To continue the day of GODSLAP celebration, we bring to you an incredible animation created by the insanely talented individuals at SAKOWSKI STUDIOS. You may remember them as the folks who pulled off the mindblowing SKYNUT animation a while back. This high-octane, action filled set piece is an extended bit of GODSLAP lore with the goal of giving everyone a glimpse into the world we're currently building.
SLAPS IN MOTION...
First things first, go sit your butts down and watch it. It's incredible. It's amazing. It's beautiful. Every frame is a piece of art. Watch it. Then watch it again. Keep watching it. Pick up on all the small details, every piece of art created for the GODSLAP animation was a labour of love. Follow Darius as he wreaks havoc through a Montpelier nightclub. Watch as he sizes up his opponent at the end and, if you'd do me a favour, imagine where this could all lead down the road. Most importantly, keep watching. Over and over again.
Wait, you're done watching? I know... you're done for now, at least, anyway. While you're taking a break from enjoying those 3 minutes over and over again, do yourself a massive favour and visit the BEHIND THE SCENES web page the guys at SAKOWSKI STUDIOS have created in order to show off all of the concept art and material created for these 3 minutes of ectasy.
You can find storyboard pictures, concept art, keyframes, character art, 3D layouts, background art and more just by clicking THIS LINK right here. It's all compiled beautifully by SAKOWSKI STUDIOS and you'd be doing yourself a massive disservice by not checking it out. There are so many incredible pictures and interesting progress shots tucked away on this site just waiting for you to discover them. There's also an incredible MAKING OF video that you can play below, created by the guys themselves as well.
INTERVIEWING THE MAN WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE
Now, I wanted to personally take the opportunity to sit down with the director himself, Aleksander Sakowski, and learn more about what kind of crazy passion and talent brought this project to life and figure out just how the team managed to pull off such an incredibly visceral, fluid and exciting animation.
J: Hello Aleksander. Would you like to introduce yourself to all of the people reading this who have, by now, enjoyed your incredible work with the GodSlap animation?
A: Well first of all, thanks for having me and my team on this awesome project! My name is Aleksander Sakowski and I operate Sakowski Studios which is an award winning, multi-media production studio based across Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia; offering high quality production services across a variety of visual medium’s; with a focus more recently on 2D Animation.
J: I would definitely say your focus on 2D animation has paid off in spades, with such an amazing portfolio of high quality work already. You and your team were clearly made for this kind of work. When creating the animation for GodSlap, what was your main process when starting the project?
A: When we got the initial pages, the first step was to break down the key story beats. It may only be just a short action sequence, however there are layers as to why this is all happening and setting up aspects for future events. There is a lot of world building you can do visually, in a very short amount of time.
A: As a proof-of-concept style animation, our main focus was to take influence from the comic and introduce our own styles and techniques to the animated look of the world; re-structuring some of the story elements so that the short animation had more of a boss battle to it. Charlie was happy for us to take the ideas and run with them in our own Sakowski Studios cyberdelic style. I appreciate and respect that kind of creative trust.
Having directed many music videos in the past, I love working to a beat, so the first process once we sorted the story elements out was to find a piece of music to work to. This gave us the core foundation of the energy and how the shots would flow throughout the sequence. Everything else evolved from there.
J: The trust definitely paid off, from our perspective. We really loved seeing what you guys came up with based off the source material. That kind of interpretation of events and incorporating a different style to the world is something that's always so fascinating and humbling. What elements of GodSlap jumped out at you as being the most exciting to incorporate into your work?
A: EVERYTHING! Hah, no but seriously... everything. First of all cyberpunk is my jam, and fusing that with the idea that your place in society is structured around your slapping power and technique; there is a certain “One punch man”-ness to it (which I love). It's a little bit ridiculous, but if you take it seriously you can tell an awesome and captivating tale with all these elements.
J: Are there any elements of the animation you're most proud of in the final project?
A: One aspect outside the actual content of the animation was that the entire project was completed by the crew remotely. Everyone who worked on it, worked from home, in their own time, while also working other jobs at the same time. Putting this puzzle together like that; sometimes I have to stand back and wonder how we did it, it's quite amazing.
I have an absolute mad respect for all the crew, I could write pages about them here, but that would take days. All of them infused their love for 2d animation into every frame and it shows. Special shout out to Linhan, Dan, Thaw, Dylan, Andi, Frans, Even and Troy; they were the spine of this creation, my vision would be nothing without their incredible work.
A: When it comes to the animation The main action sequence from when Darius slaps the first minions head off to when you see the close up of his hands glowing molten, that part is off the sickter scale. It hypes me up to make more complex sequences like that.
J: You should be incredibly proud of every single frame. My favourite part is personally the comic cut-outs during the core action scene. It's just such a wonderful way of referencing the source material and it looks incredible. Speaking of the crew who brought this together, how many people were directly involved in the project?
A: In total including myself there was 16 crew, however the core crew who completed the most work consisted of just 10 of us.
J: Incredible. What kind of animation projects can fans expect from you and your team in the future?
A: Currently I'm taking the time to work on my own project called The_Mecha_Genesis which I have been working on for many years, and many more to come. Set over the next 3000 years, The_Mecha_Genesis chronicles the emergence of Earth's Artificial Intelligence and our post-human evolution through them.
Right now it's in a graphic novel format. I'm up to 2 volumes and working on the 3rd right now. Each volume chronicles 25 assets in a wiki format. Each entry can be read individually, but read altogether, The_Mecha_Genesis reveals to you the history of the future. I have also been adapting the first volume into a youtube series. If you are into heavy science fiction-fantasy philosophy world building, then it's right up your alley.
J: That sounds amazing. I'd highly suggest everyone go check that out immediately, as Aleksander is one hell of a talented individual and you're likely going to be blown away by whatever he produces. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions and thank you for bringing the world we love so much to life in such an exciting way. Are there any final thoughts you'd like to share with everyone? Where can people go if they want to see more of your work?
A: This world you guys are building is awesome, and I'm honoured to be part of it. I feel like this is only just the beginning, and we hope to continue developing this cyber-slap-fest into a larger form of media with you all. The story has only just begun and I personally want to see (and make) Godslap as a series or movie.
A: If people would like to see a comprehensive break down of the whole project they can head to www.sakowskistudios.com/godslap for a deep dive behind the scenes
Links to my media:
A massive thank you to Aleksander and the guys at Sakowski Studio for pulling off one hell of an incredible animation in time for our ISSUE 01 launch. Truth be told, they finished far ahead of us so we're extremely impressed and thankful for their diligent and hard work. Thank you to Aleksander, again, for taking the time to answer some of those questions as well. Please, please, please... go check out their socials and website and support them with everything they do! They're incredibly hard working and talented people.
That does it for today! We hope you all had a fantastic day and enjoyed all of the exciting new GODSLAP news. We sincerely hope you all enjoy ISSUE 01, whether physical or digital, whenever you receive it over the next few days. Please let us know your thoughts over on twitter (@godslapofficial). We're so happy it's finally out there in the world and with you all. We can't wait to hear your thoughts and we're so eager to continue this journey with you all. Who knows? This might not even be the last animation...
For now, though, thank you,
Jackson Clarke + GodSlap Team