An outrageously operatic tragicomedy about a mother whose desperate attachment to her son bears monstrous consequences
MUNCHAUSEN is a vibrant, wordless, Pixar-inspired montage (think the marriage sequence in UP, but live action) in which a devoted mother, unable to confront the heartbreak of her son leaving for college, delays his departure by making him sick. She accidentally goes too far, is helpless to reverse that which she set in motion, and is forced to face the unfathomable consequences of her decision. Again, think Pixar!
The film is to be shot in early summer, 2012.
To read the script of MUNCHAUSEN, click on the link below:
Writer-director Ari Aster, producer Alejandro De Leon, and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski received their MFAs (in their respective disciplines) from the AFI Conservatory, where they made their thesis film THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS, which played the 2011 NY Film Festival, SLAMDANCE Film Festival, Austin Film Festival and several others. Alejandro also co-produced the feature film ELECTRICK CHILDREN, which enjoyed its world premiere at Berlinale and had its US premiere at SXSW in 2012. Liam Aiken, who will star as the son in MUNCHAUSEN, also starred in ELECTRICK CHILDREN, as well as LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, ROAD TO PERDITION and STEPMOM.
The trailer for THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS
Watch the entire film here
A trailer for ELECTRICK CHILDREN
Link to Electrick Children website: www.electrickchildren.com
AESTHETIC MISSION FOR MUNCHAUSEN
With our previous film THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS, we had a very specific aesthetic in mind. We wanted to create a world in which everything was touched by some degree of artifice, almost reducing the characters to dolls in a doll house. We went for an over-rich, deeply saturated color palate. The sense of composition and especially the camera movement was always in aid of the operatic. For MUNCHAUSEN, we want something equally controlled, but where we went for darkness and stateliness in THE JOHNSONS, here we’re going for an impossibly light, wholesome, Disney-like atmosphere. Everything is in full bloom, the grass is a perfect green; no seams are evident. It is a happy world in perfect health.
Again, the films of Pixar are a template not only for color palate and storytelling economy, but also for tone. (For examples, see the poignant marriage sequence in UP and the melancholic “When She Loved Me” montage in TOY STORY 2, both of which can be watched below.) The merry flavor and jubilant whimsy of MUNCHAUSEN will be absolutely appropriate for the first half of the film, but as it chugs along and things begin to go awry, the tone will fall in striking contrast with the content, and the molded plasticity of the beautiful dream will reveal itself to be the structure of a cruel nightmare.
With this touching-cum-tragic story of a young man’s life cut woefully short, we are aiming to achieve a wholesome quality that’s just a little bit strained (to the point of touching surrealism, but without falling into it). Here will be an updated, contemporized vision of Norman Rockwell’s America; broad in scope, but specific in execution.
JUMP ON BOARD!
This film is a totally independent production and has been self-financed up to this point. But making a short film of this scope (with the level of execution that we know we can achieve) is an expensive endeavor. Your contribution will go directly to the production and the post-production of this ambitious short.
The film is a real labor of love for our team, and enthusiastic people make all the difference on something like this. Any contribution is meaningful, and every dime will be made to go a long way. Your support will be invaluable to the project, for which we have such enormous hopes.
PRAISE FOR OUR PREVIOUS FILM, THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS
Indiewire Coverage, November 2011:
David Warfield of WHAT WEEKLY wrote that "THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS must be the only original thriller I have seen in 20 years. I am not sure it is even a thriller (that’s how original it is), but it is a bona fide nightmare."
SLUG magazine, in its coverage of Slamdance, wrote "This film is a contender for my personal best in show. It also happens to be the most well lighted, beautifully photographed short at Slamdance this year. Every aspect of this production is absolutely professional, which in itself is half the enjoyment as you sit there wondering how Ari Aster managed such a gaudy, beautiful depiction of so depraved a concept."
Our Past Films:
The Stange Thing About the Johnsons: http://strangethingaboutthejohnsonsmovie.com/
Munchausen Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Munchausen-Film-Project/201672646537610
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK?
