutchaver. “The film, however, never captured the richness of Sternn’s universe.”
Kutchaver approached studio executives with the idea of a CG version of Wrightson’s comic series, Running Out Of Sternn. When the executives asked what it would look like, Kutchaver turned to The DAVE School for assistance.
“Computer animation is traditionally thought of as being too complex and hence too expensive for episodic television,” said Kutchaver. “The studios were concerned about achieving the proper look within their budget. They wanted to see a sample of what it could like. I knew The DAVE School had a reputation for producing award-winning CG work during their Block 4 production class. If anyone could help us win the studios over, I knew it would be The DAVE School.”
“We are very proud to be working with Kevin on this project,” said Steve Warner, Executive Director of The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School. “He is an amazing artist who brings a lot of experience to the table. Having Kevin on-site to guest direct the project has been incredible. The students are extremely fortunate to be working with him on such a high-profile project.”
The graduating Block 4 students provided approximately 32 shots for the film. “The students started from scratch and had a hand in every stage of the production,” said Kutchaver. “They’ve done a great job. Block 4 instructors Jason Pichon and Dan Smith also helped align each student’s individual skills set with the needs of the production. You get the best work out of people when you let them focus on what they do best.”