Provincetown Film Festival: The Oystercatcher Catcher

Written and directed by our animator Alex Boatman, The Oystercatcher Catcher is a sponsor reel inspired by the film noir theme of this year’s festival—and Pecker, the official Provincetown Film Festival (PIFF) mascot. The delightful animated story reveals that Pecker is no ordinary fedora-wearing private-eye.

“Gasket took this year’s sponsor reel to imaginative new heights,” says Andrew Peterson, PIFF Director of Production. “Not only does it embody the caliber of creativity and storytelling our festival celebrates, but also it’s a cleverly fun ode to this year’s film noir theme, which we chose to honor the late Evan Lawson, former President of the Provincetown Film Society Board of Directors, who was a huge fan of the genre.”

Aspiring to translate the instantly recognizable aesthetics of film noir though animation, she imagined a painterly 3D world with a restrained color palette. Feather-textured vignettes enhance the dark, grungy mood of the story’s bird-infested world.

The models for the characters and cars were designed with exaggerated features and rendered in a hybrid cartoon style to look graphic and align with the aesthetic Boatman envisioned. After executing the animations fairly quickly, Boatman spent a majority of the production working closely with Technical Director Justin Greiner and Look Artist Tiffany Borchardt on matte-painting backgrounds and texturing 3D elements for a consistent hand-crafted quality.

“Overcoming the technical restrictions of the animation techniques we explored was one of the most rewarding aspects of this project,” adds Borchardt. “We don’t normally get the opportunity to create matte-painted backgrounds due to time constraints, so we had a lot of fun working by hand. The end result is beautiful and totally worth the investment.”


Production Stills