About this project
Watch Operator Episode 1
Watch Operator Episode 2:
The funding goal of $14,840 is the minimum to produce EP 3. For each additional $14,840 an additional episode can be produced up to 13 Episodes (the season is 15 episodes including the existing 1 and 2)
About the Operator Web Series
Hi! I'm Sam Barnett. Writer Director of Operator. In the original Operator the InfoCorp corporation enslaves all of its workers with a biomechanical parasite. The web series picks up where the short left off, following workers that escape the initial infection as they fight back against the company. And the leaders as they lose control of the organization they set in motion.
After receiving an incredible response I immediately set about expanding it into a web series. I spent two years writing a full season of 15 episodes with one overarching story. Developing new characters and fleshing out a much larger world. Then we launched our 1st kickstarter which, thanks to all of our incredible backers, funded episode 2. Episode 3 is a major step forward in the arc of Operator as we begin to meet those behind the Rhizomect system and learn more about what it can unleash.
I was inspired to make Operator by a few things: parasites like the cordyceps mushroom, which controls the brains of ants so it can use their bodies as food while it spreads its spores as far as possible. Also, what I like to call “parasitic ideas.” Our minds are made up of ideas that come from all over the place. And somehow once we accept an idea it feels like its part of who we are, even if that idea ends up being terrible for us.
The point is that we grow up with this idea that there is a clear barrier between ourselves and everything else. Operator is a story about a world in which that barrier is ripped to pieces and the boundary between what is and is not us becomes very unclear. It is told from the perspective of characters that have very little power, struggling against a massive corporation that is trying to destroy them. It is a story that I am passionately committed to.
We need your help to make Operator happen. Many of the rewards include putting your name in the credits because it really is you that is bringing this project to life.
There is no way around the fact that making great animation takes a lot of manpower. Everything in stop motion is individually crafted: each puppet has to be sculpted, each mouth and hand and prop and set piece is created. I want to make a web series that is gripping, fun, and terrifying. With the ability to hire some other very talented artists I think we can make something that is truly excellent. I hope you are excited to see more OPERATOR and help me fund this project!
For pledges of $100 or more.
Silicone Hand Crafted Puppet Hand! Can be posed in any position! Can be used to swing small objects at the incredibly slow rate of stop motion animation!
For pledges of $300 or more.
Leather and Copper Hand Made Decorative Trevor Mask. Hang it on your wall and feel the terror of Operator in your own home! Manufactured by the incredible Sydney Moffat!
For pledges of $50 or more.
3 inch painted plaster bust of your choice of: Mike, Carl or Laura.
For $75 or more.
The Flesh And Metal Rhizome statue. Each statue is unique as the mold it is cast in deteriorates with each casting. 5 inches tall, painted plaster.
For pledges of $100 or more.
Trevor bust sculpture. 3 inches tall painted plaster and copper.
Where is the money going? $14,840 is the funding goal per episode. This includes $3,050 in Kick starter fees and taxes, and the estimated cost of producing and shipping the physical rewards. $11,790 is the actual cost to produce each episode. This is an extremely low cost for 7-10 minutes of animation. I am able to keep cost this low because I already have invested in, or can borrow most of the equipment needed. I will be continuing to do as much of the work myself as I can. But I will be hiring professional animators, VFX artist and voice actors to help bring the series to the next level. They all have rent to pay, I don't want to ask them to work for free. Here is a breakdown of the budget per episode:
Risks and challenges
Every project will encounter numerous challenges, some which could derail it. I have been animating for 11 years now, professionally for four. I have a very good idea of what I am getting myself into. I am passionately committed to this project. I have already committed every minute I can for three of the last four years to this project. Working part-time and living on savings as long as I can between animation and VFX gigs so I can make this a reality. Unless I get killed by a psychotic motorist, or some unseen poison drifting through the air in Los Angeles, I am going to make it happen.
I will also have great help from the very talented people working on the project. When I do get out of my depth, and my philosophy is to try to push myself to the edge of my abilities and knowledge at all times, I can get advice from other animator friends that work for studios including, Stupid Buddies (who produce Robot Chicken and other shows) Laikia, (Coralline, Boxtrolls), Disney and many others.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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