Bloomington animation studio DeCarlo Animation is slated to complete production of “The Encounter,” a sci-fi feature film in 2023. The film is slated to hit theaters around the world in late 2023 or early 2024, with the possibility that the movie is sold to a streaming service.
After leaving his post at IU’s Overseas Studies Office, Thomas DeCarlo launched DeCarlo Animation in 2018 with his short film “La Rencontre”. The short won six awards at film festivals across the United States and inspired DeCarlo to turn it into a feature film of the same name.
The feature film “The Encounter” centers on a new agent for a secret government agency, who must prevent an intergalactic war from breaking out after meeting an alien.
“The short film takes place entirely in the cornfield at night, there is only one character speaking and only two characters present on camera,” DeCarlo said. “For the feature film, I took that premise and continued to develop it, and how to bring in other characters and the world of this secret agency.”
The feature film “The Encounter” has a cast of Hollywood actors. Actor Geoffrey Arend will star, alongside Laura Gómez, Bebe Neuwirth, Edi Gathegi, Maulik Pancholy, Andrew Kennedy, Ashley Fink and Nick Wolfhard, according to DeCarlo Animation website.
As a growing fan of the genre, DeCarlo has said he was inspired by science fiction and the issues writers can discuss under the guise of aliens. “The Encounter” manages to use its genre to discuss “otherness” and alienation without explicitly stating racism, making it a family film, DeCarlo said.
“In the case of this movie, one of the central themes is otherness and all of the different main characters have been altered in some way or another,” DeCarlo said. “But it’s formulated in this discussion of aliens and aliens.”
Along with the theme of otherness, DeCarlo said he wanted the feature film to illustrate the resistance of millennial workers with their older generation bosses.
“It also became a central theme of the film, this idea that you have a character who trusts him, who knows he’s right, who is stuck in a world that doesn’t listen to him and that he has to fight to make sure what’s right happens, ”DeCarlo said.
DeCarlo originally started out in live action cinema, but turned to animation because of the possibilities available on a lower budget. “The Encounter,” which will have a Pixar animation style, has a budget of less than $ 1 million, according to the press release.
“Making good science fiction on a low budget is extremely difficult in live action,” DeCarlo said. “While if you do animation this sci-fi fantasy realm really capitalizes on what you can do there, it’s very easy to have an alien character going around.”
DeCarlo is the film’s lead writer, director, producer and host. Its co-producers are Brad Wisler, former IU Luddy, and Anna Strout, also casting director.
The character creator of “The Encounter” is Emma Land, a graduate of Ball State University, and the original score is created by Larry Groupé, professor of film music at IU Jacobs School. DeCarlo is also working with IU Media School to create spring internships for animation students.
“IU is an incredible source of talent in the region and I am delighted to be able to collaborate with its students, faculty and alumni,” said DeCarlo. “I hope I can offer unique professional opportunities in return. “