Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 8, 2012.

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A pair of puppets shake up their world in an escalating argument over the origin of their existence.

"Where do we come from?"  "What is our purpose?"  "Is there an afterlife?" "Does God exist?" 

Often answered but never agreed upon, these questions have plagued humankind since we were first seeded on the Earth by an alien race of Darwinian descent set in motion by an omnipotent intelligent designer who was reincarnated as the result of the non-random survival of randomly reproducing replicators represented by the zen-practicing Reptillian humanoids who first escaped from Planet Clthulhu during the 17th Dynasty of Cosmic Discord (DCD).  

For many of us, our best answers to these questions define who we are, how we treat others, and how we live our lives.  Wars are fought, loves are lost, doorbells rung, elections won, protests made and friendships challenged, all in the name of these fascinating riddles of life.  For generations, humans beings have grappled with these concepts across all borders, races and walks of life, but the ideas of one hugely influential group have been criminally brushed aside:  The world of imaginary characters.

The Claytheist seeks to change all that with our revolutionary new "Philostreligiotainment" process, a technique that allows for two-way communication between human beings and created denizens of the imagination for the first time in known history.  The final project will be a stop-motion animated film combined with a performance in front of a live audience.  We hope to share the finished product with as many audiences as possible, bringing the experience to venues everywhere before releasing an online documentary of the process alongside the completed film.

With your help we can fund the technology necessary to bridge the seemingly impenetrable gap between the conscious world of reality and the realm of the imagination through the magic of animated film.

The story centers around The Claytheist and The Timecrow, two puppets who meet in a circus-themed bar in another dimension.

An argument starts over the origin of their existence...

...and things start to get a little personal.

VERY personal.

Neither can seem to get the upper hand...

Until The Claytheist notices that someone ELSE is watching.

As the world threatens to unravel itself, we find that something bigger than either character could have ever imagined is going on...  But you'll have to wait until we finish the project to find out what!

We are two friends with a shared interest in the oddities of life who started out making projects together in our bedrooms and garages and have since turned our pastime into a way of life.  Using the skills and techniques gained in the professional projects that we have collaborated on as well as our educational backgrounds at CalArts (David) and Art Center College of Design (Micah), we are seeking to build a new and unique experience in the world of film and animation by way of this project.

You can see some of the projects that we have made together at our websites:

David Braun (www.davidmakesmovies.com

Micah Cordy (www.micahcordy.com)

We have constantly challenged ourselves to bring our ideas to life with little or no budget, working with everything from broken pinball machines to strange fruits we find in Vietnamese supermarkets and transforming them into set pieces, puppets and special effects.

Now we have the opportunity to create a project with total creative control and freedom, and we want to put our collective hearts and talents into something truly unique and special.  

With your help we can use our time to focus completely on the creative process using the resources we need to achieve our vision.  We will be working with our most trusted group of collaborators to build every aspect of this project (including the music) from scratch.  A budget will allow us to take our vision to a whole new level, and we want to bring you into the process.  To show our gratitude for your support we are making our rewards in the same style as our films:  By hand.  (Show below - Hesper Lucent Action Figure)

Even the smallest donation is very helpful and appreciated, and if you are unable to support the project financially we would be extremely grateful for you to simply spread the word by sharing our page with any of your friends who might be interested.

Let's make something weird and amazing together!

The Timecrow:

(First seen in the short film "Tick Tock Timecrow")

You can also see him in action in How to Train Your Timecrow (featuring Hesper Lucent) and Timecrow on Holiday.

The Claytheist:

(First seen in the music video "Drunk on Another Planet")

Hesper Lucent:

Pay no attention to the puppet behind the curtain!  Although Hesper does not appear in The Claytheist, he is the true creative force behind all of our projects (and our lives) as a whole.  You can follow him on Facebook for regular updates on the project, photos with celebrities and other curiosities.

You can also click on "The Eye of Sarnath" below to visit and like our Claytheist page for updates on the film:

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This will be the most challenging project we have taken on thus far, but we have faced and overcome many obstacles together (from camera failure to exploding spray paint cans to disobedient puppets), and with your help we know we can do it!

FAQ

  • "Philostreligiotainment" is the revolutionary technique allows us to effectively combine film and animation with a live, interactive performance and communicate with the characters that exist within our films. Due to the secretive nature of our processes at Hesper Lucent Laboratories, we are contractually forbidden to reveal anything else during this stage of production, but if you come to a live performance we strongly recommend bringing welding equipment to bend your mind back into shape afterwards.

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  • Premiere live performances are initially planned to take place in various venues in Los Angeles, California around Summer 2013. Following this we hope to make the project a part of as many film and art festivals as possible with the ultimate goal of teaming with a group of filmmakers and musicians to bring our own carnivalesque experience to cities all over! As soon as the Kickstarter period is complete, we will begin updating our new website, http://www.opentheportal.com with information regarding live performances and other activities.

