SO WHAT IS THIS?
Hi! Welcome! My name is Thobias Hoffmén and I’m a Swedish writer and director. I would like to tell you a little bit about a passion project, We R Animals*.
*creatures, pets, bestial, carnal, erotic, fleshly, lustful, beasts, lunatics, maniacs, psychopaths, savages, brutes.
We R Animals is a film project that I have, on and off, lived with for about eight years now. It all started with the idea of doing short films in the same style as Tom & Jerry or Itchy & Scratchy, but it developed over time and eventually ended up being a complete world with a lot of cool characters and stories. Based on all these ideas I wrote a first draft for a full length feature, which attracted a lot of interest. So in 2010 I ended up selling it to a big production company. However since I kept on wanting to do this as an r-rated film with animatronic puppets it was really hard to convince regular film financiers to invest in the project.
I moved on to work on other projects, but in 2015 I got the rights back and I then took my own money and shot the pitch you can see at the top of this page, and thanks to that one I managed to get a small amount of money to create the conceptual teaser-trailer (which you can see above) and teamed up with Academy Award nominated producer Mathias Fjellström.
And all this leads to this campaign. With it, we're hoping to speed things up.
ALL RIGHT! TELL US MORE. WHAT’S THE MOVIE ABOUT?
Ever since we crawled up from the sea, and down from the trees, the gap between man and animal have become bigger and bigger. While humans have gone to the moon and invented smart phones animals are just hopelessly underdeveloped.
Or, is that really the case? We R Animals tells the story of a different reality. They’re not as stupid as they might seem and they’re definitely not as cute and innocent as they appear to be. Being cute is actually something they’ve learned to benefit from since a lot of the ”cute-animal-video-clips” you see on the web are in fact produced by the animals themselves. Much like the porn industry, this is a nasty business where shady animals earn a lot of money on ads and treats their stars like shit. Welcome to the nasty ”cute animals film industry”!
Flash, a seemingly harmless, sphynx cat is one of these cute animal film producers and he has just found his new star, a bunny named Leah. Leah lives an unhappy life at a circus where she’s never experienced any kind of love. Flash decides to kidnap her but nothing goes according to plan and this creates a chain of reactions filled with revenge, murder and mystery.
Leah ends up in the middle of a conflict between Flash and his partners and a gang of vampire bats on a hunt for an emerald that they think possess magical powers.
We R Animals is a movie that mixes humor with action, crime with fantasy and the movies we grew up loving with the movies of today.
OK! SOUNDS INTERESTING. BUT PUPPETS? LIKE THE MUPPETS?
No, this is not the Muppets. We’ll use puppets, but in another way. Have a look at the teaser and you’ll get an idea of how it will look.
You can also take a look at the behind the scenes film below, and see how they are created. The puppets will get made by my dear friend Niklas Hermansson and his crew at Fixas.
COOL! SO NO CGI AT ALL?
Well, yeah, we will be using CGI as well. I think that a clever mix is the best way to go and it also will give an unique look and feel to the movie. We’ll use practical effects as much as possible and when it’s necessary, we’ll do touch ups with CGI. But no, I don’t wanna make the characters as CGI-creatures. They’re gonna be puppets.
The end result is what matters, and if that involves some CGI so be it. I’m looking for a unique tone here and I think a mixture of old and new techniques are the way to go.
Like this for example, how we created the throne-room in the teaser.
We built a foreground-miniature, and then a life-size throne for the puppet. After that we filmed a puppet in front of a green screen and put him in, and made a set extension. Tadaaa, great mix. A good example of a great collaboration between the guys at Fixas and the excellent vfx-people at Goodbye Kansas.
For the cyborg-dog, we made a miniature cyborg and built a miniature set for those shots. For the shots with the dog we built a life-size set and then used a hand puppet.
SO WHY KICKSTARTER?
In 2010 a bunch of stills from a test shoot was spread across the web, they went viral and attracted some interest to the project. However back then I didn't even have a script that I was satisfied with yet, and it was also before crowdfunding was a thing, so there were no real way to use that interest for financing the project.
After that We R Animals has been lying in the background while I have done lots of other stuff. I wanted more experience in directing, and I wanted to find the right techniques to make the film as good as I know it can get, but also as cheap as possible.
