Nathan Rigaud & Mark Sunderland

Season 2 | Episode 8
45m | Jan 30, 2024

In a first for the show, we talk with the director (Nathan Rigaud) and the executive producer (Mark Sunderland) about an animated short, a beautiful film called SPLASH!

Nate also serves as a creative executive at Whale Animation.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • how they got a love for filmmaking (Lord Of The Rings is probably up there with James Cameron for the podcast's guests);
  • how the story of SPLASH! and the production company, Whale Animation, came to be;
  • can a four minute story touch your heart? SPLASH! proves that it can, thanks to the amazing work of the director and his team;
  • how do you make an animated short? how is it different than live action? Nathan tells you;
  • the market for animated shorts and how it can help build a production company;
  • the disconnect between what creators are making daily and hourly (shorts, reels, TikToks, perhaps even short films) and what can be monetized;
  • why Georgia is a great market for filmmaking, and how it compares to Los Angeles and other well-known areas;
  • when you can expect to see SPLASH! -- shout out to Kids First Film Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico ( among soon to be certainly many others;
  • the leadership philosophy of their company (not a surprise it comes back to military training);
  • what's next for this exciting and unique production company.

The logline for SPLASH! is a young Harp Seal pup must find his courage to overcome his fear of the water he was born to play in. No problem here with courage for Nate and Mark…I hope you enjoy our first episode about an animated film. 

Mark's Indie Film Highlight: Jack & Ava directed by Michael Pollard (

Nate's Indie Film Highlight: Freeman Hospitality, directed by Michael Cooke (


Whale Animation Studios (

Whale Animation Studios' Instagram (

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