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Saving the Soul- Deeper Insight to First Georgian Animated Comics

Georgia is not spoiled with local animation, while Archivarius team took an initiative to create a whole new animated universe titled Saving the Soul, following three different narrators. George Badashvili, founder of ”Archivarius Studios” unveils challenges of producing digital motion comics with CBW:

Tell us about Archivarius Studios’ projects and its team.

I would say Archivarius Studios is more like a small working collective of friends, rather than studio. Archivarius team is consisting of artists, illustrators and animators. Initially, we established it to make 2D and 3D, as well as experimental animation producing studio.

‘’Saving the Soul’’ has deep and multilateral narrative. What was the inspiration for the story and characters?

Me,my most friends and members of collective, were raised watching Hollywood blockbusters, reading bestseller sci-fi & fantasy books, famous comics and series- simply, pop culture influenced us. Back then, we only  had access to foreign productions and fantasies. Although, it’s 2018, and not much has changed. It’s been almost 15 years that ‘’Lost’’ has released, changing television format around the world, as for us, broadcasters are still stuck on Turkish and Latin-American shows.

50 years of ‘’Spider Man’’, and there is still no eligible comics in Georgia. We don’t produce anything to present worldwide, neither blockbuster film, nor animation, as if we are frozen in time, living in cultural anabiosis. We are still far behind from Hollywood and even Bollywood, stuck in the middle, stamping competition and festival art-houses like robots and ambiguous creatures.

Obviously, winning festivals is important for the country, but I want to see the time Georgia having its own ‘’Superman’’ and ‘’Wall-e’’. That’s why I decided to create sci-fi/fantasy universe, that maintains world trend and the best traditions. That’s how we started ‘’Saving the Soul’’ project. Then we founded studio, picked animation format – the most affordable one for our budget and kicked off making pilot episode. I was hopeful companies would see the genre’s potential, but unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. 

Animation, and more specifically motion comic is not quite developed in Georgia. What advantage does it give you to be unprecedented one. What perspectives do you see?

Motion comics is limited animation with its idea, it represents something in between classical 2D and 3D animation. That’s the cheapest type of animation to produce. Meanwhile, results is no less than other types give. That’s why, it’s widely used among video games, during cut scenes or intro. It can also be found in some blockbuster films.

Describe your working process and techniques. Did you face any difficulty as lacking of experience this field in the country?

In fact, we were the first in Georgia who made such animation, so we had to teach ourselves everything. It was uncharted waters. Past experiences have shown me both the pros and the cons in this genre.

It doesn’t have any ‘’elasticity’’ and both artist and animator are quite limited technically. Motion Comics can never become the mainstream, it will also be recognized as niche. It will be promoted in case game industry develops in Georgia, or it can be suitable for advertising too. Although, I can’t see making long animations in this genre.

How do you see your project in the future, do you take part in any competitions?

It took as about one year to get either sponsor or investor. We visited many companies and televisions, tried to keep it as animation or even comics. We sent it to every publishing house, where we got rejected. I can’t accuse, as I’ve mentioned, we are culturally not ready for such novelties.

I’m hopeful that people is the future of this project, our audience who enjoyed with it. Meaning, there is one crowdfunding platform, called Indiegogo. Anyone is allowed to place his project on this website, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mechanical product, T-shirt or animation. After some time project needs to collect indicated amount of finances. What’s good about that is people don’t just donate, but they get ‘’perks’’- gifts by us. Let’s say if one donates 15 USD for the project, he gets printed poster, soundtracks CD, watching permission 1 month prior, etc. In case, fund is not raised, everything is declined, and they get their money back.

Alternative option of the project can be issuing comics. We will print it by ourselves and sell through social networks without cooperating with any publishing house.

If you find this project worth existing, and are interested in upcoming stories, follow them on Facebook,  where they announce fundraising soon.

By Nina Gomarteli

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