After an zombie-infected loner and an orphaned girl escape a NYC apartment, they struggle to trust each other for their own survival.
(BE SURE to hit up the UPDATES tab for this project's LATEST DEVELOPMENTS)
Welcome to Year Zero is a zombie noir animated feature that follows an infected loner as he struggles with his parasite's growing influence in order to lead an orphaned girl safely through hostile streets of NYC. A living and breathing graphic novel with striking visuals and sardonic tone, WTYZ is a unique apocalyptic spin on surviving the urban jungle, as well as humanity's own carnivorous nature, and the ever-pervading class injustices of society. (Story details coming with "updates".)
The feature is set to take place shortly after the initial outbreak depicted in my celebrated indie animated short, Year Zero, which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca FIlm Festival.
I've been called a "veritable one-man show"*-- I do take matters into my own hands. From writing the script, photographing the actors (myself included), digitally illustrating and animating each frame, to recording and mixing dialogue and sound effects, composing the score**, editing, promoting and all of the others jobs required to produce a movie.
This means no waiting around for others to finish up their end, common with smaller film budgets, no creative sacrifices, just me going mad-scientist on the project until it's reached my vision and my standards...then I have those standards raised further by a group of very honest friends, and possibly, now, YOU! (Check out the rewards panel.)
*Ben Umstead, TwitchFilm
** Composer John Marrone will also be working on the WTYZ score with me for this feature!
Take a look at the WTYZ teaser trailer that I recently made, introducing the characters' situation within the zombie apocalypse that overwhelms NYC.
Also, here's the trailer (10,000+ views) from the original 2011 animated short, Year Zero.
"Slow down, what is Kickstarter about, anyway?" - Good question. KS is a great new approach to funding independent creative projects. Basically, a creator pitches an idea to the online community; if the idea is good, communicated well, and the creator, a credible investment, odds are good the project will reach its funding goal. Backers get fun and creative rewards for contributing; starving artists work. The American Dream flourishes.
And, of course, it's about strength in numbers.
"What's that Kickstarter all-or-nothing policy all about?" - Well, it means I need to raise the whole $45,000, or there will be no zombie apocalypse, after all. All contributions go back to the backers, and no fun rewards. Frowns all around :(
I don't want to go out like Harold Camping. Please support, and I'll make sure to present you with an awesomely IMMERSIVE and NIGHTMARISH End-of-Days-- with some cool some incentives in return.
"Ambitious goal, what's the money being spent on?" - Ambitious indeed, but here's why -- I don't want to return and ask you, my generous KS supporters, for additional production $$ in a year, because I was too timid to shoot for a sustainable budget now. So here's the basic breakdown of my rather modest budget to the feature-length zompocalypse animation:
$15-17,000 is going directly into necessary production upgrades, i.e. a computer on which all animation and rendering will be performed, (I'm now working off a Mac-Mini), a larger camera lens (to capture cityscape) Final Cut Pro and After Effects updates, additional animation software (ToonBoom package), a pen tablet for digitally illustrating every frame, basic studio equipment, and reproduction costs. These investments are all need to accelerate the production process, but will also, in turn, make the animation look better than ever.
The remaining $28-30,000 will allow me to work on every facet of production for the next one and a half years, an ambitious and intensive schedule for a feature animated production created almost entirely by 1 person. It will also compensate talent, pay contract fees, promotional expenses, KS/Amazon fees, and, of course, RETURN to my supporters in the form of cool rewards!
Any extra $$ I raise will go toward:
- Paying additional production talent/crew to get this movie out to audiences all the sooner.
- Other people's cool projects right here on Kickstarter! And civilization advances!
"Should I bother coming back to this project page?" - Hells YES! I am setting up camp here. I'll be answering questions, taking suggestions, and bringing updates, as well showing you some of my past experience in self-financed independent filmmaking. Got a question, comment, suggestion? BRING it: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Well, what if I have no money to contribute?" - No prob. Money isn't everything! Social media involvement can and has changed the world.
