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Help Baseman shine a positive light on history's darkest hour to educate future generations through his art and dream-reality. Join us! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on August 18, 2014.

Help Baseman shine a positive light on history's darkest hour to educate future generations through his art and dream-reality. Join us!

About this project

 #MythicalCreatures and share w/ friends! http://kck.st/1rRTJ9U

Part Pixar, part History Channel, artist Gary Baseman and filmmaker David Charles travel to Ukraine to uncover the Holocaust experiences of Baseman's parents, and re-imagine their heroic stories through an inspiring, fantastical, heart-wrenching odyssey. 

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND MYTHICAL CREATURES

This is a story I recently learned about my late father, Ben Baseman, through a rare book hidden in our dining room closet. During World War II, my father was one of one hundred Jews in Berezne, Poland (now Ukraine), who narrowly escaped a murderous invasion by Nazi soldiers where thousands were executed, including my grandparents. Ben fled to the surrounding forests. There he fought as a partisan against the Nazis for over four years, until finally returning to his hometown to avenge his family's death by killing the men responsible. Arrested and sentenced to die himself, Ben thwarted death a second time by miraculously escaping from a Ukrainian prison. Soonafter, he met his future wife, my mother Naomi Baseman. In 1948, the two moved to North America to start a new life. Ben became an electrician and Naomi worked at the famous Canter's Deli Bakery for 35 years. My parents had four children and home became Fairfax Village, Los Angeles.

Toby walking the grounds in Auschwitz.
Toby walking the grounds in Auschwitz.

I met with my long-time collaborator David Charles and revealed to him these family secrets. We both immediately understood the need to share this story with the world and the many other stories we’ve discovered along the way. The odyssey will unveil intriguing secrets, myths, and stories of the Holocaust told through animation, theater, and other fantastical storytelling devices. In remembrance of all who suffered from the war, we also hope to work with Ukrainian artists to build an art installation in the very same forest my father fought as a partisan.

Toby at Canter's in honor of Gary's Mother Naomi Baseman who's worked there for 35 years.
Toby at Canter's in honor of Gary's Mother Naomi Baseman who's worked there for 35 years.

We received tremendous support from Sundance Institute's New Frontier Story Lab that helped bring our film to a whole new level, and from the LA Museum of the Holocaust who is assisting with research and turning this into an educational platform, as well.

We’ve been prepping, shooting, and researching this film for two years, and now the time has come to shoot the most important part – our journey to Ukraine, the land where it all happened.

We need your help to get there, to make this movie by following our creative instincts. We won’t compromise this dream for anything. By supporting us, you are allowing us to share this story in its purest, most beautiful state. In return, I will share my art with you, so you can keep a piece of this story and hopefully be inspired by the many tales of resilience, love, and sacrifice and share them with your loved ones.

Please join us on this personal journey as we make Mythical Creatures together.

Thank you,

Gary

Take home a part of our story.

Why Kickstarter?

Memories and stories of survivors of genocide and war are quickly fading as the generations that experienced it pass away. Younger generations are not as connected to the Holocaust due to a lack of content and context. Myths have been created to cover up the atrocities from only 70 years ago. With the Kickstarter community, Gary will be able to independently tell the truth through his artistic vision and family story, ensuring tales of resilience, love, and sacrifice are remembered forever. 

Filmmakers

Director, David Charles is a Sundance Fellow filmmaker, writer, and graphic novelist, and has created interactive and non-traditional storytelling experiences for brands and properties worldwide. In 2011, Charles became Baseman’s creative partner. They are currently in development on their first live action feature film, and have recently released a short animation commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, amongst other projects. David lost his mother at a young age and believes that we can keep the spirits of our lost loved ones alive through our positive actions in the world.

Gary Baseman is one of Americaʼs most prominent living artists, whose work crosses fine art, film, illustration, toy design, and animation. Deemed one of the 100 Most Creative People by Entertainment Weekly, he is the creator of the three-time Emmy-winning ABC/Disney cartoon series, Teacherʼs Pet, and the artistic designer of the popular board game Cranium.  In 2014, the Skirball Cultural Center showcased a retrospective of his work from the past 25 years, and Summer 2014 heralds an exhibition at MOCA Taipei. When Gary’s father passed four years ago, Gary realized that he was the keeper of his family’s story, and his life and art were altered forever.

