|THE STRESSFUL ADVENTURES OF BOXHEAD & ROUNDHEAD|
|Crew: ||Producers: Richard O'Connor - Screenwriters: Elliot Cowan
When their home is destroyed, Boxhead & Roundhead must head to the big city to battle red tape, rent, rats and the rat race to get it back. Art and industry, friendship and foul play are all in the mix in this, the most stressful adventure of all.
Elliot Cowan was born in Melbourne, Australia then moved to the wilds of Tasmania where he directed thousands of television commercials for regional television. In 2006 he left for London where he mostly worked with UIi Meyer animation. While in London he began animating the award winning Boxhead and Roundhead shorts. Now he lives in New York with all kinds of grown up stuff like a wife and child and a green card.
He teaches at The Pratt Institute, Mercy College, The University of the Arts and anywhere else that welcomes grumpy animation professors.
The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead & Roundhead is his first feature and he did almost all of it himself in between teaching, freelance animation gigs and his family.
Boxhead and Roundhead were created in 2005 as a reaction to a proliferation of sweet and cuddly children’s picture books.
Influenced by the works of Finnish writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, director Elliot Cowan envisioned a world where the protagonists were never quite safe, never quite comfortable and never sure what was hiding around the next corner –much like everyday life in the 21st Century.
The first five of the original nine Boxhead & Roundhead shorts were animated in a dingy flat in London. Produced at the coffee table. The final four were done after Elliot moved to New York and the opportunity to create a feature rose.
Keen to move forward with new ideas, dialogue and colour were added (the shorts are mostly silent and black and white) and a feature length story hatched.
Director Elliot Cowan completed the majority of the work himself with help from talent culled from his classrooms at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute and The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Australian cult band The Gadflys offered their music catalogue and veteran production designer Neil Campbell Ross (The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) produced a series of incredible images that gives the film a unique look.
Throughout the production the most important thing was to maintain the relationship between the leads, BH & RH. It is very easy in animation to fall into a Ren and Stimpy styled friendship - a dumb one and an angry one.
B&R needed to be more than that. A pair who have gone through hardship and adversity and who compliment each other in such a way that although they are distinct characters they need one another to survive.