Oscar-winning director Patrick Osborne, helmer of Disney short Feast and Google Spotlight Stories’ vr short Pearl, has created an impressive-looking teaser for a series in development, This Tape Deck is a Time Machine.
Created using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and produced at Nexus Studios (Netflix’s The House) using real-time animation techniques, the teaser gives an early look at a time-hopping teenager who uses a portable cassette player to visit musically charged moments in other people’s lives.
During production, Osborne led a team of real-time artists and creators tasked with the challenge of creating the world in Unreal Engine without the use of compositing. The use of Unreal Engine, says Nexus, opened a wide range of production advantages, among them the ability to render images nearly instantaneously while enabling multiple simultaneous inputs into any given scene.
“This is a project that breaks new ground both creatively and technically,” explained Chris O’Reilly, co-founder and executive creative director at Nexus Studios. “It’s an animated production with music at its core, told with a strong graphic sensibility, pushing animation to new audiences while simultaneously innovating the very way it’s made.”
Nexus was a recent recipient of the Epic Megagrant, and the studio has built out a real-time division to implement “an agile and more iterative approach to linear animated filmmaking at the highest quality.”
Added Karen Dufilho, executive producer of content partnerships at Epic Games, “What Patrick and Nexus Studios have achieved exemplifies the way modern storytellers want to work – collaboratively, spontaneously, and quickly – combining their existing expertise in animation with the real-time power of Unreal to craft new worlds and stories that will engage audiences for years to come.”