An animated adventure gains momentum

3 Jun 2020

An animated adventure gains momentum

Nicholas O’Hara Boyd is a local playwright and screenwriter who applied for funding from our Rage Against the V(irus) fund to continue the development of a half-hour animated spec pilot following the adventures of a little girl called Piper.

He’s using this opportunity to create some concept art with Australian illustrator Candice Leathem, to make a short film introducing the characters, their worlds and their story.

After graduating film school, Nicholas worked as a freelance filmmaker alongside some of the Australian music industry’s best young talent (Australian Idol finalists, iTunes-topping musicians, ARIA winners), as well as industry patrons like Grammy Award nominee Tommy Emmanuel. He’s also directed and produced a handful of television advertisements and short films.

‘I think I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. I studied film at Bond a handful of years ago and fell in love with screenwriting. Since then, I’ve written and developed a handful of my own projects and have been lucky enough to be commissioned as a feature writer for some independent producers too,’ Nicholas said.

‘Piper is the story of a little girl who lives on a cruise ship and travels the world hunting for clues about her grandfather’s mysterious disappearance. Not particularly autobiographical. I came up with the idea when I was bored and alone in a tiny little London flat daydreaming about what I’d rather be doing. Cruising? Yes. Treasure hunting? Yes. I think it all just rolled from there.

At its heart, it’s a story about never giving up and doing whatever it takes when you love someone.

‘Candice and I have been working together for years. She’s so talented. After so much time together, we have a kind of shorthand. Often, she’ll know what I want before I know what I want. That makes collaborating very easy, whether we’re in the same room or on a Skype chat. Plus, now I don’t need to try and remember how many sugars she has in her coffee.

We’ve been lucky enough to get the script in front of some industry powerhouses, whether it’s Disney Channel execs or Joe Brumm (the creator of Bluey). Their mentoring has been invaluable. It’s starting to feel like we’re getting a bit of momentum. Taking the opportunity to develop our visual style and create a mini proof of concept clip as part of RATV will be very helpful in showcasing our characters and story as we look to take it to market.

I think we’ve all felt the sting of the pandemic to varying degrees. As a writer, I’m one of the lucky ones. If anything, it’s been a good excuse to sit down, focus and get to work. That’s a lot easier to do when you don’t have friends waiting for you at the pub,’ he said.

You can check out more details here.


Piper has been supported by HOTA, Home of Arts through HOTA’s Artist Fund: Rage against the V(irus).