The third episode of the offbeat animated Mighty Aphrodite! The Web Series has just dropped. In the new episode, Nola Price joins the series cast as Kauket, the Egyptian Goddess of Twilight.
About Mighty Aphrodite!
This is the first time the Goddess Aphrodite has ever appeared as a lead character in serialized storytelling since the original myths were written thousands of years ago.
The series tells the story of the Goddess of Love herself, stranded at a little backwater temple where an archeologist named Ben discovers her slumbering spirit and rescues her. Naturally, they fall in love right away — and that’s where things get complicated. Aphrodite thinks being a goddess means she’s got everything under control.
She so doesn’t.
The episodes are made using Plotagon machinima software, but with supplemental animation to fill in the things Plotagon can’t handle on its own, like characters sitting down, standing up, holding objects, walking or running, shots with more than two people in a scene, or anything involving special effects.
That sounds like a lot of exceptions, but using Plotagon covers about 90% of the animation chores, drastically reducing the costs of producing each cartoon. It is the first time Plotagon has been used in this way, and may be the first time anybody has used this approach with machinima.
There are parallels here between Mighty Aphrodite! and the Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 1950’s and 60’s. In those days, Hanna-Barbera had to come up with a way to make animation on a schedule without going over budget. Their workaround was to separate the heads and bodies of their characters with collars and ties, even though they didn’t wear suits (or shirts and pants, for that matter). This allowed them to animated just the heads, while avoiding having to redraw the bodies with every frame. Mighty Aphrodite! takes advantage of machinima to do much of the heavy lifting, supplementing it with hand-animated sequences only where absolutely necessary. In this way, Mighty Aphrodite! can be produced by a tiny production crew at 5% of the usual cost, and in weeks per episode, not months.
The series had a successful Kickstarter last June that reached 100% funding in just one day, and a stretch goal was reached that allowed the production of a fourth episode. Each block of three episodes will be the subject of a new Kickstarter.
If you’re reading this on your desktop, pause the SCIFI.radio stream using the handy controller above before watching. Each episode is roughly five minutes long.
Episode 1: Aphrodite Ascendent
This is the episode that starts it all. Ben, a professor of archeology, discovers the dormant goddess Aphrodite at a disused temple of Hera.
This episode introduces Mary R. Bergman-Kridler as Aphrodite, and Shawn Crosby as Ben.
Episode 2: Zeus Pater
In this episode of Mighty Aphrodite! The Web Series, Aphrodite has to explain her mortal boyfriend to her immortal father. Things don’t go great. This episode introduces David Perry as Zeus, and was written by SCIFI.radio Executive Producer Susan Fox.
Episode 3: Twilight
In this episode, Aphrodite takes Ben to see her friend Kauket, who is in serious need of a rescue. Nola Price debuts as Kauket, the Egyptian Goddess of Twilight.
Sometimes scenes don’t go exactly as planned. Here’s Aphrodite having a little fun at Ben’s expense.
The series is the brainchild of Gene Turnbow, who is also the founder and station manager of SCIFI.radio. The production is largely a one-man operation, with assistance from Susan Fox as writer and second unit director, and about half a dozen voice actors.
Turnbow draws from decades of experience in art, filmmaking, writing, animation and technology to create the series.
Episode 4 will be entitled Go Between, and will introduce yet another new supernatural character, played by Gabriel Gentile. After that, it’s off to Kickstarter again to get the next four episodes funded!
If you like Mighty Aphrodite!, go check out the web site at http://mightyaphroditewebseries.com, and subscribe to the SCIFI.radio YouTube channel.
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