Updraftia Studios first appeared when Troy Carpenter posted on tumblr that he was working on an animation project in fall 2018. Updraftia Studios was orginally called, "Ninjago Fanimation" reflecting the first project, then it was renamed "Lego Fanimation". It widened it scope even further by changing its name to the indescriptive, "Updraftia Studios." This is when it was given it's qaulity branding logo with the hot air balloon and orange and white color scheme.
The first project was put into motion in October 2018 by Troy Carpenter.
Troy: I realized the importance of building a team and decided a fan project would aid in this. I decided on a project based on the hit TV show, "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu" because the characters were critical for a story to be told at that point in time. I was very familiar, and still am, with the universe.
The project was called, "Ninjago: The Master Without a Dragon." It was set to be a feature length special. Auditions for the voice cast were held in January 2019. Auditions proved unfruitful and on January 31st, 2019 the project was announced canceled.
Troy: I still think Ninjago has much potential for stories animated by fans. For the next project I decided to rely more heavily on friends, family, and networking, as opposed to mass audition.
The story of the project was set to take place between, season 4 "The Tournament of Elements" and season 5 "Possession." The main plot would have followed Lloyd and his reaction to the death of his father in the season 4 finale. It would have also included an alternative explanation to the Ninja's meeting of the crook Ronin, whom they met in "the Shadow of Ronin" video game. The few scenes of the script were released on social media in November 2018 with the intention of creating followers. Troy wrote the script.
Troy: The script veered off topic too much from the vision behind Ninjago. Lloyd being a former sociopath, I think upset many Ninjago fans and I'll admit, it wasn't necessary. However, I think much of the script was on point and I hope to release all of it publicly one day.
The animation style was in much question. Some Ninjago fans wanted the project to have Lego minifigure characters like the TV series, others wanted it to have more realistic human looking characters.
Troy: On one hand I wanted the characters to be human to give the project, intended for teens, a more mature feel than the Legos. On the other hand, I wanted the characters to feel familiar and look like they do in canon Ninjago. I was as undecided as the project's followers. Maybe if I had picked a style with certainty the project would have done better, but I tend to avoid being too certain, for better or for worse.
Troy (for the reveal of "The Champion of Rome"):"The Champion of Rome" as the name suggests takes place in Roman times. It is about a championship to find the best Roman. In actual Rome, while Romans worshiped every god of Roman polytheism, different cults worshiped some gods more than others. Each cult has a different elemental power. For example the cult Grandpa belongs to, the Cult of Bacchus, has the power of creation. Romans can join only one cult; however, there is one exception to this rule. The Champion of Rome, or the winner of the Tournament, is allowed to join every cult and gain every elemental power. However, not everyone who joins multiple cults have earned this trophy. This is where the villain comes from, a person who wants to take something he has not earned. It will be a mini-series.
The project was announced canceled in June 2019. Troy explains why below.
Troy: If you were looking forward to the Champion of Rome, you were one of the few. I think many people who knew about it liked how mature it looked to be, but weren't drawn into it with much captivation. Quoting the ever wise James Taylor, it was like "a note in a bottle with nothing to say." The Champion of Rome had grandeur and maturity to it, but lacked certain heart. I think as production continued, everyday, I started getting ideas on how to tell a different story. My new ideas relied on innovative animation storytelling techniques. The Champion of Rome did not allow for these to be implemented without major changes and at that point I had already come up with a new idea for a story. I could list many reasons the Champion of Rome would not have worked, but I think you deserve the truth. The reality is, as an artist, I am constantly getting new ideas and wanting to change things. I had some new ideas that the Champion of Rome would not have worked for. I think you will enjoy its replacement project even more than you would have enjoyed it. Will the Champion of Rome ever come back? Perhaps. I don't think it will work as a series. When I first realized this I tried to condense it to a feature film trilogy. After cutting away many filler characters and adventures I have a working outline for a single feature length film. Making this on my own would be really difficult. A series has the advantage of the crew growing as the show continues and me only needed to get through the first episode completely on my own. I do hope to make the film some day, but I will need committed helpers. This will probably not happen for a long time, if ever. I will make the Champion of Rome as a film one day if the time is right.
Updraftia Studios is currently in an exploring stage and deciding on what project to attempt next.