So your MENTIONS and RETWEETS on the Year Zero Twitter, and LIKES on Facebook, with good ol' fashion word out mouth, here and there, over the next 2 months can totally get a little indie animation produced :P
"Okay. What do you got for rewards?" -
Here are just a few:
Product Placement: Think "Seinfeld" meets zombies! Just the featured sci-fi book, Dead Land, in the new trailer; any small biz, website, author, comic book, or zombie survival gear or toy maker, etc. can advertise within the virtual set of the WTYZ feature film, producer credit included!
- Be an extra in the movie! Or have a cameo scream, includes Producer credit!
- Get an 8x10 zombified portrait of yourself or some you pick, illustrated and signed by creator Richard Cunningham, wall worthy, oh yeah, includes Producer credit! Bam.
- Get the PRE-SALE of the upcoming debut album from Richard Cunningham, listen to a live sample now.
- Pick a song and I'll record a cover, just for you. Open to duets and spoofs. My version of Radiohead's, "Exit Music (for a film)".
- Get a TEST SCREENER of WYTZ and direct CREATIVE INPUT into the final cut of the feature film!
- Also, check out some of the fun WTYZ merchandise (Large magnet/ coffee mug):
I've been committed to storytelling and filmmaking since I was fifteen years old. It's not just a passion for me, it defines who I am and what fulfills me. And your support, from the smallest gesture to the largest, means the world. I truly can't wait to make this living Hell in my mind into a movie reality for people to enjoy! More is to come.
Richard Cunningham III
FREE MOVIE!! Learn how our two survivors met, please enjoy the critically-acclaimed 2011 TFF zero-budget animated short, Year Zero -- my first time animating and directorial debut! Year Zero focuses on a loner trapped in his NYC apartment, as a parasitic zombie plague overwhelms the five boroughs.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $45,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 25, 2012.
Apr 26, 2012 - Jun 25, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Get an HD digital download of the critically ACCLAIMED 2011 Tribeca Film Festival animated short, "Year Zero" + "Welcome to Year Zero hi-res wallpaper."Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
“Welcome To Year Zero” FEATURE HD download + “Year Zero” adapted digital COMIC in PDF format + Get your name up on the “Zombie Apocalypse Survivors” list on Year Zero’s website. (Staying alive is up to you.) + “Welcome to Year Zero” and “Year Zero” trailer SONGS Digital DL, music composed and performed by Year Zero creator, Richard CunninghamEstimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Cast/creator-signed “Welcome To Year Zero” DVD/Bluray + digital DL of the original "Year Zero" SOUNDTRACK (11 + bonus tracks) + “Year Zero” HD DL + Because DEATH trumps living with zombies, you’ll make the “Zombie Apocalypse Fatalities” list on the Year Zero website, and I’ll even make up your final words for posterity, i.e. “Jill Doe, ‘Chomp down on my grenade sandwich, Z-rags!’” + Exclusive password-protected BLOG ACCESS, featuring journal entries, photos and videos from production start to finish (that’s 18 months!), an excellent RESOURCE for aspiring indie filmmakers/animators to see how a movie is made STEPxSTEP + A custom, creator-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail of film's first shot.Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $100 or more
Limtd. edition creator/cast-signed “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray + UPCOMING “Welcome to Year Zero” SOUNDTRACK HQ Download at PRE-RELEASE! + C/c-signed DVD/Bluray of the 2011 TFF short, "Year Zero" (available NOWHERE else) + a custom "WTYZ" "Think of the Starving Zombies" refrigerator magnet + c/c-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail + "Zombies Apocalypse Infected" list on the website, and I’ll add a personalized “last seen doing” description beside to your name!Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $250 or more
Your name for all to see in the MOVIE CREDITS under, “ A VERY special thanks to…” + limtd. edition 11x14 HQ POSTER PRINT from “Welcome to Year Zero”, a personal letter of thanks included, signed by creator and cast + signed “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray at release + HD Year Zero DL + the “Year Zero” adapted digital COMIC in PDF format + digital DL of the original "Year Zero" SOUNDTRACK + the c/c-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail! + password-protected BLOG ACCESS!Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $500 or more
