The Water Man

The Water Man

Feature Animation

We had the good fortune to be tapped to create several minutes of beautiful and imaginative 2D animation for the live action feature film, The Water Man. It is the directorial debut of veteran actor David Oyelowo (SelmaMidnight Sky). The project involved a lot of exciting creative exploration with the end goal of visually capturing the imagination of a 12-year old boy named Gunner as he draws in his sketchbook. Taking place in a small Pacific Northwest town, Gunner depicts a local folk legend of a ghostly figure called the Water Man who haunts the nearby forest.

The animation process involved drawing from live action on computer tablets, then carrying it over to a stylized interpretation executed with pencil on paper to achieve a fully hand drawn aesthetic. The animation appears near the beginning of the movie and is the catalyst for the main character to set out on his journey to find the legendary Water Man. The movie made its premiere in the 2020 Toronto international film Festival and was recently picked up by RLJE Films and Netflix.

Animation produced by BENT Image Lab

Animation Direction by: Chel White

Animation Producer: Rebecca Cedeño Wells

Animation Coordinators: Carlo Fiorio, Colin Steinmann

Lead Animators: Sam Niemann, Tina T. Hsu

Animators:Kailey Choi, Andrew Dieffenbach, Teresa Drilling, Alec Knox, Jesse McManus, Neisje Morrell, Chris Purdin

CG Technical Director: Patrick Coan

Animation Editor: Brent Heise

Animation Composite Artist: Barna Howard

Animation Designer: Dan Schaefer

Animation Camera: Solomon Burbridge, Russell Eaton

Animation Casting: Louanne Moldovan

Animation Reference:Ted Rooney, Holden Goyette, Puddletown Talent

Animation Production Assistants: Megan Deck, Alex Fattal, Alfredo Lettenmaier