Hi!!!I am Matthew Thurber. I am best known as a cartoonist, for the books 1-800-MICE, INFOMANIACS, and Art Comic. I have also been making other kinds of art my whole life: animation, musical theater, zines, performance, video, film, music. For the past year my film studio, Mrs WiIliam Horsley, has been making a movie called FLEEGIX on 16mm film. It is an adaptation of a young adult novel by Daniel Pinkwater called Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars. My adaptation is a sci-fi film which is set on Earth...but some of the characters believe they live on Mars.
FLEEGIX is about the way that different belief systems overlap in the same physical space. It is a very tangential adaptation from the Pinkwater book, which I believe to be a very profound text (The film is being made with Mr. Pinkwater's consent).
My adaptation flies off in many directions. Many of them are related to the themes of discovering hidden knowledge: telekinesis, lost continents, overlapping planes of existence. Both hand-drawn and stop-motion animation are employed. The film has a lot to say about optics as a metaphor for belief systems. It also is about blueberries, potatoes, lightbulbs, and punks who do hand-shadow puppets instead of slam dancing. There is a submarine disaster that takes place in a car. A camera obscura tank mows down the Queen of Mars. John Ashbery's spirit is reincarnated as a homonculus. Roller skating tricks are performed while the Library of Alexandria is entered through a secret portal on the streets of Baltimore. The manufacturing of Fleegix, the Martian drink, is explained at length, but can we trust the narrator, or is this all Martian propaganda?
I have filmed over an hour of color 16mm footage and animation for this film, using all-volunteer actors.
I want movies to be made and distributed in a different way than they are now. I am opposed to the current model of internet distribution. I feel that it rewards passivity and is helping to contribute to the impoverishment of cinema. I like to enter a room in which I can have a shared dream with other people. I very much believe in analog film: both for its beauty, but also because I think the autonomy and control that the creator can have over the physical product is very important. After many years in the DIY scene, I can think of nothing more exciting than to go on tour with my film and show an actual film print in person...and that is my goal:
TO COMPLETE FILMING AND EDITING OF FLEEGIX IN ORDER TO TAKE IT ON TOUR IN SUMMER 2019.
When I teach animation, every semester the software has transformed, updated, evolved, and made the previous version obsolete: and yet, a Bolex camera clicking away is still a perfect technology that has worked for decades. I would like to get at the heart of what makes cinema perhaps the most powerful communicative art form. For me that means reaching back to the silent films and to handmade animation that which shows the skilled hand of the artisan.
I want to make my film. But ultimately I want to open a studio to help others make films, to employ other people in the process, and to spread my conviction about cinema. I want to create an equipment sharing resource. I want to build a space where people can make animation. Distribution of the products of the studio would be maintained through rentals of prints, or through touring, or through sales of physical media such as videotape or DVD's.
But this is coming later: for now, I just want to finish the experimental sci-fi epic that I have ben working on for the past year.
Thank you for our time. I will be so appreciative if you can help Mrs William Horsley complete her film: FLEEGIX. Beyond that, and more importantly, I hope you will help me to lay the groundwork for a sustainable studio that will encourage and enable others to make their film dreams come true!
(the photo of filming in the park was taken by Clair Gunther)
Risks and challenges
The 5,000 I am trying to raise will help to pay for the remaining costs of the film, estimated at $6,760.
Film processing plus work print = 15 rolls @ 60/roll : $900
Props and art supplies: estimated at $500
Will be done by Matthew Thurber on film work print
Steenbeck editing table rental rate based on Mono No Aware price of $10/hour and 50 hours:
FINAL FILM MASTER POSITIVE MADE FROM NEGATIVE AND SOUND TRACK
Based on Cinelab 1.50 per foot rate and 3,240 foot edited negative:
TOTAL REMAINING COSTS: $6760
I am putting all my time, energy and resources into the completion of this project at the absolute cheapest way.
- (39 days)