Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 23, 2013.

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An original animated feature film about a boy and his grandfather who get stuck in a vast and imaginative world of paintings.

Animation Fans! Art Fans! Story Fans! ... THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping us fully fund this project. We're a team now... you're in, you signed up, welcome!!! We are going to make a great film, and we're so glad you're a part of it. -- Chuck & Aaron


Please check out The Art Story website at:  www.artstoryfilm.com

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What is Art Story?

... the start of a very special, unique animated film.  Aaron and I saw all the exciting things happening online through crowd funding and thought, we've got a great film that SHOULD BE MADE and we could use some help -- so dang it, let's try Kickstarter

So, what's the story?  

It's a story about an 11-year-old, meticulous boy, WALT, and his crazy, loopy GRANDPA -- two complete opposites -- who get stuck in a vast, imaginative WORLD OF PAINTINGS.  Inside, they cross paths with a ruthless painted character determined to make it into our world.  In order to get home and stop the villain, Walt and Grandpa have to set aside their differences, work together and navigate worlds where the rules can change around every corner.  

Walt being pulled into a painting! (concept painting)
Walt being pulled into a painting! (concept painting)

It's structured like a hilarious, character-driven, buddy picture ("Planes, Trains & Automobiles," "I Love You, Man" etc.), but takes place INSIDE THE WORLD OF SOME OF THE GREAT MASTER PAINTINGS OF ALL TIME ... where the characters change their appearance to match the style of each painting -- and meet lots of wildly entertaining characters.  It also explores and was inspired by that special relationship between a grandchild and their grandparent -- not something you see often in films nowadays.

Walt and Grandpa photo bomb "American Gothic."  (Concept painting only)
Walt and Grandpa photo bomb "American Gothic." (Concept painting only)

Yeaahhh... paintings? Sounds sort of "high brow"

OH CONTRAIRE mon frere!  Our number-one focus is to make an entertaining, compelling story with characters you love and who propel you through the film.  This one is for the whole family -- funny, emotional, and thrilling.  AND, believe me, we'll stay away from the low hanging fruit of crass gastronomical jokes and sexual innuendo (not our style).  

And, BONUS, YES!! the film is set in some of the greatest master paintings of all time!  We believe this is an AMAZING WORLD to explore in a story, AND ALSO what a fantastic way to expose young kids (and some adults) to some of the most famous works of art of all time!!!  There's a reason these paintings and painters are so celebrated -- they're imaginative, engaging, spiritual, and, well, just astounding images and worlds.  

Look, Aaron and I both have kids AND we love art of all sorts.  But how do we get our kids interested in this type of art?  "It's boring dad."  We believe if you FIRST, TELL A GREAT, FUNNY, COMPELLING STORY; and second, set it in this world -- kids will be head over heels for it all.   We've all seen the success of fish, toys, bugs, dragons and monsters -- well, how about art?  The worlds of paintings are endless -- and the technology is available now to take us all into them and explore them in this unique way.  

Walt chatting with Christina in Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" (concept painting only)
Walt chatting with Christina in Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" (concept painting only)

Who are you guys? 

Aaron and I are two passionate, experienced animation filmmakers who created this project and want to see it made.  We're both Disney feature animation film veterans, working at Disney for 21 years each on many of the recent classics -- Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas. We also produced and co-directed the Academy Award nominated Brother Bear.  (See more the in the biography section.)  

Grandpa and Walt sneak by Degas's strict dance instructor (concept painting)
Grandpa and Walt sneak by Degas's strict dance instructor (concept painting)

Above all, Aaron and I want to make films that stick with you.  Stories that are wildly entertaining, but also enrich the lives of their audiences -- films that have something to say.  We've helped create these kind of films in the past and are ready to do it again. 

What will you do with the money?

We'll use the money to create a script, a children's book ready for publication, killer artwork and a video presentation of the whole film.  It takes teams of people working 5 or 6 months to ready a film like this for production.  Along with a A LOT OF BACKERS  (really critical to show there's an audience for a film like this) and these items, we think we'll have a slam-dunk to get the film fully funded.  

Will this film get made? 

