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A feature adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's beloved book made with live action puppets, animated sequences, and visual effects.
A feature adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's beloved book made with live action puppets, animated sequences, and visual effects.
423 backers pledged $39,474 to help bring this project to life.

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$39,474

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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..."

Too Loud a Solitude Film Poster, Art By Yevgenia Nayberg
Too Loud a Solitude Film Poster, Art By Yevgenia Nayberg

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.

Paul Giamatti (Photo © Jeff Neumann 2016)
Paul Giamatti (Photo © Jeff Neumann 2016)

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 genevieve@tooloudasolitude.com

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.

Too Loud a Solitude Book Necklace, $150 Incentive
Too Loud a Solitude Book Necklace, $150 Incentive

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.

Director Genevieve Anderson Will Discuss Puppets With You Via Skype
Director Genevieve Anderson Will Discuss Puppets With You Via Skype

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

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.  

Hanta, The Film's Narrator, Will Tweet His Thanks To You
Hanta, The Film's Narrator, Will Tweet His Thanks To You

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.

Too Loud a Solitude Desk Caddy, $200 Incentive Reward
Too Loud a Solitude Desk Caddy, $200 Incentive Reward

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!

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • 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)

Too Loud A Solitude Film Site

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Genevieve Anderson

Too Loud a Solitude Desk Caddy, $200 Incentive Reward
Too Loud a Solitude Desk Caddy, $200 Incentive Reward

"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

Too Loud a Solitude Storyboard Incentive Reward. Artist: Christo Stamboliev
Too Loud a Solitude Storyboard Incentive Reward. Artist: Christo Stamboliev

 

Too Loud a Solitude Costume Design Sketch Incentive Reward. Artist: Yevgenia Nayberg
Too Loud a Solitude Costume Design Sketch Incentive Reward. Artist: Yevgenia Nayberg

 

Too Loud a Solitude Set Design Sketch Incentive Reward. Artist: David Max
Too Loud a Solitude Set Design Sketch Incentive Reward. Artist: David Max

KCRW'S MICHAEL SILVERBLATT ON TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE

 

Director Genevieve Anderson
Director Genevieve Anderson

 

Puppet Set Prague Street Scene
Puppet Set Prague Street Scene

 

Hanta from Too Loud a Solitude
Hanta from Too Loud a Solitude

 

Too Loud a Solitude Book Necklace, $150 Incentive
Too Loud a Solitude Book Necklace, $150 Incentive

 

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!

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    Too loud a thank you

    Too loud a thank you for supporting our project! Too Loud a Solitude author Bohumil Hrabal will toast you from his celestial throne!

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    Your name on our web site

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    Tweet from a puppet. Twuppet? Tweepet?

    We don't know whether to call it a "twuppet" or a "tweepet," but Hanta, the star puppet and main character of Too Loud a Solitude, will tweet you his thanks. Follow us on Twitter and include your Twitter name with your pledge. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    A postcard in the mail from the director

    Director Genevieve Anderson will thank you personally with a handwritten note on a Too Loud a Solitude film postcard, featuring art by Yevgenia Nayberg. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Too Loud a Solitude original soundtrack

    Download of original soundtrack by Emmy award winning composer MJ Mynarski. Twelve beautiful compositions commissioned for our 2007 Too Loud a Solitude film short, plus bonus film trailer track. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Film short download & script

    Download of our seventeen minute Too Loud a Solitude film short, made in 2007, starring Paul Giamatti as the voice of Hanta. Includes film short script by Alex MacInnis for you to see how we adapted the book. Acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Home Czech & Slovak arts festival

    Producer Frank Rehak's essential Czech & Slovak literature, film, and music recommendations with commentary about their relationship to Czech & Slovak cultural history. Includes Spotify music playlist, recommended reading & viewing lists, Frank's commentary, and acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Too Loud a Solitude book and bookmark

    A copy of Bohumil Hrabal's novella with a Too Loud a Solitude film bookmark, featuring art by Yevgenia Nayberg. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    All things Too Loud a Solitude

