When we sat down to talk shop with Fede Ponce, it was not just to get his insight on the world of Motion Graphics, VFX and what it’s like to design the title art for some of the highest grossing movies of all time. We also wanted to know about his passion project, because really, passion is and must be the driving force behind any filmmaker.
After eight years of late night nights and financial sacrifice, I share with you my personal project: Sebastian: the Slumberland Odyssey. It’s a first-of-its-kind, genre-busting series. It’s a mind bending live action/CGI episodic tale that blends Magical Realism with Science Fiction, in an unexplored new genre: SCI-FAN.
Logline: In a future ruled by AI, where disease is a choice and unauthorized dreaming is punishable by death, a young orphan risks his life by traveling into the Dreamworld in order to save his inexplicably ill grandfather.
An amazing journey you haven’t dreamed before
Thanks to an incredibly advanced A.I. humanity has been able to overcome war and poverty. Disease is now a choice. At last mankind has been united under a mission of collective prosperity. With one small price to pay: The loss of individuality.
In order for humankind to unite, people have forgone their ability to dream as well as their desire to be different. And with just cause, since unauthorized dreaming is now punishable by death.
However, there is another world beyond the reach of the A.I.: The Dreamverse – or as it is known in legend: Slumberland. It is known as a realm made up of the entire collection of human dreams and desires. It is a vortex of chaos, fun and adventure where the remaining renegades and thought-provocateurs escape to in the middle of the night. Slumberland is a place of wonder where nothing is what it seems and the last remnants of human emotion remain pure and powerful.
There is a small house in the outskirts of the city, where the last unassimilated immigrants reside. Here two siblings thick as thieves and a few years apart, Sebastian and Mika, take turns assisting their mysteriously ill grandfather. The clock is ticking and danger looms near for neither sibling can stop themselves from dreaming. Now that the A.I. has taken note of the last dreamers, Mika inexplicably disappears leaving Sebastian and his grandfather alone. With his last breath grandpa has tasked young and fearful Sebastian to venture into the dreamworld in order to obtain a magical potion before his time runs out – or the A.I. finds him.
You can find out more about the story and the characters on the official Sebastian website here.
A story inspired by true events
The story of these two brothers and Sebastian’s journey through Slumberland was inspired by the relationship I have with my brother. When I was young I left my hometown and came to California to develop my artistic skills. I used to visit my family often and in one of those trips, my father told me that I was going to have a baby brother. In order to make the most of the moments we spent together I created Slumberland. It’s a world in which anything could happen. It was a place that two brothers could visit together no matter how far away they were from each other.
About Federico Ponce:
Fede Ponce has been in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years and he is humbled by having had the lucky opportunity to work on some of the biggest blockbusters to date. Whether leading global campaigns of MAIN TITLES for MARVEL movies as Creative Director (Iron Man, Thor, Avengers) or creating a metal suit for Iron Man as a VFX supervisor, he has found himself working with some of the most creative people in entertainment. He has directed commercials and video game cinematics. However, he always dreamed of developing his own project. He received the help of Bertha Navarro, producer for Guillermo Del Toro, and has worked closely with Academy Award winning writer Zachary Sklar to ensure his project, Sebastian: The Slumberland Odyssey, is founded on an incredibly solid story.