One of Media Design School’s most recent short films, The Dragon’s Scale, is now publicly available to watch for the first time.

The Dragon’s Scale tells the tale of a warrior and his son who are on a quest to fix the son’s stammer when the forest conspires the stop the father. The boy decides to go on alone to face the unknown creatures that await.

The project was produced by award-winning director James Cunningham and the visual effects and animation post-production took a group 26 third year Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and VFX) students four months of intensive work to complete.

“In making The Dragon’s Scale, I was keen to try and put some of New Zealand’s beautiful landscape on the screen. The highlight of producing The Dragon’s Scale was getting permission from the local Iwi to film on Tarawera. The landscape is so dramatic and still bears the scars of the tragic eruption from 130 years ago,” says director James Cunningham, who is also a senior lecturer at Media Design School.

The film has already achieved some international success, picking up the Best Fantastic Short Film, Best Cinematography and the overall prize for Best Short Film at the Torremolinos Fantastic Film Festival 2016, and has screened at festivals all around the world, including Japan and Columbia and Spain, but Cunningham says that the most rewarding aspect of The Dragon’s Scale is the positive reception it has received here in New Zealand.

“The film had its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival last year, where it was played before the feature-length film Captain Fantastic. That pairing was the most-seen screening of the entire festival across the country,”

“It was amazing to see The Dragon’s Scale play at The Civic in front of a packed house," says Cunningham.