Your name in the movie’s CREDITS as a “Backer”. You're a true patron of the arts! + an invite to an online PRE-release of “WTYZ” w/ an open Q and A Skype session with creator Richard Cunningham and cast + limtd. edition full-size 24x36 “WTYZ” poster and thank-you letter, signed by cast and creator + the WTYZ coffe mug with inscription: "I financed the apocalypse, and all I got for it was this ugly mug" + signed “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray + the password-protected blog access + the custom, creator-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail.Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $1,000 or more
And now you’ve graduated to ASSOCIATE PRODUCER in the MOVIE CREDITS and IMDB. Has a ring to it, right? + CAMEO/VOICE-ACTING appearance in WTYZ, working with the creator from your own home (or meet in person if NYC local) + An invite to an ONLINE PRE-RELEASE of “WTYZ” w/ post Q and A Skype session with creator Richard Cunningham + signed “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray at release + HD Year Zero DL + the “Year Zero” adapted digital COMIC in PDF format + digital DL of the original Year Zero SOUNDTRACK (11 + bonus tracks) + the above "WTYZ" coffe mug + A c/c-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail, featuring the first completed shot of the upcoming film! + a personal letter of thanks in the mail, signed by cast and creator.Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $2,500 or more
The Richie Cunningham Package: An 8x10 ZOMIBIFIED PORTRAIT of you (or whoever you want),illustrated uniquely by creator Richard Cunningham + receive a TEST SCREENER of "WTYZ" from the creator, of my feature IN PROGRESS. Besides watching the movie before anyone else, you can give production notes and suggestions DIRECTLY to creator for consideration + ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Credit + Richard Cunningham’s upcoming debut ALBUM (9 tracks, see project pg for audio sample) + LUNCH with Richard Cunningham (lunch covered, travel not) + the c/c-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail, featuring the film's first shot + C/c signed “WTYZ” DVD/BlurayEstimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $2,500 or more
The Product Placement Package: Do you own a small business, a website, make zombie survival gear, got a book/movie to promote? Have your BRANDS REPRESENTED right in the "WTYZ" movie set. (See project pg for example) + ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Credit + LUNCH with Richard Cunningham (lunch covered, travel not) + A custom, creator-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail, featuring the first completed shot of the upcoming film! + signed “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray at release, personal letter of thanks, signed by cast and creator.Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $5,000 or more
The Executive Package: EXECUTIVE producer gets singled out in the OPENING credits and IMDB + An invitation to a PREMIER in NYC (either film fest or private), come hang out with the "WTYZ" creator and cast! (Travel expenses not paid) + a lmtd. edition hardcover comic book version of "WTYZ" (adapted by creator) + receive a TEST SCREENER of "WTYZ" from the creator, of the feature IN PROGRESS. Besides watching the movie before anyone else, you can give production notes and suggestions DIRECTLY to creator for consideration + lmtd. edition full-size 24x36 “WTYZ” POSTER and thank you letter, signed by cast and creator + signed PRE-RELEASE “WTYZ” DVD/Bluray+ the password-protected BLOG access + the c/c-signed “WTYZ” postcard in the mail.Estimated delivery: Jan 2014
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
Hello, PRODUCER (Opening title and IMDB). You will get the shirt of the creator’s back: the motorcycle HELMET and LEATHER JACKET costume from the original short and the newest trailer + You will receive the working WTYZ SHOOTING SCRIPT used throughout production (doodled on and signed by creator/writer) + You can commission Cunningham to record 3 COVER SONGS of your choosing, (open to duets/parodies) + a lmtd. edition hardcover comic book version of "WTYZ" (adapted by creator), ANY of the other rewards you want!Estimated delivery: Feb 2014