Not without YOU.  Seriously, you, the person reading this right now.  This is a grassroots approach to making a film.  Help us send a message. YOU pledging now means there's another person who wants to see this film.  The money we raise here will get us started and is only a fraction of what the whole effort will take.  Any studio, any company or individual who wants to fund it will want to know there's an audience for this kind of film.  You backing us now, with whatever you can give, means there is someone else who wants to see it.  We need lots of backers.  It takes many raindrops to fill up a bucket.  

Walt with Grandpa freaking out in a Picasso-esque cubist world.
Walt with Grandpa freaking out in a Picasso-esque cubist world.

Why not wait and just see the movie when it comes out?

Yes, we want you to see the movie when it comes out, take the whole famly.  But it may not come out at all without your help.  The studios are interested in BIG sequels, films from books or fairy tales that already have a following.   It's very hard to get an original film made unless you're already in a studio OR there's a proven, existing audience.  

We're 1000% confident this will be a sure-fire hit -- but we need YOU to support it and to show that it can have a big following!  With lots of backers and the entire package we'll create with the money, we're sure we'll have the momentum we'll need to get the film made.  

OK, looks fun... how can I help?

To become one of our backers, just click on the big green button to the right of our video.  Kickstarter will ask you for your pledge, which reward you want, and how you want to sign up.  Signing up is easy -- you can even do it on Facebook.   And PLEASE pass on the info to your friends -- the more backers, the more we can show the studios films like this can have a following.

Behind the scenes look at our process:

Art Fans of the World Unite!

If you're an art teacher, work at a museum or are just a big fan of paintings or the arts -- this project is for you.  We'll treat this world right -- with respect -- honoring and celebrating these paintings.  An animated film is a great way to excite the next generation of artists, museum-goers and fans of the arts.  We hope you see the potential in the story and will become a backer.  

Want More?

Connect with us at:                              https://www.facebook.com/ArtStoryFilm & https://twitter.com/artstoryfilm

Check out Aaron's awesome range of paintings and work at: http://aaronblaiseart.blogspot.com & http://creatureartteacher.com

More Visual Development Artwork (Concept Art)


Walt and Grandpa argue in Hopper's "Nighthawks" (concept art)
Walt and Grandpa argue in Hopper's "Nighthawks" (concept art)
Walt and Grandpa corned in an Escher! (Is there a way out of an Escher?)
Walt and Grandpa corned in an Escher! (Is there a way out of an Escher?)
Starry night scene with a passionate, hard-hearing Van Gogh self-portrait.
Starry night scene with a passionate, hard-hearing Van Gogh self-portrait.
Walt takes on the bad guys atop one of Dali's melting clocks!
Walt takes on the bad guys atop one of Dali's melting clocks!
Floating in a Chagall (the "rules" or "physics" of the painted worlds change according to their own logic) -- love this one.
Floating in a Chagall (the "rules" or "physics" of the painted worlds change according to their own logic) -- love this one.
Car chase in a Lichtenstein!
Car chase in a Lichtenstein!
Crossing the Delaware (Grandpa disguised at Washington)
Crossing the Delaware (Grandpa disguised at Washington)

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MEET OUR ART DIRECTORS!!!

We've got a great bunch of guys and gals on the crew, especially our ART DIRECTORS.  Let's meet the team...

And O'Keeffe, Monet, Hopper, Wyeth,  Vermeer, Renior, Gainsborough, Pollock, and many, many (almost too many) more. 

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ADDITIONAL:

Chuck and Aaron's TEDx Talk about how they develop stories...

CHECK OUT OUR PRESS:

“One of our greatest childhood dreams is about to become a reality. We're not sure if you spent hours of precious youth dreaming of such a fantastic art-centric adventure, but we sure did.” 

     -- Huffington Post

“I love this idea from two former Disney animators.”  

      -- USATODAY

“I don't post much (re: Kickstarter), so when I do it's about something I legitimately think is cool and what these guys are doing with ART STORY seems damn cool.”  

      -- Ain't It Cool News

“Sometimes a Kickstarter comes along and you want to go straight to the bank and withdraw everything you have and just throw all your money at the computer screen - this is one of those times.”  

