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A modern woman remembers her wretched, toy-giving grandmother in this dark, fantasy animation by Thomas Kim.
A modern woman remembers her wretched, toy-giving grandmother in this dark, fantasy animation by Thomas Kim.
93 backers pledged $5,342 to help bring this project to life.

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TREJUR – a Stop Motion Animated Short Film

$5,342

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                                                        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.

The blanket has wires inside so that it can hold its position and be animatable.
The blanket has wires inside so that it can hold its position and be animatable.

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! 

1/6th scale miniature toys
1/6th scale miniature toys

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.

Above is the progression from concept designs to wood-carved stop motion puppets.
Above is the progression from concept designs to wood-carved stop motion puppets.

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.

All the walls and floors can be broken down by quadrants so I can pop up inside and animate.
All the walls and floors can be broken down by quadrants so I can pop up inside and animate.

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.

These few set pieces are ready to be primed, painted, and weathered!
These few set pieces are ready to be primed, painted, and weathered!

  

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.

 

Final storyboards and set layouts and designs
Final storyboards and set layouts and designs

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    ABC Blocks

    Get bragging rights to say you were part of an out-of-this-world handcrafted movie!

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    Bellhop Monkey

    It's finally your time to be a star. Live eternally with your name in credits!

    Includes:
    • special thank you in the credits
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Jack in the Box

    The film won't be posted for the public for up to a year due to festival runs... WATCH THE SUPER SECRET FILM in high quality and share your thoughts on the day it's finished ~October!

    Additionally, you'll have your name in the credits, and periodic emails documenting BTS and first look clips.

    Includes:
    • digital download of the final film
    • special thank you in the credits
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Chatter Telephone

    Receive all the perks above and a digital Art book containing all of the film's inspirations and development works. (Includes all previous rewards.)

    Includes:
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    View Master

    Inspire yourself with the official poster. Imagine a Wes Anderson and Miyazaki artwork fusion; THAT'S what it'll look like. (You'll want to frame it above your toilet.)
    (Includes all previous rewards PLUS a personalized thank you message.)

    Includes:
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Etch a Sketch

    Get a HAND-PAINTED maquette of the puppets made with the 3D printer you helped fund! Combo that with a one-to-one thank you message along with other rewards listed below, and that's a steal.

    Includes:
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Tin Robot

    Declare your pride with a snazzy and sleek T-shirt! With personal artwork inspired from the film, it'll have a nice "minimalistic" aesthetic: no "comic sans" in neon green; I promise.

    (You will be contacted for sizes)

    Includes:
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Stretch Armstrong

    You've finally reached IMDb... get ready to accept your Oscar!

    The latter might just be blackmail, HOWEVER, boost your street cred with your own IMDb credits when our film runs its international film festival circuit! (This level INCLUDES the official poster.)

    Includes:
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Rainbow Xylophone

    Handpainted, 3D printed puppet maquette, IMDb credits, AND T-shirt combo! The shirts will be QUALITY; I don't believe in those $10 "fruit of the loom" stuff. (This level does NOT include a real Rainbow Xylophone. :)

    Includes:
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Cap Gun

    Get the satisfaction of helping a kid out, AND get a limited hand-painted matte painting used for large backgrounds (ex: landscapes of windows). These were created by the some of the most talented painters in Concord MA High School! (This level INCLUDES the official poster, t-shirt, maquette, AND IMDb creds.)

    When the film is released, you will be contacted to choose the one you would like if you have a preference.

    Includes:
    • ~2'x2' matte paintings
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Red Tricycle

    Have the chance to see what it takes to build a fictional world in animation! Get a ridiculously large package of documents filled with the hundreds of hours of sketches, planning notes, story arcs maps, rough storyboards, and final boards. (This level INCLUDES the official poster, maquette, t-shirt, AND IMDb creds.)

    Includes:
    • pre-production sketches, drawings, storyboards & much more
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Training Wheels

    Make a cameo! Send in a picture of your choosing (please no silly business), and it'll be permanently stuck on a LARGE picture frame in the stop motion set. Since all of the stop motion footage takes place inside that one set, your face could be creepily looming in the background of several shots. Cool! (This level INCLUDES the official poster, t-shirt, maquette, AND IMDb creds.)

    Includes:
    • custom cameo's in the final film
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Wooden Rocking Horse

    Become an Executive Producer (aka my BEST FRIEND). You'll be able to make production decisions regarding the film. PLUS you'll have access to the entire story so that things like "the characters names" will be up to you as E.P. to decide. (this level INCLUDES the official poster, t-shirt, maquette, AND IMDb creds as E.P.)

    Includes:
    • level up to EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Your Own Playground

    Did your know... that each stop motion puppet is hand carved from balsa wood... each puppet has a fully articulate armature inside with hand sewn clothing.... and each puppet costs hundreds of dollars and man hours to fabricate.

    Including Executive Producer credit on IMDb, official poster, t-shirt, maquette, etc, I shall entrust you the power to take home ONE of either the grandmother or granddaughter puppet in a signed display case. Just keep in mind that with great power, comes great responsibility. :)

    Includes:
    • THE ORIGINAL, posable stop motion PUPPET in a display case
    • level up to EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    THE ROCKET SHIP OF YOUR DREAMS

    A custom built professional wooden stop motion puppet from scratch, and placed in signed a glass display case after it makes a CAMEO IN THE FINAL FILM. It is fully articulate and posable with a professional ball and socket armature inside. You can either send a picture of a character you want, or a picture of yourself and we will hand build a 1/6 scale, animatable, YOU!
    (This level includes the the many other things listed below.)

    Includes:
    • CUSTOM CAMEO PROFESSIONAL STOP MOTION PUPPET
    • level up to EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
    • handpainted 3D printed miniature puppet maquettes
    • kickstarter exclusive artwork T-shirt
    • super sweet minimalist poster
    • your official name & credits in IMDb
    • special thank you in the credits
    • digital download of the final film
    • a personalized thank you message
    • periodic behind the scene photos and updates
    • digital scrapbook of everything behind this film
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (25 days)