Promotional artwork from the series “Gabriel and the Guardians,” which was created by Delaware resident Jason Moody.

Courtesy photo | Jason Moody

Next week, Ohio Wesleyan University will host a writer’s room for “Gabriel and the Guardians,” an animated show created by a local man.

Series creator and Colossul Studios Founder Jason Moody, a Delaware resident, said Thursday the animated series began formulating in his head during the pandemic when he no longer had a regular creative outlet.

“I had a lot of pent up creative energy,” Moody said. “I was really being fascinated by The Old Testament. … I began to just imagine what it would be like to tell these stories through a sensibility that is something that I like, like anime. I began to think about these stories that are so neat, and I began to see (them) in a way I had never seen them before.”

Moody said he began drawing artwork for what would become “Gabriel and the Guardians” and started networking to find someone to pitch the show to.

“I got on LinkedIn and started looking for anyone making anything in the ball park of what I was making,” Moody said. “The internet has created this level playing field where you can reach out to people like that. I messaged a guy who was a producer on a show. He looked at it and messaged me back.”

Moody said he and a producer began moving forward on selling the show to Netflix, but Moody pulled back when he learned he would likely lose any creative control.

“I was feeling less and less confident in that route,” Moody said. “(My wife and I) prayed and decided that wasn’t the right way to go about it as something I felt I needed to steward and protect. I wanted to try and build my own thing. I didn’t want to just sell this.”

Moody eventually connected with David Cunningham, a TV producer and screenwriter, and Albert Moore, a producer and 2D animation specialist. Together, they formed Colossul Studios and helped Moody create an animatic pilot to pitch the show to Angel Studios, a streaming service that accepts a large number of pitches for shows.

“Out of 5,000 submissions, we were one of nine new shows that will be coming out over the next two years,” Moody said. “That felt really cool and felt really good. Since May, it’s been crazy.”

Moody said he flew to the Philippines in May to meet with their animation partners, and he’s bringing writers to OWU over the weekend to spend next week writing at least seven of the show’s 13 episodes.

“It’s really exciting,” Moody said before joking that it “felt like what I imagine giving birth is like. I love the writing process. I’m looking forward to having some pro writers come and see how much further we can take this (project.)”

Moody said it was important to him to stay local and prove that places like Delaware can be creative, too.

“I pushed for this in Delaware … because I just have a passion to bring creative production work here,” he said. “COVID changed things. The coasts aren’t monopolizing creative content creation like they were before. It’s changed, and people are starting to do stuff in other places. Now I can bring it here, and that’s what I want to do. I just want to share this with my community.”

Moody said the writer’s room wouldn’t be possible without the help of OWU as well as donations from Fresh Start Café and Bakery, Opa Grill & Tavern, Scoreboard Pub & Grill, J. Gumbo’s and Amato’s Wood Fired Pizza.

Moody said the show will have a crowdfunding campaign in September and will hopefully begin production after that.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.