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Josephine and the Roach's video poster

A roach violinist in love with a woman inhabits the brain of her husband in order to be with her. A short live action film with stop-motion animation. Read more

pledged of $3,500 goal
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This project was successfully funded on September 11, 2010.

A roach violinist in love with a woman inhabits the brain of her husband in order to be with her. A short live action film with stop-motion animation.

About this project


Josephine and the Roach is a surreal, offbeat short film about a cockroach who falls in love with the woman whose apartment he infests. Roach shares Josephine's appreciation for early 20th century French classical music, and as she practices her accordion, he accompanies her on the violin, unbeknownst to her. They are perfect for each other. But, alas, Josephine has approximately 45,000 times Roach's body mass, and their reproductive systems are totally incompatible. Besides, Josephine is already married-- to a brutish exterminator named Moe.

Not one to back away from a challenge, Roach devises a plan. He crawls into Moe's brain and gains control of his higher brain functions. Manipulating Moe like a three hundred pound sock puppet, Roach attempts to woo Josephine. He fails miserably. But he perseveres, and in the end he succeeds. Josephine, never big on humans anyways, lives happily ever after with Roach, who has shed his elephantine host for his familiar exoskeleton.

It's Delicatessen meets Ratatouille. With a cockroach.


The short will blend live action with stop motion animation, all shot on HD. The part of the roach will be played by a six inch tall puppet made out of plasticine and a wire armature. He needs to be a charming little guy, and when it comes to puppets like these, charm comes at a price. And we will need several of them.

Additionally, we will need funds to build a set, feed our crew members, light our stage, and generally get this project off the ground.


…donate? Because you love inventive, beautiful films like Nightmare Before Christmas, Delicatessen, The Wrong Trousers, and Mary and Max. And because you want more films like them to exist, and because you know that they need money to exist, and because you recognize that swelling warmth in your gut as a feeling of generosity and artistic camaraderie. And because you want a drawing of a Tennessee Warbler eating a dung beetle (see: rewards for pledging $200).


Jonathan Langager (cowriter/director), is a filmmaker, animator, composer, pianist, violinist, and all around nice guy based in Los Angeles, where he attends the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts graduate school. He has brutally slain hundreds of cockroaches, but now feels remorseful and ready to make amends. An example of his animation and music can be seen here:

Joe Swanson (cowriter) tried pre-med, but sidetracked himself by staging elaborate plays starring costumed lab mice. His opus The Adventures of Mr. Whiskers and Sir Cheese-A-Lot was a critical triumph among bored lab-dwelling undergrads. An alum from the USC graduate screenwriting program, he has penned many short films which have gone on to garner numerous awards, including a Student Emmy for Short Comedy, and the 2010 USC Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in Screenwriting.

Damon Stea (producer) is a prolific director and cofounder of Mindfruit, an artist collaborative responsible for the creation of countless short films, including some phenomenal stop motion animation. He has created commercials for high profile companies such as and Stella Artois. He once shot an entire short film on a flatbed scanner. It was awesome. Much of his work can be viewed here:

Joshua Tate (producer) is a current USC student who has directed and produced many student projects, including two short documentaries that appeared at South by Southwest. His short documentary, "Forgotten Lives," has been screened in political and educational events throughout the State of Texas, inspiring Texans to take action against the inhumane treatment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Texas Institutions. He loves odd, grotesque films, including those that involve musical cockroaches.

Jonathan is under the gracious mentorship of Michael Taylor, the Chair of Film and Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He maintains a career as a producer of both studio and independent films. His credits as a producer include Bottle Rocket (1996), Phenomenon (1996), and Instinct (1999), among many others. As an executive at United Artists and Orion Pictures, he was involved in the supervision of numerous projects, including The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Amadeus (1984).


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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    10 backers

    A cockroach in the director's apartment will be named after you, spared execution, and released into the wild.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    17 backers

    Previous reward, plus an original drawing of a cockroach on a postcard, in whatever context you would like him to be. Taking a bubble bath, for instance.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    48 backers

    Previous rewards, plus a copy of the DVD, signed by the director, and a mention in the credits.

  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    7 backers

    Previous rewards, plus a poster for the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers

    DVD and poster. Plus a framed original black and white drawing by the director of any insect (real or fictional) of your choosing.

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    4 backers

    DVD, poster, and drawing. Except the drawing will be in color. AND, a bird of your choosing (real or fictional) will be included in the drawing. The bird can be eating, conversing with, or ignoring the insect, as per your specifications.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    DVD, poster, and color bird + insect drawing. You will also receive an oil portrait of a cockroach, in whatever context you want him to be in. Ever wanted a painting of a roach on horseback leading a charge at Waterloo? This is your chance.

Funding period

- (30 days)