So in recent years I have worked with a lot of different things. Web-series, TV-series and features. A lot of it praised and award-winning here in Sweden.
I'm ready for We R Animals now. I have over the years gotten me a fine network of people who’ll now be involved in this film. People you can read more about later in this text under ”crew”.
So yeah, we want to KICKSTART this movie, with the help of kickstarter and you guys. Basically to speed things up and to be able to work on it not only in our spare time.
Ok, so I have a real grand vision for this project, but making this film into the glorious feature that I’ve envisioned will most definitely cost a lot more than I’ll be able to finance through a crowdfunding campaign.
However, there’s a lot of stories to be told with the characters in the ”We R Animals”-universe. So as a first goal for this campaign I’m aiming to make shorter films. I'd rather make good short films instead of trying to make a longer film with a lot of compromises.
But, of course, I still have the ultimate goal set on making this into a feature. It might be a long journey, but please join me on this quest and I'll make sure it’ll be worth it!
Basically, the more money we can get, the closer to the feature we’ll get. Every dollar (!), everything raised in this campaign will be used in my quest for making the feature. Either through shorts that will convince people to invest in the feature, or by making the feature right away! That’s the best way to do it.
!!!Keep in mind!!! All pledges are based on Swedish currency! The amounts in dollars below are estimates. When you choose your pledge on the right you will always see the current value. The exchange is about 1 USD = appr. 8.50 - 9 Swedish crowns. !!!
In the list below you can see a summary of all the rewards. As a lover of collectibles and stuff myself, I’ve made sure to offer things that I would love to own as well.
Almost all of the rewards below will be produced exclusively for this campaign! So get on board now!
UPDATE REGARDING DVD/BLU-RAY
You can now get the film on regular DVD or Blu-ray.
So if you already have chosen the digital download, but rather want it on DVD/Blu-ray, you can now manage your pledge and upgrade!
But what does this mean for the Super-exclusive-kickstarter-limited-DVD/bluray?? Well, it's still as limited and exclusive as before. Only 250 of them will get made. But we will now also throw in the poster in that pledge! And have a different cover as well. And yeah, it will be signed and numbered, which the regular one won't be.
UPDATE REGARDING "PUTTING YOUR NAME IN THE CREDITS"
You can now put your name in the credits for approx $50 USD (440 SEK)! All the pledges above this tier will also have their name in the credits!
A thank you card! Signed by me. And yes, all of you who've already chosen a pledge above the 215 SEK-tier will get this one as well.
And we also have this wonderful option.
Build your own package of rewards with add-ons!
You can add a reward to your pledge level by simply choosing an amount to add and answer a survey at the end of the campaign to let us know what item you want.
ADD-ONS INSTRUCTIONS: To add an add-on to your pledge, follow those steps:
1) Press the “Manage Your Pledge” button above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say “Back this Project”.
2) Increase your pledge in the “Pledge Amount” box by the total of the add-on you want to add.
3) After the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will ask you questions so that you can explain how you would like the add-on money assigned.
Writer & director: Thobias Hoffmén
The man behind We R Animals is Thobias Hoffmén who’s also written the script and will direct the film. He has, among other things, created popular series for SVT (Swedish Television) like the award winning Hoppas Farfar Dör (We Wish Our Grandpa Dies), and the critically acclaimed Insiativet (Almost Heroes).
He is currently working as a writer/director at BOB Film AB in Stockholm.
Producer: Mathias Fjällström
Mathias Fjellström is a producer/director with experience from working with commercials for big brands like Adidas and Coca Cola and he has also a excellent track record as a producer of short films by internationally acclaimed directors like Patrik Eklund and Amanda Kernell. His short films has participated- as well as won prices at big prestigious festivals like Sundance and Cannes and in 2010 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Patrik Eklund’s Instead of Abracadabra.
SFX & Puppets: FIXAS
Niklas Hermansson and Fia Reisek are the founders and owners of FIXAS, together they have more than 20 years of experience in special effects and prop making.
They have previously worked on projects like The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Let the Right One In and many more!
