Big Beach, which made past memorable Sundance splashes with Little Miss Sunshine and Safety Not Guaranteed, today launches the first of three projects here at Sundance with its first foray into animation. The premiere of the 3D animated acquisition title White Fang happens this morning at 11:30 AM at the Prospector Square Theater.
The hope is to launch a sequel, with a script ready, as Big Beach forges into animation with a small slate of projects that also includes a Rupert Wyatt-directed animation take on Chaplin’s The Kid. Big Beach principal Peter Saraf said the adaptation of the classic Jack London novel was done by the French company Superprod and the Luxembourg-based Bidibul, and it was directed by Oscar winner Alexandre Espigares and shot as a combination of motion capture and cell animation for a budget in the mid-teens.
Saraf believes that the timelessness of the London novel will make it possible to launch with a reasonable P&A spend, with this whole formula running contrary to the mega budget animated films released on the studio level. “Animation allowed us to tell the story the way that London did in the book, from the vantage point of the Wolf,” Saraf said. “The book is on school curriculums in 75 countries, and it is the kind of thrilling subject matter that parents are searching for to take their kids and we are looking for the right domestic distributor to release it on 300-500 screens.”
Big Beach on Tuesday premieres Puzzle, which marks the directing debut of Big Beach principal Marc Turtletaub, and stars Kelly McDonald as a suburban mother who discovers a passion for competitive jigsaw puzzle solving that takes her life in a new direction. Tomorrow, the company’s Beachside shingle, lead by producers Alex Turtletaub and Michael B. Clark, will premiere the Desiree Akhavan-directed The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a drama about a young woman caught kissing the prom queen and forced by her family to attend a gay conversion therapy center. The film, an adaptation of the Emily Danforth coming of age novel, stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher, and Jennifer Ehle.