Small business spotlight: Walrus & Carpenter Productions

10/17/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 5:57 PM

Laura Scholl is betting there’s a market for new versions of “Alice in Wonderland.” In fact, she moved to Wichita to prove it.

Scholl is art director for Walrus & Carpenter Productions, which last month opened a production studio in the Garvey Building in downtown Wichita.

The company’s first release, called “Alicewinks,” was an iBook that incorporated illustrations from printed versions of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. The old drawings, done in the early 20th century, were set in motion thanks to digital technology, and were accompanied by the book’s original text, plus the voices of a narrator and 19 characters, music and sound effects.

A dozen different versions of Alice, the Mad Hatter and other characters appear. “We switch back an forth to allow people to explore the different artistic interpretations of it,” Scholl said.

Next up: an e-book called “Rabbitwinks,” told from the perspective of the White Rabbit.

Scholl said the Walrus and Carpenter was started by David Neal, a engineer with whom she previously worked. The company is based in Buena Vista, Colo. Scholl said she was already planning to relocate to Wichita to be closer to family when Neal offered her a job.

Brittney Owens, the lead animator, moved from Iowa, where she had worked on “Alicewinks.”

“We can do this work anywhere,” Scholl said.

She added that she’s been impressed by the digital media production talent and facilities here and hopes to work with some of them.

Scholl said the production company’s focus “might seem a little narrow,” but that it eventually hopes to expand into video game applications and other areas. She thinks the videos could be a teaching tool in schools, where “Alice in Wonderland” is sometimes part of the curriculum.

To market “Alicewinks,” she’s headed to an annual convention of Lewis Carroll enthusiasts in California next month. Also, through Friday, “Alicewinks” can be downloaded for free from alicewinks.com, in an effort to generate positive reviews.

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