"Tom Waits for No One" - 35th Anniversary Celebration project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$9,280 pledged of $26,000 goal
backers
$9,280 pledged of $26,000 goal
backers

About this project

Animation history and music video history - this short film holds a special place in each of these categories.

Tom Waits For No One features one of the most innovative and original musicians of our time - and it was made by a group of young animators and artists, in their teens and twenties, who went on to unusually great things, among them an Academy Award winner for Technical Achievement, an Academy Award nominee for animation, director of The Simpsons, animators on The Iron Giant, Pocahontas, and American Dad, senior designer at Electronic Arts, renowned Plein Air painter, co-director of Monsters Inc., co-chair of the Academy of Motion Pictures' Next Generation Technology Project, co-inventor DVD and HD technology and a member of CalArts’ famed “Kids from A-113”, among others. 

This unique film was made on state of the art analog technology in 1979 and was just recently validated by the leading expert on music video, Gunnar Strom, professor at Volda University College in Norway. Strom wrote that Tom Waits For No One "is a pioneering, early American music video and is very likely the first rotoscoped music video ever made". 

So why is the video still unknown? Well, Tom Waits for No One pre-dated MTV by two years and had no distribution and no commercial release. It opened to immediate acclaim at a Hollywood film festival, lived just one night with "Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation" because it was "too racy", and by 1981, the had film slipped into obscurity. Nearly forgotten, it was uploaded to YouTube in 2006, where it continues to draw traffic.

This November is the 35th anniversary of the film's release, and all the original elements have been rediscovered. The Kickstarter campaign's successful funding will result in restoration of Tom Waits For No One, as well as finance the rescue the live action footage of Tom Waits and cult-film star Donna Gordon from the original tapes, which are now stored in a dead, no longer used format. For you animation buffs, funding will also enable the recovery of the original pencil test, as well as restore and frame 36 of the original animation cels. 

The never before published Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook, a collection of artwork, drawings and sketches made by the animators during the film, that includes the original character studies, the turn-arounds, all the serious design work and very wild, crazy and cathartic drawings provide a view into the minds' eye of young animators testing the limits of a brand new product, the Lyon Lamb Video Rotoscope. The Scrapbook also include news clips, concert posters and concert ticket stubs collected by the director, John Lamb, which he and some of the animators went to during the making of the film.

If all this wasn't enough, the original stage and set are being rebuilt. The framed animation cels, the Scrapbook, and the never-before-seen live action and pencil test footage will be projected throughout the gallery. But not just any gallery - the 35th Anniversary Celebration will take place at the original location where Tom Waits For No One was filmed in 1979 - the old La Brea Stage in Hollywood. Long since defunct as a sound stage, we'll be re-christening the location with an intimate crowd of animation, music and music video lovers. 

An evening celebrating a pioneering American music video wouldn’t be complete without something extra special, however. Our special guest, all the way from Norway, Gunnar Strom has written the Foreword to the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook proclaiming the film's significance in music and animation alike. A rock star among music video historians, Gunnar will make his first trip to Los Angeles to join the 35th Anniversary Celebration, meet the animators and join John Lamb in signing the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook

Could there possibly be more? Oh yes! Both nights will feature two of New Orleans' greatest ambassadors of music - the eclectic and talented pianist Tom McDermott and vocalist Meschiya Lake, winner of "Best Female Vocalist" in the 2013 Big Easy Music Awards. 

Lake sings a mix of ferocious early blues, a mix of rare jazz and standards, vintage Americana (think Hank Williams, complete with a yodel!), and a soupçon of contemporary writers like Tom Waits. McDermott blends rag, traditional jazz and Brazilian music. Together, they are jaw-dropping amazing - and will make this celebration of art and innovation an unforgettable experience.

Catering by the legendary TOI On Sunset will fuel your enjoyment of the night, and the donation bar will whet your whistle, until the after party begins at TOI On Sunset's restaurant just up the street!

We've done our best to put together an amazing evening, to honor all the artists involved in this groundbreaking film. Your involvement will mean a nearly lost piece of animation history gets preserved. This night will be like none other, with art, animation, mixed media and music that will transport you to the very set and location where Tom Waits For No One was filmed.

Please join us in bringing all these elements together for two unforgettable nights.

For more information on Tom Waits For No One, please see our blogs TomWaitsForNoOne.com and Facebook.com/waitsfornoone

Risks and challenges

Pulling together the materials, while uncovering and validating the history of this film has been 18 months in progress - and many obstacles have been overcome to get this "Kickstarter" ready.

