Tea Leaves - a short animated horror/comedy film
Tea Leaves - a short animated horror/comedy film
Chaos ensues after three different spirits are summoned by a ouija board. A short film combining live action with animation.
Chaos ensues after three different spirits are summoned by a ouija board. A short film combining live action with animation. Read more
Tea Leaves explores a scenario in which three supernatural spirits with contrasting personalities are brought together by a ouija board, with disastrous and comical consequences.
Ouija boards are often used as a tool for contacting the dead or something more sinister... Unseen spirits are summoned for questioning, using only the planchette to guide the users to the answers. But do these spirits view the whole thing as an inconvenience, or are they keen to use it for their own advantage? What if they aren't human? What if the spirit is a silly cat, randomly hitting the planchette around the board?
In an old abandoned mansion, a group of self-assured ghost hunters are holding a seance by candlelight. In the parallel spirit world, we meet a Wendigo demon; a tall, dark figure with a stag skull head who carries an old tattered suitcase. He is bored with these scenarios and silly humans summoning him, and thinks this should be an easy task... Until he meets the resident ghosts; a wild, reckless Banshee intent on wreaking havoc and a mischievous ghost cat who just wants to play. Chaos quickly ensues before the spirits come to a resolution.
Style and Technique
Tea Leaves will combine animation with live action to create a strange, otherworldly feel.
The film will cut back and forth between the 'real world' and the 'spirit world.' In the 'real world', where the humans are holding the seance, the film will be shot in live action. In the 'spirit world', everything will be animated.
The Wendigo and Banshee will be actors in costume, photographed to move like stop-motion puppets. This is a technique known as Pixilation animation. This style of movement will add a bizarre sense of unearthliness, combining animation with the real world. Costume and makeup will be important in bringing these characters to life, and I am working with a costume maker to bring my drawings to life.
One of the characters, a ghostly cat, will be animated by hand and superimposed into the film. I am confident in working with this technique, and have experience in creating a hand drawn animation in this style.
I'm an animator, illustrator and photographer from Glasgow hoping to launch my career as a director. I graduated in 2015 from Edinburgh College of Art (BA Hons Animation) and have experience in working in a range of techniques, from stop motion to traditional hand drawn animation and experimental styles. In my third year of studies, I made a dark and humorous short animated film about my experiences with school bullying, Odd Girl Out, which was nominated for a Scottish Student RTS (Royal Television Society) Award in the Best Animation category. In my graduate year I made Heart of Dust, a short film combining stop motion with hand drawn animation and photography. It is a surreal film following the story of a former psychiatric patient who has returned to his former asylum, now abandoned and decaying, to reflect on his memories and move on from the past. It was inspired by true stories I heard during my research visiting former asylums around the UK and interviewing ex patients and members of staff. The film won Best Animation at the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, was nominated for a Scottish Student RTS Award and was screened at a variety of film festivals worldwide, including at many mental health charity events. I have also worked on a variety of other projects both collaboratively and independently, including; creating animation for TEDx Talks, an animated music video for a homeless charity, and creating animation for Careless, a documentary on the topic of young people's mental health. More recently, I have worked with horror blogging company Popcorn Horror to write articles and create illustrations.
I am passionate about many forms of art, from creative writing and drawing to photography and filmmaking, and I particularly enjoy creating mixed media work. As well as animation, I would also like to work on live action films.
There will be a small team involved in the production of Tea Leaves. I will be responsible for directing, writing the screenplay and animating. The other team members will include a cinematographer, costume maker, two actors to play the Wendigo and Banshee, four actors to play the ghost hunters, and a sound designer and musician to create the sound effects and music score. There is also the possibility of hiring some additional assistance depending on the available funds.
The money raised will be used to cover the following:
- To pay the production crew.
- Equipment hire such as camera, lights, tripod, etc.
- Expenses for costume materials (£400+ estimated)
- Travel expenses for the production crew.
- Purchasing/hiring props to decorate the set.
- Printing the Kickstarter rewards.
£5,000 is the bare minimum that this project will require. With some additional funds, I would be able to improve the overall quality of the film and can recruit additional help. For example, I'm currently planning on doing the makeup and hair myself, but with some extra funds I could hire a professional makeup artist. Also, some extra money could go towards the expensive process of film festival submissions.
I have personally designed a bunch of exciting rewards that I hope you will enjoy. In addition to the items pictured below, I also plan on creating some unique handmade mementos for the higher tier level rewards. There will also be some props from the film available, as well as exciting digital rewards.
In collaboration with a talented team, I want to create a film that is unique, bizarre and as amusing as it is unsettling. I want to experiment and push the boundaries of what can be done with animation. With this project, I hope to kickstart my career as a director and to continue making new work in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my Kickstarter and I hope you'll consider supporting Tea Leaves.
Risks and challenges
As with any film project, the biggest challenge will be completing the film on time and to the highest standard possible. I am confident in completing the film within the timescale, as I have experience in working under tight deadlines to create films. The process of creating the hand drawn animation has already begun, which will be one of the most time consuming elements of the film. It is estimated that filming will take approximately a week, and I have allowed plenty time for editing and post production. At present there are no foreseeable obstacles in creating the film itself, although as with all creative projects, there is the risk of setbacks depending on circumstances with the production crew. I will keep backers updated if there are any delays to the project.
Every effort will be made to ensure that all rewards are shipped and delivered safely and on time, although I cannot guarantee the reliability of the postal services in your country. Some of the rewards will be handmade, and depending on the demand for these items, please allow some extra time for these items to arrive.
And finally, we will be filming inside an old mansion with reported paranormal activity, and thus there is a slight risk of potentially upsetting any (real) ghosts who may or may not inhabit the building. Whilst our portrayal of demons and spirits shall be handled tastefully by the actors, and our use of a ouija board shall be carefully monitored so as not to actually conjure any otherworldly beings, our safety from potential poltergeists and demonic possession cannot be guaranteed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)