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A Penny Dreadful is the pilot episode of an animated adventure about the worlds we create for ourselves when reality becomes unbearable

The Story

Orphaned brothers Neil (11) and Arlo (7) have been sent to live with their estranged aunt Lavinia and uncle Doug, a middle-aged couple unprepared for their new roles as guardians. Misunderstanding becomes frustration, and frustration becomes violence. 

One night the boys discover a box of dusty pirate comics in the attic and are inspired to invent a fantasy world where they can live as adventuring buccaneers; a world where their stuffed animals become seafaring cutthroats, where the tension between them, Doug and Lavinia manifests as lurking sea monsters – a world that strangely parallels their real lives in ways they may not realize. 

But not all who escape are free.

Production

We have been working on A Penny Dreadful in fits and starts over the past eight years, and it's time to finish this first stage of what will become a full-fledged series.

The audio has been recorded and mixed, and now we need an animatic (a semi-animated storyboard). We're not talking stick-figures. We're looking to get something that conveys the feel and atmosphere of the show.

$35,000 is a lot of money, but it's still a tight budget:
      • $20,000 will go towards a professional animatic
      • $5,000 will go towards original music or the score
      • $5,000 administrative costs (kickstarter and Amazon fees, business overhead, etc.)
      • $5,000 in rewards costs (product, taxes, shipping, etc)

Why so much for rewards? Just look at the quality swag we're practically throwing at you!

New reward: Sci-fi t-shirt!

... With more to come!

Spreading the word is going to be our biggest challenge, so don't just be a backer - be a producer! If you like A Penny Dreadful, let others know about it! Our supporters are what the show is all about, after all. Help us spread Dreadful Fever!

(A Penny Dreadful is not related to Showtime's recently announced project Penny Dreadful. We may be looking at a name change in the future. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.)

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Once our funding goal has been met, our first challenges will be to find a composer to write and record the score, as well as an animation house capable of finishing the animatic before our December, 2013 deadline. We've been in touch with several composers and animation companies who've produced some rather stunning work. We're confident we can finish a good-looking final product in time.

After the show is in the can, we face a new set of challenges: the Hollywood shuffle. As a first-effort show whose producers' experience is mostly in theater, live comedy and a handful of internet cartoons, finding a media outlet that wants to further develop the project will be a challenge. But, using our contacts in the industry, a lot of work and the help of supporters like you, you'll soon be seeing A Penny Dreadful on cable or network TV, a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix, or independently produced online!

It won't be easy, but it will be an adventure we'll welcome.

Batten down the hatches! We're off the fight the kraken!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    SWABBY: Our heartfelt thanks and an "Internet High Five" sent to your email.

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    SAILOR I: Temporary tattoos! Get three rub-on tattoos featuring art from the pilot: the series logo, pirate flag and original art featuring the series slogan. See graphic to the left.

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    SAILOR II: Buttons! Get three buttons featuring art from the pilot: the series logo, "I ♥ APD" and "Fighting the Sea Monster" art. See graphic to the left.

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    SAILOR III: Tattoo/Button package. All three tattoos and buttons together!

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    MIDSHIPMAN: A DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic!

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    BOATSWAIN: The "Good Guys" t-shirt in your choice of colors featuring "Fighting the Sea Monster" art (see graphic to the left) and DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic.

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    COXSWAIN: The "Bad Guys" t-shirt in your choice of colors (see graphic to the left) and a DRM-free download of the finished animatic.

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    STRIKER: "The Future?" t-shirt in your choice of colors (see graphic to the left) and a DRM-free download of the finished animatic.

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    SAILING MASTER: A copy of the comic book adaptation of the pilot, signed by the show's creator, a shirt of your choice and a DRM-free digital download of the finished show!

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    QUARTERMASTER: Both t-shirts in your choice of colors and a DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic.

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    CHIEF MATE: Both t-shirts, download of the finished animatic, buttons and tattoos.

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    PRIVATEER: All three t-shirts in your choice of colors and a DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic.

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    CAPTAIN: Both DVD and DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic plus a shirt of your choice.

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    BUCCANEER: An official A Penny Dreadful pitch packet - like the ones we're sending to studios! - including DVD, project descriptions, character profiles, original art and super-secret episode summaries in a collectible logo-embossed cover! (see graphic to the left). Also includes DRM-free digital download of the finished animatic and your choice of shirt.

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    COMMADORE: Original artwork! A portrait of the characters from A Penny Dreadful hand-illustrated in India ink on vellum by show creator Josh Knisely and signed by the cast! See photo to the left. Also comes with a DRM-free digital download of the pilot and two shirts!

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    ADMIRAL: Two tickets to the theatrical premiere of the pilot animatic of A Penny Dreadful in Seattle, WA (date TBA). Also includes pitch packet, both shirts and download.

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    NOBLEMAN: Naming rights! We will name a character on a future episode of A Penny Dreadful after you or the person of your choice. Also includes two tickets to the theatrical premiere of the pilot animatic, pitch packet, two shirts and download.

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    DEFENDER OF THE REALM: Naming rights, pitch packet, premiere tickets, shirts, tattoos, buttons, download AND show creator Josh Knisely will come to your house anywhere in the continental US and cook a gourmet meal for you, up to three guests and as many of the A Penny Dreadful cast as may be available. Menu choices include entrees from Josh's family recipe bouillabaisse to fried chicken and biscuits sandwiches to Josh's specialty meatloaf and more!

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Funding period

- (43 days)