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Launch Day – Character Designs #5

Yep, the wait is finally over. The New Eden pilot lands today at 12pm GMT. To celebrate Freek and I thought we’d share one last blog post featuring the final character line-up and give you a rundown of how we got here.

Final New Eden Character Line-Up

Brett: These final designs were a giant leap forward from the last and once I saw these everything just clicked. Everyone looked … right, for want of a better word.

Freek: No, that’s the right word for it. Sometimes you get to a point where you just feel good about it. It ‘fits’. I honestly couldn’t tell you how and why all of a sudden you get to that point were you go ‘yes’. Gut feeling I guess.

Brett: Murray and Ivana were the last ones to be locked in. I remember saying something like “all these characters have to look just as home on a t-shirt or as a toy as they do on screen in New Eden.”

Freek: I’ve heard that comment before from clients. What remarks like that actually mean is “look I don’t think it’s cool enough yet. I can’t really tell you where the problem lies, so just give it another go will ya.” I get that.

Brett: And it felt like it wasn’t right up until the last minute that Ivana fell into place. I remember recommending a look that had the cuteness of Christina Ricci and the statuesque frame of Milla Jovovich but she had to have some sort of odd intensity to her.

Freek: Yeah, I remember looking up Ukrainian women and getting all these really beautiful women. I think it was the intense eyes that I latched onto. The low brows and big eyes with an intense look was what they all seemed to have in common.

Brett: That’s when Freek came back to me with this sketch.

New Eden Character Sketches

Brett: The instant I saw Murray I said “that’s him! That’s Murray. I’d put him on a t-shirt for sure!” He just looked damn cool.

Freek: Thanks! Yeah I had the same feeling.

Freek: Ivana was almost here. I liked the first hairstyle but wasn’t sure. So I drew a version of Ivana with boyish hair to emphasise she wasn’t a girly girl.

Brett: See for me, the second one was too cute. I ran these two sketches by Jo Bowis, the actor we cast as Ivana, and she knew straight away which one to go for and she was right. I like the odd normalness of Ivana’s look, if that makes sense. She looks like she could be a real person.

Freek: yeah she has something ‘real’ to her. You can imagine her like a beautiful woman but also like a ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of woman.

Brett: It’s been a long process but a fun one getting to this point. As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, Freek and I have been working on New Eden for over two years now. We spent about four months on the character designs and animation testing and then worked for about a year part-timed around jobs, family and you know life to animate the pilot.

Freek: If we were working full-time the pilot would have probably only taken two and half months to animate.

Brett: For me it’s been a real lesson in patience but well worth it. I have to say, we’re both really excited to finally be able to share the pilot episode with everyone.

Freek: I really hope that one day soon people will get a chance to see all the characters in action.

Brett: The pilot is about six minutes and features Hamilton and Murray. So you’ll have to wait for the series to get a chance to see Keith and Ivana.

Freek: We’ve got ten episodes written and ready to animate. All we need are fans who want to see it through to the end. The other day I said to Brett it’s almost becoming an addiction working on New Eden.

Brett: I know what you mean. To see the pilot come to fruition has been an amazing process, something I honestly never thought would or could happen. It’s been a real dream come true. We may not have any more episodes at this stage but we’ve got some other things coming down the pipeline to help to celebrate the pilot’s launch.

Freek: At the moment I’m working on a series of animated New Eden shorts.

Brett: They’re short one minute little gags films. Think South Park meets Looney Tunes.

Freek: And we’ve got a fun little Facebook game on the way as well.

Brett: Over the next couple of months we’ll be working our butts off to win over as many people as possible, so watch this space.


You can find the New Eden Pilot on Vimeo and YouTube.

Read some of the great press New Eden has received and subscribe to the blog to keep up to date with New Eden news.


Brett Snelgrove & Freek van Haagen

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