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An animated short from New Zealand about the unlikely partnership between a man and a crow in the face of great adversity.

An animated short from New Zealand about the unlikely partnership between a man and a crow in the face of great adversity. Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on June 19, 2012.

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About this project

What is Black Storm?

Black Storm is an animated short film set in Malaysia, about a man and a crow who must learn to trust each other and unite their tribes.

Driven from their homes, if they can't learn to live together, they're doomed to die apart...

The fable takes place on the majestic tropical island of Katuki. But when the food runs out, this island sanctuary becomes a battleground. In this place, the only currency is whatever will keep you from going hungry, and the only allies you can afford are your own people.

Jungle Crow Leader Storm was born into power, and acts like it. He's a talented mimic, skilled with locks, brave beyond all reason, and has been crossed by only one group: the humans. They stole his flock's historical home and left them homeless for weeks. Now heintends to get his fair share of that land by any means. However, Storm may yet need their help in ways he never expected...

Village Leader Abraham is the wise grandfather of Katuki. He's watched his village be forced from their ancestral lands, and now looks on as his people barely scrape by. Plagued by constant attacks on their crops by the savage crows, he knows his advisers are right when they tell him that guns are the only solution. But in the back of his mind, Abraham wonders if there could ever be another way...

“It’s an animated short film that explores tolerance and mutual understanding, underpinned by an ecological concern. With a hint of Avatar about it, this story of a man and a crow is a complex narrative that turns and develops nicely. The team is very experienced. The storyboards are truly excellent; this would make an excellent family animation.“

New Zealand Film Commission   

Where does my funding go?

We’re going to bring to you a unique, nine-minute short film with a vibrant art style, high quality CGI animation, and a fantastic storyline!

Pre-production: Scripts and storyboards need to be finalised, polished, and reworked to make sure that the final product is produced efficiently and looks great. This stage is done!

ProductionOnce the storyboards have been approved the project enters the production phase. Our artists and animators are able to deliver top quality work with modelling, rigging, lighting, CGI development, compositing and finally rendering. These are all expensive procedures which take a lot of time and work from a full team of specialist professionals, and it is only through your support that we can make this happen! We also need to pay for music and voice actors.

What if you don't reach the target?

We can't enter the production phase. The cost of producing 3D animation is enormous, and in order to do this right we need your support. All outstanding pledges will be returned if we don't reach $30,000 and you will not be charged! Which also means we get nothing.

What if you get overfunded?  

That would be fantastic.We can hire better voice actors, craft better animation, compose our own soundtrack, extend the film, and give away more rewards. 100% of your money goes to supporting the film and making this happen.

***There are more, secret rewards to be revealed once we reach the $30,000 goal, and every backer will receive them!***

So, who's behind Black Storm?

"Black Storm" is an original idea by Larry Toogood, which has been developed by screenwriter Steve Barr, artist Christian Schwager, and co-writer Cameron Toogood.

Larry Toogood Director/Producer

Larry has been passionate about the media industry since growing up in Australia where he studied film making and camera operating. He went on to gain international documentary and broadcast television credits with the BBC, National Geographic, Tokyo 12, TVNZ, and many others. 

While living in South East Asia he conceived the idea of "Black Storm," which would stay with him for years. He began to turn "Black Storm" into a reality through the help of scriptwriter Steve Barr upon coming back to New Zealand after living in Asia, and now needs your help to bring it to completion!

Steve Barr - Screenwriter

Steve Barr moved to New Zealand in 2010, after having worked in the Hollywood system for over 15 years. He now works with American and New Zealand filmmakers as a screenwriter, lecturer, and development consultant.

Steve has been involved in the making of over 50 short films. He wrote and produced the short film “Quiet” on a budget of only $1000 which was subsequently accepted into several worldwide festivals, going on to be named one of the top ten short films of the year by “Film Threat” magazine.

Steve penned the script for “Black Storm” from the ideas and storyline conceived by Larry and co-writer Cameron Toogood. 

Christian Schwager - Artist/Illustrator

Christian is a talented freelance New Zealand based illustrator. He hails from the small town of Landshut in Bavaria, and has been living and working in New Zealand since 1999. He has worked with artwork and design all his life, and in 2002 went freelance full-time as an international illustrator, graphic and web designer. Since then he has worked on a wide variety of projects, including games development of all kinds, concept art, educational novels, graphic novels, advertising, and private commissions.

Although heavily influenced by the likes of John Blanche, Simon Bisley, H.R. Giger and Martin Emond, Christian’s artwork has obtained a unique style which tends to lean towards darker or mechanical imagery. However, he is highly adaptable and can employ a variety of styles to suit the project at hand.

He created storyboard scenes and concept art for the short film, and was heavily involved in the completed storyboard of “Black Storm.” His excellent artwork helps demonstrate the visual themes and direction of animation we wish to take, and breathes life into the story.

Cameron ToogoodCo-writer

Cameron is Larry's son, and much to his father's disappointment, he considers himself a New Zealander. He runs many of the small day-to-day things like answering emails and brainstorming for the "Black Storm" storyline, along with the more important tasks like scrapping and rewriting entire Kickstarter pitches, or ordering the midnight pizza. 

He is currently studying Health Science, with the goal of one day capitalising on his last name as Dr. Toogood. 

Michael Klubertanz - Film Score Composer   

Michael was fascinated with movies and their scores from very early on. Scoring super 8 films while still at school, he quickly moved on to compose and perform soundtracks for silent movies. Classically trained the German born musician is working and arranging in a great variety of styles, performing opera, symphonic music and chamber music as well as works from the rock. pop and jazz genres. He is currently teaching opera at the Stuttgart University of Music and performing Arts. In 2010 and 2011 his trailer scores  for the features "Madness' and "Redtail" were awarded at the International film Scoring Competition of "The Indie Gathering" Film Festival in the US.

