Sea-Tectives, a Strasburg Film Festival Featured film, is a ten and a half minute animated short film about a duo of deep sea detectives in an underwater city. Fish are vanishing throughout the city and it is up to Charlemagne Clawes (a lobster) and Orville Sinclair (a clam) to save the day. This case, however, is more than what it seems and the duo will also be faced with the effect their growing celebrity has upon their friendship.

The film is largely inspired by the detective fiction genre pioneered by popular book series such as Sherlock Holmes, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew Mysteries.

Director Biography

Christopher Dobbs Jr. is an animator, director, and storyteller who resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has had a lifelong interest in storytelling and drawing and uses animation as the medium through which he shares his stories. He enjoys putting his fingerprints on every stage of the storytelling process from the storyboards to the animation, to background paintings. He received his BFA in Electronic Art and Animation from Ball State University and recently received his MFA in Animation at Ball State University. As a midwest animator, his dream is to help build a community of artists, animators, and storytellers and make his hometown of Indianapolis a destination for film and narrative-driven animation.

Director Statement

The film utilizes elements of this genre (detective fiction) and transplants them into an underwater world where our heroes, a lobster, and a clam, struggle with their differing viewpoints on the value of their detective work versus their celebrity status within the city. The film is a comedy that parodies the serialization of detective fiction and is set within the context of an underwater world composed of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

This film served as my MFA thesis project and had been in production over the course of the past year and a half, concluding in April of 2017. I was responsible for writing the story, storyboarding, animation, background painting, and visual effects. As a creator I enjoy learning new methods of storytelling and strive to have my fingerprints on every stage of the creative process, even providing the voice work for all of the characters. As an animator, I look for every opportunity to progress my craft.

While I am proud to say that everything that the audiences see visually was developed from my own hands, the visuals only account for 50% of the total film. The sound is the most crucial element to the storytelling process and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Joshua Kattner who composed the musical score as well as supervise the sound design, orchestral recording, and the final sound mixing. Kattner’s score combined with the visuals helps breathe life into this underwater world.

I am very excited to finally be able to share this story with the world! And, with that, I hope everyone enjoys “Sea-Tectives!”