Kin of the Stained Blade

CREATIVE DIRECTOR / 2020

Kin was truly a labor of love. From the initial pitch development all the way through final picture I lead a small but mighty central team of 3 and handled all creative direction for our most ambitious cinematic to date: a 10 minute anime epic in partnership with Hoaliners Animation in Shanghai. This film featured full dialogue that would be performed in over 12 languages, an original score and song, and (just in case producing this through the first six months of a global pandemic wasn't going to be challenge enough) the execution of both 2d and 3d art styles.

Aided by the insane voice talents of Liam O'Brien and Noshir Dalal, I poured everything I had into this piece for 9 months. Initially that meant developing our creative direction and steering visual development as we began to build the world of our story.  I broke the script, coached talent in the booth, and polished our final dialogue. I directed, and when necessary, painted notes directly to reach our final character and environment styles. I oversaw layout, animation, vfx and comp and strategically crafted our asset to succeed as the marquee cinematic for 2020's Spirit Blossom campaign. As a testament to our organization, I was empowered to oversee all aspects of production and took that responsibility to heart.

I am incredibly proud of the Kin team. As the world changed under our feet we somehow continued to move forward and delivered an experience that, while it's not perfect, truly stands on its own. We developed a 10 minute story in less than 3 months and worked from animatic to final picture in under 6. That's insane. And a testament to the passion and talent that went into bringing this story to players around the world.

© 2020 Michael Berry

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