About this project
UPDATE! Thanks to you we've raised enough to make 3 more Morph episodes! Scroll down to see our next stretch goal!
We love Morph here at Aardman. He’s one of the first characters we created when we started out in the crazy world of animation. He was originally in a programme called Take Hart, where he lived on the desk of the artist and presenter, Tony Hart. He was a simple clay character who would mess up Tony’s desk and get into all kinds of mischief while Tony wasn't looking. Due to his metamorphosing capabilities, we decided to call him Morph! Here are some of his classic moments from the show:
I’m amazed and humbled that even though it has been over 30 years since his birth, the little guy still has such a passionate following on Facebook and YouTube. We’ve had so many people asking for him to make a comeback that I thought it’s about time we start hatching a plan.
The world has changed a lot since Dave (Morph’s co-creator) and I were first sat in a tiny studio, away from civilisation, making little films about a clay character that messed up Tony Hart’s desk and simply hoping that an audience would like them. Something wondrous came along called ‘the Internet’ which broke down the divide between programme creators and their audience so that nowadays we don’t have to second-guess what our audience want, we can just ask them!
I love the idea that Kickstarter can give us the creative freedom to fundraise and work directly with our audience. After checking with Morph’s Facebook fans it seems that they’d be interested too, which is a great start! So now’s our chance, yours and mine together, to see how this can work out and how we can make some great new Morph films.
Right, let's get on to the fun bit! If you help us reach our Kickstarter target, here’s what we plan to do with the money:
What? Morph’s adventures have always worked best as short films, and so we plan to make 12 new one-minute episodes, which we will release online for everyone to enjoy.
How? Staying true to the original format, we plan to shoot the episodes using clay and traditional stop-frame animation, in Morph’s original home at Aardman studios in Bristol. I will be dusting off the director’s chair and there’s an eager team of expert animators ready for the challenge.
When? If we reach our goal, production will start in January with the aim of finishing the episodes and releasing them online by July.
And what about storylines? I have plenty of ideas up my sleeve for new Morph adventures and scripting would start in January. I’m very keen on keeping the humour, slapstick and surrealism of the originals, whilst at the same time bringing Morph slightly more in line with the modern world....
You're invited! The exciting part for us, something we’ve wanted to try for a while, is that we can ask you to be involved in the production as we go along. We want you to have a window on to the production floor so you can see the episodes taking shape, ask us questions, submit ideas, be part of the Morph crew! If we get our funding, production will start in the new year, so get your thinking caps on!
After asking Morph’s Facebook fans what they’d like to see, hopefully we’ve come up with a juicy package of rewards that will tantalise the taste buds of Morph fans old and new.
We want to work with you to make the episodes you want to watch, so all levels of backers will have access to a private production blog. From here you’ll be able to follow the production from its beginnings in script, to storyboards, animatics, animation and release, but more importantly than this, we want to invite you to comment, vote and submit ideas as we go along that will shape the final episodes.
Additionally, if you’d like to pledge more to the production, we’ve got a host of exclusive goodies to offer - from crew t-shirts and special edition prints, up to studio tours and your very own Morph models. I’m extremely excited - we’ve never opened up our studio in this way before and I hope you all find something suitable as a memento of your contribution to the project.
If there’s a reward you would like that isn’t listed, leave us a comment and we’ll see what we can do.
A few of you have been asking what an earth a Morphness is! Well, we will make a version of you (or your favourite celeb) into a Morph figurine, including hairstyles, accessories – the works!
To give you a better idea of the process, here’s a video of our chief model maker Enty creating a Morphness. There was no question when it came to picking a famous personality to recreate - it had to be legendary artist, presenter and our dear friend, the late great Tony Hart.
It’s safe to say that my brain has been swimming with Morph ideas lately, and it’s all been spilling out into my sketch pad. I’ve decided to offer some of these up as rewards on our page, including the one below, in return for your generous pledges.
Right then you lovely lot! Thanks to YOU we’ve fully funded our campaign to make 15 new adventures of Morph. Huzzah!
