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A stop-motion sci-fi action thriller about squirrel apartheid. Can a renegade grey squirrel survive on this mysterious island?
585 backers pledged £10,438 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£10,438

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Hello! I'm Astrid and I'm an animator and model maker from Folkestone in England. I'm looking to finish a stop motion short film called Squirrel Island.

I’ve worked on some really fun projects over the last 12 years, like making vibrating alien slugs for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a pink cyclops elephant for Ford Fiesta. But all I really wanted to do was make a sci-fi action film about squirrels, so I quit my job in London and found a garage in Folkestone to make a stop motion film.

Squirrel Island is a 15 minute sci-fi action thriller about squirrel apartheid, following a lone renegade grey squirrel called Dot, who is trapped on a hostile and mysterious red squirrel island. Thrown together with an extremely reluctant acorn partner, Dot and her new friend uncover a horrifying secret red squirrel plot. Can Dot and Mr Acorn survive Squirrel Island?

I'm shooting Squirrel Island on a 1969 Bolex film camera which used to belong to legendary wildlife cinematographer Martin Dohrn. I feel very proud to be continuing the tradition of wildlife cinematography with this camera! Ahem.

I've been working on a shoestring budget, so I have created the puppets, props and sets from all sorts of things, including old kitchen cupboards, furnishing foam and ice cube trays. Everything you see on screen is made from scratch, as I love the accidental magic that happens when you're working with materials that have a mind of their own.

It’s been six years since I sat down and sketched out the entire story of Squirrel Island, but now I’m only six months off finishing. I just need to raise funds for post production: editing, colour grading, foley and sound mixing. All funds raised beyond my target will go directly into post production and go toward festival submission costs. I hope you find something in the rewards that you can NOT ONLY treasure forever BUT ALSO gives you the warm huggy feeling of helping a unique film get made.

Your very own cadet squirrel! Fully posable with knife and gas mask accessories!
Your very own cadet squirrel! Fully posable with knife and gas mask accessories!
Your very own scientist squirrel! Fully posable with clipboard accessory!
Your very own scientist squirrel! Fully posable with clipboard accessory!
Your very own grey squirrel! Fully posable animation puppet, choose from dead or alive!
Your very own grey squirrel! Fully posable animation puppet, choose from dead or alive!
The zombie acornocalypse approaches. Get an undead acorn of your very own!
The zombie acornocalypse approaches. Get an undead acorn of your very own!
LIMITED EDITION red squirrel finger puppet, choose between leader or cadet! *Grey squirrel not included
LIMITED EDITION red squirrel finger puppet, choose between leader or cadet! *Grey squirrel not included
Cadet squirrel finger puppet, with hand-painted cast resin head and posable arms
Cadet squirrel finger puppet, with hand-painted cast resin head and posable arms
One-of-a-kind handmade bird's nest, complete with two baby birds, featured in the film. Cheep cheep!
One-of-a-kind handmade bird's nest, complete with two baby birds, featured in the film. Cheep cheep!
One-of-a-kind handmade cadet squirrel satchel, featured in the film. Tiny utility chic!
One-of-a-kind handmade cadet squirrel satchel, featured in the film. Tiny utility chic!
Hang out with Mr Acorn! Special LIMITED EDITION hand-painted decoration
Hang out with Mr Acorn! Special LIMITED EDITION hand-painted decoration
Squirrel Island cotton tote bag
Squirrel Island cotton tote bag

Risks and challenges

Stop motion animation is one long challenge! I do all of the special effects in-camera, and because of this dedication/deathwish I've set fire to my sets with smoke bombs and sparklers, and had a 50-litre tank of gelatine leak all over my studio floor. Shooting 'blind' on film without video assist, you're never sure if you've captured a scene successfully until you get it back from the lab, so there's always a tense few days wait whilst it's developed. Thankfully, most of the hard work is behind me, and I only have to shoot the last scenes now.