     -- The Animation Archive

“Both Aaron and Chuck have the background to guarantee that ‘Art Story’ will be a quality product.”

     -- Business 2 Business      

I hope… that you will be as fired up about this film as I am and will do whatever you can to get this thing funded.” 

     -- Magical Mouse School House

“An ambitious project which could bring art to a generation of kids who do not often come to museums.

     -- Vogue

“A truly collaborative film, not only to the method of financing but also for the involvement required by social networks”

     -- Tafter

CARTOON BREW!

BROADWAY WORLD

FORCES OF GEEK

CREATIVE RUCKUS

THE WRAP/YAHOO MOVIES

ADD ONS:



Click here for OUR FACEBOOK LINK

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest challenge is getting the film fully funded and distributed. The $350k will give us a great start, but animation is expensive -- in the 10s of millions, especially considering all the location and character design changes in this film.

But we know there's nothing out there quite like it and we think this can be a VERY SPECIAL FILM: a moving, entertaining story set in a world that will fascinate and one which you'll want to expose your kids to.

THE FINE PRINT (Stuff we gotta say)
• Please understand, we are a creative team -- directors, writers, artists, producers -- we are not a production facility. At the appropriate time in the future we will look for 3rd party production partnership to complete the film. At this stage it's too early to pick a partner. However, this a technically challenging, reel-worthy project. We're 100% confident that when fully funded, we can find a great production facility to make this film -- there are a handful of really top-quality houses ready for animation.

• If we can't get the funding for the film, we won't be able to fulfill some of the items. The pitch book, T-shirts, blog site, digital artwork and apprenticeship will all be funded by this campaign and we'll get them to you asap. We'll also create a CHILDREN'S BOOK ready for publication, but we can't guarantee you or your painting can be in the film or that we'll have a private screening if we can't get the film made. This is the same for the DVD. We're confident, but we've got a lot of big wig studio execs to convince -- THAT'S WHY YOUR BACKING IS SO IMPORTANT.

• The APPRENTICESHIP is an unpaid position and is NOT a guarantee of employment on the film. We'll make it a worthwhile, rich experience -- you'll be right at the core of the film. Great for a resume and a unique peak into the pre-production process.

• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to tour the studio or be a voice in the film.

• The usage of a character likeness or a voice in the film will be ultimately determined by the filmmakers. You will be in the final cut, but we'll have to figure out where and how. We know we're asking for a lot of money for it, so we want you to have a good meaningful appearance, but we can't determine it until the storyboarding and editing begin in earnest.

•This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules and regulations, movie guild rules and applicable laws. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.

To wrap it up -- filmmaking on this scale is a long and winding journey and we're not sure where all the bumps in the road may come. We know how important your contribution will be to this project and will do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to: 1) make a great film you can enjoy for years, and 2) get you your rewards. Anything you can give, any recommendation you can pass on to your friends and family is very important to us. We want to THANK YOU in advance for all your good wishes and support.

FAQ

  • The answer is: YES! One of the cool things about this project is as Walt & Grandpa travel through the painted worlds, the way they look changes too. Some of the changes, like the Lichtenstein paintings, scream out for 2-D/handdrawn and will be amazing. There are still many great 2-D animators out there we hope to wrangle on the production. Other paintings, like Rembrandt’s, are much more rendered and will likely require a 3-D approach. The “worlds” won’t be limited to one particular painting, but will draw from ALL of a particular artist’s paintings in a similar style in order to build out the world. Our visual goal will be to match that style with as much fidelity as possible. This approach will also allow for multiple production houses to work on separate “worlds” if we choose. Right now, we’re more focused on first telling a good story and don’t have all the answers.

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  • The best answer we can give is YES! Given our plans for the scope of the production, distribution and the current market, BlueRay is a must. However, we’re projecting something, when we haven't even made the film yet.

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  • No, not yet. Keep in mind it’s still in a development project. Part of our effort after funding will be to look further into the rights. Many/most of the paintings we want to explore are already in the public domain, but some may not be. We’ll contact the estates (or artists in a few cases) and see if they want to be a part of this film. If we run into too many road blocks, we’ll weep bitterly, then move on. There’s thousands of great paintings and many unique, different worlds we want to explore.

