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The Neverending Story: Falkor Retrieves Auryn (2017)

This is near the climax of the first act. Atreyu and Falkor have been separated in a storm while attempting to find the borders of Fantasia. This was a short little scene where Falkor searches for Atreyu and winds up recovering Auryn, the amulet that has been guiding their quest. I over-padded it, but it was good practice for moving Falkor around…

Original Text

"While searching tirelessly for his little friend and master, [Falkor] had flown high into the clouds. On every side lay the sea, which was gradually growing calmer after the great storm that had churned it from top to bottom. Suddenly, far in the distance, Falkor caught sight of something that puzzled and intrigued him. It was as though a beam of golden light were going on and off, on and off, at regular intervals. And that beam of light seemed to point directly at him, Falkor. "He flew toward it as fast as he could, and when he was directly over it he saw that the light signal came from deep down in the water, perhaps from the bottom of the sea. "Luckdragons, as we know, are creatures of air and fire. Not only is the liquid element alien to them; it is also their enemy. Water can extinguish them like a flame, or it can asphyxiate them, for they never stop breathing in air through their thousands of scales. They feed on air and heat and require no other nourishment, but without air and heat they can only live a short time. "Falkor didn't know what to do. He didn't even know what the strange blinking under the sea was, or whether it had anything to do with Atreyu. "But he didn't hesitate for long. He flew high into the sky, turned around, and head down, pressing his legs close to his body, which he held stiff and straight as a telegraph pole, he plummeted. The water spouted like a fountain as he hit the sea at top speed. The shock was so great that he almost lost consciousness, but he forced himself to open his ruby-red eyes. By then the blinking beam was close, only a few body lengths ahead of him. Air bubbles were forming around his body, as in a saucepan full of water just before it boils. He felt that he was cooling and weakening. With his last strength he dived still deeper -- and then the source of light was within reach. It was AURYN, the Gem. Luckily the chain of the amulet had got caught on a coral branch growing out of the wall of an undersea chasm. Otherwise the Gem would have fallen into the bottomless depths. "Falkor seized it and put the chain around his neck for fear of losing it -- for he felt that he was about to faint. When he came to, he didn't know where he was, for to his amazement he was flying through the air, and when he looked down, there was the sea gain. He was flying in a very definite direction and very fast, faster than would have seemed possible in his weakened condition. He tried to slow down, but soon found that his body would not obey him. An outside will far stronger than his own had taken possession of his body and was guiding it. That will came from AURYN, the amulet suspended from a chain around his neck." - The Neverending Story (pg 141-141 Michael Ende)

The Neverending Story: Atreyu, Artax & Snakes (2017)

Atreyu and his horse Artax are searching for a way to cure the Childlike Empress and stop the Nothing – here they ask some snakes for directions. It’s not an encounter from the book, as I’m expanding on their early traveling sequence. At this point, Atreyu hasn’t had the bison dream about going to the Swamps of Sadness, so he and Artax are searching rather aimlessly. I figured that snakes in this world might have a special connection to Auryn (the amulet with an ouroboros design), so here they’re getting worked up by its presence. It doesn’t make much sense to Atreyu, but they might be answering in their own way: “listen to Auryn”. I think the amulet was the source of the revelatory dream that leads them to the swamp.

Free Range: A Fox Gets His Groceries (2013)

My first serious attempt at storyboarding, this was a weird original idea I had, inspired by the local grocery coop. I was working on this during my first trip to CTN Expo and it was a huge learning experience!