My goal is to finish the project in time to submit it to the Annecy Animation Festival, the deadline for which is in February. I need to get the foley track recorded, then have the film edited, colour corrected and sound mixed. It's a huge amount of work, but there's nothing like a looming deadline to make an animator pull all-nighters!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £3 or more About US$ 4

    SQUIRREL ISLANDER:

    HD download copy of the finished film

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    197 backers
    £

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £6 or more About US$ 8

    BEHIND THE SCENES SQUIRREL:

    Making of documentary
    Digital poster
    HD download copy of the finished film

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    103 backers
    £

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    ISLAND TREASURE:

    Squirrel Island pin badges
    Squirrel Island stickers
    HD download copy of the finished film

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    48 backers
    £

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 19

    ULTIMATE NUT CACHE:

    PDF book of hand-drawn storyboards for the film
    MP3 Soundtrack download
    Director's commentary
    Making of documentary
    Digital poster
    HD download copy of the finished film

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    34 backers
    £

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 26

    SQUIRREL SWAG-BAG:

    Squirrel Island tote bag
    Squirrel Island pin badges
    Squirrel Island stickers
    Director’s commentary
    Making of documentary
    HD download copy of the finished film

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    49 backers
    £

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 26

    SQUIRRELVISION:

    Squirrel Island DVD (includes director's commentary, storyboard book and making of documentary)

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    40 backers
    £

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 32

    SILVER SCREEN SQUIRREL:

    Invitation to a special screening of Squirrel Island in London or Folkestone, with director Q&A (travel not included)

    PLUS! Everything from the ULTIMATE NUT CACHE

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    17 backers
    £

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 63

    SQUIRREL-O-RAMA:

    Invitation to a special screening of Squirrel Island in London or Folkestone, with Director Q&A (travel not included)
    Squirrel Island DVD
    Squirrel Island movie poster
    Squirrel Island goodie bag, including Tote + Stickers + Pin badges

    PLUS! Your name in the credits

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    £

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 126

    RED HAND GANG

    Special LIMITED EDITION squirrel finger puppet, your choice of red squirrel leader and red squirrel cadet. Hand-painted cast resin with felt outfit and posable arms, replica of the ones featured in the film, approx 12cm, sent with a hand-written thank you note.

    PLUS! Your name in the credits and everything from SQUIRREL-O-RAMA

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 8 backers
    £

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £750 or more About US$ 938

    THE NUTCRACKER:

    A grey squirrel of your very own! One of the grey squirrels featured in the film, choose from dead or alive! Fully posable animation puppet, approx. 24cm high, sent with a hand-written thank you note

    PLUS! Your name in the credits and everything from SQUIRREL-O-RAMA

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,251

    THE GOLDEN ACORN:

    A red squirrel of your very own! Choice of red squirrel cadet or red squirrel scientist, featured in the film. Fully posable animation puppet with handmade outfit and accessories (cadet approx.26cm/scientist approx.34cm), sent with a hand-written thank you note

    PLUS! Your name in the credits as a Producer and everything from SQUIRREL-O-RAMA

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £

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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £30 or more About US$ 38

    SQUIRREL SURPRISE:

    Original 16mm negative clipping from the film, sent with bespoke presentation display and a hand-written thank you note

    PLUS! Your name in the credits and everything from the ULTIMATE NUT CACHE

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    £

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  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 76

    A-CORNUCOPIA:

    Special LIMITED EDITION Mr Acorn decoration, hand-painted cast resin. Hang him on your wall or on your tree! Approx.10cm, sent with a hand-written thank you note
    Squirrel Island poster
    Squirrel Island DVD (includes director's commentary, storyboard book and making of documentary)

    PLUS! Your name in the credits

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    £

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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £80 or more About US$ 101

    HOLD ME CLOSER TINY SQUIRREL:

    Handmade prop featured in the film, sent with a hand-written thank you note. Choose from Cadet squirrel satchel (approx.7x6cm)/Cadet squirrel finger puppet (approx.12.5cm)/Woodland bird's nest with baby birds (approx.16cm dia). First come first served!

    PLUS! Your name in the credits and everything from the ULTIMATE NUT CACHE

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    £

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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £150 or more About US$ 188

    THE NUTS:

    Zombie Acorn! One of the enslaved zombie acorns of your very own. Fully posable resin and latex puppet, approx. 20cm including stalk, handmade and highly covetable (brain-consumption not guaranteed)

    PLUS! your name in the credits and everything from the ULTIMATE NUT CACHE

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    £

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Funding period

- (30 days)