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    SUGGEST A PAINTING! Tell us your favorite painting or painted character -- who you think HAS to be in the film. We'll seriously consider it and we want to hear from you! Also... a HUGE THANKS. Every backer counts big time.

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    AMBASSADOR PROGRAM...Great for Teachers, Students and Film School Grads. Producer tastes on a film school budget? Make at least a $10 pledge, recruit a bunch of friends to do the same, have them recruit a bunch of friends to continue, and get Rewards credit for everything you help to contribute!!! The Top 5 Ambassadors will be recognized with a 'special thanks' in our children's book and....Wait for it... will share a Screen Credit as Associate Producers of the film...and if your friends don't believe that's your name on the screen, you can show them the photos of your producer-self walking the Red Carpet with us at the 'Art Story' film premier!!! ....Check out the Art Story Ambassador Program Guidelines on our Facebook page for a complete description of the program (facebook.com/artstoryfilm/notes)

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    PRODUCTION BLOG ACCESS -- a rare look into the workings of an animated film. Updated with photos, video clips, new artwork and blogs from the filmmakers. Come with us on the journey of making an animated film. (Included in all higher rewards)

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    DIGITAL ARTWORK OF YOUR CHOICE – along with the Production Blog, we’ll email you a hi-res version of your favorite Visual Development piece (the artwork shown in the video and on this page – Walt and Grandpa in the world of a painting). The digital jpeg will be hi-res print ready.

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    "HOW TO DRAW" DOWNLOAD -- from a blank file to a finished painting, Aaron will take you through his detailed Photoshop process on one of the key character paintings of our film. Very informative for young, learning artists! Checking our his amazing work at: http://aaronblaiseart.blogspot.com, and http://creatureartteacher.com/how-to-draw-downloads/ (Includes Digital Artwork of Your Choice)

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    DVD OF THE FILM! -- Upon immediate release of the DVD, we'll send you the movie hot off the presses. Own the film. Cherish it for years. (Includes previous rewards. Note: estimating release, actual date TBD)

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    FILM PITCH BOOK – a PDF copy emailed to you of our final pitch. Over 30 pages of images and text, outlining the whole story and including lots of new artwork. It’s what we’ll use to pitch the film in Hollywood and will give you a special insiders view of the process. (Includes all reward from level amounts)

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    CHILDREN'S BOOK DOWNLOAD -- when finished, we'll email you a digital pdf of the entire book, outlining the story. We don't know if we'll find a publisher, so this may be a one time, exclusive look at the film. Sure to be special! (Includes all reward from level amounts)

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    "ART STORY" CAST & CREW T-SHIRT. An exclusive T-shirt designed only for our backers. Throwing your money in with us makes you a part of the team and we want you to celebrate it on your chest!!! (We'll match your size, female cuts too!) (Includes all reward from level amounts)

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    PRE-PRODUCTION MOVIE POSTER signed by filmmakers & T-shirt. The Poster is not designed yet – but it’ll be great! We’ll send a signed, high quality print right to your doorstep. (Includes blog, DVD, Digital Artwork download, "How to Draw" download -- all lower level amounts)

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    SWAG COMBO PACKET -- DVD of film, Film Pitch Book, Cast & Crew T-shirt, Children's Book Download, blog access, digital artwork of your choice and signed Pre-Production Movie Poster! If you like movie swag, this is for you!!!

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    ***SPECIAL TEACHER’S PACKET*** – a more detailed synopsis of the characters and story, select artwork prints of the show, background/history of artists & paintings used in the film, “how to draw” tutorials, coloring print outs, ideas for how to include material in class – e.g., research, sketches, reading selections. All material with be digital and includes a Cast & Crew T-shirt for the teacher. *Use the story to introduce the kids to fantastic classical paintings and their painters. >>If you want to buy this package for a teacher or are referred by one, just send us the teacher's email info and we'll get it to him or her. <<

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    ALL DIGITAL PRINTS COMBO PACKET – everything in the Swag Packet (pitch book, DVD. T-shirt, Poster, etc.) plus all the hi-res Digital Prints emailed to you! For the “Art Story” ultimate fan.

