Saving the Soul: First Georgian Motion Comic


Recently, an intriguing fantasy animation titled Saving the Soul went viral on social media and it turned out the creators were enthusiastic Georgian friends with vastly different backgrounds. The people behind the short animation say it is the first Georgian-produced motion comic, seeing a book written first, and then the pages brought to life through the animated characters.

The first episode was released in English, since the fantasy animation is aimed at the international market. Yet, as the creators say, all the series will be voiced in Georgian for the local audience as well. Each episode lasts around 20 minutes and unveils the lives of three different characters living in different periods. The animation instantly captured our attention since it is the first of its kind.

In order to get a deeper insight into contemporary Georgian cartoon, GEORGIA TODAY contacted George Badashvili, founder of Archivarius Studios, director and scriptwriter, and the main person behind the ambitious animation project.

What is the animation about?

Saving the Soul is an animated urban fantasy series that tells the stories of three characters, all of them narrated in first person. The characters have very different mindsets and each of their stories is set in a different timeframe. They share the same world, though: a fictional universe that has, since its inception, been a battlefield for conflict between Heaven and Hell. This universe is full of dark and light magic, mysticism, monsters, and those who hunt them.

How did it all come about?

The idea of making an animated series came to mind only after the setting itself was shaped and established. It was a monumental task that took us a lot of time and effort. We had to create continents, countries, their histories – everything – from total scratch. I was always amazed by the imagination of great fiction writers and the worlds created by them. Titans like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis set a standard that served as a manual to our world-building. The world itself was inspired by works such as Hellblazer, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

What is the main idea of the cartoon and who is your target audience?

The purpose of Saving the Soul is simple: to convey the hopelessness of situations that people can end up in when the world they live in is inhabited by beings far more powerful and ancient than them. Unfortunately, a single episode does not even come close to fulfilling this purpose; it is merely a foundation for what we want to tell. The universe of Saving the Soul is grim and full of violence. It is aimed at those 16 or older.

What is the main aim of the project?

The creation of a franchise recognizable worldwide. We also want to contribute to the development of Georgian animation as well as make the fantasy genre more popular here.

Tell us about Archivarius Studios

Archivarius Studios was created in 2017 by a group of friends with various backgrounds. Some of us like visual art, others are into music, some are skilled in video editing, others in storytelling. At the moment, there are five of us, but we plan to expand.

Could you explain the process and technique of creating animations?

The style we use is called Digital Motion Comic. What we do is create the illusion of 3D motion with 2D graphics. We achieve this by drawing multiple layers, which serve as different planes of movement, and use them to construct scenes with the help of various graphic software. In future episodes, we plan to add some classic 2D animation as well.

Did you do it all by yourselves?

The pilot episode and everything it includes, art, voice acting, audio effects and music, were created using our own resources. At the moment, we are looking for partners and sponsors who would be interested in working with us. We’re also planning to present our animation at the international platform Indiegogo for funding.

Lika Chigladze

18 January 2018 16:55