    Film short download & script. Download of original Too Loud a Solitude soundtrack by Emmy award winning composer MJ Mynarski. Digital storyboard and design e-portfolio (a selection of storyboards by Christo Stamboliev, costume design sketches by Yevgenia Nayberg, and set design sketches we used to make our 2007 film short). Also includes home Czech & Slovak arts festival, thank you Tweet from a puppet, and acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Signed puppet films DVD

    DVD of our 2007 seventeen minute Too Loud a Solitude film short, starring Paul Giamatti as the voice of Hanta, signed by Director Genevieve Anderson, and Anderson's other puppet films: Boxed (12 min., 1998), Sunlight (17 min., 2000), and Ola's Box Of Clovers (10 min., 2004). Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Literary journal

    Receive a year of poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews from our friends and fellow lovers of Hrabal and literature at Conduit Literary Magazine, "The Only Magazine That Risks Annihilation." Includes acknowledgment on our web site. Only 2 available.

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    Book reviews & poetry chapbooks

    In the spirit of Hanta, the main character of Too Loud a Solitude whose love of books propels the story forward, our friends at Rain Taxi Review Of Books will send you a year of the magazine and two of their artfully-made poetry chapbooks: Clatters, by French writer Henri Droguet, and The Road To Camden, by Dutch writer Kees 't Hart. Includes acknowledgment on our web site. Only 5 available.

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    Prague calendar and souvenirs

    2017 Prague calendar of beautiful original photos of the city by Olga Mendel, signed, and a selection of souvenir items personally collected for you from Prague by our team: a U Zlateho Tygra coaster from Bohumil Hrabal's favorite pub, a bag of Haslerky candies (named after Karel Hasler, renowned Czech singer and actor), a Bohumil Hrabal Postrizinske beer bottle label, and a folding postcard of 3D Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. Also includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Literature and translation book duo

    A copy of Bohumil Hrabal's novella Too Loud a Solitude, film bookmark, and The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life In Translation, by Esther Allen, Sean Cotter & Russell Scott Valentino, Editors, about the life and work of Hrabal's renowned translator, whose translation allows us to enjoy the book today. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Book signed by translator Paul Wilson

    We will send you a copy of Bohumil Hrabal's short story collection Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales From The Time Of The Cult (New Directions Books), signed by translator Paul Wilson. Mr. Wilson also translated writings of Czech President Vaclav Havel and was a singer with legendary rock band The Plastic People Of The Universe. Also includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Reception at Czech Center New York

    Join us for a special evening at the Czech Center New York on Thursday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. for a viewing of the Too Loud a Solitude film short followed by discussion with Director Genevieve Anderson and Producer Kelly Miller. Airfare, accommodations, and ground transportation not included. The Czech Center is located at 321 E. 73rd Street at the Bohemian National Hall (between 1st and 2nd Avenue). Includes refreshments, film swag bag and acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Too Loud a Solitude book necklace

    Exclusive handmade Too Loud a Solitude book necklace designed specially for our donors. Made from reclaimed materials by artists Peg and Awl, the necklace features a handmade book inscribed with Too Loud a Solitude and Bohumil Hrabal on the front cover and a quote from the book inside (see photo). Wear a book and support the film! Also includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Too Loud a Solitude desk caddy

    We'll send you a handmade Too Loud a Solitude desk caddy inscribed specially for our donors with a quote from the book (see photos). Made by artists Peg and Awl from reclaimed Heart Pine finished with tung oil. 6″ long by 3″ wide by 4″ tall. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Visit the L.A. puppet fabrication studio

    For those curious about the puppet arts and puppet design, we'll arrange for you to visit the fabrication studio in Los Angeles where we will be designing and making the puppets for Too Loud a Solitude. Director Genevieve Anderson will discuss the puppet making process and the film. Airfare, accommodations, and ground transportation not included. Includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Storyboard and design print portfolio