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. SO, if we don’t raise our goal of $15,000, we lose everything. Once the goal is reached, we will contact you to get your address so we can send out your exciting incentives (to be found on the right)!
HOW TO PLEDGE
To pledge to a project, just click the green “Back This Project” button on any project page. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. Note that you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
WHAT IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL?
If funding fails, all pledges are canceled and that's that. Your card isn't charged and the project is back to square one. We don't want this to happen! 24 days isn't long, so please donate today!
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
Can we?! We've got to!
CAN YOU DONATE IN ANOTHER’S NAME?
Of course! You will contacted once funding is complete so we may gather the necessary information to get your incentives to you. At that time, you can let us know the name you would like to donate under.
CAN YOU DONATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes! Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you can pay with a credit card from any country! But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems, please contact us.
ABOUT MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME BY PROXY
"Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP or MBP) is a controversial label for a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioral, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care." (More on Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnchausen_syndrome_by_proxy)
Of course you can! We've modestly budgeted the film, but any additional funds will be used to pay crew, and add professional resources to our film.
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Receive the above, PLUS an official MUNCHAUSEN postcard in the mail! Also, director Ari Aster will email you a personal "Thank You"!Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS an HD digital download of the completed film. Also, you'll get a swell Thank You in the credits.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS a filmmaker-signed DVD of the completed film (international shipping cost not included) and a personalized Thank You video on VIMEO from Ari Aster and Alejandro De Leon.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS you (or a friend of yours) can be an extra in the film if you're in the Los Angeles area. Credit included on IMDB. ALSO, an official MUNCHAUSEN Poster (11'*17') signed by all the filmmakers AND a Very Special Thanks in the end credits of the film.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS a photo you send us (baby photos especially welcome) will be framed and appear somewhere prominently in the movie (decency considered). OR, instead of the photo, we will name one of the supporting characters after you or a loved one. ALSO, you'll receive a special photo still from the film.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above, PLUS we will put a 3-5 word sentence next to your name, in parentheses, in the end credits. (E.g. “I freakin' love you, Bethany!”)Estimated delivery:
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PASS THE JUNIOR MINTS! All of the above, PLUS 2 tickets to the cast & crew screening in Los Angeles (transportation not provided). Soak in the glory of the movie you helped make with the cast and crew present! Also, if you're in LA, come by the set to have your photo taken (by our set photographer) with the cast and filmmakers! ALSO, you're invited to jump onto skype for a thirty minute talk with the director and producer!Estimated delivery:
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HOLY COW! All of the above, PLUS you're an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER now (as the credits will reflect), so alert IMDB! Also, LET'S MEET UP! You're invited to get coffee with the director and producer (or, if you're not in LA, a one hour skype blast) to discuss whatever the hell you want!Estimated delivery:
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YOU ANIMAL! All of the above, PLUS you're getting trashed and rubbing elbows at our super exclusive wrap party! And we haven't even mentioned the awesome, one-of-a-kind prop (signed by the cast and filmmakers) you'll be getting from the set!Estimated delivery:
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YOU BETTER NOT BE PULLIN' MY LEG! All of the above, PLUS we will name one of the lead characters after you (or you can gift it to someone special and use their name), AND you get a walk-on role for yourself or one of your friends/family members. (Transportation not included.)Estimated delivery:
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YOU'RE A SAINT! Not only do you get everything mentioned above, but it's also time to pop on those shades because you are now a CO-PRODUCER! On top of that, we're gonna slap you 2 tickets to our festival premiere! (Transportation/lodging not included.)Estimated delivery:
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SERIOUSLY?! SOMEONE GET MY SMELLING SALTS! You'll get everything above, PLUS it's time to throw coffee in an intern's face because you are an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER now! Also, if you're in LA, we'll have someone drive you to set any/every day so that you may observe, at your leisure, your money being spun into digital gold! No restrictions! The set is your playground! This is a great opportunity to enjoy unparalleled access to the process of making a film.Estimated delivery:
- (25 days)