1 SENTENCE OVERVIEW:
This crowdfunding campaign will let me finish my film until it can be seen by you. Thank you.
THE FILM: Trejur (pronounced "treasure") is a hand-made, fantasy, stop motion animated short film by the filmmaker, Thomas Kim. The story questions how desperation can transform us into something we never thought ourselves to be. We see this though a real life woman mourning the death of her grandmother. Transitioning through the medium of stop motion, she shows us the time when her grandmother gave her a toy in hopes of making her happier after their loved grandfather had passed. Her grandmother, with no means of support for her grandchild, had begun to leave the house every day and return with more and more toys to make her happy. Of course, this "over-accretion" made her resent what her grandmother brought, but it was too late; her grandmother had fallen into obsession. She now collected lost toys because it made herself happy, and soon their house was quite literally buried under a mountain of toys...
SO... Backing me on Kickstarter will provide for costly things like a 3D printer to quickly mass produce miniature toys, an amazing film composer to accompany the emotional performance of the puppets, festival fees to launch my career, and MANY MANY MORE. (The full budget outline can be found later in the page.)
HISTORY: The medium of Stop Motion is incredibly labor intensive. Every prop, every color, every decision needs to be made by my hand. Everything in the visuals need to reinforce and drive the story because nothing is "free" as it is in live action. The puppets are moved frame by frame, 15-30 frames a second. For around ten minutes of footage, you're looking at a few thousand hours. And all of this I have done myself so far. 2 hours a school day, 8 hours a weekend, for over 400 days now.
WHY: This life-consuming project was initiated well over a year ago when I decided to take out $2000 from my pockets to tell this story. I do what I do because to me, storytelling is an instrument I use to explore the human condition. Film is my canvas, and a story is my paintbrush. Yes it might sound somewhat cliche, but this idea is something we all have wrestled with no matter the kind of career. It is universal. And so, your pledges will provide me with the opportunity to continue that exploration of psychology of emotions and the different perspectives of truth. (that, and it'll help kickstart my career) :)
Below are SOME of the behind-the-scene documentations over the past year.
I had to get creative! Those colored pencils are actually cut toothpicks, and the wooden plank floor are popsicle sticks with their ends sawed off. Due to the lack of money, I am held back by what I can't do. I even made my slider out of Ikea door handles and a few dishwasher cart wheels!
The story calls for thousands of these toys. I've made about a hundred so far, but due to time constrains I've decided to 3D print the rest. HOWEVER, they'll be hand-painted to match closer to the raw aesthetic of the film. Part of the budget is for a 3D printer + supplies to mass produce these miniature props.
THE EYES: THE EYES ARE JUST TRACKING POINTS. You may have seen in the video above freaky, Coraline-esque eyes and mouths. They're just tracking points to be REPLACED INTO REAL HUMAN eyes and mouths. Eyes are the windows to the soul! Not only will this add a more "emotional" quality to the puppets, it'll allow for a coherent transition from live action real actors to stop motion puppets since they are supposed to be the same individual. The other short film, "Madame Tutli-Putli" is a fantastic example of what it'll look like (Go on, I'll give you permission you to leave this page and look up "Madame Tutli-Putli images" if you promise to come back). The eyes will be pinpoint seamless. All the while, they'll have that slightly unsettling eerie feeling from being so cussing realistic!
THE RIGS: All the little metal arms holding the puppets in the video will be cleaned up and removed. They are used to support the puppets when they cannot support their weight such as when they jump.
STORY STYLE: The film is combination of some live action but mostly stop motion animation in a ~12 minute runtime. Imagine a combination of Miyazaki's elements of mysterious fantasy blended with the more dark, heavy, and human themes of modern live action films. Interesting!
Most of the film takes place inside this old house. The walls are built from insulation foam, the staircase from foam board, and the door hinges from hot wheel toy car axles. Everything will be shot in camera to achieve the most realistic and "texturized" environment.
TIME VS MONEY (AN EXPLANATION): In the film industry, there is a direct correlation between time and money. Time IS money. The more money, the less time it'll take to complete a film and vice versa. That's why huge blockbuster movies are able to finish within a year; their budget is insurmountable. However on the other hand, the more time you have, the less money you need. I've been spending the past year working to make this film look expensive, but with almost no budget. At this rate, without funding, I expect to finish by the time I graduate school in 3 years. But if this campaign is successful, if the level of money increases, then the level of time needed will decrease exponentially.
WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO:
You might've noticed in the video that my lights are on top of stacked boxes... I have only one borrowed light stand so I have to carefully balance things like lights, reflectors, or bounce cards on boxes, chairs, and books. All the "sliding" shots in the video were made by ikea door handles and dishwasher cart wheels. Having the budget to acquire "luxuries" like light stands or sliders would save massive amounts of time.
I'm asking for $4000 to finish the film with a bang, and every dollar will have its purpose. The money will be specifically dedicated to this film only; none of it will fund my morning coffee. The completion of this project is my sole objective, and whatever you can give will be appreciatively used to breathe life into that ambition.
STORYBOARDS: Last Summer, I spent 8 hours a day everyday for a month at a storyboarding class. (Storyboarding is pre-visualizing a film by drawing out every shot) It's impossible to "master" the craft of storyboarding in that little time, but those classes did help me "free up" my hand. They taught me how to swiftly transfer my thoughts to paper without the barrier of a "slow" hand. From there, I locked myself up in my room for another month. I storyboarded and sto-RE-boarded over 30 times until I landed on my final boards as you see in the first picture above. Because there is no dialogue in the short film, I opted to build the story without a script and only a set of storyboards on flashcards. Each flashcard on my wall has a description on the back explaining the emotional performance needed in the puppet characters so that I can bring that into my animation. Second takes are rare in stop motion because each second of footage takes days if you account pre-production. Therefore, all the shots need to be timed and locked down through storyboards before production begins.
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE SCHEDULE:
Above is the proposed schedule. There's one common mistake in filmmaking; we always seem to underestimate the time it'll take to produce something. With so many possibilities for accidents, reaching a perfect deadline is madness. Despite the risks, I'm willing to put in the extra hours and the extra money from my own pocket if it means finishing this project by the projected schedule. Have no fear!
The film will be complete nearing the end of this year IF this campaign is successful from YOUR help. I can't wait to share this film with you: check out the rewards, ask any questions, and back the project on Kickstarter!
Risks and challenges
The medium of stop motion in itself is a risk-taking craft. If I accidentally bump the set, it means re-shooting days of work. If the wire armatures in the puppets snap, it means spending a few more weeks repairing it. There aren't any ways around this; that's the cost to such a genuine and tangible artform.
The bigger challenge is that I'm a one man band. A huge motivating factor in filmmaking is the opportunity to collaborate with like minds. I've tried and will keep trying, but I just can't seem to find anyone else willing to give up their free time to work on this project. Very few people will do something for nothing but a passion for powerful stories.
But as I mentioned earlier, my drive to work hard has pushed me this far, and it won't stop until I step into my nursery home 50 years from now. This short film WILL reach your eyeballs if I reach my kickstarter goal.
Thank you everyone!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)