Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 8, 2011.


An original sci-fi hand-drawn animated feature from graphic novelist Dash Shaw and producer John Cameron Mitchell.

The Ruined Cast is a hand-drawn animated feature I’ve written and am directing.  It’s my first attempt into feature-length animating.  I’ve been tamed, beaten, and trained by producers John Cameron Mitchell (director of Hedwig & The Angry InchShortbus and Rabbit Hole), Howard Gertler (Shortbus & Bobcat Goldthwait's World’s Greatest Dad) and Biljana Labovic (Bill Plympton’s Idiots & Angels) to bring this to the screen. The video above is a teaser meant to prematurely arouse you for a movie night that is two million drawings away from completion.

I’ve also been developing the project at the scenic Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting & Directing Labs. It’s been a loving, collaborative environment in which I’ve honed the script and learned to mercilessly manipulate actors and crew. 

What’s the story?

Michael Malone has created an enclosed scientific community, Argus, where he experiments on the population and the members of his own family.  His latest experiment is a personality-altering cosmetic shell.  If you don the shell of another person, their personality seeps into you.  Aided by gross overdoses of Jamais Vu pills, which give you the experience of feeling something for the first time (as opposed to déjà vu), you can be completely reborn in a new personality.  When he loses a test subject in this new process, his control over Argus and his family begins to unravel.  His art student son finds and hides the escaped test subject and plans to overthrow his father’s work!

Why Kickstarter?

We’re raising the resources to get the project in its best shape to present to production financiers.  We’re making a movie that's difficult to compare to another, so the burden of proof is on us to illustrate it first. This takes funding for materials, production space and labor.  We’ll be able to acquire the equipment and supplies to start creating elements of the film.  As the teaser suggests, the movie will be painstakingly animated by hand —it requires paints for backgrounds, lots and lots of paper, lots of pens, scanners, and cameras to capture “live” paintings.  Your contributions will allow us to lay the groundwork to bring this to life. 

FAQs (and you can read more about them on the Kickstarter FAQ page):

Wait, tell me again why I’m doing this?

Because you believe in the project. Because you know that the first stages of creating a movie like this are the most crucial, and your fiscal support can get it there and give it the needed momentum to blossom into the final feature. Plus, look at the rewards!

Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made?

Absolutely! After donating, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the grassy green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a dodger blue “Manage My Pledge” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.

What happens if you raise more than your goal?

Exceeding our goal will allow us to go even deeper into the dark pre-production and production phases — create even more backgrounds, maybe even cast and record all of the dialogue for the film. We will put any funds raised to good and thrifty use.

Is the pledge amount publicly displayed?

No. Only you and the project owner will be able to see your pledge amount.

Can I give an incentive as a gift?

Many of these rewards would make a fine offering to pacify the threatening film/comics/cartoon lover in your life. To "gift" your reward to someone else, please follow the normal process with the pledge and payment in your name. Once we've reached the deadline, we'll send you an email requesting the information we need to fulfill the reward (address, etc.) At that time, please reply with the contact info for the person that is to receive the reward and we'll follow through!

What’s all-or-nothing funding all about?

If we reach our goal, then your credit card is charged. If we don’t, then it isn’t.

How can we stay in touch?

Send us an email through this Kickstarter profile. You can also follow what we’re up to on the website We’re blogging the production of the film and posting a drawing a day!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    72 backers

    Our deepest gratitude, not only spiritually but as a printed, limited-edition postcard hand-written and signed by Dash and whoever else is in the room. (We'll send this to all of our backers at $5 and up).

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    40 backers

    Around that fateful day when the final film is in release — a digital download of the movie (when it becomes available digitally).

  • Pledge $40 or more
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    56 backers

    A limited-edition print of an image from the film suitable for framing! —and everything above. (Canadian friends, please add $7 for shipping; international, please add $9).

  • Pledge $90 or more
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    15 backers

    We'll send you a limited edition t-shirt in addition to everything above. (Canadian friends, please add $7 for shipping; international, please add $9).

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    15 backers

    Everything above AND a DVD of the feature (upon its DVD release) AND a signed copy of Dash's animation art book "The Unclothed Man," courtesy of Fantagraphics Books. (Canadian friends, please add $7 for shipping; international, please add $9).

  • Pledge $300 or more
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    10 backers

    You'll get a piece of the movie itself —also suitable for framing! — an 8.5 X 11" original line art drawing on paper from the movie, and everything above. (Canadian friends, please add $7 for shipping; international, please add $9).

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Your face, in the movie! Shaw will draw a background character with your likeness in the movie. You'll be mailed the drawing after it's been filmed. You'll also get everything above.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    A private screening in NYC or LA with John Cameron Mitchell and one of his films — Rabbit Hole, Shortbus, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, or his action movie Band of the Hand starring him as a homocidal New Waver pitted against coke pimp Lawrence Fishburne. Plus everything above!

Funding period

- (30 days)