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An animated folktale about a giant artichoke.
160 backers pledged $17,240 to help bring this project to life.
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$17,240

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The Artichoke

Over the past seven months I have been working diligently on my new film “The Artichoke.” Now I am asking for your help to finish the project. 

It was six years ago, back in 2013, I launched my first Kickstarter to make “New York City Sketchbook,”my animated doc about the big apple, and because of the generous contributions of 305 Kickstarter backers I was able to finish the film in 2016. 

Just yesterday August 15, 2019, the film was chosen Short Pick of The Day on Cartoonbrew!

https://www.cartoonbrew.com/cartoon-brew-pick/short-pick-of-the-day-new-york-city-sketchbook-by-willy-hartland-178212.html

Here's the 2 minute trailer:

https://vimeo.com/307918626

New York City Sketchbook c 2016
New York City Sketchbook c 2016

That film was very successful. It was accepted into 12 festivals around the world, where it won 8 international animation awards. Among them: the Black Maria Stellar Award, Best Animated Doc at the Los Angeles Animation Festival, Film of the Festival and Best Animated short at the Oxford International Film Festival in England, and many other awards. In addition the film also screened at The National Gallery of Art in Wash DC, The Animatou Animation Festival in Geneva Switzerland, Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, and the Glimmerglass Film days in Cooperstown New York.

Still from "The Artichoke"
Still from "The Artichoke"
concept art
concept art

My new animated film is a story that I wrote which borrows from many well-known folktales. It takes place in California on an artichoke farm perhaps a 100 years ago, where our main character a young woman named Bonita lives with her grandfather and a giant artichoke the size of a house. One day, the grandfather decides to chop it down, as it’s time to cook the artichoke. He asks Bonita to go over the mountain and into town to buy some butter to melt. Instead of spending the money on butter, she buys new clothes she desperately needs, and along the way encounters some menacing mountain lion creatures. The story is about her journey up the mountain, and the many characters and life lessons she is forced to confront.

onionskin of chopping loop
onionskin of chopping loop

mountain lion  facial expressions
mountain lion facial expressions
concept art
concept art

Unlike New York City Sketchbook, this film will be in color, and is partly inspired by Renaissance artists, like Albrecht Durer and Rembrandt, whose pen and ink crosshatch style seems to have an affinity to the folktale feeling of the story. 

onion skin poses of Bonita
onion skin poses of Bonita
onion skin animation sequence
onion skin animation sequence

The art direction will also be influenced by the Romanticism and Symbolism art movements of the 19th century. Specifically Arnold Bocklin and Gustave Moreau. Symbolists sought a deeper reality from within their imagination, their dreams, and their unconscious.  In literature and in art, artichokes are the symbols of peace and prosperity. The center of the artichoke is the heart, which also stands for the hope of future love. I like their physiognomy too, with their armored claw like leaves which protect the innermost center the heart.

Like my last film about New York, the animation will be hand drawn on a cintiq directly into the computer to save time, and the backgrounds or sets will be drawn in 3D using the application Cinema 4D. Here are some of the 3D sets for the film.

Risks and challenges

I don't see too many risks on the horizon regarding this project. However because of my busy teaching schedule during the school year, the summer months and winter breaks when I don't teach are my most productive times to do animation.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Password to view new animation.

    For $10 you will receive a secret password, where you will view new animation scenes in production.

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    Download a high def version.

    For $25 download a high def version of the finished film.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Invitation to the premiere party

    Receive an invitation to the premiere party in New York City. Meet the crew and me.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed limited edition print

    For $75 you will receive a signed limited edition matted print of a concept painting used in the preproduction of the film.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Receive an original drawing.

    Receive an original black and white concept drawing created for the film.

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    Limited 23 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive an original color painting.

    Receive an original color concept painting created for the film.

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    Limited 4 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Become an associate producer

    If you donate over $1,000 you will become an associate producer of the film.
    Your name will appear on the credits, and will also receive an original color concept painting
    created during the preproduction.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Executive Producer of The Artichoke

    For $1,500 you will be the sole executive producer on The Artichoke.
    Your name will appear as a "separate card" which means just your name on the screen without any others. You will also receive an original color concept painting
    created during the preproduction.

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Funding period

- (31 days)