• in production - auntie clause
  • jon peters and sophie
  • sophie elevator special effects
  • katy kozachik
  • in production - sophie hiding
  • pete kozachik
  • tom proost
  • in production - auntie clause
  • recording audio


Emeryville, CA, August 2013 - Athena Studios, an Emeryville, CA-based company feature film rights to the award-winning children's Christmas book Auntie Claus by author Elise Primavera. The announcement was made today by Jon V. Peters, CEO/ Founder, Athena Studios.

Peters and Athena Studios are actively involved in preproduction on a 90-minute, stop-motion animated motion picture based on Auntie Claus. Several heavyweight animation industry figures have already committed to the production, including:

Pete Kozachik, Director of Photography: Kozachik has served as DP on Coraline, The Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was involved with the Visual Effects on Star Wars Episode II, Ghostbusters 2, Starship Troopers, Star Trek IV, and Robocop 2 and 3.

Tom Proost, Art Director: Proost has served as Art Director on Coraline, and worked in Visual Effects for Galaxy Quest, Star Wars: Episode II, The Mummy, AI: Artificial Intelligence, and The Matrix 2 and 3.

Brice Parker, Producer: Parker is a Pixar Animation Studios and ILM alum and was involved with Visual Effects management on the Jurassic Park and The Matrix film

Tim Taylor, Camera and Lighting: Taylor ran camera for Coraline and Frankenweenie, and worked in Visual Effects for Con Air and Back to the Future 2.

Regarding today's announcement, Peters said, "Auntie Claus has been a favorite of my family for years. It has a very appealing story and a strong message. We reached out to Elise Primavera, and were fortunate enough to negotiate a solid deal with her for the film rights. We couldn't be more excited to have been bestowed with the honor of turning her wondrous book into a perennial Christmas-holiday classic."

Adds Parker, "We chose stop motion as the format for this new, upcoming film because it has a fantastic look and feel that we knew would be perfect for telling this story. It can also be extremely cost-effective to produce stop-motion when it's managed properly, and the box office returns of a four-quadrant Christmas film are indisputable. We think 'Auntie Claus' is ideally suited to perform to those expectations."

Athena Studios has already begun a treatment for the book as well as development on character design and animation tests. Studio executives are currently interviewing potential directors for the film, as well as developing a package for funding and Author Elise Primavera said, "'Auntie Claus' was first conceived in the mid '90's, while I was living in New York City. From the moment I first had the idea for the book, I thought it would make a wonderful holiday movie. So when Jon Peters from Athena Studios contacted me at Christmastime last year, and said he loved the story and wanted to adapt it, I was thrilled. I always thought that the visuals of the North Pole, Auntie Claus' penthouse at the Bing Cherry Hotel, her two butler dogs, and the flying elevator scenes would be best represented within the context of an animated film. I was further delighted to learn from Jon that he wanted to make a stop-motion animation picture. I think this is the medium that 'Auntie Claus' was always meant for. I believe the story has tremendous potential to become a Christmastime movie that every family with young children will want to see for years to come!"

Athena Studios was launched as a full service production facility for companies seeking to produce their own videos or shoot a feature film. In addition to producing outside projects, Athena Studios, in 2013, also began to develop its own original content for motion pictures, television, web and multi-media presentations.

Athena Studios is conveniently located off Highway 80 in Emeryville, CA., in the heart of Northern California's "New Hollywood" -- near Pixar, Tippett Studios and Ex'pression College for Digital Arts.