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    PERSONALIZED PITCH BOOK & ORIGINAL ARTWORK signed by filmmakers. We’ll send you a printed copy of the Pitch Book with a special note of thanks from the filmmakers and an original sketch of one our characters. A unique way to give our thanks. (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    ONE OF EVERYTHING PACKET – all the digital prints, poster, t-shirt, DVD, pitch book pdf, teacher’s packet, an original sketch and a PERSONAL PHONE CALL or SKYPE thank you from the filmmakers. (All items in Swag Combo Packet)

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    CONSULT ON YOUR STORY! Aaron and Chuck will spend 3 hrs. consulting with you on your story idea. Together, Aaron and Chuck have nearly 50 years of working in animation on world class stories. They'll spend 2 x 3 hours on the phone, in person or on Skype helping you on your story idea. (Travel not included, available anytime over the next year and half).

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    ORIGINAL SKETCH & STUDIO TOUR – come see how animated films are made and get an original sketch of the film from one of our primary artists. We’ll take through the ins and out of where we are in the process, let you spend a couple of hours with us in the studio and make sure you leave with one of the original, signed sketches of the project (a character from the film). (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    LIMITED EDITION CHARACTER SCULPTURE (Maquette) by Disney character sculptor Tony Cipriano. Includes everything from the previous tiers, unless noted, PLUS an amazing cast action pose of Walt going into a painting (design coming) -- approx. 10 inches tall.

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    PRIVATE SCREENING & ALL THE SWAG -- watch the film with the filmmakers followed by lunch. Be one of the first to see the finished film and stay around for a discussion with the crew (Location TBD, Travel and accommodations not included) (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    JOIN THE STORY TEAM -- That’s right, be a part of the story! Come for a day with the story team. Story meetings are fun, creative, multi-hour sessions where we're figuring out the story: we brainstorm, laugh, argue and, yes, even cry a little all in the effort to make the best story possible. Come see what it's like and contribute to the ideas. (Travel and accommodations not included) (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    BE SEEN IN THE MOVIE! The movie journeys through many paintings and includes many characters. We’ll design a character after you or a loved-one’s likeness and include it in the film. You might be a ballerina in a Degas, a medieval peasant in a Bruegel, or a pirate in an NC Wythe – we can’t guarantee when or where, but we’ll get your likeness in the film! (Placement to be determined by filmmakers). (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    GALLERY NIGHT SCREENING! Screen the finished film at your gallery or a gallery of your choice. Use it to raise money, honor your special patrons and their families or just to celebrate art! We'll supply the film, provide promotional artwork and do our best to be there (schedule permitting) -- you do the rest.

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    PREMIER NIGHT TICKETS!!! Come to the world-wide premier (location TBD). We'll layout the red carpet: introduce you to the attending cast, join us at any before and after parties, and, if you like, sit next to us at the premier. Sure to be a fun, exciting night for all! (Pledge includes 2 tickets, travel and lodging not included) (Includes all previous Swag and maquette)

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    APPRENTICE WITH THE FILMMAKERS -- a 3 month experience with the directors on the project. Everything from deep research to coordinating artists all over the world to taking notes in story meetings -- you'll work directly with the leadership of the film, learning the ins and outs of making a movie. Room and board not provided, pre-production based in West Palm Beach, FL. Great for aspiring students, resume stuffing, or that second start on a career. (We'll work with you to schedule the best time). (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    SPOTLIGHT YOUR PAINTING -- Already an art collector or an artist yourself? Have a painting you want seen? We'll give your favorite painting a prominent position in the film so everyone can see. (Placement determined by the directors, image must be in good taste -- hey, it's a family film). (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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    VOICE A CHARACTER! The ultimate animation fan dream. Be a voice in major release animated film! Dozens of voices make up an animated film of this size. We’ll be sure you have a line or two in the film, the voice of a minor character, but still an interregnal part of our complex film. (Includes Swag Combo Packet)

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Funding period

- (47 days)