Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The WitchDoctor is a kinetic, black-light, stop-motion short set in a mysterious Tiki wonderland.
The WitchDoctor is a kinetic, black-light, stop-motion short set in a mysterious Tiki wonderland.
The WitchDoctor is a kinetic, black-light, stop-motion short set in a mysterious Tiki wonderland.
771 backers pledged $65,055 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The WitchDoctor project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$65,055

771

THE FILM
Welcome to a magical realm of dense jungles, fiery volcanoes, and iridescent lagoons. Meet the WITCHDOCTOR, the overzealous protector of this mysterious archipelago. He’s ready for action with his shiny cauldron, potent elixirs, and shrunken heads. There’s only one problem… The Witchdoctor STINKS at magic. When he mixes a potion or casts a spell, watch out! 

We’ve had this guy in our head for a long time and are excited to bring him to life in his own stop-motion animated short.  Nobody knows exactly what the Witchdoctor is (automaton? demon? imp?) or where he came from.  But we think people will like him.

The Witchdoctor excited to mix a new potion!
The Witchdoctor excited to mix a new potion!

TECHNIQUE
Stop-motion animation, water puppetry, special effects… it’s all going into the film. We’ve assembled a close-knit group of artists to help us make The Witchdoctor. They bring all sorts of talents to the table top… painting, sculpting, sewing, digital effects, and even old school filmmaking. That’s right, we’re shooting portions of this story on super 8mm—creating a cinematic brew of old and new. 

DARK RIDES
Our film is inspired by theme park DARK-RIDE attractions. There’s something haunting and elemental about those glow-in-the-dark environments that stokes the imagination. We are filming The Witchdoctor with a special black-light process so we can push the colors and highlights to the max. We've been experimenting with this technique for a while and can't wait to show you how it looks :)

Our Tiki Idols bask in the cool glow of the black-light
Our Tiki Idols bask in the cool glow of the black-light

TIKI
We’re longtime fans of all things Tiki, and have always hoped to make an animated film with a tiki vibe. We love traditional oceanic art and tribal carvings, as well as their modern, kitschy descendants.

From Exotica music, to tropical décor, to ceramic mugs, Tiki culture is all about mystery and atmosphere, and that will permeate the animated world of the Witchdoctor.  We want the audience to sail into our exotic dioramas and lose themselves on a fantasy voyage. You’ll even have the opportunity to bring home a souvenir from your travels…  

REWARDS
We are SUPER excited to offer a kickstarter-exclusive Witchdoctor tiki mug.  We're collaborating with Tiki Diablo on this mug, so it will be equal parts drinking vessel and art object.  No cheap trinkets, these will be handmade right here in SoCal.

NEW REWARD!!!! 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

WITCHDOCTOR SHRUNKEN HEAD KIT
Why let WitchDoctor have all the fun?  Now you can make your own unique shrunken heads at home.  Scare your neighbors! Wear them around your neck like a true head hunter!  

This kit includes all the materials you'll need, including a silicone mold of an original Screen Novelties sculpture.  Customize your head with different hair, eyes, and paint jobs.  We'll create an online gallery to showcase our backers' finished heads.

*This reward can be added onto existing pledges.  See FAQ for details.

Other physical rewards include a Witchdoctor T-Shirt and a view-master set with 3D stills from the short.  We also have some cool digital reward levels that include things like the finished short film, designs & storyboards, and time-lapse videos of the production.

ABOUT US
Screen Novelties is a small animation studio founded by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Christopher Finnegan. We share a love of classic cartoons and stop-motion animation.

up on the studio roof
up on the studio roof

As students of stop-motion history, we've been inspired by the amazing work of George Pal, Karel Zeman, Rankin/Bass, Jim Henson, Lotte Reiniger, and Ray Harryhausen, among others. Those influences show through in our animation, but we also strive to push the art form forward with our own fresh spin on design and craft.  

In the last decade we’ve had the the privilege to work on fun projects like SpongeBob Squarepants, Chowder, Flapjack, Robot Chicken, Adventure Time, and Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas. We’ve also done a bunch of TV commercials and even got to do a crazy sock puppet sequence with Seth MacFarlane for the Oscars.

 We’ve had a blast on all these projects, but we’ve been itching to get back to our roots, making short films. Before we started the company we made some oddball shorts like Graveyard Jamboree and collaborated with Ray Harryhausen on the Tortoise & the Hare.


Independent shorts are fertile ground for experimenting with design and technique, and we’re using Witchdoctor to push our limits as animators and filmmakers. 

