“One Small Step is our love letter to everyone who chased that impossible dream and the family that supported them through it,” – co-director Andrew Chesworth
I caught the trailer for “One Small Step,” the first project from TAIKO Studios and became smitten. This trailer gives us a quick glimpse of Luna, a Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. First and foremost, I’m hyped to see a film centered on a girl growing up, determined to follow her dreams. I’m ecstatic to see a girl of color as well. On the topic of women and careers in STEM fields, I know that girls are rarely encouraged to study math or science, and often internalize beliefs that boys are simply better in these fields.
With that in mind, girls are often daunted by the prospect of being the only girl pursuing a STEM career. Which means, for representation sake, I feel a film like this will do wonders for little girls watching. It can also help normalize seeing women pursue such careers. To further illustrate this point, I want more girls to take on the attitude and mindset of the first African-American woman in space: Dr. Mae Jemison.“Growing up, I always assumed I would go into space. But I knew full well that people expected me to behave a certain way. I bucked the system…”
“Luna’s story was something we could all relate to…All dreams begin with a single step.”-Co-director Bobby Pontillas
From their website, I learned TAIKO Studios was founded in 2017 by CEO Shaofu Zhang in both Los Angeles and Wuhan, China. As a Communications major with an emphasis in Media Studies, I know creative teams and crews aren’t confined to just one location or one time zone. The studio “endeavors to bridge eastern and western cultures together to create memorable stories with universal appeal”. If this trailer is any indication, they are well on their way to being storytellers we’ll soon have on our radars 24/7.
Further research found more POC employed by this studio and a staff whose employment history includes several big animation companies like Sony and Disney. I see you Joy Johnson, CG Supervisor! Joy is a VES Award winner for her work on Elsa in Frozen, she also oversaw character rigging of Zootopia’s lead character, Nick Wilde as noted by Amid Amidi from Cartoon Brew.
“One Small Step” has an intriguing premise with great visuals. The creative team behind this short has a clear love for animation and big projects on their resumes. I’m loving Luna, the protagonist of the film and the narrative of following your dreams. Luna reminds us to dream big while appreciating and remembering all those, like parents, who help us reach the stars. Looking forward to seeing the film once released and hearing how it does in the animated short film circuit.
“We’re proud to be a global company that offers a universal spirit of optimism and inclusion that speaks to all people,” -Founder Shaofu Zhang
Thanks for the warm reception to our #onesmallstep trailer, everyone! We are only a few weeks away from our Los Angeles premiere at @gallerynucleus. This color key by Bobby Pontillas from a storyboard by Andrew Chesworth will be one of the featured prints at the screening pic.twitter.com/Pw5V4znswK
— TAIKO Studios (@TAIKOStudios) April 19, 2018