THANK YOU BACKERS FOR HELPING US REACH OUR GOAL!!!
WE NOW HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPLY ADDITIONAL BACKER PLEDGES TOWARDS OUR STRETCH GOALS.
PLEDGES UP TO $39,000 WILL GO TOWARDS COVERING KICKSTARTER FEES & STRIPE PAYMENT SERVICE FEES THAT ARE TAKEN OUT OF INITIAL PLEDGE GOAL AMOUNT.
PLEDGES ABOVE $39,000 WILL GO TOWARDS PRE-PRODUCTION EXPENSES (PUPPET AND ANIMATION/SPECIAL EFFECTS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT).
TOO LOUD A THANK YOU!
"I felt beautiful and holy for having the courage to hold on to my sanity after all I'd seen and had been through, body and soul, in too loud a solitude..."
Our team has been committed to bringing Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal's beloved novella Too Loud a Solitude to the screen since 2004. In 2007, we completed a 17-minute excerpted version of the feature script, starring Paul Giamatti as the voice of Hanta. The film short played nationally and internationally in the Handmade Puppet Dreams program and in 2009 was awarded a Citation Of Excellence by the Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA). Our team is now beginning work to turn the book into a full-length feature film, again featuring Paul Giamatti.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
The $35,000 we are seeking (about $31,500 after Kickstarter fees) will cover puppet design, armature creation, motion exploration, character development, costume design, and visual effects. It will also cover extending the book option (which is secured), operation expenses, and legal fees.
We are in the beginning stage of raising funds for the entire feature with both US and European financing and production partners. Anything our founders contribute above the campaign goal will greatly assist in our stretch campaign of getting the entire film made. Donors seeking a tax deduction can contribute outside the campaign under our 501(c)3 umbrella, and can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to have puppet design, assembly, and research & development of overall design completed by the end of spring 2017, with principal photography following in early summer and post-production going into fall.
SYNOPSIS, BACKGROUND, STYLISTIC APPROACH
“Lost in my dreams, I somehow cross at the traffic signals, bumping into street lamps or people, yet moving onward, exuding fumes of beer and grime, yet smiling, because my briefcase is full of books and that very night I expect them to tell me things about myself I don't know."
Too Loud a Solitude is the fantastical story of a book crusher named Hanta whose job is to destroy the precious works of literature he loves so much. The story of Hanta's quest to save the world of books and literature from destruction is often cited as the most beloved of Hrabal’s books.
Too Loud a Solitude has a global fan base and an active community of support has emerged for our feature film project. The book has been translated into 37 languages and sold over 70,000 copies of Michael Henry Heim's English translation alone.
Bohumil Hrabal wrote the novella as an unsentimental account of what happened to him during the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia during the 40’s and 50’s. Many of Hrabal’s books were banned by the Russian regime and other great books by many authors were physically destroyed, an act Hrabal characterizes in Too Loud a Solitude as “crimes against humanity."
The magic of Hrabal's lyrical and tragicomic writing came from the courage to remain open to what he called “the Flood of Sparkling Experience,” an openness to seeing life in its fullest capacity and a commitment to giving even the most common of characters the right to a poetic portrayal of their thoughts and lives.
We are very excited about the stylistic approach to the film, which will incorporate not just the puppets but rotoscoping, cell animation, compositing with historical footage, photographs and special effects. Our aim is to create a moving and thought-provoking film by combining analog and digital techniques in a patchwork of styles past and present, all in service of Hrabal's exquisite imagination.
I made my first short film, Boxed, after a harrowing incident that happened to me while traveling in a remote village in Mexico where I might have lost my life. Making the film was a way of making sense of what had happened, and imbued the puppet figure with a vitality that hinged on life and death. This was interesting for me in light of how the puppet figure naturally bridges life and death - one minute it is inert and lifeless, but when a puppeteer puts their hands on it, the form suddenly comes to life. The practice of making and working with puppets took on a kind of sanctity that I had never encountered in all of my years working with real actors.
After Boxed won a jury award at the Berlin Film Festival, I made my second and most personal short film, Sunlight (2000), a dystopian vision of a future void of natural light. My third short, Ola’s box of clovers, about my wonderful, cantankerous grandmother, followed in 2004 and played at festivals worldwide, won several awards, and was broadcast on IFC and ARTE France.
Soon after, an acquaintance who had traveled to Prague gave me a copy of Too Loud a Solitude and said, “This would make great material for one of your puppet films.” I opened the book and read from the first page:
“For thirty-five years now I’ve been in wastepaper, and it’s my love story...I am a jug filled with water both magic and plain; I have only to lean over and a stream of beautiful thoughts flows out of me...”
This and the book's many other poetic sentences made a strong impression on me. I felt that Hrabal's language was perfectly suited to an interpretation with puppets and animation because it demands a vision that comes from a place of imagination and dream - a place untethered to the ordinary world. When I received a grant from the Rockefeller Media Artist Foundation, I immediately began development work with Kelly Miller (Producer) and Alex MacInnis (Writer and Editor) to turn the book into a movie.
We started our journey with a trip to Prague, where we met many of Hrabal’s friends and found inspiration in the beauty of the city, its people, art, and culture. In the years since, there have been moments when we thought we were crazy for continuing to push the project forward, but we honestly believe it is the enduring power of the book that has brought our project to a place where it can finally become a feature film.
This is a significant step for me as a director because this will be my first feature film. I have learned a tremendous amount over the years making my short films, including the 17-minute version of Too Loud a Solitude, and am thrilled to finally be at this step with the project. It's been a truly amazing journey - filled with joy and despair and doubt and incredible grace - and we are excited to invite you along for this next momentous stage of the journey!
- Genevieve Anderson, Director (Boxed, Sunlight, ola’s box of clovers). Awards in Berlin, Seattle, Rhode Island, Chicago. Rockefeller Media Artist Grant Recipient. Producer for Bill Viola)
- Steve Gaub, Producer (Beauty and the Beast, Unbroken, Oblivion, Tron: Legacy)
- Kelly Miller, Producer (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Forgiven)
- Frank Rehak, Producer and Historical Consultant (School of Photographic Studies, Prague)
- Evan Jacobs, Visual Effects (Captain America, Ant Man, Avengers, Alice in Wonderland)
- Alex MacInnis, Writer (This American Life, Down to the Bone)
- Greg Bachar, Literary Advisor & Outreach Coordinator (Author of Curiosisosity, The Amusement Park Of The Mind. Executive Producer, Elstree 1976)
- Yevgenia Nayberg, Costume and Graphic Designer (National School of Arts, www.nayberg.org)
- MJ Mynarski, Composer (A Deadly Adoption, Lost Boy, Darkness Before the Dawn, Emmy-winner)
- Eli Presser, Lead Puppet Designer (Basil Twist, Kevin McTurk, Genevieve Anderson)
"My education has been so unwitting I can't quite tell which of my thoughts come from me and which from my books, but that's how I've stayed attuned to myself and the world around me for the past thirty-five years. Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel." --Bohumil Hrabal, Too Loud a Solitude
KCRW'S MICHAEL SILVERBLATT ON TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE
Risks and challenges
A film's production process is only as strong as the creative team involved with its production. I have full confidence in my team and look forward to working with them on the next phase of our project after it is successfully funded, thanks to you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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