Chuck Williams & Aaron Blaise to Kickstart Animated movie in West Palm Beach

TLDR; Don’t have time to read the whole story? Donate to Art Story then come to WebMonday at VentureWorx on August 5th and meet Chuck & Aaron!

One of the things that not a whole lot of people talk about is the wealth of creativity that makes its way to West Palm Beach. Whether it’s our cool art community in Pleasant City,  the unique festival that is Moonfest, Antique Row, all the galleries on Dixie and the art shows at Howley’s, we are a very creative city.

Often overlooked is that in Cityplace the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts still has a group of students studying and working on creative projects.

FSU Digital Animation School at Cityplace
FSU Digital Animation School at Cityplace

Chuck Williams is the “Filmmaker in Residence” over at FSU School in Cityplace. He’s got 24-years of experience in the animation industry, producing Brother Bear as well as having credits on  The Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Beauty and the Beast.

I met up with Chuck Williams at Howley’s a couple weeks ago to get a sneak peak of another project that he’s been working on: Art Story.

It’s a story about an 11-year-old, meticulous boy, WALT, and his crazy, loopy GRANDPA — two complete opposites — who get stuck in a vast, imaginative WORLD OF PAINTINGS.  Inside, they cross paths with a ruthless painted character determined to make it into our world.  In order to get home and stop the villain, Walt and Grandpa have to set aside their differences, work together and navigate worlds where the rules can change around every corner.

The interesting part, is that instead of going through the traditional route of getting funding, Chuck Williams and Aaron Blaise have chosen to open a Kickstarter project and raise the 350,000 they need through crowd funding.


Traditionally, when making a movie, all the creative decisions come from a small group of people. Whether or not a project gets financed is decided at the top level of the production houses, and we (the general public) never get a chance to see or influence whether a movie is made or not.

As an example of the level of interaction Chuck and Aaron are providing, take a look at this cool time lapse video that Aaron posted of him drawing the character that could eventually turn into the “Walt” character.


Pretty amazing right?

This is the fascinating thing with using Kickstarter for creative projects, we are brought in on the ground floor and get first hand view of what is going on through the creative and production phases. And even better, having this all go down in our back-yard is a great opportunity.

 Take a look at the Kickstarter project and figure out what level you want to participate in.

You can donate $1 or, if you’re into movie swag, you can pick a higher level which will get you a pile of goodies. If you’re vain (and made of money) you can pledge $7,500 and get your face in the movie (I’m talking to you, Donald Trump, I know you’re reading)! A really interesting opportunity is the “Apprentice” level, which is a 3-month course where you work with the film-makers on the movie. Great for aspiring students, or that second start on a career.

I’ve invited Chuck  and Aaron to present their Art Story Kickstarter on August 5th at our WebMonday Meetup at 6:30 at VentureWorx on Datura! Please join us, it’ll be a good time!