About this project
We are delighted that the campaign to publish Tom Waits For No One: The Illustrated Scrapbook has reached its funding goal!
With the publication funded, our focus now shifts to restoring the film and live action footage.
The live action film includes several hours of the original shoot. It hasn't been seen in 35 years and needs to be rescued from the original, aging tapes. Its recovery will require access to the last known operational Lyon Lamb reel-to-reel system, as well as studio time to manually sift, frame by frame, through the trove.
We expect to see the beautiful Donna Gordon and a 29 year-old Tom Waits in the very last years of his Tropicana Motel era. In 1980, he would find a new muse and turn his back on the Tropicana years, forever.
No other footage of Waits in these years represents such an unfiltered picture of his persona. With no joking interviewer to misunderstand his music, no audience to entertain - there's just Waits, his music and a burlesque dancer. If we meet our stretch goal, we'll recover the remaining footage and everyone who contributed at the $10 level or higher will get private, web-based access to the best of the recovered film. Just know that the footage will be grainy. It's black and white. It's messy. And we can't wait to see it all again.
Stretch goal #2: $21,500
Wow! With 20 days remaining on the campaign and exceeding our first stretch goal, what else is there left to do? Why not restore the original film?
The film itself has been in the locker for 35 years. We'll use the last remaining reel for a professional color and audio clean up, to result in a digital version that's as close to the original as possible. But what if we went a few steps further?
With the first stretch goal complete, we anticipate having very rare, new live action material. Think of the intro video for this campaign... for the second stretch goal, we'll splice the choicest live action shots into the animation to create a compelling, new version of the film with never before seen footage.
Restoring and re-editing the film is a significant commitment and will require a stretch indeed. To help us get there, we're increasing the number of original rotoscope drawings available to a total of 100 original pieces!
Reaching the second stretch goal would mean that Tom Waits For No One would join a small but distinctive group of films restored through Kickstarter campaigns. It also means that the film’s credits will be updated to include a new section entitled “Kickstarter Restoration Contributors”. Each contributor at the $25 level or higher will be included and will gain private, web-based access to both versions of the restored film.
The redux film will be entered into targeted film festivals, with the goal of a festival premier in 2016. In 2017, it will be uploaded to YouTube for all to see. Internet mayhem on a Waitsian scale may ensue.
Tom Waits For No One holds a special place in animation history as a pioneering American music video. By backing this project, you will help fund the publication of a gorgeous hardcover book created from the personal archive of the director, which includes artwork, artifacts, photographs and articles related to the film.
In 1979, an independently produced animated music video, Tom Waits For No One, was entered into a Los Angeles film festival and took first prize. But by the time MTV debuted in 1981 and Tom Waits released his next music video in 1983, Tom Waits For No One had disappeared into obscurity.
The film was the first production to use the groundbreaking Lyon Lamb Video Rotoscope, which director John Lamb had co-invented with Bruce Lyon. Tom Waits For No One was intended to showcase the Video Rotoscope's capabilities - an experiment crossing a new technology with music and animation. Young talent was recruited from UCLA, CalArts and Art Center College of Design to make the film, including David Silverman, Harry Sabin and Ray Roberts - who are now luminaries in their own right.
It wasn’t until 2006, when Lamb’s teenage son uploaded the video to YouTube, that the world began see this remarkable film for the first time. Nearly 36 years since the film’s opening, Lamb has reopened the film’s archive to publish a beautiful art book and tell this nearly forgotten story.
Watch the film on YouTube:
With the help of this campaign, the finest elements of the film, including animation cels, rotoscope drawings, character studies, backgrounds and a rare 1979 Tom Waits interview about the film are being compiled into a gorgeous hardcover book with 160 pages documenting the artwork and inspiration behind Tom Waits For No One.
The leading animation and music video historian, Gunnar Strom, has written the Foreword to the book, identifying the book's special place in animation and music video history. The Introduction, by John Lamb, will provide new insight into the film and the book will include a narrative throughout to bring you inside the fascinating story of these young animators and their illustration of a young Tom Waits.
This Kickstarter campaign will fund a limited run of 250 hardcover books and if our funding goal is met, we will open up additional, exciting stretch goals with a goal of recovering the original live action footage and restoring the film itself.
We are delighted to offer exciting rewards to our backers, to help reach our goal!
Please join us to help commemorate this moment in animation and music video history, when a little known musician, who would go on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was rotoscoped by a group of young animators who would later become leading figures in animation and the arts.
Don't let Tom Waits For No One be the one that got away...
For more information, visit the TWFNO Website.
Risks and challenges
Having supported Kickstarter campaigns, and previously run one, we understand the importance of planning and preparation in order for the campaign to succeed.
Upon reaching our goal, another round of work will begin: fulfillment. We have a small team of people, dedicated to seeing the campaign through to successful completion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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