The Back Story
Way back in 1993, I did a painting, affectionately known as "Dead Baby". My partner at the time convinced herself (and I) that she'd become pregnant one evening while we were camping out in Samburuland in the desert in the north of Kenya. Soon after we returned to our village in western Kenya, she began to exhibit classic signs of pregnancy. After a brief discussion, we decided to leave East Africa and go home to La Rochelle, in southwestern France. Once there she visited her doctor, and discovered that she was not, in fact, 'with child'. Upon hearing this news she became despondent, and so we quickly decided on a change of scenery. We moved back to London, where we had lived before, and I set up a temporary studio in a tiny room at the top of the stairs in our small flat in Kilburn. As soon as I put brush to canvas, the first thing that burst out of me was Dead Baby.
Ever since then, this little guy has reared up countless times in my work, appearing in watercolors, prints, comics and paintings. About a year ago, I found myself back in school, and I decided to finally breathe life into him for a final project in a 3D animation class. The finished product earned me an "A", but was that enough for me? Hell no! Since then I have been writing and storyboarding a short, 20 minute film, featuring Dead Baby, filled with adventure, dark humor, spills and thrills. I want to make it visually stunning and vastly entertaining, and I want to enter the film in all the animation festivals I can possibly find.
Dead Baby is the product of a phantom pregnancy. He was never actually conceived, but for a short time, his real mother believed he existed, and so he now inhabits a phantom world, somewhere between reality and imagination. This world is populated by others like him, creatures that embody lost thoughts and stories abandoned. He encounters these others in odd ways, never quite connecting, until eventually he meets a sort of adult version of himself.
At first Dead Baby is frightened of Dead Adult. He finds Dead Adult to be creepy and weird. And he kind of is, but in a good way. Eventually, as the relationship evolves, Dead Baby's fears evaporate, and he learns many things about life in the phantom realm from Dead Adult. Dead Baby finds a sort of fulfillment in this relationship, in the learning, the companionship and the realization that he is, after all, not alone.
It's a nice story, and with a little development, with enough time and resources devoted to making the film, we can have an eccentrically beautiful, visually rich and intellectually satisfying finished product.
You can Become One with Dead Baby!
That's where you come in. I don't need a huge amount of money: just enough to help me feed a few interns, pay a sound engineer, an editor, maybe another pro or two, help meet post production and distribution costs, and if there's anything left after all that, to help cover film festival entry fees. Easy, right?!
As you probably know, this is an all or nothing proposition. If we don't meet our goals, modest though they be, we get zilch.
To make it worth your while, not to mention your hard earned cash, I'm offering lots of truly fun incentives, and some of them might even be worth something, one of these days. For example, I'm willing to create an original piece of art just for you, give you associate producer credit, a cool T-shirt, a little comic book featuring all the storyboards, DVD's of the finished film, and to one lucky donor, the original Dead Baby oil painting from 1993!
So join us! Check out the incentive details on your right, throw in a few bucks, and help me bring a little bit of joy to the world! If you don't, well, this unmade version of Dead Baby will join the original Dead Baby in the phantom realm, and all hell might break loose! Or not. But do you really want to take that chance?
About the Artist
Charles J. Rosenthal has had two passions in life: wild animals and creating art. Working in both fields has taken him all over the globe. Trained as a painter, during the last twelve years Charles has been working more and more often in the digital realm, in CG animation, motion graphics, advertising and graphic design. He returned to school at CUNY a few years ago to major in Applied Digital Media as Fine Art. He lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend Kimberly, their two Golden Retrievers, Scully and Squid, and Frank the cat.