“Gopher Broke”

Shorts that can go long.

Topics:

"Gopher Broke"

“Gopher Broke”
By Jeff Fowler and Tim Miller
A Blur Studio Production
Length: 4:27 minutes

This download was provided to Salon for a limited time and is no longer available.

The folks at Blur Studio maintain a pretty utilitarian approach to their work: They want to create stunningly cool animations and will take as many opportunities to make them as they can. The 9-year-old firm churns out a broad range of work, from video games, films and commercials to special animations for established peers like “South Park” and “SpongeBob.” They recognize that short films, though lacking a lot of immediate bottom-line sense (a 10-minute Blur animation can cost about $1 million), can lead to bigger possibilities down the road.

You Might Also Like

Not that they’re always planning on it. When Vin Diesel’s people approached Blur’s Tim Miller about his short film “Rockfish,” he was both excited and caught off-guard. “They came to me and said, Let’s talk about ‘Rockfish,’ Vin is interested. Do you have a feature take on this?” Miller says he just shrugged and said, “Uhhhh, no. But I can come up with one!” (Diesel did eventually buy rights to the film, which Blur describes as “an interstellar fishing trip [that] turns into an adrenaline-fueled angling adventure.”)

The team at Blur deliberately tries not to overthink or overstrategize any of their projects. “The minute you start saying, I want to develop a feature film, so I better start laying some pipe [while creating a short] so I can develop it further, it becomes less fresh, more complicated and more restrictive,” Miller says.

So when Miller met with Nickelodeon about “Gopher Broke” — only the fourth short the studio has produced, and the first nominated for an Oscar — naturally they asked him if his company had feature plans for it, “And so I ask Jeff [Fowler, co-creator], Have we talked about a feature? And he says, Uhhh, no.” But they can come up with one.

– Kerry Lauerman

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>