About this project
Black Holes is a satirical animated series about space conquest, the meaning of life and proctology. It chronicles the journey of Dave The Astronaut and his partner, an intelligent melon, as they embark on the first ever human mission to Mars.
100K REACHED! THANK YOU!!
Build your perfect Black Holes rewards package with this new option. These add ons are available if you've already pledged $50 or more. Please let us know if you have any questions!
We’ve produced a 12 minute proof of concept which was selected in the short film competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video probably even more, so we decided to release this short film so you can see what we’re really about... Just turn up the volume and enjoy! :-)
We’re bringing Black Holes to Kickstarter to fund the production of the first season, a total of 10 x 22 min. episodes. Our initial funding goal of $100,000 will allow us to develop, produce and release the first episode of Black Holes. This includes script writing, graphic research, animation tests and actual production. Every additional 100K from then on will allow us to produce a new episode.
In the very near future, NASA has become the stepchild of spatial aeronautics, struggling to stay relevant in a cut-throat world of flashier space start-ups. But their imminent launch of the first human mission to Mars is about to change all that and put them back in their rightful place. Dave Nicholson, their most renowned astronaut, will helm the mission. Studious - and some might even say rigid - Dave has prepared his whole life for this moment.
As Season 1 begins, all of NASA is abuzz with excitement as the final preparations are under way for Mission Mars Premium. But Green Orbit, a pesky environmentalist non-profit, pressures NASA into using eco-friendly materials for the construction of the rocket. Clara, their spokesperson, is an irresistible bombshell used to getting what she wants and a lovesick Dave finds himself pleading on her behalf to Youstonovabitch, the head of NASA. When a Green-Orbit activist is accidentally charred on the launchpad on live TV during a protest, public opinion and the media turn and NASA yields. Only the flimsy eco-ethical materials fail during a test and a fuel tank crashes on a remote third world country, Burkinagladesh, causing a devastating ecological disaster.
The remainder of Mission Mars Premium’s budget must be spent in damages. NASA is broke and their public image is shot. Dave’s dream seems crushed but he still inexplicably has feelings for Clara. To make matters worse Dr. Finger, renowned for his cutting edge research in proctology, decides to return as NASA’s chief medical advisor out of solidarity after a decade pursuing a wildly successful career in the fine arts. This is a nightmare for Dave who had to endure numerous rectal exams as young intern astronaut and now fears Finger will resume his shenanigans, invoking every reason in the book to photograph his anus. Worst of all, Dave realizes that Finger is Clara’s father.
Back on base, NASA has made an earth-shattering discovery: the Melon - a sentient fruit who claims to be the reincarnation of a fashion designer. Through wit and charm, the Melon has enchanted everyone and is now a top strategist at NASA. He masterminds a sponsorship deal with Fulman, a massive furniture corporation - in the future nightstands and ottomans are as coveted as Apple products are today and a marker of social status. Fulman agrees to fully finance the mission under one condition: Wilton Chester, the face of their brand and a narcissistic diva, must join the mission to host the first ever reality show broadcast live from outer space. Dave will soon find himself having to make compromises he’d never imagined to save the mission.
As Season 1 unfolds and humanity attempts its most ambitious feat yet, the conquest of Mars, our characters will have to overcome financial and technical challenges, outlandish geopolitical situations and stultifying office politics but most of all, their own shortcomings.
We made a 12 minute 3D animated short film that serves as our proof of concept for the series: it introduces our tone, style, characters and themes. Black Holes was selected out of 9,000 films submitted from around the world to premiere at the Academy Award® qualifying Sundance Film Festival. Being one of the top festivals in the world, Sundance was a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the project, both with the audience and the industry.
Now, we’ve decided to bring Black Holes to Kickstarter for two main reasons:
- To bring this quirky animated sitcom to life while maintaining our creative independence.
- To collaborate with our backers to make Black Holes the next breakthrough success in the animation world.
By including YOU, our backers, in the creative process, we will make Black Holes into a game-changing show we will all be proud of.
How is this going to work? We created a private Facebook group you will have access to as soon as you pledge at least $15. In this group, we will share our ideas as they come and you will be able to weigh in, vote, give new ideas and influence the stories, characters and everything else that matters to you. If you are not on Facebook, please let us know and we will get you involved another way.
The initial funding goal of $100,000 is the bare minimum we need to make the first episode. This may seem like a lot but it’s actually quite small in comparison with the budget of big studio productions (they would probably spend ten times more). 3D animation is extremely time-consuming and requires heavy equipment and a highly skilled staff. Thanks to the help of our computer nerd friends, we have created a revolutionary pipeline that allows us to produce a quality that rivals big studios in a short time and with a very small crew. For instance, we made the short film with only 3 people in 4 months.
If we go beyond this initial goal, we’re committing to produce and release a new episode every $100,000. This is a very ambitious challenge - 100K for 22 minutes of animation is dirt cheap. But we’re ready to take on this challenge with you because making this series is our absolute dream.