Lead Puppeteer: Robert Tygner
Creating the puppets is one thing, but bringing them to life on set is another! It’s so important to have a brilliant puppeteer and here we have one of the best! Robert has worked on films like Labyrinth (!), Where the wild things are, Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, little shop of horrors, The muppets, and come on, he was the one who puppeteered Splinter in the Turtles film!
VFX: Goodbye Kansas Entertainment Group
The Goodbye Kansas Entertainment Group consists of Fido, Bläck, Imagination Studios and Infinite Entertainment, with studios in Stockholm, London and Hamburg. They provide VFX, CGI, motion capture and animation for film, TV, commercials, advertising, computer games development and marketing.
They have previously worked on projects like The Walking Dead and Kung Fury. And many more!
CREDITS FOR THE KICKSTARTER PITCH FILM
Written & directed by Thobias Hoffmén
SFX & Puppets: Niklas Hermansson, Pernilla Fischer, Fia Reisek, Fixas
VFX & Grade: Daniel Bladini, Goodmotion
DOP and Editing: Carl Fristedt, Glada Gatan
Music & soundmix: Jonas Wikstrand
Voiceactor - the bat: John La Briola
Actor - the investor: Alan Adler
Actor - Flash: Christoffer Nordenrot
Special thanks to: Christoffer Sandler
CREDITS FOR THE PROOF OF CONCEPT TEASER
Dog: Schiaffino Musarra, Vampire King: John La Briola, Vampire Bat: Alan Adler, Cyborg-Pug Lindsay: Eleni Young
Writer/director: Thobias Hoffman
Producer: Mathias Fjellström, Production manager: Susanne Karlsson
Storyboard-artist: Janne Widmark
DoP: David Grehn, Gaffer: Jonas Björne, Camera-assistant: Erik Sjöstrand, Behind-the-scenes: Robin Fjällström
Set-design: Elin Bergman, Carpenter: Leonard Nilsson
Puppets & sfx: Fixas, Niklas Hermansson, Jakob Petersson, Lars Carlsson, Oskar Wallroth, Alizandra Platin, Jonas Frykberg
Special thanks to: Christoffer Sandler & Jonas Wikstrand
Editor: Nils Moström
VFX: Goodbye Kansas, Tom Olsson: Executive Producer, Hanna Bengtsson: Producer, James Prossner: Line Producer, Tomas Näslund: VFX Supervisor, Henrik Klein: compositing & conform, Fredrik Höglin: compositing, Aleksandra Czenczek: compositing, Natalie Macdonald: compositing, Teo Mathlein: DMP, Emeric Saint-Germain: DMP
Color grading: Emmy Kindstrand, BOB Film
Music & sound: Jonas Wikstrand
Co-producers: Film i Västerbotten, Film i Dalarna, Fort Knox, Infinite Entertainment, Salmonfox
Equipment supplied by Dagsljus
Shot at Matiné Film & Television Studio in Falun, 2016
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Risks and challenges
Of course there will be risks with investing in this, like it always is when making movies. But here’s what we do to minimize those:
First of all we are professional film makers and have no illusion of the effort needed to make this happen. The film will be executive produced by David Sandberg, the man behind the world wide crowdfunding hit sensation “Kung Fury”. David will both work with the project creatively, but will also share his experiences on how to handle a crowdfunded project.
The budget is quite dynamic. We’re aiming for making the film with advanced animatronic puppets and high quality equipment as well as well crafted set design, but the film can of course also be made cheaper by using less advanced equipment, shot a lot of stuff on location and, most important, using less advanced puppets. This might give some limitations to the style and tone of the film, but it won’t change the characters and the story and those are the most important things, This also means that the more money we get the cooler looking movie we’ll get.
The biggest risk in the project is that it might be hard to make a proper time plan at this point. However this is what we’re aiming for:
If the first goal is reached: The short film will be finished in 2018.
If the first stretch goal is reached: The prequel will premiere in 2018.
If the second stretch goal is reached (The full feature): This is the hardest one to predict, but we’re aiming for a premiere in late 2018.
Our plan is also of course to be as transparent on how everything is coming along. This will be communicated via the behind-the-scenes-film that is a part of the rewards and via updates on social media outputs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)