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Tea Dragons


Tea Dragons is a short story about the relationship between two elderly men who run competing tea shops across the street from each other. Over the years their rivalry has left a negative impact on their surroundings and they both struggle to stay afloat. Despite this effect, the two are too consumed with one another to notice, and only until one magical storm when dragons appear from their very own teapots do they realize the external damage their toxic rivalry has caused and that they must work to repair it together.


Tea Dragons is an animated short film full of tea references, cranky old men, and dragons all wrapped up in a heartfelt drama with a touch of action on the side. The original pitch for Tea Dragons was about two competing tea shop owners arguing over a potential customer, too distracted to notice her running for her life from the dragons manifested from their teapots. The central focus revolved around how pride is harmful and can have external consequences, even if that was not the intention. The three main characters we developed were Earl Grey, Oolong, and the tourist, Jasmine. 

Below are my sequences of the original pitch storyboards and the full animatic I timed out and added sound effects to.

Credit to Ross Wiseman, who completed the first half of the storyboards within the animatic.

Halfway through production, we had to make the decision to cut down the story in hopes of meeting our deadline. The solution came in the form of removing Jasmine from the story, cutting a montage showing the different methods of brewing tea, and completely altering the ending of our film. It was a massive change to adapt to, but when we focused on the core of our story, it was about the relationship between Earl and Oolong. As it stands, our film still holds the essence we did our best to capture.

Below is the rough final animatic reflecting the changes to the story.

Credit to Ross Wiseman, who completed the first half up to Seq 04 Shot 070 of the storyboards. 

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