I have some really exciting news! I am working on my first ANIMATED SHORT, and it’s a really cool set-up, too! My longtime friend and colleague, Stephen Toback, is a highly experienced animator and content creator (and musician too, I might add.) His 14-year-old son Joshua is an accomplished filmmaker in his own right, specializing in LEGO-built sets and stop-motion animation techniques. His short SIZE MATTERS NOT (check it out, here) is a testimony to his talents and one of several this young animator has produced on his own. Here’s a link to Josh’s studio. Anyway, I contacted Steve about working on my animated short SECRET CODE WORD, a six-minute story I wrote that I’ve wanted to do forever with a cool message for kids (and adults too!) about not getting into cars with strangers. After meeting Josh (on Skype, because the Tobacks live in North Carolina) and seeing his animation work online, we all felt this would be the perfect project for a father-son collaboration with Steve directing the short and Josh developing the animation, which includes building sets entirely of LEGOs (need to find out if I need to pay a licensing fee for that!) and utilizing stop-motion photography and other effects to tell the story. It’s a cross-country, cross-generational collaboration that will take time to develop but everyone’s on board and excited about what this can look like. I’ll keep everyone posted on the progress of course, including “Behind The Scenes” photos of the sets being built (we’ll need to buy some more LEGOs I think) and how Josh and his Dad work together on this short film. It’ll definitely make an excellent festival candidate too, especially fests that specialize in work by upcoming artists (I mean Josh. I’m just a broke artist, heh.) Check out Steve’s CV here.