    Print portfolio of beautiful storyboards and design sketches we used to make the 17 minute film short in 2007. A selection of storyboards by Christo Stamboliev, costume design sketches by Yevgenia Nayberg, and set design sketches, presented in an elegantly-wrapped folder. Includes download of the 2007 film short and acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Bohumil Hrabal's Czech New Wave

    For the Czech New Wave film lover, we'll send you the film Closely Watched Trains, based on Bohumil Hrabal's novel of the same name, and the four DVD collection Pearls Of The Czech New Wave, which includes Pearls Of The Deep, a five part anthology of films based on a selection of Bohumil Hrabal's short stories. Comes with a viewer's guide penned by our resident expert on all things Czech, Producer Frank Rehak, who will enhance your viewing experience with valuable insights into the Czech New Wave. Also includes film short download & script, home Czech & Slovak arts festival, a postcard in the mail from the director, and acknowledgment on our web site. Due to DVD region coding, this item ships only to U.S. and Canada.

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    New York lunch with director & film team

    We'll take you out for lunch and discussion about the film, puppets, and Bohumil Hrabal at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, located at the Upper East Side's Bohemian National Hall in New York City. Includes Czech, Slovak, & grill favorites from the menu (we're prohibited from offering alcohol as an incentive item; airfare, accommodations, ground transportation not included). Includes film swag bag and acknowledgment on our web site. Lunch is at 12 noon on Saturday December 3, 29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria, New York.

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    NY dinner with director & film team

    We'll take you out for dinner and discussion about the film, puppets, and Bohumil Hrabal at Bohemian Spirit, located in the Upper East Side's Bohemian National Hall in New York City (airfare, accommodations, ground transportation not included). Also includes film swag bag and acknowledgment on our web site. Dinner is at 6 p.m. on Friday December 2.

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    Skype with Director Genevieve Anderson

    Curious to know what it's like to make movies with puppets? We'll arrange for you to have a 30 minute conversation via Skype with Director Genevieve Anderson about her films, puppets, and Too Loud a Solitude. She'll even give you a private tour of her studio! Includes download of the 2007 film short and acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Prague guided tour

    For donors who would like to experience Bohumil Hrabal's Prague, we can't fly you there but we can offer you a guided 3 day/2 night tour of the city by our Producer Frank Rehak. Frank is an expert on Prague and a former Fulbright Teaching Fellow at the Czech Film & Foto Academy in Prague. Discover all the best the city has to offer: galleries and concerts, great restaurants, secret museums, interesting artists, architecture and theater. Visit Hrabal's favorite pub, U Zlateho Tygra, and other Hrabal spots the writer frequented and that appear in his work. Talks about Czech culture included. Airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, cost of meals and event admission not included, but Frank will help arrange your itinerary and lodgings. Must be available to travel late September/early October 2017.

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    A puppet YOU in the film!

    Director Genevieve Anderson will make a puppet in your likeness to be used as one of the supporting or background characters in the film. And when production of the film is complete, you get to keep the puppet! We'll send you images of your puppet being fabricated and an invite to see it being made in person if you're in the Los Angeles area (does not include airfare or accommodations). Also includes acknowledgment on our web site.

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    Too loud an angel supporter

    For our angel supporters, the "Bohumil Hrabundle:" our eternal thanks and gratitude, acknowledgment on our web site, tweet from a puppet, postcard in the mail, film short download & script, home Czech & Slovak arts festival, signed puppet films DVD, literature and translation book duo, book signed by translator Paul Wilson, film bookmarks, Too Loud a Solitude book necklace & desk caddy, storyboard & design print portfolio lovingly placed inside a handmade box in the shape of a book with Too Loud a Solitude inscribed on the cover. Also includes Bohumil Hrabal's Czech New Wave and an invitation to your choice of visit to L.A. puppet fabrication studio or reception at Czech Center NY or NY lunch with production team or NY dinner with production team. To top things off, in honor of your generous contribution, we will include a one of a kind miniature prop used in our 2007 film short and a personal thank you from Hanta, the narrator of Too Loud a Solitude.

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Funding period

- (35 days)