At Pon3 Con this weekend, the Journey of the Spark crew is promoting some new material for their upcoming film. I caught up with Zach Holcomb, the lead vector artist, and Meredith Sims, the voice of Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy.
You can check out the interview after the break.
Interview with Zach Holcomb
Zach Holcomb is lead vector artist on Journey of the Spark.
Ballinger: Journey of the Spark has been in production for over a year now. As a group, what do you all hope to accomplish with this film, and as an individual, what do you personally hope to accomplish?
Holcomb: We’re here to tell a story through the magic of animation. As a cast and crew we each have our separate roles to play in the production of this film. Personally I’m striving to play my role as best as I can. That means ensuring the smooth workflow through the Vector Department as well as learning as much as I can about Vector Art and helping others on the crew learn more about the art form. I take great pride in my work and encourage others to do the same. If everyone does their best, there is no way this film can possibly fail.
Ballinger: Where does the running time for the film currently stand at?
Holcomb: The estimated run time for the film currently stands at over two hours. Though as modifications are made to individual scenes in Journey of the Spark run time may change slightly.
Ballinger: When can we expect a teaser trailer?
Holcomb: We’re hoping to have a larger animation to preview for the film at BronyCon 2013. Right now it is very hard to predict the exact date of a teaser release because of our limited number of animators.
Ballinger: What can we expect to see at Pon3Con?
Holcomb: At Pon3Con we will be showing animation, film concept art, and a special surprise that we will not be announcing ahead of time. To watch the Pon3Con Panel live tune in to Ponyville Live on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 11:00 AM Central time.
Ballinger: What’s the status on the film right now? Have you started animating yet?
Holcomb: I’m very pleased to say that currently we are in full swing production and that some work has been done towards animation.
Ballinger: The film has been touted as a bit darker than the original show… if this were rated by the MPAA, could you tell me what you think the film would be rated?
Holcomb: Though the film has its darker moments I believe it would still be rated as PG. Journey of the Spark is being made with a general audience in mind. As a cast and crew we hope that this is something that all audiences would enjoy watching.
Ballinger: Tell me a bit about the cast members.
Holcomb: In my opinion Journey of the Spark has an all star cast. I’ve been lucky enough to work with many of the cast on different aspects of this production. The quality and accuracy of the voice acting often causes me to smile in delight. Eric Ridenour does an amazing job at giving direction to the voice actors as to achieve the best emotion and inflection in the acting of the script.
Ballinger: I think we’re all excited to see where Journey of the Spark goes. What do you want to do after Journey of the Spark however?
Holcomb: The completion of Journey of the Spark is a long way off and to be honest I haven’t given much thought to what will happen after the curtain falls. I think that once the film is completed I would enjoy staying around for another Celestial Spark Studios production.
Interview with Meredith Sims
Meredith Sims is the voice of Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy on Journey of the Spark.
Ballinger: First of all Meredith, congratulations on getting Snowdrop released. How does it feel to finally have that out?
Sims: Absolutely fantastic. It’s a huge relief to have such an enormous project finished of course, not only for me but for the team as a whole (some of us were working on it 12 hours a day by the end of it). But the fandom’s reaction to it has stunned us, in the most amazing way. We’re so happy to have put out a project that so many people enjoyed.
Ballinger: With Journey of the Spark, how did you end up on this project? What about it made you interested in being apart of it?
Sims: I was contacted by Eric early last year…I believe around February or March 2012. He was looking for voice actresses for Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. After a few back and forth emails with him I was very excited to accept the roles for both ponies. The story is what really hooked me to the project–I can’t say much about it of course, but there’s a surprise or two that really set the story above and beyond anything you might expect. Eric’s also a stickler about keeping it true-to-show, which for me is very important.
Ballinger: Is this project more or less of a challenge, compared to your previous works?
Sims: It’s a great challenge compared to the usual project I’ve been cast for. A movie script isn’t simply something you can read in one afternoon and send off the mp3 files. I’ve also helped some with the writing and polishing of the script, which makes this project a lot more immersive than a lot of the works i’m asked to help with. Getting to write my own lines is a nice comfort, but also a great challenge–there’s a lot to live up to from the original show when working on the movie script!
Ballinger: Unfortunately, you aren’t attending Pon3Con, but can you expect to see you at any other pony conventions any time soon?
Sims: Yes, actually! I’ll be attending Bronycon in August, where I’ll be on a few panels, and I’ll also be a guest at a smaller con in Tampa, “The Grand Galloping Brony Gala Con”, on June 29th.
Ballinger: Is Silly Filly Studios planning on making anything new? When can we expect to see something else from you guys?
Sims: There’s lots of new stuff in the works at Silly Filly! We have a few green-lit animations that are in the works right now, and a lot of scripts that are in the wings once those are finished. You can expect a lot more from us in the coming months!
Ballinger: Are there any non-pony projects that you’re involved in right now?
Sims: Not many at the moment, I’m afraid. I do a non-pony project from time to time, but I’ve been limited on how many projects I can take, pony and non-pony alike, the past few months, as I’ve been working towards finishing college. Now that I’ve graduated, though, I should have a lot more time, and plan to audition for a lot of different things! I’m especially hoping to see some video game auditions pop up–those are a blast to voice for!
Ballinger: Always an honor. God bless.
Sims: Thanks so much! Can’t wait to see everyone at Bronycon and the Brony Gala, for those going!
For those of you who can’t make it to Pon3Con this weekend, the Journey of the Spark team is teaming up with Ponyville Live to livestream the Journey of the Spark panel on May 11th, at 11:00 AM Central Time. http://www.livestream.com/PonyvilleLive
If you’re interested in applying for the Journey of the Spark team or learning more about the project, go to http://fimsparkmovie.tumblr.com/.