As the world around them tears itself apart, a young boy hell-bent on reaching humanity’s last safe-haven discovers a mythic warrior that had been lost for centuries, the Sentinel.
The Sentinel is brought to you by a collective of artists named Boketto. They are a multi-platform storytelling company specializing in animation.
“The world as we know it is gone. A terrible force known as The Scourge has ripped apart the land, boiled the seas and broken even gravity itself. A band of survivors has taken refuge in a mountaintop fortress, the lone safe-haven from the chaotic world below. They constructed a mythic warrior, a stone giant known as The Sentinel, with the power to restore the world so that it can once again sustain life. Centuries pass as the people wait for their hero to return and liberate them, but a boy named Ori refuses to wait any longer. He is willing to do the forbidden and escape the fortress itself to seek the warrior and fulfill the Legend of Humanity’s deliverance. Little does he know The Sentinel is waiting just outside the fortress walls, and the journey the two must embark on is nothing either could imagine.”
Creators/Directors: Adam Floeck and Nate Swinehart
Writer: Adrian Hunt
Executive Producer: Jeremy Morris, ROYGBIV
Producer: Sarah Kambara
Composer: Alex Previty
I just saw the little teaser and wanted more. Why? Because I freaking love it! And also because it makes me remember of the two Atlantis animated movies: Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Atlantis: Milo’s Return. But not only this, it’s just makes me remember the old cartoons from the 90’s. It has that familiarity and beautiful storytelling.
The only downside is that at this moment, The Sentinel is present only under the form of this teaser. And because my curiosity always gets the better of me, I needed to know more. With the help of Adam Floeck, one of the creatives behind the project, I managed to get some questions answered.
1. What sparked the creation of the story?
We started with the idea of a character who basically has the ability to move mountains, but is so stunted by his mental barriers that he can’t see his true potential. This is where the story began for us. The more we developed the character of The Sentinel, the easier it was to build the world around him. As time went on we built out more and more of the world. We’d often shift around pieces to best suit the story, but the one thing that we made sure always to keep intact was the character of The Sentinel, an introspective giant warrior plagued with a lack of purpose.
2. What inspired you to name the project “The Sentinel”?
By definition, “sentinel” means ‘a guard who’s job is to stand and keep watch.’ We wanted a name that fit the Sentinel’s reason for creation, a name that he felt defined his existence. One of the Sentinel’s biggest flaws is his inability to see past the purpose he’s been given, so we felt that this really embodied the character.
3. What motivated the evolution of the story?
Before we began production on the proof of concept trailer, Nate (my co-director) and I spent about a year building out the initial story. We focused on telling a story that we both related to and enjoyed, without specific intention of a release platform. After feeling confident about the structure we’d created, we decided the format of an animated series was best suited for the story we wanted to tell, so we started developing our materials in that route. Now that the trailer is finished and released, we have our pilot script written, along with episode summaries for the first season completed.
4. Who is the team behind the project?
The team behind the project consists of artists from all over the world — from the US to Singapore, England, France, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and Spain. This project was a passion project, so in no way would it have been possible without the help of over 40 artists who were kind enough to lend us a hand. Please see our full credit listing here. http://boketto.tv/sentinel-credits
5. What brought you together?
Before The Sentinel, many of us worked on my college thesis film called Legacy. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of talented artists through the making of that film, and so the basis of The Sentinel team was largely made up of artists we knew from there. Once we got started, there were many artists that we met throughout the course of the production in various places that had a huge impact on the production.
6. What makes your project different from the others out there?
Audiences have a certain expectation for the kind of stories animation can tell, and we want to nudge that expectation forward a little bit. There’s been a trend in live-action recently to subvert tropes and expectations in a lot of series, and it feels like animation could use something similar. The Sentinel is going to surprise and challenge its audience in what an animated work can be. Animation has created some of the most emotionally impactful stories we have, people have a real connection to these works, and we think they can be a lot deeper and richer in their themes, while still being a lot of fun.
7. Why this design approach of the environment and the characters? Why not a simple 3d’ish cartoon network approach?
We chose CG for several reasons. Scale is a huge part of the story (one of our main characters is a 40 ft giant!), so that was a big seller. There aren’t that many strong CG shows out there as well, so we thought that was even more of a reason to give it a shot. Our goal was to achieve a unique blend of painterly textures and gritty, realistic shading. We chose not to simplify like many other cartoons because our story takes place in a gritty, broken world and we wanted to take the time and artistry to really harness that.
8. When are we going to see a full episode?
Right now, we are pitching around and looking for funding so we can make the first season. The script for the first episode is finished, so if all goes well, hopefully soon!
9. Have you thought of approaching Netflix with your project?
Netflix is definitely on our list. We are hoping we get a chance to talk to them in the coming months!
10. Who is Boketto?
Boketto is our artists collective. Beyond The Sentinel, we have a slate of projects we are working on developing on multiple platforms including television, games, and apps. While we search for funding for The Sentinel, we are continuing to develop our other projects on the side as well.