Mother to Earth is a documentary about the secret history behind one of Nintendo’s biggest cult classics - Mother - better known in North America as Earthbound Beginnings. This game is the first installment in a fan favorite series that brought us many memorable characters, such as Ness and Lucas, which many Nintendo fans may recognize from the Super Smash Bros. series.
This film will show the story behind the inception of the Mother/Earthbound series and the history of Mother’s failed initial release in North America. The film will also shed a light on the underground subculture of video game collectors. Some of whom leaked a translated version of the game onto the streets decades before its official release. It’s a hidden world of backroom deals, grey markets, and borderline-illegal sales of video games. In this world things are nearly-impossible to track, thanks to cash deals behind closed doors, throw-away usernames, and purposeful obscurification.
This is the first time a film will unveil this utterly fascinating side of video games, a medium known to most as simple entertainment. Yet, it has evolved into a hobby with a discreet and lucrative secondary market, tangled in hoarded information and secrecy. This part of the culture, however, is only the tip of the iceberg as we follow Earthbound Beginnings’s incredible journey, from its initial creation to its eventual release. It’s a story with so many twists and turns that it kept even us on the edge of our seats.
Mother to Earth is more than just an interesting story of a game that went missing in action for a few decades. It’s a film that shows that video games aren’t just for fun anymore. We present to you an unbelievable account that appeals to both gamers and non-gamers alike – And the best part is, it’s all true!
This project came about as Josh and Evan’s detective work into the origins of Earthbound Beginnings. This film started out as a personal research project, but as they reached out to people to put the pieces together they stumbled upon an amazing story. That story continued to grow in proportions until they realized they had something people needed to know about. So, they just got up one day, off their butts, and decided to do something about it.
J. Bone-Christian - Director, Producer
Initially doing the research for the investigation, Josh has contributed a massive amount to knowledge in both the background of the prototypes and the parties involved. Well versed in Earthbound and an animator by trade, he’ll also guide the project’s artistic aesthetics. He is still waiting for his birthday present from Evan.
Christian Dietering - Producer, Videographer
As the most experienced filmmaker on the project, Christian has the job of keeping the project realistic and doable. He’ll also be taking care of the production aspects of the documentary and providing the equipment. He is also from Texas, enough said.
Evan Butler - Director, Producer
Evan could probably be best described as a motivational organizer. His role is to oversee and plan more of the below-the-line elements while still participating in the creative aspects alongside Josh. Evan is also prone to fits of lethargy and might be a secret detective.
Quincy Pringle - EIEIO (Email, Internet & Electronic Information Officer)
Quincy had been sealed in a cave for thousands of years before being released by this project. He will assist in managing feeds such as email, social media, Kickstarter updates, and also act as a general set of extra hands on the project as a production assistant. While not acting as Evan’s partner in crime, he enjoys writing music and working on hobby game projects. He’s most well known as the creator of Papyrus’ Big Christmas Adventure. You can find his website here.
Joshua Idlewild - Production Assistant, "Captain PR"
Under the guise of "Joshua Idlewild", these dozens of frogs stacked on top of each other inside a trenchcoat have brought a lot to this project. Offering great art assets, marketing, social media coordination, and fantastic energy, these Tennessee-native amphibians make an excellent team member. Joshua has a long love affair with the EarthBound series and has never stopped channeling the series' mojo for his various other creative projects.
Austin O'Rourke - Composer
Austin O'Rourke is a music student at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A long-time composer, he has recently been awarded the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award in 2015. A huge fan of the Earthbound series, Austin will be composing an original score inspired by the series for this film. He also loves tummy rubs. His website is here.
Cole Masaitis - Composer
Cole Masaitis is a Junior at the University of Mary Washington. He is a music major who aspires to compose score, and be a sound designer for media. Cole has experience in booking concerts, performing live music, and composing musical works. His piece, “Phantoms of Autumn”, available on his Soundcloud, was presented at the 2014 Electroacoustic Barn Dance at the University of Mary Washington. If you spell his name backwards, it’s “Sitiasam”. His website is here!
Alyssa Browning - Lead Artist
Alyssa Browning is a Maryland artist that works in all styles and media, but leans more towards abstract art. She is the in-house artist in this project, Mother To Earth. When she is not working art projects, she is working at a coffee shop, spending time with dogs, modeling at MICA or painting sets for a children’s theatre. She is a large advocate for deaf rights and is near deaf herself in both ears. She will be spearheading the closed captioning of the film. Alyssa is also fluent in dog.
Jorge Manuel Velez - Artist
Jorge Manuel Velez is a professional illustrator from Puerto Rico. His professional career includes work on Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball and the TV show, Archer. A longtime Earthbound fan, JMV has a deep passion for RPG’s, arcade games, and all things Nintendo. His favorite holiday is Arbor Day. You can find his work at his personal website here.
Audrey Tichanuk - Artist
Audrey Tichanuk lives somewhere in the vastness of space, unperturbed. They like to draw things and play videogames. Audrey has recently received a BFA in Sequential Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and is expanding towards more professional work in animation and illustration, and totally became an Earthbound fan in 1997, before it was hip. You can find their art blog here.
Marco Fedele - Artist
Marco Fedele is an artist from Naples (Italy) and works both digitally and traditionally. He’s an illustrator with a love for comics, that grew up with Franco-Belgian comics and Japanese manga. He’s been deep in the Mother fandom for almost a decade now- Starting from humble beginnings on Starmen.net, he is now the events manager staffer on the site. He’s assisting Mother to Earth with poster designs, and when he’s not doing that, he’s busy studying to earn his MBA in International Marketing & Management. He’s very judgmental when it comes to pizza. You can find his work here.
Phillip Stankus - Artist
Phillip Stankus, an animation graduate from the University of the Arts of Philadelphia. He currently lives in his hometown suburbs of Piscataway NJ, working at a local doggie daycare and doing freelance work. When he discovered Mother 3 in high school, he went nuts over it. The series still a happy place in his developing heart. You can see his illustration/animation work and read his new webcomic, Cotton, on his art blog here!
Zach Bruce - Design and Layout Artist
Zach Bruce is an amazing professional graphic designer working in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has come to assist in the project in graphic design oversight and consultation. He also hates Mondays.