We also want to explore the narrative and sensory possibilities of Virtual Reality and make Black Holes a bi-media (TV+VR) series. VR has always been an exciting field for us and we’ve started experimenting with it years ago. You may have seen this music video for Boys Noize back in 2013:
We'll be sharing with you some visual tests during the campaign and are planning to release full virtual reality experiences when we reach some of the stretch goals described in the paragraph below.
Black Holes was born of the pure passion and hard work of a handful of lunatics crazy enough to forfeit their personal lives and work for no money for over a year straight. After working in the dark so long, it’s extremely rewarding to have the seal of approval from a world renowned festival such as Sundance. More than ever, we are confident that Black Holes is a project with a great future ahead.
We’ve laid the groundwork and now WE NEED YOU to help us get the infrastructure and personnel necessary to turn Black Holes into a full-fledged series. As for anything worthwhile, it took a big investment of time, money and labor on our part to come this far. We have no doubt that you will enjoy the same incomparable sense of pride as we do from backing Black Holes and helping us bring this awesome project to life.
Here’s how the funds raised with this Kickstarter campaign will be used:
- Script writing
- Optimizing the revolutionary pipeline we discovered in developing the pilot
- Graphic research for design of characters and locations
- Virtual Reality development
- Animation tests
- 3D animation software and hardware
- Kickstarter backer rewards
- Writers, animators payroll
As we said, we will produce a new episode every 100K. Each episode we make will bring us closer to finding outside investors to fund the production of the entire season, and more seasons after that. Ultimately, the success of this Kickstarter campaign will bring us closer to our dream of establishing Black Holes as a major player in the adult animation world.
We’ve outlined a number of stretch goals so that you can better understand the path that we have in mind.
- Production of 1st episode
- VR experience #1: put yourself in Dave's shoes and walk around the bedroom inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Finalize scripts for season 1
- Storyboard all season 1
- 3D modeling of additional characters from season 1
- Complete graphic research for space environments of Season 1
- VR video #2: experience Dave’s interstellar trip from the cockpit of his space shuttle.
- Record new voices for French version
- Additional premiere in Paris (all backers will be invited free of charge)
- Production of 2nd episode
- VR video #3: experience a full rocket takeoff as Dave’s co-pilot, towards the orbital construction site, where the Mars Premium spaceship is being assembled.
$300,000 - $1,000,000
- Production of a new episode every 100K
Brothers David Nicolas and Laurent Nicolas are french animation directors known for creating and directing cult animated series Lascars and Life According to François-Remy Jeansac in France (Canal+) and F is For Family in the US (Netflix). They won many prestigious awards including Jury Prize Imagina Award, Best Music Video Award Annecy and D&AD Award for their work in advertising and music video.
Kevos Van Der Meiren is a producer known for his collaboration with Quentin Dupieux on such films as Rubber, Wrong, Wrong Cops and Reality. He is also the co-founder of the studio Noodles and one of the directors of the artists collective Meat Dept. created with David Nicolas.
Noodles is a Paris and Los Angeles based studio founded by award winning artists, directors and producers to create original contents in live action and animation. Since its inception, Noodles has produced films, art installations, music videos, viral commercials, virtual reality experiences presented in Sundance Film Festival, Festival de Cannes and Biennale di Venezia.
Many other friends have been working day and night to bring Black Holes to life. Most of them are longtime collaborators of David and Laurent. As CGI supervisor, Sylvain Pellodi is constantly finding ways to optimize our pipeline. Revered animator, Patrick Bonneau always brings a magic touch to our scenes. Other usual suspects include Fabien Feintrenie as Noodles studio co-founder/producer, Marco La Via, Raphaël Gindre and Solveig Rawas as associate producers, Nicolas Kavvadias for music supervision and Will Files for the sound mix. Quentin Dupieux, Robert Stambler and Louis Naudin have been mastering the sound design while Gadou Gaudin, Stéphane de Rocquiny and Laurent Chassaigne have been doing our foley recordings. Artwork has been brilliantly executed by Daniel Cacouault and Frank Lascombes. Shaun Cromwell recorded the voices for the short film, Keon Javanshir DP'd our Kickstarter video. Emmanuel Hebreteau, Melanie Laval, Jeremy Léon, Guillaume Boulte, Florent Colignon and Edouard Chambellan have been doing our promotion.
Black Holes also stands out by the quality of its soundtrack. Flying Lotus, Sebastian, Pépé Bradock, Dennis Hamm and Lola Delon have put together a stellar OST, and Quentin Dupieux (Mr. Oizo) has worked on the sound design. These unique collaborations are the fruit of long-term friendships between the creators of Black Holes and each of these musical artists and reflect the community spirit that brought the series forth.
Dave is a revered Astronaut and maybe the most important man in History: he has been selected to helm the first human mission to Mars and help decode the secrets of the Universe. Although he fancies himself a stoic Steve McQueen type, Dave is hopelessly un-cool, judgmental, petty, set in his ways and yields to authority unquestioningly, often with hilarious consequences. He likes to think he upholds the banner of honorable values but when his image is on the line, he’ll throw his principles under the bus.
