Stuffies: An Overview

Stuffies is a concept EP, a short book, and I am preparing it to pitch as a film or animated series. I will be meeting with a senior animator at Pixar in the next few months to pick his brains on this process.

Why you should work on this? Hopefully you can see from the demos and my last book (links below) this is going to be a high quality project. Good as a portfolio piece. You meet and get to work with some pretty cool people. You share in the work and the credit of making something you’re proud of. There might even be some pay in it. But you won’t get rich. On the optimistic side this is a project that could go somewhere. I already have a promotions guy lined up for the EP and he owns a small distribution company with ties to many retail stores in the US and abroad.  And there is always the extremely unlikely (1 in 13,020) chance it gets picked up as a major motion picture, cartoon network series,  and touring show on ice.

Who I’d like to work with: I’ve been in lots of bands over the years and the best ones had people I liked. So getting along, being able to work together, hanging out socially, are the most important things for me. Second, people that have ideas, points of view, but are still able to take critique and direction. Third, Multipliers. I don’t need someone who thinks exactly like me or has exactly my taste or opinions.  I’d prefer to have someone, who, when we work together, we come up with something better then I could do on my own. That is also something all my best band experiences had in common.

I see this as a collective of the right people. People who might know each other years after this project is finished. Who may support each others projects and work together after this is finished.

The Story:  This is the story of a little girl who creates an imaginary stuffie (stuffed animals) world while on summer vacation in Maine. The Story is told from the animal’s perspective. The EP is close to linear.

It’s about a child and her world but it’s NOT a typical kid’s book with kid’s music. It’s not dumbed down, uncomplicated, or sickeningly sweet. It’s more a kin to Maurice Sendak or Shel Silverstein’s work. It should work for kids and adults like the Toy Story movies.

Here are the tracks which tell a good part of the story.

  • track 1: The pig shares a poem about his experience with a jelly fish.
  • track 2: “Stuffie Party” The animals anticipate the girl’s arrival.
  • track 3: “So you know” The animals talk about the group dynamic and day to day life.
  • track 4: “Hey pig” Conflict, explanation, and resolution told by the snake.
  • track 5: “Pig’s a winner” The pig finally wins something!
  • track 6: “We’re gonna miss her when she’s gone” The animals anticipate the girl’s departure.
  • track 7: “A public service announcement for unicorns” The girl has some advice.

Track 2-7 can be found here:

They are demos, but pretty far along. Track 1 is recorded but not posted yet.

I am still working on the book. Here is my first book.

It has a five star rating on amazon and I don’t mind saying… It’s  pretty good. : ) So, while I’m not a seasoned writer, I’m not a total novice either (although I can’t spell or punctuate).

Musicians: I’m looking for musicians to add some flavor to the tracks or possible take them in a new direction. Drummers, guitarists, piano/keyboards, bass, vocalists, and horns (trumpet, french horn?).

Illustration: I need help doing the album cover, the book illustrations, and perhaps help on the short film montage (stills? etc). Below is the prototype sketch of the album front and back. I am actually thinking of pressing vinyl. crazy?

Here are the character development sketches.

Below are sketches for the front and back of the EP.

stuffies front

stuffies back

Animation/Video: Along with pitching the project for someone else to make a film I am considering what could be done independently. This is the most undefined aspect of the project. I don’t know the form the video/short film will take. Could be live video of cut out characters (south park-ish), or hands moving real stuffies, or some actual animation.  One thing I do know… we can’t compete with the man-power or budget of something Hollywood puts out. So we have to compete with ideas and interest! I’m open. : )

Live performance: This is a secondary idea I’ve also considered. The book builds the context for each song. For example, it would start off describing the animal’s wait through the seasons for the girls return. This would lead into the first song where the girl arrives “Stuffie Party Tonight”.  On stage a narrator would read the book while the book is projected onscreen. Then the musicians would take over for the song while part of the short film is projected. Obviously I haven’t finished the book and worked out the details but this is the jist.

A bit about me: I’m a “creative type”. There has never been a period of time when I wasn’t drawing, making music, having insane ideas, or doing a bit of writing. I don’t thrive in a 9-5 corporate environment. I thrive around fun, creative types. Most of my energy has gone toward music. I write, record, mix, and perform (sing, guitar, drums). I have a nice home studio behind my house where I fritter and waste the hours. I have also been an art director (online advertising/marketing), a graphic designer, and flash developer. I didn’t plan on doing kid’s books or music. But my creativity has always expressed my experience and right now I have an adorable 8 year old.  I am eclectic as my music demonstrates. I’ve also written a good deal of something like angst filled hip-hop metal® : ).  I’m grounded and practical but also insane (in a good way).





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