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  • Following our string of performances, we will be editing the final film together with the live footage and releasing it online via Vimeo and http://www.opentheportal.com.. Backers will be given premiere access to the project before the official release!

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    23 backers

    A personal handwritten thank you postcard from your friends at Hesper Lucent Laboratories.

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    21 backers

    A handmade thank you note and one of Hesper's personalized chocolate fortune cookies.

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    6 backers

    A copy of the first edition of "Garage Mentality: The Official Newsletter of Hesper Lucent Laboratories Top Secret Club" with a personal thank you. Weirder than the internet!

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    9 backers

    Custom made copy of "Puppet Sounds," the soundtrack to the project (on CD) featuring original music from the film plus a handful of audio goodies from the creators.

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    11 backers

    Quirky Quistmas Ornament: Specify what you like and we will hand make you an oddly related ornament bulb that will ship to you in time for the holidays!

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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    Thank you letter featuring an original 3" x 5" pencil sketch from the storyboard of the project!

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    7 backers

    Exclusive digital download of "The Making of the Claytheist" feature, starring and created by Hesper Lucent himself, and a thank you postcard.

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    A copy of "Summer Daiyze," the very first compilation DVD of projects by Hesper Lucent Laboratories (featuring handmade stenciled artwork).

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    4 backers

    A screen printed T-shirt with original design based on the film.

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    2 backers

    Wall poster featuring original art based on the project, screen printed by hand.

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    5 backers

    A specially made flipbook featuring an action packed sequence from "The Claytheist," with a personal thank you on the inside cover.

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    3 backers

    Official membership in Hesper Lucent Laboratories Top Secret Club including membership card (with special access to exclusive events, also a great thing to flash when trying to get out of a speeding ticket), embroidered 4" patch declaring your allegiance, the first issue of "Garage Mentality: The Official Newsletter of Hesper Lucent Laboratories Top Secret Club," and a set of exclusive downloads.

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    4 backers

    Hesper Lucent Action Figure: A miniature immortalization of the famous Hesper Lucent--no two are alike! David will hand-sculpt and hand-paint each head. Includes "You Smell Too Human" booklet, and ships by Christmas! (See picture in main section)

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    5 backers

    Ticket to the premiere of "The Claytheist" in Los Angeles (venue TBA) with digital download package including soundtrack, artwork from the film and "Making of."

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    The Thumb Drive of Doom: A nifty decorated 8 GB thumb drive full of Hesper and Claytheist treats.

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    3 backers

    The Mini Mystery Box: Miss getting strange packages in the mail? Curious about what's inside unlabeled bright colored boxes? Don't quite know what to get that quiet, crazy-haired nephew of yours? Then the MINI MYSTERY BOX is for you! Send us 3 words and we will tailor the perfect mystery box for your needs to be sent to you or a loved one by the middle of December!

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Fuzzy, huggable hand sewn Claytheist stuffed toy to keep the nightmares away. Includes handmade doodle and thank you. A must for every child's stocking.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    Fuzzy, huggable hand sewn Timecrow stuffed toy to fill your dreams with chocolate cakes and candies. Includes handmade doodle and thank you.

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    A hand printed 8" x 10" framed film still from "The Claytheist"

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    6 backers

    "Hesper's Perfect Package" - Handmade postcard + Soundtrack CD + Poster + T-Shirt + "Summer Daiyze" DVD + Digital Download of "Making of" + First Edition of "Garage Mentality: The Official Newsletter of Hesper Lucent Laboratories Top Secret Club"

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    An exclusive visit to the highly confidential set and official membership in Hesper Lucent's Top Secret Club.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Hand-printed 16" x 20" film still, framed and signed by the creators.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    The Clock of Chaos: A clock from Hesper Lucent's personal clock collection, tricked out to the nines with hand drawn art, paint, and funkadelic interactive accessories.

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    Framed 16" x 20" still from the film plus framed image of concept art (same size), a visit to the set and a DVD of our projects.

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    The Mystery Box. You won't regret it.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Fully functioning, snappily dressed stop motion puppet (Your choice of Timecrow or Claytheist), mounted on a "mini set" base, and producer credit!

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    A 10 second animated clip of the puppets personally thanking you for your contribution (or repeating a message of your request), producer credit, plus a poster/DVD/shirt and soundtrack pack. Heck, we'll even throw in a flipbook.

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    Diorama of a scene from the film with set of Timecrow and Claytheist stop motion puppets mounted in action.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    A "special" evening out with David, Micah and Hesper: Hesper and his top two employees will take you and a guest out for an unforgettable evening of weirdness in Los Angeles, California. You will receive producer credit, a VIP invitation to premiere performance of "The Claytheist," executive producer credit on screen, and "Gold Membership" to Hesper Lucent Laboratories (which includes a veritable slough of unmentionable goodies and allows visits to the Lab for life)!

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    A fully animated 90 second musical piece created specifically for you, executive producer credit, and a package of all previous rewards from the $300 tier and below.

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Funding period

- (30 days)