The Sketchbook, An Animated Short Film
The Sketchbook, An Animated Short Film
At 15-years-old, he watched his father go to war. At 16, he went looking for him. Based on an incredible true story.
At 15-years-old, he watched his father go to war. At 16, he went looking for him. Based on an incredible true story. Read more
About this project
TO BACK IT, CLICK HERE!
WHAT IS THE SKETCHBOOK?
THE SKETCHBOOK is an ANIMATED SHORT FILM about a young soldier enlisting in the First World War attempting to be reunited with his father, who is serving in another battalion. His amazing story is told through the pages of the sketchbook of an artist he meets on the front lines.
When it's complete, the film will BLEND 3D COMPUTER ANIMATION with TRADITIONAL 2D ANIMATION techniques to create a living and breathing sketchbook. It will also honor the memory of those who fought in the First World War, and of course, recount an incredible story of a son's search for his father.
Our funding date is precisely 100 years after the First World War began.
WHY IS IT A GOOD PROJECT TO BACK?
Firstly, there's the EXPERIENCE.
The Sketchbook team is comprised of FEATURE FILM ARTISTS from every facet of the industry. I will start introducing our contributors soon enough, but for now you can see just some of the films we've worked on by scanning the posters below. You'll find all the great animation studios are well represented. BLUESKY, PIXAR, SONY, DISNEY, and ILM just to name a few. Great projects! Great people!
Then there's COMMITMENT.
From the moment I began until today is the better part of ten years. I believe in this story, and I'm motivated to seeing it through at the highest quality possible. But that doesn't happen without a third crucial component, and that's YOU.
By backing this project, you will provide the film with an operating budget that will allow it to transition from its current script form into animation and beyond. With your support, we will be able to bring together the perfect team to help this film grow. And you'll be there with us ever step of the way.
REMEMBER WWI THROUGH ONE SOLDIER'S UNIQUE STORY
If you decide to back this project, you will be helping me share an amazing story, but you will be doing so much more than that.
In 2014, the world will recognize the 100th ANNIVERSARY of WW1, and making this film allows us to acknowledge the sacrifices made all those years ago. One of the ways we hope to achieve that is by connecting our project dates with some of the more notable dates of the Great war. In fact, the end date for our funding drive at 11 AM on June 28, 2014 is exactly 100 years to the minute after the start of WW1. If you scan our rewards, you'll find a few more too! Staying connected and helping to bring some of their stories forward is something I'd personally be very proud of.
SUPPORT GREAT ARTISTS
But this isn't just about the history. It's about the artists too! Backing The Sketchbook enables us support some fantastic artists who have taken that first step to launching their own studios. In fact, The Sketchbook's first studio collaboration is already in the books! Samantha Youssef's STUDIO TECHNIQUE in Montreal was gracious enough to host a WW1 drawing night, and it's just the kind of place we love support. Thanks to Rich Lees and Justin Walsh over at 46th PRODUCTIONS, we were able to have an amazing night of drawing with an authentic WW1 uniform. Remembering the Great War with passionate artists. It was a perfect night!
Hopefully, we can do some more!
I have been working as an ANIMATOR or SUPERVISOR in feature films for over 13 years, and have been really fortunate to have been a part of some amazing projects. They include summer blockbusters like SPIDER-MAN and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, animated features such as CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS and WRECK-IT-RALPH, and even a couple of Oscar winners including SPIDER-MAN 2.
If you'd like to see some of my animation, you can do so below. I'm also completing my first graphic novel, RED FOG, that found its first breaths right here on Kickstarter.
The talented artists I have worked with over the years have taught me so much, but perhaps the most important lesson is that collaboration is above all the single most important element to producing a film you can be proud of.
Work with people that you like, that you trust, and that you respect. The results will surely follow.
YOU ARE THE GREEN LIGHT!
It's one of the most amazing feelings in filmmaking - Learning your project has been 'Green lit'. In this instance, you're the GREEN LIGHT! Your contributions will determine not only 'IF' I will be able to make this film, but 'HOW' it's made as well. That all depends on the budget.
Your contributions will largely be allocated in the following areas:
- CHARACTER DESIGN
- CHARACTER MODELING
- CHARACTER RIGGING
- STORY BOARDING
- VISUAL DEVELOPMENT
- ANIMATION TESTING
- ENVIRONMENT AND SET DESIGN
- ENVIRONMENT AND SET MODELING
100% OF YOUR MONEY IS GOING TO ARTISTS. I'm asking you to help me build this world. Then once we get to animation, well, I've got that covered.
Now, how do we want this to look exactly? Allow me to introduce you to George Pratt.