Gunnar Strom and the iotaCenter have validated this film's place among animated music videos. They talent who made the film have all been contacted. We have the materials for the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook, and Zach Cordner - talented photographer to the stars ready to photograph the talent and the event. Jeremy Farrance, of the Waits blog, "The Mule" has led our media campaign, and Garrett Lamb has led on filming and editing the campaign's introduction video. What could go wrong?!? Plenty.

Anticipated future challenges include: successful funding. Everyone involved loves this project - and has given their time selflessly. But will enough people feel the same way? Getting the word out and building support from the animation and music community remains something that we are hustling to achieve.

Once the project is funded, pulling the many pieces together and hosting an amazing two nights will be a lot of work - a ton of effort - and satisfyingly fun. We have a dedicated event coordinator, who will deliver on the promise of a great time.

Meeting all our goals for the rewards will require planning and organization while shipping the items throughout North America and overseas will be a full time effort!

Lastly, anticipating the unexpected throughout the process, will be an on-going challenge. We're up to it!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Help get this project flying and receive a "Tom Waits For No One" 35th Anniversary Celebration full-color graphic, designed by John Lamb and printed on 5"x7" fine cardstock. Mailed directly from the old La Brea Stage, it will feature the local postmark and originate from the original filming location!

    Not only will you get a unique piece of animation history, you'll be emailed a link to a "thank you" video from John Lamb and the "Tom Waits For No One" animators.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 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 $20 or more About $20

    A big part of the event is rescuing the live action Waits footage and the pencil test footage from their existing medium (Lyon Lamb 1/2" reel to reel). The tapes have to be transported to Boston, where the only existing equipment capable of transferring the footage exists. Once in Boston, the footage will be transferred to a modern, playable medium. The footage will debut for the first time ever for the 35th Anniversary Celebration at the old La Brea Stage. But do you live far from Hollywood and can't make it? Not to worry. Contributing at this tier, you will get streaming access to the footage you helped rescue! On March 30, 2015, you'll get access to both live action and the pencil test footage, in addition to the newly restored "Tom Waits For No One" film.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    17 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 $30 or more About $30

    Original rotoscope drawing from Tom Waits For No One. Beautiful hand drawn images with the original scene and sequence numbering, written by hand by the animators in 1979. For Kickstarter only, these drawings will be signed by the director! Shipping will include each drawing protected in a plastic poly bag and mailed in bend-resistant envelope, reinforced with posterboard. See sample drawings in update #9.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    24 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 $35 or more About $35

    For those of you who would love to join us to see the original location, the reconstructed set, the framed cels, the live action footage projected throughout the art gallery, but just can't make it we have something special for you. The entire evening will be documented not only with footage within the gallery, but interviews with the John Lamb, Gunnar Strom, the animators, guests and animation oglers. With this all access pass, you'll see the event, the art, the animation cels and the entire setting. Also included will be the Live Action footage of Tom Waits and Donna Gordon, candid interviews with the animation team, and a guided tour of the last remaining Lyon Lamb Video Rotoscope. All the above will be viewable from TomWaitsForNoOne.com in April 2015!
    Also, be the proud bearer of special early access to news updates and rare images from the production. News, updates and early release images will begin immediately after the campaign's successful completion.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 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 $75 or more About $75

    This limited edition, first edition, numbered Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook will feature pages upon pages of original drawings, character studies, interpretations, turn-arounds and doodles of the Waits character, created during the making of "Tom Waits For No One".

    These drawings were personally collected by John Lamb - saved from the jaws of oblivion, as Lamb pulled drawings, artwork, concert ticket stubs and concert flyers off the walls, desktops and even fished some of the finest gems out of the trash bins when the film production wrapped.

    You'll also get access to a personalized narration of Lamb highlighting over a dozen of his favorite drawings, like the drawing of John Lennon, drawn by Keith Newton.

    The stories are alternately funny, sobering, hilarious and insightful - and provide a rare view into the life and mind of fresh young animators who were doing what they loved. Be one of the first 500 to purchase the softcover book and your name will be printed in the book as a Tom Waits For No One "First Responder". The soft cover book size will be minimum 8 x 11, and possibly larger.

    To arrive in December, A special, limited edition Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook card will be made for this book, designed by John Lamb, and will arrive in time for holiday gifting goodness. It will let the recipient know they are lucky owner of a limited edition book, to be delivered in March 2015.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 33 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 $145 or more About $145

    March 20, 2015 - Friday: Attend the 35th Anniversary Opening Night of "Tom Waits For No One", hosted at the original filming location, the Old La Brea Stage in Hollywood! Be one of the few to enjoy all the elements of the film assembled together in gallery view for the first time.

