Colorado based Production Company and Animation Studio, Worker Studio is gearing up for a potentially groundbreaking documentary. They’ve launched an IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign and it’d be downright unpatriotic to pass over a chance to contribute. It’s a documentary about WWII veteran John Ross, a self-made man who has carved a definitive American story out of his life.
Worker Studio recently launched on IndieGoGo to fund a film crew to visit Ross’s home in Florida, in anticipation of his 94th birthday. It’s certainly not just for the birthday cake, as they hope to conduct comprehensive interviews and research into his life. While the stories are told straight from Ross, the filmmakers will recreate different points in his life using live-action and digital 3D animation.
Ross hopped freight trains as a boy and helped build the backbone of the 20th century as a roughneck. He flew clandestine missions as a pilot in WWII and it’s even said that Hitler had a bounty on his head. Worker Studio animator/writer/director Michael “Ffish” Hemschoot described Ross as, “a radical and a revolutionary.”
Hemschoot is developing “John Ross: American” under Parker, Colorado based Worker Studio and their sister company Travelin’ Productions, a collaborative effort with acclaimed actor/writer/director Sean Bridgers. Hemschoot and Bridgers will co-direct the film and they’ve launched the first phase of the project on IndieGoGo to raise $25,000.
At a premiere screening of the project trailer at the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, where Hemschoot teaches, he said, “(Ross’s) family calls him the real life Forest Gump.” He’s certainly not stupid or something and his life unveils a necessary thread to the American story of the 20th century.
If you’ve seen animated documentaries like Ari Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir,” imagine that artful hand applied to a heartfelt story like Forest Gump. The prospect of “John Ross: American” will blaze new trails in where animators and documentary filmmakers can collaborate.
Hemschoot’s filmography itself reads like a blazed trail of animation and effects in Hollywood. He was a roto-artist on “Mars Attacks,” and a compositor on “What Dreams May Come,” “Hollow Man” and “Cast Away.” Sometimes credited as Ffish, he was an animator on “The Matrix,” “The Ring,” National Treasure” and lead animator on “Master and Commander.” The list goes on: “Black Hawk Down,” “Minority Report,” “Stuart Little 2,” “Phone Booth” and “Catch Me If You Can.”
Hemschoot’s cohort Sean Bridgers, wrote, directed and starred in the acclaimed “Paradise Falls.” Bridgers also appeared on “Deadwood” and gave a hard-hitting lead in Lucky McKee’s “The Woman.” Under Travelin’ Productions, they also have a feature film in development that is a dark Faustian western, “Arkansas Traveler” with Garret Dillahunt and Angela Bettis.
The “John Ross: American” IndieGoGo campaign runs through Saturday, April 28, 2012, so get in there and help Worker Studio make history.