WHY KICKSTARTER?
The Witchdoctor is an experimental animated film. If we sought funding through traditional channels the project would likely veer in a direction that is not true to its spirit. Through Kickstarter, we hope to connect with supporters who value independent animation and see the potential of the Witchdoctor.

WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO
Stop-motion animation is an intricate and laborious process. Everything seen on the screen is crafted by hand. Because of this, stop-motion is not cheap to execute. We have already invested significant time and money into making the initial puppets and the sets for the film. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to finish the film on our own. That’s why we’re reaching out to all of you through kickstarter. 100% of the funds raised will go into the production of the film. The graphic below shows how we plan to allocate the funds:

Risks and challenges

RISKS AND CHALLENGES
Every film carries a certain amount of risk, because each film has a unique set of challenges. But we are an experienced group with a long history of completing ambitious animated projects. We can’t promise an exact completion date, but we will do our best to finish the film in as timely a manner as we can. We’re excited about the rewards we are offering our backers, both digital and physical. We don’t expect any major issues or delays in fulfilling the rewards, but if anything arises, we will be as transparent and communicative as possible.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    BEACHCOMBER: In gratitude, the Witchdoctor will cast a spell on person of your choosing (but remember, if you can't cast nice spells, don't cast any spells at all).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    COCO-BO: 1 ticket for Cinefamily's Animation Breakdown Karel Zeman screening. Tix good for BOTH screenings:
    Sat 12/12 @4:30pm: Karel Zeman: Adventurer in Film+Inspiration.
    Sun 12/13 @2pm: The Fabulous World of Jules Verne.

    PLUS digital download of the WitchDoctor film. Can be ADD-ON to existing pledges.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    MAI-TAI: Digital download of the finished film.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    161 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BLUE HAWAIIAN: Digital download of the film, PLUS a digital design pack of storyboards, design sketches, and behind-the-scenes photos.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    97 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    NAVY GROG: All of the previous rewards PLUS behind-the-scenes videos and time-lapse footage of the crew in action.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    52 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ZOMBIE: Witchdoctor T-shirt. Available in Men's & Women's sizes S, M, L, and XL. We will post more details soon about the specific colors and design.

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    119 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $56 or more About $56

    CHI CHI: SHRUNKEN HEAD KIT. We send you everything you need to make your own Screen Novelties shrunken head. See photo for details.

    plus all digital rewards

    ADD IT ON: This reward can be added onto existing pledges. See FAQ for details.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    47 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    FOG-CUTTER: View-master Reel featuring original 3D images of the Witchdoctor. Viewer included!

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    NUI-NUI: View-master and T-shirt! Can't decide between the two? Then this one's for you.

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    37 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    PEARL DIVER: Kickstarter exclusive tiki mug based on our Witchdoctor design. A collaboration with Tiki Diablo.
    (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL FOR 1ST 25)

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SCORPION: Kickstarter exclusive tiki mug based on our Witchdoctor design. A collaboration with Tiki Diablo.

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    63 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    MISSIONARY'S DOWNFALL: Tiki Mug, Viewmaster Set, and T-Shirt

    plus all digital rewards

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    42 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    VOODOO JUICE: Cocktail Set! Includes 2 Mugs and an original WitchDoctor cocktail recipe. Plus Viewmaster Set, T-Shirt, and all digital rewards. (limit 25)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PAINKILLER: Party Set! Includes 4 mugs, in FOUR different glaze colors. Plus an original WitchDoctor cocktail recipe, 3D view-master set, a lovely T-shirt, and all digital rewards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    WITCHES BREW: It's a cartoon luau! An exclusive studio tour and screening party. Join us for a behind the scenes tour of our stop-motion studio. Followed by a dinner & screening of our favorite cartoon rarities.
    (travel & accommodation not provided)

    plus a mug, shirt, view-master, and digital rewards.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    SHARK'S TOOTH: A screen-used, handmade Tiki Idol prop from the film. (similar to those depicted on this page).

    plus studio tour, a mug, shirt, view-master, and digital rewards.

    Travel and accommodations not provided.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    JUNGLE BIRD: Executive Producer Credit on the film.

    plus studio tour, a mug, shirt, view-master, and digital rewards.

    Travel and accommodations not provided.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    HEAD HUNTER: You get a SCREEN USED stop-motion puppet of The WitchDoctor, mounted on a stand.

    plus executive producer credit, studio tour, a mug, shirt, view-master, and digital rewards.

    Travel and accommodations not provided.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (28 days)