His current projects:

Scoring "Star Trek secret Voyage" series ( Sheeler Productions)                 Scoring "Postcards from Paris" (D: Andrew Shemin)

What do I get for my pledge?

The knowledge that you've helped turn our dreams (and yours too!) into a reality. Every little bit helps us move this forward.

You get some great rewards, too. We liked these so much we wanted to keep them for ourselves, so we know you're going to love the packed rewards we've got lined up. And they're exclusive to Kickstarter. The only thing that will ever be available to anyone else is the DVD itself - everything else will be yours and only yours! We'll even ship everything to you for free internationally from New Zealand.

The Digital Wallpaper and Supporter Postcard Series.

The "Fighting Crows" Print, Collector's Edition DVD Set, and the Weave Your Own Story rewards.

The "Storm Warning" T-Shirt, Movie Poster, and Black Storm Necklace.

The Storyboard Scene Series, Skype Our Writer, and Black Storm Himself rewards.

How do I make this happen?

We're one of the only projects on Kickstarter from New Zealand, so we need you to put the message out Stateside. We need all of you to get talking!

The official hashtag is #BlackStormWarning. Start Tweeting your friends with #BlackStormWarning, and tell them about the project. This isn't just a team of backers, it's a community that we want to build.

If nobody knows about it, nothing happens and this project gets lost to the dark, murky depths of Kickstarter. Don't let that happen!

We also need your pledges! You can adjust your pledge amount right up until the closing date. If we don't get reach our target, all of that money stays with you.

Check out the latest news and send us your thoughts:


TWITTER @islandofkatuki


Welcome to the team. 


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

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5 USD

    BLACK STORM'S BANNER: Pledge your allegiance to the flock with the official Black Storm wallpaper for your computer, iPad or iPhone. Available for download in all the popular sizes plus additional ones by request.

    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10 USD

    ALLY OF STORM: Receive one Supporter postcard signed with our thanks from the Producer/Director in New Zealand. The official Black Storm digital movie poster is yours for download as well. PLUS receive the digital wallpaper from above.

    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    FILM PACKAGE: The film is yours for download on the day it releases, plus the full set of all three signed Supporter postcards!

    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    BLACK STORM'S CACHE: You receive the official “Storm Warning" Black Storm T-shirt. We'll email you when the rewards are confirmed and you can send us your size back.

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    TREETOP TREASURES PACKAGE: Receive the beautiful Black Storm necklace, as well as the full-size, limited edition Black Storm film poster signed by our fantasy artist Christian Schwager.

    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    COLLECTOR'S EDITION BUNDLE: You receive the official region-free Director's Cut DVD set signed by the Director/Producer and production crew, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the journey to bring Black Storm to life, including details of the animation process, production stills featuring the creators, models and sets, bloopers, and outtakes.

    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    THE STORYBOARD BUNDLE: You receive the perspex framed, numbered set of three film storyboard scenes, personally signed by the Producer/Director Larry Toogood and artist Christian Schwager.

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750 USD

    WEAVE YOUR OWN STORY BUNDLE: You will appear in the in the film yourself, as one of Abraham's trusted villagers. You will also receive copies of the sketches produced by the animators as your likeness comes to life in the film. Your name appears in the Black Storm film credits. This is a limited, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be professionally animated and become part of the Black Storm mythology.


    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    THE PRODUCER'S BUNDLE: You are officially an Associate Producer of Black Storm, and your name will appear in the animation credits. Furthermore, you can call us personally in New Zealand over Skype for thirty minutes to discuss the project, ask us questions, introduce us to your relatives, or laugh at our accents.

    PLUS EVERYTHING FROM ABOVE. This excludes the Weave Your Own Story limited reward.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  10. Select this reward

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

    ONE EYE TO THE FUTURE: You receive two very special, numbered, framed prints. One of these is of the magnificent 'Fighting Crows' scene as illustrated and signed by our fantasy artist Christian Schwager. The other will make you one of the only people in the world to get an exclusive first glimpse at the future storyline of Black Storm, and is of a scene that will remain unannounced for some time. This is a very limited reward!

    PLUS EVERYTHING FROM ABOVE. This excludes the Weave Your Own Story limited reward.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500 USD

    SKYPE OUR WRITER: If you’re up against writers block, or some other writing dilemma, you'll need a trusted expert to turn to. Our scriptwriter for “Black Storm,” Steve Barr, has spent over 15 years working in the Hollywood film industry. Be rewarded with advice from our internationally experienced screenwriter with your own movie idea or completed screenplay.

    This reward is for A or B:
    A. Idea Development – Steve will guide you through the process of developing a movie idea into a detailed outline for a feature film (up to 10 hours, via Skype).
    B. Screenplay Assessment – Steve will read your screenplay and give 5-15 pages of detailed notes, along with a 1-hour Skype call for feedback.

    PLUS EVERYTHING FROM ABOVE. This excludes the One Eye to the Future and Weave Your Own Story limited rewards.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000 USD

    BLACK STORM HIMSELF: Become the proud owner of one of a limited edition series of just five model casts of Black Storm. This hand painted 170 cm tall by 110 cm wide figure will be exclusively created for you by Brigitte Wuest. Brigitte is one of New Zealand’s most talented sculptors and designers, and her award-winning work has been instrumental in film modeling for international feature films.

    PLUS EVERYTHING FROM ABOVE. This excludes the One Eye to the Future, Weave Your Own Story, and Skype Our Writer limited rewards.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers

Funding period

- (45 days)