There's still time left on the campaign and we have plenty of juicy rewards left. If Morph’s fans would like to keep pledging, we’d LOVE to make some more Morph adventures! After batting my eyelids and telling our accountant that he looked very pretty, he’s allowed us to add a contribution towards the production costs of the extra episodes - but we’d need the following amount from you to make it happen:
...and you will of course get a copy of any additional episodes created as part of your digital download or DVD reward.
So I think that covers everything for now. Thank you again for all your support and I hope you like the new part of our plan! You thought you were getting 12 episodes, but thanks to your amazing efforts, it looks as if there'll be more! Result.
Pete, Morph and all the team at Aardman
Risks and challenges
The production of the episodes and fulfilment of rewards will all be covered by the team at Aardman, so you’re in safe hands. The only possible, but small, risks we can foresee are any unexpected delays to the production schedule.
It’s not something we take lightly - the producers here at Aardman can plan a production with military precision (you should see their spreadsheets – oh my!) but sometimes things happen that are out of our control – staff sickness, random acts of God, fire, precious models being left on the back seats of taxis - you know the story. There are some rewards that are dependent on us completing the production – digital downloads, DVDs, screenings of the episodes, and so this would have a knock on effect.
The same goes for our rewards – we’ve planned out the fulfilment of each one and will make every effort to stick to the delivery schedule stated, but stock or shipping issues from our supplier may cause unplanned delays.
But fear not, we’ll be in regular contact with you all via the production blog, so you’ll be able to check up on the production on a weekly basis and will be the first to know of any changes.
THE FINE PRINT (a few things our legal eagles asked me to say)
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the Morph screening evening, take part in the model making Google Hangout or visit the set.
• Travel and accommodation are not included with any of the reward packages
• If we choose one of your ideas to include in the production, we will need to get you to sign some paperwork to say that you have let us use your idea for now and into the future. In exchange, we will give you a credit in the relevant episode. Just be aware that it may be such a great idea that either we’ve already thought of it, or maybe other people have already suggested it!
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
After receiving lots of requests from backers we looked into doing a blu-ray as a reward, but the costs of producing a relatively small run (less than 5000) are looking too high to make it worthwhile. This isn't to say that we won't be able to make one available for general release in future though - we know it's something you'd like to see, so we'll keep it on the list.
Additionally, the digital download that we send to all backers of £5 and above will be in HD, so you still enjoy Morph in all his high def glory!
We want to make the most out of the money you pledge and it’s more cost-effective to produce several episodes simultaneously than one on its own. This is because set up costs are split across multiple episodes and we can have several sets running at the same time, meaning we can output more work in the same amount of studio time, reducing our cost per episode.
We’ll try and make the most out of the money we have available. If we make less than our target, but still enough for 1 or 2 extra episodes, then that’s what we’ll do.
Yes! As a bonus for us reaching our target, any additional episodes we create will also be included in your reward.
Whoa there, let’s not count our chickens just yet! If it looks likely that this will happen, I’ll be in touch to discuss the next steps.
Fantastic, I could use a few people like you on the team! Hold on tight to your idea for now - we want to make sure we’ve got a system in place so that we can consider your ideas properly for use in the production.
Once our project has been officially green lit we’ll be setting up a private production blog where you can submit your thoughts, suggestions and brainwaves, plus vote to make decisions on the production. Look out for an invite early in the new year….
Studio tours will run in March, which is when we plan to shoot the new Morph episodes. Tours will last approximately 2-3 hours and during this time we'll take you round the Aardman building (including all the interesting areas like model making) show you the sets where we are shooting the new Morph episodes, you'll get to meet the crew and ask them any questions, plus have a special screening of some of our work in the Aardman cinema.
Dates are still to be confirmed, but we plan to do one tour each week during the month. We can take 10 people on each tour (5 backers and their +1s) so we will ask backers to choose which date they prefer and places will be allocated on a first-come-first serve basis.
If our project is green lit, we'll aim to allocate these places as soon as possible so our backers have plenty of time to sort out their travel plans.
Yes, everyone who has pledged £5 or above will receive a digital download of the new Morph episodes. You’re helping to make this happen, you will get the first view of Morph’s finished adventures!
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