"It's The Little Things" | Part 1: Winter

Deep Sky releases Part 1 of the animated shorts anthology

The cozy and seasonally inspired short is the debut of the Portland-based studio’s anthology series and has reached over 500K views on social media, receiving global recognition and acclaim.

Written by Max Richards
January 13, 2023

Portland, OR, USA – Deep Sky, a renowned animation and live-action studio, has made a significant impact on the global stage with the release of the first installment of their animated anthology, "It’s The Little Things." Originally unveiled as the studio’s 2022 holiday short, this 2D animation has quickly captivated a wide audience, amassing over 500,000 views and 60,000 likes across Instagram and TikTok. The short film charmingly portrays a homesteading frog enjoying a tranquil winter evening in his log cabin, enveloping viewers in a serene, snowy landscape.

The short’s visual narrative is heavily influenced by the “cottagecore” aesthetic, interwoven with a sense of nostalgia that reflects the production team’s warmest winter memories. This blend of contemporary and nostalgic elements creates a unique, inviting atmosphere that resonates with audiences worldwide. Key inspirations for the short's mood and tone include the whimsical narrative of "Over the Garden Wall," the classic charm of "The Wind in the Willows," and the evocative food scenes from Studio Ghibli’s films, each contributing to the enchanting ambience of the animation.

Gaby West, the Creative Lead and Art Director at Deep Sky, explains the philosophy behind the project: “Through animation, we explore how daily rituals can hold the same sense of delight as a grand adventure, if only we take the time to notice them. Every detail on screen hints at an important piece of a larger world, just as every moment in a day is what makes up the whole of life.” This approach is evident in the meticulous attention to detail throughout the short.

The visual warmth and intimacy of the interior scenes were crafted by background artist Finn Sylwester, who skillfully created an inviting, slice-of-life setting. To bring this vision to life, animation lead Jack Ellis and animator Adam DiTerlizzi innovatively merged traditional and modern animation techniques. The team developed custom brushes specifically designed to complement the delicate and vintage-inspired illustration style, pushing Adobe Animate beyond its conventional vector-based capabilities.

Deep Sky’s animation production was an elaborate collaborative effort, involving not only the 2D animators and illustrators but also other internal teams. The 3D team contributed to creating complex visual effects that seamlessly integrated with the hand-drawn animation style. Additionally, the sound design was thoughtfully crafted to enhance the viewer's experience, incorporating ASMR elements to deepen the sensory impact of the film.

"It’s The Little Things" is set to continue with seasonal installments, each celebrating the simple beauty and romance of everyday life. Fans and new viewers alike can look forward to the next video, which is scheduled to premiere in Spring 2023, promising to continue this enchanting exploration of life's small wonders.

Part 1: Winter was featured on AWN, Motionographer, Animation Magazine, and Stash TV.

Executive Producer: Jared Hobbs
Producer: Maddie Loftesnes
Creative Lead: Gaby West
Concept Design: Barret Thomson, Gaby West, and Finn Sylwester
Illustration Lead: Finn Sylwester
Illustration: Barret Thomson, Hayley Purvis, and Matthew Seely
Animation Lead: Jack Ellis
Animation: Adam DiTerlizzi
3D Viz: Israel Arias
Sound Design: Blake Boxer
Marketing Director: Max Richards

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