    The evening will feature the world premier of elements from "Tom Waits For No One", projected throughout the gallery, including: - the live-action footage of Tom Waits used to rotoscope the video, filmed in 1979 - The original video pencil test, never before seen in public - Framed, one of a kind animation cels, individual works of art, will show throughout the gallery - The last known Lyon Lamb Video Rotoscope will be featured, "in person", along with a brief history of rotoscoping - the original stage is being reconstructed, built specially for this event - the talented animators who initially made this experimental film a reality, back in 1979!

    The legendary TOI on Sunset will cater the night, serving their great Thai food in Chinese take-out containers - with your choice of eating utensils: chopsticks or a spork! Non-alcoholic drinks are included, and a donation bar will be available.

    Be part of the discovery of our special musical guests, all the way from New Orleans, bringing the best in NOLA jazz, blues and old timey country in a special appearance for this event only: Meschiya Lake & Tom McDermott!

    They've traveled the world as ambassadors of NOLA and are rightfully recognized as among the finest jazz talents alive today!

    But the party isn't over yet - TOI On Sunset is hosting the after party. Open 'til 4AM, you can play all night at this rock 'n roll themed thai restaurant on The Strip.

    A special large format ticket will be made for this evening only, designed by John Lamb, and will arrive in time for holiday gifting - and will let the recipient know they are lucky bearer of entrance to this once in a lifetime event.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 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 $145 or more About $145

    March 21, 2015 - Saturday: Attend the 35th Anniversary Opening Night of "Tom Waits For No One", hosted at the original filming location, the Old La Brea Stage in Hollywood! All other details, same as event on March 20.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 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 $185 or more About $185

    First edition, hard cover, signed and numbered, this "Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook" will be your unique record of this limited run art book. Featuring pages upon pages of original drawings, character studies, interpretations, turn-arounds and doodles of the Waits character, this beauty will feature art created during the making of "Tom Waits For No One".

    The drawings were personally collected by John Lamb - saved from the jaws of the netherworld, as Lamb pulled drawings, artwork, concert ticket stubs and concert flyers off the walls, desktop calendars and even fished gems out of the trash bins after the film production wrapped.

    You'll also get access to a personalized narration of Lamb highlighting over a dozen of his favorite drawings, like the drawing of John Lennon, drawn by Keith Newton. The stories are alternately funny, sobering, hilarious and insightful - and provide a rare view into the life and mind of fresh young animators who were doing what they loved. Be one of the first 500 to purchase the softcover book and your name will be printed in the book as a Tom Waits For No One Film Restoration Team.

    A special, limited edition Tom Waits For No One card will be made for this book, designed by John Lamb, and will arrive in time for holiday gifting. The card will let the recipient know they are lucky owner of a limited edition book, to be delivered in March 2015.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 12 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,850 or more About $1,850

    35th Anniversary Edition sequence of animation cels. Hand-picked, framed and signed by John Lamb.

    Each unique sequence will be signed, specially framed and identified as the "35th Anniversary Edition".
    Funds raised from these cels will go towards the restoration of the Tom Waits For No One rotoscoped film, and your name will be recognized in the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook as a Film Restoration Member.

    These are the original, one of a kind cels directly from the film itself.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,850 or more About $1,850

    Reward #9: 35th Anniversary Edition sequence of animation cels. Hand-picked, framed and signed by John Lamb. This tier includes a first edition, hard cover, signed and numbered, Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook.

    Each unique sequence is signed, specially framed and identified as the "35th Anniversary Edition", and choose your own sequence from updates 7 and 8, while they last!
    Funds raised from this tier will go towards the restoration of the Tom Waits For No One rotoscoped film, and your name will be recognized in the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook as a Film Restoration Member.

    These are the original, one of a kind cels directly from the film itself. This combination is available through Kickstarter only.

    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.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    Reward #10: As a 35th Anniversary Founder, we'll work with you to pick a sequence from the film that you love, and will include up to five cels from that sequence, personally designed, framed and autographed by John Lamb.

    This tier also includes a first edition, hard cover, signed and numbered Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook. This tier will go directly toward restoration of the film itself, and your name will be featured on the Founder's Page in the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook. You'll receive special early access to the live action footage, pencil tests and newly restored film!

    A special, limited edition Tom Waits For No One card will be made for this tier, designed by John Lamb, to arrive in time for the holidays. This combination is available through Kickstarter only.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)