The completed project is a fun read and stimulates the senses in many ways. The intriguing subject matter, visual content, and unique soundtrack make Oscar Bones a great experience for young and old. But what makes the story special is the message it leaves you with. And if you don't believe me, just ask Oscar Bones.
Mollie moved to Paris in 2013 and was fascinated with the historical sites, especially the Paris Catacombs. Her intrigue drove her to visit the tourist attraction many times and explore its endless corridors lined with bones. Later, her friends invited her to explore sections that were off limits to the public. There she found the walls covered in fantastic images created by local artists. The idea was born.
Mollie composed a poem about a character who died in the French Revolution and came to life after a hundred years of lying dormant in the catacombs. His name was Oscar Bones, and eternal loneliness was his concern. This changed when he discovered something special he loved to do. From the poem, she wrote a story and made sketches of her ideas. Dan then worked with Mollie on a rough draft of the book using her drawings to flesh out the story.
Dan started the illustration process by using the rough layout as a guide. During this stage, the story continued to be refined with the images serving as inspiration. TJ and good friend George A. Méndez helped wordsmith the text until the words were just right. Even Dan's wife Betsy weighed in on the wording. Mollie felt good about the final product and how it maintained the heart and moral of her original concept.
Before the illustrations were complete, Dan and Betsy made a trip to Paris to visit Mollie and see the catacombs firsthand. Dan photographed the different sites within the catacombs and used these references as backdrops in the book. Dan explored other locations of historical significance, which he included in the digital book via hidden hotspots.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Dan asked his friend Kyn Marcum if he could create a 3D model of Oscar in order to include an Augmented Reality feature in the book. Kyn jumped in and built a model, posing him like the illustrations on each page of the story. He then figured out the technical hurdles to create the AR feature. After many iterations and over a year of trial and error, Ken met the challenge. The result brings another dimension to the reading experience.
Narration and Orchestration
Now it was in TJ's hands to add narration and orchestration. Using the completed story as his visual score, he embarked on creating the eerie soundtrack that would bring the story to life. He added a compelling voice-over and experimented with different musical themes and sounds to create an engaging soundtrack that enhanced the story’s message.