This project has been a labor of love for over three years, and we're finally getting near the finish line. Creating an animated film is a grueling process, and while stop motion is arguably the most tedious medium to work in it does yield beautiful results. We are proud of the fact that between our jobs, personal lives, and all the unforeseen roadblocks of life we have managed to complete all the animation for T.P.
Without the support of our families, friends, and Kickstarter backers we would never have made it this far, and now we must reach out one last time to finish this unique, and oddly inspiring film the right way.
There's an essential piece of music we must buy the rights to. This is not merely an artistic preference, but a good portion of animation was painstakingly crafted frame by frame, 1/24th of a second at a time to sync with this song. We had included this cost in our initial Kickstarter campaigns budget, until the company who owns the piece quoted us a price of $7,000.00 for rights in perpetuity to their orchestra recording. That amount was substantially larger than what we had expected, and larger than what we had raised in our campaign. Therefore, we elected to defer that purchase to a later date, but we wouldn't have remained committed to this piece if we were not convinced of the impact it will have on how audiences experience the film.
Oftentimes the viewer notices the emotional impact of music very consciously, and it's certainly important, but quality sound design is equally essential to an effective film. Sound effects are often taken a bit for granted, and if you haven't watched a movie with the sound effects missing, you might not have ever considered how indispensable they really are. With your help we will be able to retain the services of a talented sound designer, who cannot only create all the effects and soundscapes that make an animated world come alive in people's minds, but also mix them together with our music and voice acting so the performances of the characters are never doubted.
The remaining funds will be used to assemble and send out rewards packages, and to get the ball rolling on film festival submission fees. After all, we haven't done all this work to watch this movie alone. So a much more concise breakdown of our budget is...
Purchasing rights to composition and recording of essential music-$7,000.00
Foley Work, Sound Design, and mix- $2,000.00
Rewards dispersal and initial distribution costs-$1,000.00
Over the last few years we've watched this project develop from nothing but frantic words and drawings, into something we never thought was possible. With your much appreciated love and support, we're sure our baby will continue to grow and flourish in all sorts of surprising ways!
We have some exciting rewards available to anyone who is kind enough to help us finance this project, and you can check them out at the right side of this page. For just ten dollars you can gain easy digital access to the finished film and watch it whenever you like! This would be a great way to essentially pre-order your copy of "T.P." That way when you watch it, your enjoyment will be greatly enhanced by the knowledge that you helped make it happen, and that makes T.P. happy...
As you move up the reward tiers things get even sweeter. We have a great wealth of material to include in the digital production package so you can get a great insight into the huge amount of work that goes into making an independent stop motion short film. Here's a few examples of items that would be included...
Moving on you can also get a DVD with sweet video bonus features, your name in the credits, or a festive T.P. ornament like this one...
Finally, one of the beautiful things about stop motion animation is that everything you're seeing on screen is a physical object that exists in our own world. By contributing to this campaign you can become the proud owner of a prop piece from the set, or one of these beloved puppets...
So whether you would just like to watch the film in a few months, or watch it while cradling one of the characters like a baby, we have e reward to suit your needs.
The privilege of having such a great team of artists volunteer their time, simply because they believe in the project has been the the most gratifying part of this process. For more detailed information about these talented people please visit the Teammates page on our blog here...
Finally, shout out to our videographer Ben Edwards! He was very helpful and generous with his time, and we were very fortunate to retain his services.
Risks and challenges
Some of the risks, obstacles, and challenges of this project we've already faced throughout this production and have overcome include, but are not limited to...
1. Cabin fever, brought on by prolonged isolation in a creepy garage studio.
2. Going broke, and the reduction of material comfort and quality of life that goes with that.
3. Anxiety/self-doubt/feelings of inadequacy/fear of failure.
4. Equipment malfunctions.
5. Disagreeable climate. Seriously, it gets cold in that garage, but worse is when it gets hot and the camera overheats.
6. Having to work. Not the kind where you're making your own puppet movie, but the real kind.
7. Finding talented and reliable people to work very hard for free.
8. Designing and fabricating a miniature environment, as well as seven human and inanimate characters into articulated puppets that can be animated
9. Posing and re-posing those characters in 11,712 individual photographs to create the illusion of movement, independent thought, and emotion.
10. Basing all of our major personal and professional decisions around whatever was best for the film.
There were plenty of good times along the way too, but this section is about the hard stuff, and the hard times are nearly over. If we are fortunate enough to receive further funding we expect fairly smooth sailing to the end. A potential risk is involved with finding a sound designer, and outsourcing essential work to someone we've just met. However, we're confident we'll find a capable professional who will meet our deadlines so the film can be released on time. Unexpected legal complications may arise in our effort to purchase the rights to our desired song, but we've thoroughly researched the process and don't seriously predict any problems. Considering those possibilities we expect to have a completed version of the film ready no later than late May/early June 2014, but we'll be shooting for a release in April.
You'll get digital access to the film, and we'll e-mail you an entire pre-production package with digital copies of our original storyboards, script, designs, character profiles, process photos, and more.
Everything in the previous tiers will be included, and we'll also mail you a signed "T.P." thank you card and DVD version of the film. The DVD will include bonus features which include... The evolution of the story from our original 16 minute animatic with our voices, into the final 10:30 second version we have now. There's about 90 seconds of completed animation that was cut from the final film, much of which features a character who was eliminated entirely from the story. There will also be a video demonstrating our process, animation references, voice recording session, and other fun moments throughout this whacky journey.
At this tier you will receive everything described in the previous reward packages, and also a hand crafted T.P. Christmas ornament. What says Christmas more than a smiling miniature roll of toilet paper hanging from the tree?
Everything in the previous tiers will be included, as well as a choice between an original prop, character maquette, or puppet that was made but cut out of the film. We will keep a list of backers in this tier and reward options will be offered on a first come first serve basis.
We will include everything up to the $100 tier, as well as one of the puppets from the film. A cool part of stop motion is you can potentially watch a character alive on the screen, and then look over and see him/her chilling on the mantle. Options for this tier will also be offered on a first come, first served basis.