Directed by Aaron Welch, Rina Fu
What starts as a normal day for Eric the Erythrocyte becomes an action-packed adventure as the Golden Staph Gang invades the body and battles with the white blood cell army. As the general leading the army, Mike the Macrophage finds himself caught between leading the battle and keeping Eric out of harm’s way. MicroToons entertains and explores the science of the microbiological world with original characters.
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Director Biography – Aaron Welch, Rina Fu
Aaron Welch founded the Perth studio Red Bird Creative in 2011 to purse his love of animation and storytelling. Reflecting on reaching the ten year milestone in 2021, for Aaron it has been an amazing and inspiring journey that has allowed him to collaborate with so many passionate creatives.
First starting his career start as a freelancer living in Perth after graduating from SAE Institute the previous year, Aaron took the bold leap with Red Bird as he saw inspiration for storytelling coming from connecting with other people. While corporate work has sustained the studio, the vision for Red Bird is to be a storytelling studio. Aaron has directed and produced a number of original projects such as music videos and animated shorts. These shorts did involve working with local writers as a means to further their original idea.
Red Bird has allowed Aaron the satisfaction of giving back and supporting young creatives who are neurodiverse. MicroToons is such a project where the creative team included young adults who live with autism.
The dream for Aaron is to produce an animated feature. He continues to gain the experience between corporate work, original projects and collaborations with writers, directors, artists and storytellers. Microtoons started with a conversation with Rina and at the time Aaron had no idea it would lead to his longest original story production to date. That was the result of a strong story idea only growing, aligned passions and the sum experience of the Red Bird journey. Which is ongoing.
I met Dr Rina Fu at a networking event and in striking up a conversation, we both quickly saw aligned passions in storytelling and supporting neurodiversity. From their own experience Rina’s family is a tireless supporter of those with special needs. Her own storytelling is about making science accessible to not just the young and mature, but to all. This is at the heart of the creative endeavour that became MicroToons.
Rina took the lead in submitting a grant application to National Science Week 2021 and her solid effort saw our project be one of the four WA successfully funded. A key part of our submission was how the creative team was neurodiverse.
Eric the red blood cell as first is having a normal day. That then changes when the golden staph gang crash a party and the immune system is called into action. To produce and direct this story I first had to understand the science. This influenced the character designs and storyboard. A hallmark became just how expressive they became without saying a word. It was a real joy to bring to the characters to life.
MicroToons will hold a special place with me because the project allowed me mentor the neurodiverse team and see them realise their talents. Dafa Khairunnisa, at the time a year 12 student who lives with autism, with her character designs is an inspiration for others that autism is no barrier to creativity.