Solarum is a short animated film submitted as an entry into BRAWL 2014 and is the official beginning of Project U. It tells the story of an ad pitch for the company Solarum Industries and the complications and planning behind it.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film opens with a happy suburban neighborhood, where a man takes out his trash. A narrator then proclaims the greatness of Solarum and begins to list off some of the products that they provide, including boats, flashlights, and solar panels. The narrator then boasts the company slogan, "Your future is in our hands!"
Transitioning to a board room, the man pitching the ad, Clyde Uswik, addresses the board of directors. While most of the board likes it, CEO Juliet Parker thinks that the ad is too contrived. Clyde tries to talk her arguments down, with support from COO Cromwell Powell, who mentions new computer chips that all Solarum devices will have. He insists that a close colleague recommended them to make the devices more efficient, but they are all cut off by Pete Slips, who lets them all know that the chips have arrived. He is excused, but then slips a chip into his hard hat.
Becoming the center of attention one again, Clyde praises Juliet for her help, then promises a close partnership. He chuckles as he leaves.
In a broom closet, Pete Slips, who is actually a secret agent working for the CIA, calls his superior to let him know that the chips are going to put them all in jeopardy. The film ends with the Project U logo.
Early in the summer of 2014, Bricksinmotion.com announced the contest Brawl 2014, which was going to be held that July. Mustache Maniacs Film Co., wanting to enter another contest and to start Project U, leaped at the chance to enter. The only question was what the film would be about. After searching through the depths of Mustache Maniacs Film Co.'s canon, Solarum (officially Solarum Industries) was found. In the official canon, Solarum is a renewable energy appliance and technology company that made the flashlight that the dead guard holds at the end of New Friends ~ An Environmental Fable.
The film was announced on July 20, 2014, right when the contest started and its theme, development, was unveiled. Early in the contest, the film was going to be more complicated. In the original script, Clyde Uswik and Juliet Parker go on a walking tour of the facility, but this scene was cut out due to time constraints. Originally a grand alleyway scene followed by a foreshadowing of Legends of the Universe, Pete Slips' phone call was moved to a broom closet, again due to time constraints.
After a week of hasty development (no relation to the contest's theme), the film was finally released on July 27, 2014, officially beginning Project U.
The film was very harshly received upon release, getting very low ratings in the contest. It did not perform well in terms of views, and even director Andrew Bermudez says that he has regrets about the film and about how it could have been better.
- Narrator (Andrew Bermudez)
- Clyde Uswik (Daniel Bermudez)
- Juliet Parker (Teresa Bermudez)
- Cromwell Powell (Andrew Bermudez)
- Pete Slips (Al Bermudez)
- Solarum Industries Corporate Headquarters
- Andrew Bermudez - Director; Producer; Writer; Voice Actor; Editor; Composer; Animator
- Daniel Bermudez - Voice Actor
- Teresa Bermudez - Script Editor; Voice Actor
- Al Bermudez - Voice Actor
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
Solarum contains examples of the following tropes.
- Benevolent Boss: Juliet Parker is honest about how she feels that the commercial could rub the wrong way with the general public.
- Clueless Boss: Juliet Parker, while she runs her company well, is completely oblivious to the fact that half of her board of directors is actually engaged in an evil plot.
- Continuity Nod: The newspaper that Clyde is reading has the exact same headline as the newspaper that Steven Sever reads in Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients. Also, this entire film counts, as the flashlight that the dead guard holds at the end of New Friends ~ An Environmental Fable was manufactured by Solarum Industries. There's also the fact that Cromwell Powell and Juliet Parker are distantly related to Ulysses S. Powell (from When Barrels Fly) and Martha Parker (from Alms Pouch), respectively.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The character of Cromwell Powell.
- The Corruption: Every Solarum device, according to Cromwell Powell, has a computer chip that makes the device more efficient. At the end of the film, Pete Slips reveals that they are extremely dangerous. They do not corrupt anyone in this film, however.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Pete Slips is dressed as an ordinary Solarum worker, allowing him to access the company's nooks and carnies and swipe a Solarum Chip.
- Evil Plan: Though none is explicitly stated in the film, it is implied that many people at Solarum are preparing to execute one.
- Honest Corporate Executive: The character of Juliet Parker.
- Mega-Corp: Solarum Industries is this, though CEO Juliet Parker isn't actually evil. Several of her underlings are, however.
- Peace & Love, Incorporated: This is how the advertising campaign portrays Solarum Industries.
- Toxic, Inc.: According to the official canon, this is what Solarum Industries actually is.
- We Care: The commercial puts a lot of emphasis on how much Solarum Industries cares about the environment.
- This is officially the first film in Project U.
- The film's logo was designed to include the color mod (orange and red) and the letter mod (K). The coloring for the costumes, sets, and production materials were derived from this logo.
- Originally a character created for B.I.O. Corps, Pete Slips was added to tie this film into the rest of Project U.
- While Solarum Industries was created to explain a working flashlight in the apocalyptic future, many of the company's details were invented for this film.