About this project
You can get the short story in 33 seconds if you wanna click the video below!
In 1989 Meat Hook was the hottest band in America selling millions of albums and filling concert arenas. A few years later their careers were ice cold and for the next two decades they couldn't get a decent gig anywhere. Just when they were ready to give up music, they discovered they were red hot in North Korea. And that's where the story really begins.
After moving to Pyongyang, Meat Hook discovered life in North Korea is kinda weird. On a bright note, Kim Jong-Un made arrangements for them to move into the "Super-Fancyness American Compound," a small village of hundreds of other washed-up performers who had also hoped to reboot their careers in North Korea.
"38th Parallel" is a fun exploration of popular culture and of sharply contrasting ideologies, where we mix the absurdity of life in North Korea with the ridiculous elements of Western Culture.
Follow the adventures of Meat Hook as they get mixed up in international politics, popular culture, fashion, food, music, love and romance, and so much more.
Dave Schmevens is from Staten Island and grew up just a short distance from the Fresh Kills landfill. As a young man he liked to hop on the Staten Island Ferry with his guitar and write songs as he sailed back and forth across the bay. Dave's dreams of rock stardom began to unravel as he lost most of his hair in his early twenties to male pattern baldness. He felt reborn years later when he bought a men's wig made out of what was alleged to be the hair Bret Michaels lost when he was balding. Dave has a degree in History and when the band began to fail he spent many years working as a substitute teacher in various middle schools.
Cecil Sitwell hails from Blankenshire, England. He took up the drums at age 3 and has been pounding away ever since. Cecil is also an aspiring vegan chef and often takes charge of feeding the band. He came to the USA when he was 16 as an exchange student. He was hosted by Dave Schmeven's family and that is how he and Dave become band-mates and best friends.
Rosenblatt is from Queens, N.Y. He is the son of a Kosher butcher. His father, the much-beloved Schlome Rosenblatt, allowed his son and his son's friends to practice their music in the huge butcher shop freezer at night. The band's name "Meat Hook" is a tribute to Schlome who lost his life in a work-related incident in 1994.
Judy Cox is Meat Hook's biggest fan. She travels with the band and advises them on everything from business affairs to their love lives. She is their unofficial band photographer and blogger. Judy can afford to travel and just hang out because she is heir to the Cox Cupcake Company which invented the paper cupcake liner and still collects a royalty for every cupcake baked anywhere in North America.
Kim Jong Un is the son of Kim Jong-iL and grandson of Kim iL-Sung and goes by "K3" to his friends. He's kind of a cranky little f*cker but likes to hang out with Meat Hook because he loves being around "very coolness American music players."
Technically, Kim Jong-iL died in 2011. Luckily his spirit lives on in a top secret Kimchee jar. His son, the new ruler of North Korea, can open the jar at any time and dad will pop out and offer his wisdom and advice. He too is a Meat Hook fan and sometimes offers up his pearls of wisdom on life, love and leadership to the band and to Sweet Judy Cox. Yes, he smells a bit like pickled cabbage now, but this was the case for most of his life anyway.
Okay, sounds like a great show, but what do you need the money for?
Making an animated series can be expensive. We would like to start paying our voice actors and musicians. Raising $15,000 allows us to make a high-quality pilot episode and to pay everyone who contributes to it. This includes actors, animators, musicians, sound techs, writers and many more people you might never think about. It also helps cover many of our fixed costs and allows us to make future episodes for considerably less money. The more episodes we make, the less each one costs to make.
- $15,000: We can make an amazing pilot
- $20,000: Pilot and 2nd episode
- $30,000: Six episodes!
- $50,000: All of season one. 12 episodes!
- $100,000: A full year of "38th Parallel." 26 episodes!
Okay, take a break here and enjoy 20 seconds with Kim Jong iL's animation test below ...
Okay, get on board and help us out and get some of the great rewards below!
We're looking for a sponsor for our show. Your company can have its product visually integrated into our show and possibly even integrated into our stories. Your logo can appear on the shirts of our characters. The great advantage of this type of sponsorship is that your logo/brand/product remain in our show for eternity. It's not just a one-off, it's there forever. Whether we go viral, license our show to a cable network, or export it around the world, your logo is always there for the same small sponsorship costs. Additionally, our sponsor will be entitled to use our characters in print ads and animation promoting your product, subject to a few minimal guidelines. We can even do the animation for you! We are only interested in having one key sponsor, so if you'd like to be a big part of the 38th Parallel/Meat Hook team, contact us immediately.
HUGE Thanks to the following peeps who helped us out big-time:
VOICE-OVER Tech. engineer
MUSIC FOR KICKSTARTER PIECE
Music By: Russel Spurlock and Whatnot Industries
Theme song Music performed By: Joee Corso
Special Thanks to all our friends in Laurel Canyon for their valuable input!
Risks and challenges
Creating great animation is challenging and like any other artistic endeavor it can be full of surprises--- some pleasant, some not so pleasant. Actors drop out, files are lost, and computers behave in ways that drive us to insanity. Sometimes stories that worked great on paper don't feel right when played out on the screen. When doing live-action film and tv, if an edit doesn't work in post-production you can dig into a file filled with dozens of other takes or other angles. With animation that's not the case; new footage and new angles take time because they need to be created. Other times everything is working great but budget and scheduling issues eat up more resources than expected. Good sound is trickier than people realize. Finding or creating the right piece of music can be exhausting and sometimes expensive. Let's face it, if this was easy everyone would be doing it.
We recognize that "38th Parallel" is an ambitious project. However, Evan has been animating for 20+ years and Sam has written/directed/produced for national television with tight budgets and even tighter schedules. Working without the typical creative and scheduling constraints imposed by network TV, we're confident that this project is within our ability. We are aware of all the challenges listed above because we have encountered them in the past, numerous times. In fact, we encountered many of them as we were producing our Kickstarter video. As you can see, however, it came together and we're proud of it and presumably you liked it enough to keep reading all the way to down to here.
Can we say with 100% certainty that we'll make exactly what we envisioned? No. No filmmaker should ever say that. Can we promise that we'll absolutely come in on time and on budget? No. We're artists but we're realists-- even if that might sound like a contradiction. What we can say with absolute certainty is that we both love this project and that we'll be giving 100% of our time and energy into making it amazing.
sam & evanLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
38th parallel: The latitudinal line that approximately forms the boundary between North Korea and South Korea.
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