An intelligent fruit - literally a cantaloupe - the melon claims to be a soul in transit. In his last life he was a flamboyant fashion designer. Now, he’s a super gifted strategist who helps NASA out of hot waters time and time again. Being a spiritual entity, the Melon is free from human insecurities and can manifest anything he desires. NASA’s engineers made him an exo-skeleton and Vocoder so he can walk and talk. Mistrustful of the Melon at first, Dave grows to admire his superb intelligence.
Clara is a fierce advocate of ecology ethics in the space industry. Always one to join the good cause “du jour”, she drives Dave to the brink of exasperation but he still has the hots for her. Although they disagree on just about everything, Clara is not immune to Dave’s charm. She has a habit of making her suitors jump through endless hoops and Dave is no exception.
Not only is Dr Finger NASA’s proctologist but even worse, he happens to be Clara’s father. He subjected Dave to a million rectal exams when he was a young intern astronaut. Dave thought he was safe because the Dr had retired to pursue a wildly successful career in the fine arts but now he’s back to show solidarity in NASA’s time of need and Dave has to relive the nightmare of humiliation everyday.
As NASA’s boss, Youston possesses all the qualities of a leader: strict but fair, he lives and dies for the success of the missions. He does his best to stay afloat in a world of ubiquitous Elon Musk-type start-ups. Unlucky in Love, he shuttles between the office and his Salsa-therapy sessions, anything to avoid spending time with his ill-tempered wife. The upside is he has become a master Salsero as he likes to demonstrate at NASA’s cocktail parties to the ouhs and ahs of the personnel. All but Dave, who in spite of his unfailing respect of hierarchy, can’t help but feel such displays of sensuality are not befitting a leader.
PUBEY & SPANKEY
Wildly successful in Dave’s childhood, the comic duo of Pubey the ventriloquist and his puppet Spanky has fallen from grace. The epitome of politically incorrect, Pubey has made it his mission in life to denounce conformity and the status quo. Their ostracism from Hollywood is due in large part to the puppet’s vitriolic statements, often qualified as “revolting”. In an attempt to save his career, Pubey tried in vain to drop the evil puppet but it seems they’re stuck together. They perform at seedy cabarets while still hosting their once legendary show, Spanky Street, but now on public access TV.
Marty is Dave’s best friend. Although they grew up together, they are on very different journeys. Due to his consumption of cheap made-in-china pacifiers, Marty’s growth was abruptly stunted at 4 years old, cruelly prohibiting a career in space travel. He must wear many hats to offset his handicap and make a living: a jockey at the race tracks and occasional DJ, he is also a cocktail waitress, an anesthesiologist, sound engineer, prawn farmer, facialist, potter and barber. It’s hard to make ends meet but with his wide palette of skills, he can come in quite handy. Always willing to lend a helping hand, he is a loyal and crafty friend.
Michel is Finger’s son and Clara’s younger brother. Developmentally challenged, he is incapable of discerning reality from fiction. He saw «The Terminator» at age 11 and has since devoted his life to bodybuilding and KravMaga to prepare himself to defend his family against the invasion of the robots of the Future...
The Furniture mogul Fulman is the mission’s sponsor and Macha is Fulman’s head of PR. Cold and cunning, she is indomitable when it comes to guarding Fulman’s image and brand. She is a ballsy lady and Youston is utterly deflated in her presence. To re-establish equilibrium in the negotiations, the Melon, like Cyranno via an ear bud in Youston’s ear, launches into a seduction campaign that goes far beyond their wildest dreams.
NASA needs a sponsor to finance the Mars Mission. In exchange for their support, the multi-national furniture company Fulman impose their spokesperson Wilton Chester, as part of the mission’s crew to host the first ever Reality show broadcasted live from outer space. Tousled hair, 5 o’clock shadow and eyeliner, he’s the archetypal poser and everything Dave despises. Seemingly harmless at first, he turns out to be a spoiled diva always on the prowl for fresh gossip.
Finger’s ex-colleague and a fervent militant for the African-American cause in Proctology, Robert Jenkins had a mystical revelation in the middle of a consultation years ago and has since entered monastic life and devoted his every waking hour to the Most High. He is obsessed with Christian music and is never seen without his portable organ in case an opportunity to praise the Lord in song should arise. He has the voice of an angel.
Aside from backing the campaign, the most valuable thing you can do for Black Holes is share it on your social media and by email. Join our team and help us bring this project to life, one like at a time.
Visit www.blackholesfilm.com for more info.
Risks and challenges
We’re a team of professionals and we’ve done many productions before. With your support, we will continue to bring the same level of devotion, passion and commitment to produce Season 1 as we have to the pilot of Black Holes.
The only risk with Kickstarter is that you only get the funds if you reach your goal. If this campaign is successful, we’re confident Black Holes will have a great future. In addition to the Sundance selection, we will be able to boast the support of an amazing fanbase to networks when the time comes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (34 days)