• Charlotte Grant

Cackle Fruit - A Concept project

Earlier in the month we were set a Concept pitch project. The idea of this was to get ideas flowing before we got started on our new production bibles. We were given a list of different starting points to work with and were given 2 weeks to come up with a story behind those concepts. There were a huge variety of different starting points from "A world with no gravity" to "Pirates and Mermaids".

My idea revolved around a world in which Mermaids and Pirates had been at war with each other for century's. The mermaids hated the pirates because their large ships blocked out the sun to their underwater cities and the pirates hated the Mermaids because of sirens that often lured ships onto the rocks. The two would often go to war with each other, boarding the pirates ships or dropping heavy objects into the sea, this combat was often hand to hand and had very serious implications for both factions.

Both factions are almost completely male dominated. Female mermaids are seen as inferior and used only for menial tasks such as cooking or cleaning. Female pirates are seen as weak or unable to fight, so similarly, these aren't allowed on board the ship. The story follows a pirate named Brandy and a mermaid named Austell. Brandy is a tomboy and part of the pirate crew, she's only welcome aboard because everyone believes her to be male from her appearance. She hides her gender from them and is a great fighter, so no one has ever questioned it. Austell is a mermaid that works as a cleaner for the pirate crew. She hates pirates with a passion and longs to be able to fight alongside the other mermaids against them one day.

The mermaid faction mostly consists of very sassy, good looking men, the "sirens" luring the pirates to the shore are actually the mermaids Friday night karaoke contests.

During one of the usual clashes between the mermaids and the pirates, Austell tries to reason with one of the male leaders of the faction. Saying she wants to fight, not clean. He ends up shouting at her, making her cry and ordering her back to the kitchen. Brandy, who is in charge of keeping watch in the crows nest, sees this, and sneaks away, intending to pursue her.

When she catches up to Austell, Austell's first response is a violent one, thinking she can prove herself to the other mermaids if she shows that she can take on Brandy. Brandy however, just wants to help, knowing how difficult it is being in a faction where women aren't allowed to help, so she reasons with Austell and the two come to an agreement. Every night Brandy will sneak out and train her to fight. The two spend a lot of time together training and eventually end up falling for each other.

They plan to run away from their factions and live peacefully, but on the night of trying to leave they are caught by the mermaid guards. Austell takes them on, using her new-found skills to take down 3 of them. They see that she really can fight and call their chief, who grants Austell the right to join them on raids against the pirates. Austell tells them that she is in love with a pirate and no longer wishes to be at war with them. Brandy is introduced and, after seeing she isn't a savage, the pirates ask her to try and reason with her faction to move their boats further out, so they're not blocking the light from the mermaids homes. Brandy agrees, bringing Austell with her and simultaneously telling them about her sneaking off, her love for Austell and her gender, asking for the ships to be moved. The pirates are shocked, but need Brandy, as their only skilled crows nest and brig worker, so oblige to moving the ship, speaking with the mermaids properly for the first time. They come to a peace agreement together and allow Brandy and Austell to remain together. Even working together with the mermaids for some things, like fishing and moving things.

After seeing Brandy and Austells competence, both factions agree to allow females to be treated equally and work along side them. The film ends with Brandy in the crows nest spotting a brig on the horizon, with her spy glass, she calls down to Austell and the two get a gangplank ready. The ship pulls up next to the pirate ship and a bunch of older female pirates pour out, the wives and children of the current pirates, that were left on shore. Some of them embrace their other halves and It ends with a bunch of young female and male pirates and mermaids being trained by Austell and Brandy on a specially built half submerged ship for the two factions to work together on.

Below are two concept drawings I did, for the characters Brandy and Austell :) Although it's an idea I'm not using for my pitch, I still really like it, so it's likely I'll use it for something in the future (I'm thinking maybe a short comic?) as it's quite comedic and fun and I'm a sucker for romantic comedy type situations with strong leading lady roles.

Oh, and the name Cackle Fruit? ...it's pirate slang for eggs and I thought it sounded pretty cool for a short animation name :) But there's no real reason for it other than that..

So, that's all for now! I'll see you in my next blog post ^^