THE INFLUENCE OF GEORGE PRATT ON THE SKETCHBOOK
GEORGE PRATT is an award winning illustrator, painter and comic book artist. It was his graphic novel ENEMY ACE that not only turned me on to comic books, but inadvertently sowed the seeds for my first writing venture. I bought that book in 1992, and ten years later I began writing The Sketchbook with George's gorgeous WW1 sketches providing the inspiration for the artist in my story. Now, all these years later, he will be making a variety of important contributions to a project he helped ignite. This will be the second time I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with George. Last year, he painted the cover art for my first comic book RED FOG. What a privilege!
THE SKETCHBOOK STYLE GUIDE
The Sketchbook will first be animated in CG, but the final look will lean heavily on traditional hand drawn animation. To mimic a sketchbook, the animators will blend the finished computer animation with a variety of traditional drawing media, including conté, charcoal, pencil, ink, and watercolor washes. George's drawings below illustrate the kind of range we will be striving for. They provide great inspiration and a challenging target.
The final results will produce a vibrant and textured finished film. If we manage to hit our initial pledge goal, I will send out a 'Backers only' video outlining in greater detail the look, the artists that have influenced the film, and also point to a couple of shorts that really inspired this project! Hopefully, you'll all be inspired too!
Whether you're a backer or a creator, there's no question the rewards are a special part of the Kickstarter experience. For The Sketchbook, great art inspired me to make this film, so it only makes sense to offer great artwork as a reward.
FOR THE COLLECTOR - GEORGE PRATT has offered to lead the charge by contributing ORIGINAL SKETCHES and LIMITED EDITION PRINTS pulled from his SKETCHBOOK pre-production artwork. You can select one print, or walk away with the full set plus an original piece if you select our top rewards! George's work is nothing short of world class and having one of his pieces on your wall would be an incredible keepsake. If you or a loved one has a passion for comics, drawing or World War I history, then this reward is for you.
In addition to George's work, The Sketchbook's visual development team will also be offering up prints to collect. Just like George, they are world class artists at the top of their game. You won't be disappointed.
FOR ANIMATION FANS, I will be sending out design packs that cover the ins and outs of building this short film. I'll include rough to final character designs and some environment studies too. Basically, I will fill it with the types of images I love to see in the 'Art of' books we all collect. These packs will tell the story of how the visual language for The Sketchbook grew from an idea to a finished film. Don't forget, the team on this short worked on some our favorite films. The artwork will be amazing.
FOR THOSE THAT WANT TO CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING MORE PERSONAL - A couple of rewards that have me particularly excited depend on you the backers participating. Would you be willing to share a favorite memory? Or perhaps take the time to submit a drawing? The MEMORY REWARD will be comprised entirely of your cherished memories and I anticipate that it will be just an incredible thing to read. THE SKETCHBOOK is a father/son story, but your memory doesn't have to be limited to just that. Have fun with it!
If the DRAWING REWARD has you intrigued, then you simply need to have a love of drawing to participate! There are no age restrictions and you certainly do not need to be a professional artist. All I ask is that the drawings stay within the confines of WW1 and THEY MUST BE TASTEFUL as I will ultimately decide if it can be included. Need inspiration? How about these guys:
- John Singer Sargeant
- Captain Harvey Dunn
- Muirhead Bone
- Alfred Bastien
You can draw from all kinds of subject matter and you don't need to stay inside the trenches. Get into the air in your Red Baron Triplane, or inside a Mark I tank! Just remember to fire me a mail if you have any questions on what is and what isn't appropriate.
Finally, for those of you pledging $1000 or more, you will enjoy complete behind the scenes access to our project. Our video diaries will enable you to take the journey with myself and some of the other artists involved as we move through the complete filmmaking process. Then when it's all over, you'll have gorgeous artwork to display and share. And as for the screen credit, all I can say is that it is a pretty special feeling having your name on the big screen. It will definitely be something you will cherish for a long long time, and I hope the film we create will be something you can be proud of as well.
BACKER REFERRAL REWARDS
Obviously I am trying to raise as much as I can to fund this film, and digital rewards help me to do that. Although The Sketchbook's digital rewards will only be available here to backers, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes you just want something in the mail too. I completely understand! So with that in mind, I created some referral rewards.
The referral rewards allow you to stay under $30, but still get cool stuff. All you need to do is pledge, then enlist some of your friends to become backers too! Send me their names, email addresses and pledge amounts, and you could earn some of these great rewards as a thank you.
- For pledges totaling at least $25, you'll get a SMALL PRINT
- or for pledges totaling at least $50, you'll get the SIGNED DVD
- or for pledges totaling at least $75, you'll get the DVD and T-Shirt
- or for pledges totaling over $100, you'll get a LARGE PRINT
As an extra incentive, I will send the backer with the most referrals one of my ORIGINAL DRAWINGS. This referral program will help me get the word out, and you will get some great keepsakes. We all come out winners!
BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR FUNDING GOAL IS EXCEEDED?
