Strawinsky and the Mysterious House – With Filmmaker David Hutter

David Hutter is a multi-talented artist with a passion for filmmaking, a gift for animation, and a degree in business and marketing. Here he shares about his animated film Strawinsky and the Mysterious House. I absolutely love the beauty of his art. It such a great blend of timeless images and modern technology. 

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When did you first develop an interest in filmmaking? 
I first developed an interest in film making in my early teens. My parents bought a video camera and allowed my brother and me to use it.
What were your childhood home movies like?
Our childhood home movies started off with the typical cops and robbers storylines with lots of running around, chases and action but even in our earliest movies we included Christian themes.
So for example in our first movie both the heroes and villains were chasing for a secret treasure which when found turned out to be a large, old family Bible that was open on Matthew 6: 19-21: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on, where moth and burning destroyed, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and learning do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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How has having a business and marketing degree helped you as a filmmaker?
My Business and Marketing degree has helped me a great deal with the development and growth of Hope Animation. I was able to apply a lot of the things I’ve learned in marketing communications, customer relationship management database development, strategic planning, networking, goal setting and finance. That’s however only a very small part of setting up a animation company and my main challenge has always been to develop my creative skills and find time to work on productions in my spare time next to holding a full-time day job.

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Tell us a little about Strawinsky and the Mysterious House.
Strawinsky and the Mysterious House is a fantasy story that’s inspired by allegories such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Pilgrim’s Progress and the parables told by Jesus Christ. It follows four talking animals as they discover an old dilapidated mansion in the middle of a secret forest and then get trapped in the enchanted library in its basement. I really like a lot of the old animated Disney movies such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, mainly because of their great songs. So I also wanted to include lots of music and songs in my animations.

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What was the greatest challenge with creating an animated movie?
The greatest challenge of creating an animation was to learn the software and the fact that you have to create everything from scratch. There’s nothing you can take for granted. Every bit of furniture, clothing, background and environment had to be handcrafted. You can’t just pick up a camera and start filming. But it’s an amazing feeling seeing the world come together and you literally can create anything that you can imagine without limits of reality or budget that you would face in a live-action drama.

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What are your goals for the movie?
The goals and message itself is about how we as Christians use media, television and music and what we fill our minds with. It’s based on Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good pleasing and perfect will.”
I’ve written an article about the message on my website. It’s called “Running the race on spiritual fast food” and talks about how we as Christians fill our minds constantly with worldly thoughts and thinking and starve ourselves of the truth of God’s Word. The apostle Paul calls us in a letter to the Philippians to run the race (i.e. our lives) with perseverance. This turns out to be very difficult if we don’t feed our spiritual body with healthy thoughts and teaching. Here is a link to the full article: http://strawinsky.net/background/running-the-race-on-spiritual-fast-food/.

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Will it be available for purchase in the US?
The animation is currently available in the US via the Amazon Instant Video platform and we are still looking for a general distributor (which can be really difficult to find as a small, independent, fairly young filmmaker). Otherwise I’m very happy to post DVDs internationally from my websites http://www.strawinsky.net and http://www.hopeanimation.com. The DVDs are region-free and should therefore work on any player.

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