Sir Knightly is in love with the Princess but his love is not reciprocated. When a fire-breathing dragon arrives, the Princess thinks he is way hotter than Sir Knightly, so she rides off with the dragon to his castle. Against the advice of the Singing Sword, Sir Knightly sets off to rescue the Princess with the help of his trusty steed, Doofus.
Ladies Knight was an official selection of NFFTY 2013 and won the Audience Award in the category of Happy Hour Shorts.
About the Director:
Joe Rothenberg is an independent animator, game developer, and cartoonist living in Burbank, California with 4 roommates, 2 dogs, and 4 cats. Upon graduating from USC in 2012, he started a game studio called Cup of Joe Games, opened an online store selling artwork under the name Joe Cartoon, and pitched a show called Joey to Nickelodeon. (He devotes his creative energy to his projects, so there’s very little left over for naming things.)
NFFTY speaks to Joe about his inspiration behind this amusing, light-hearted short.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of doing a musical narrative instead of just presenting the story as a animated narrative piece?
Originally, I was planning to make a combination Looney Tunes/Hitchcock-style comedy thriller. I found myself struggling with the story, and eventually realized it wasn’t fun enough. I decided to switch gears to something completely lighthearted and fun. A musical was just the thing. Plus, as a young filmmaker, I was pretty inexperienced writing stories, so I used the songs to help anchor the story and keep things moving forward.
Q: Could you walk us through your thought process of creating this film?
I felt like fairy tales always got romance wrong, so I wanted to portray young love more like the way I had experienced it. The story is loosely based on my dating misadventures in college and the feeling I sometimes got that I was a comedy relief character accidentally cast in a leading role. Genre-wise, I tried to embrace the musical while affectionately parodying it. The tap-dance scene, in particular, is an homage to unnecessary dance numbers that are practically ubituitous in classic musicals.
Q: Has participation in NFFTY helped to pave a way for your entry into this industry?
I’m proud to display the NFFTY laurels on my film’s homepage. The recognition my film has received has opened the door to pitch opportunities at Frederator and Nickelodeon. We’ll see what happens next. Thanks, NFFTY!
Wanting to write your own musical but have no idea where to begin? Joe’s blog post on “What to remember when writing your first musical” will be up soon. Check back for more updates.