The fate of the world is in the paws of a raccoon and a possum, but they need a little help to come to life.
“Wood Patrol” is a proposed animated series created by Timothy Phares, a 2012 Howland High School graduate, and his classmate, Ryan Baker.
“I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and worked in the multimedia program,” Phares said. “I’ve been making my own little videos since high school. I wanted to work on a big project, so I rounded up 10 of my friends who all have some background in production, and we’ve all just been working on it the last two years.”
“Wood Patrol” is set 30 years after the Civil Subhuman War, which earned “the Mammalites” equal rights with humans. Coon, a raccoon, and Poss, a possum, are foster brothers who live in rural Pennsylvania and revere Burnie Bear, a war hero and leader of the Mammalite Civil Rights Movement. Their journey to BurnieCon inadvertently leads to the death of their hero, so they decide to fill his shoes and form the Wood Patrol to defend the future of Mammalites.
“It’s intended for an adult audience, something for Comedy Central, Spike, Adult Swim,” Phares said.
They pitched the show in January at NATPE Miami, a convention and marketplace where the television industry goes to buy creative content.
“We got good feedback,” Phares said. “A couple of companies were interested in funding a whole season, but they need to see proof, basically, that we are capable of animating the project.”
They are trying raise $10,000 to finance a three-minute trailer for the pilot that they can shop to potential distributors. They’ve set up a Kickstarter fundraising campaign (for $100 donors can be an animated character in the story) and they also will have a fundraiser from 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday at The Lime Tree in downtown Warren. The event will include live music by Globes and Burnt Purple, a 50-50 and basket raffles and 10 percent of the money from food sales will be donated to the cause.
If the series becomes a reality, it will involve plenty of local talent. In addition to cocreators Phares and Baker, “Wood Patrol” will feature writer Patrick DiCristofaro of Niles, art director Dominic Duca of Howland, colorist Paige Woolard of Niles, assistant colorist Jacob Zillinger of Warren, sound designer Bryan Infante of Niles and voice actors Emelia Sherin of Howland, Daaron Wilson of Niles and Taylor Dunnavant of Youngstown.
Once the money is raised, it will take two months to animate the trailer and another month to do the voice work and sound effects, Phares said.
“Best-case scenario, it gets picked up and is running by late 2018, early 2019.”