Our funding goal is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM to see the project through. If we are fortunate enough to surpass that goal however, any additional funds will ENRICH both THE LOOK of the finished film, and HOW we reach the finish line. Here's how:
- VISUAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPLORATION - Bringing a sketchbook to life is a great challenge, and I'd love to explore a variety of ways to do that. As it stands today, we will achieve the final look by doing a full drawing pass over the CG animation. But is there a better way, or a combination of techniques? Getting into the stretch goals helps us explore those ideas.
- ART DIRECTOR - This position is crucial for any feature film, and it would be an amazing addition to the project. They would oversee the overall look of the film and offer all kinds of insight into how we can make the visuals all the more striking. As of right now, the designers, animators and myself will take care of this, but it would be advantageous to be able to bring an art director into the fold.
- VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR - They work directly with the Art Director making sure everyone knows what can and can't be done on the technical side. As of right now, this position will be made up of the technical set up team and myself.
- SPECIAL EFFECTS - Having an opportunity to work with a special effects professional will no doubt bring a lot to this project. They will bring unique software know how and finding the right team will elevate the final look of the project immensely.
- PROMOTION & FESTIVALS - My ultimate goal with the film is to take it through the festivals. Entrance fees and travel are part and parcel of that endeavor and they can really add up. This is our film. Please help me share it.
So, fingers crossed that we get to the stretch goals! Being able to expand the team would be excellent as their added expertise would make the project both more beautiful, and of course easier to tackle! As for the rewards, I will announce stretch goal rewards once we move into striking distance.
ACHTUNG! BEFORE YOU BACK!
Well, clearly I'd love every single one of you to back my project, but I also want to make sure you are clear on a few items before you make that commitment.
1) FILMS TAKE TIME
I know I've just stated the obvious here, but it's an important point. My production schedule depends on the budget and artist availability, among other things, and I really won't be able to plan in earnest until we cross the finish line here at Kickstarter. What I can say based on early projections is that I can aim for a Fall 2016 completion date. No matter what the end date is though, rest assured you will be getting lots of updates outlining our progress.
2) DVDS, DIGITAL DOWNLOADS & FESTIVALS
This is an incredibly exciting aspect to this project. My hope is to take The Sketchbook to some great film festivals and show off what we've achieved together. That being said, there are some very strict rules of eligibility and I need to adhere to those rules.
Distribution of any kind is prohibited by many of the festivals UNTIL the film has been screened there first.
This means I will not be able to send backers DVDs or even send digital cuts until those screenings occur. I apologize for this inconvenience, but the goal here is to show off the film on the big screen. Rest assured, all of the other rewards will be sent well ahead of the film's completion date. You will also get exclusive access to the making of this film, and it will be be sent to you as soon as possible. Finally, I will certainly have local screenings and will announce dates and locations once we wrap!
Please take this into consideration before you back this project. I hope you still become a backer!
For the rewards that involve travel, please be aware that travel costs and lodging are the responsibility of the backer.
I'm going to go on record and say this could be the trickiest part of my page! Until I wander down to the post office to mail your rewards, I'm really only providing an educated guess. Backers from the US and Canada have shipping charges included in the cost of the reward.
For INTERNATIONAL BACKERS, I am unable to include the shipping charges, so you'll notice an additional charge at the bottom of your reward. PLEASE ADD THE SHIPPING CHARGES TO YOUR PLEDGE. Those shipping costs will help me ensure your rewards arrive safe and sound. I am very proud about the quality of the artwork you will be getting by backing this project, and it's extremely important that your artwork arrive in mint condition.
AND FINALLY, A BIG THANKS!
I would like to acknowledge the amazing contributions by these talented artists! Thank you!!
Risks and challenges
Making a short film is a tremendous responsibility, and I certainly don't take the task lightly. Having worked in feature films for so many years, I'm well prepared for all the hiccups that can occur in a production. They include:
• TECHNICAL ISSUES
• CREATIVE CHALLENGES
• THE VOLUME OF WORK
• ARTIST AVAILABILITY
But this is a team game and I'm extremely confident and excited about the artists that will collaborate with me on this production. There isn't a single obstacle that someone on THE SKETCHBOOK team won't be able to overcome. If any of us have learned anything over the years in feature films, it's to expect the unexpected, but the films always get done and they always look great.
Our focus will be on delivering an amazing film, and until we have a budget, it's difficult to project a specific completion date. That will be a challenge for myself and the backers in our earliest stages, but we will map out a clear plan of attack once things fall into place!
On the Kickstarter side, finding the best way to manage the campaign also provides challenges. Specifically, how to get the word out! I will look for press opportunities on the local level, in addition to connecting with World War I enthusiasts and animation fans. And of course, my hope is that the backers become as passionate about this project as I am. Please share!
Finally, I am currently wrapping up my comic Red Fog, but all that remains now is to get the books back from the printers and to ship them to my backers! So although the projects overlap a little, they will in no way compete with one another. If anything, managing the comic book project has taught me a great deal about how to put together a strong and healthy Kickstarter campaign.
Thanks for considering this project!
ChrisLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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