Producer, Lanette Philips is an award-winning film and music video producer. Credits include the documentary feature Buffalo Girls and indie drama Love is the Drug both of which were official selections at the Slamdance Film Festival.  Lanette has produced numerous music videos for top artists including Calvin Harris, U2, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Eminem, Muse, Moby and many more. Phillips has been in involved with many socially conscious productions such as Producer and Curator on Stand Up On Demand for Comcast and Stand Up To Cancer organization, Executive Producer on Sabina for the Clinton Foundation, which premiered at the Hollywood Bowl at Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday and Decade of Difference Concert and Executive Producer for Elizabeth Smart’s Not One More Child.

Co-Producer, Michael Pierce is an award winning filmmaker whose credits include Buffalo Girls (Slamdance 2012), The Quiet Dude (2014), Drinking Games (SXSW 1996) and Dealey Plaza (2014). Beyond feature films, Pierce has produced and directed TV commercials, music videos and original web series for Chevrolet, Faith Hill, Bryan Adams, Weezer, GMC and Microsoft. He is the founder of the non-profit amendIt.org, and is also an avid fan baseball, serving his local Little League as a member of the Board of Directors.

Co-Producer, Francis Pollara is an award-winning independent producer of commercials, music videos, and short films earning multiple awards, including the Association of International Commercial Producers Award, a Student Emmy, and multiple Clios, as well as recognition at the Cannes and SXSW film festivals. During his time as Art Center College of Design he produced the Trigger Happy Canon commercial (2010) receiving a Television Emmy Award and producing the South by Southwest Music Video Award winner, Cinnamon Chasers, Luv Deluxe (2011).

Co-Executive Producer and Lead research, Jon Kean is a documentary filmmaker whose primary focus is the Holocaust, and is also on the board of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. His films include Swimming in Auschwitz, Kill the Man, and the upcoming I Held the Sun in My Hands, about the first day of freedom experienced by survivors.

Cinematographer, Vasco Lucas Nunes, has garnered a Peabody and two Grand Jury Prizes at the Sundance Film Festival for his documentary work. Nunes' projects are of a diverse spectrum from work with major studios, independents, advertising, TV programming, MSNBC, CNN, music videos, music media, including documenting Lollapalooza, 'DIG!', 'Anvil', and the sole documented access of Lyle Lovett's recording studio. His work is included in three projects of the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Nunes is premiering Sunshine Superman and Sway, his two feature films, in the 2014 Toronto Film International Festival.

Composer, Scott Hackwith, has film credits including the soundtrack for the documentary Buffalo Girls, short documentary by Sundance favorite Alex Stapleton Outside In: The Story of Art in the Streets and Slamdance independent film Love is the Drug. Hackwith has scored and placed music for The Weinstein Company, Universal, Paramount, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, BBC, Discovery, History channel, as well as brands such as Nike, Budweiser, Pepsi, CocaCola, Lexus, Ford among others. His producing credits include The Ramones, Beachwood Sparks, Dig, and engineering tracks for Spiritualized. Currently Hackwith is the lead composer and founder of Cassette Recordings, a music house and recording studio with locations in Los Angeles and Reykjavik, Iceland.

Trailer Editor, Jonathan Sudbury winner of both an Emmy and Telly has 28 years experience editing in film, T.V. and music related content. Sudbury is best known for his work with Justin Timberlake, Pink, John Legend, Wolfmother and Nicole Scherzinger. Other credits include action sports documentary Goodtimes with Carey Hart winner of best film at Xdance & X-Tremmy Film Festivals. Short docs on HBO, iTunes Live from The Palms and BTS with Katy Perry.

Other ways to help!

We need your help to spread the word! Share Gary’s story by liking our Facebook and following us on Twitter! Have a blog? Or a friend who might find our film interesting? Spread the word, and let us know if you need more info or photos!

Risks and challenges

We are determined to see this complicated and compelling project through, and we won't let anything stand in our way, although like any project there are a few risks and potential challenges. We plan to shoot a large part of this film in Ukraine, which will be tricky considering the current political climate. The other large part of the film is based on interviews and many of these people are located across the United States and even outside of the country. It may be challenging to keep to schedule whilst coordinating so much travel, however, we feel with our experienced and passionate team we will be able to navigate these challenges seamlessly.

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    SPECIAL THANKS
    Toby and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts on Twitter and our website for making this project possible!

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    TRAVEL LOG ACCESS
    Toby and I will not only give you a special thanks, we're going to give you exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage! It will be like traveling with us to Ukraine, minus the traveling part.

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    MYTHICAL CREATURES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD You will get a digital download of our wonderful film, plus all the other great perks above! Popcorn is not included, but you should have some at hand for the viewing.

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    FILM POSTER & DOWNLOAD
    Pin up on your walls the official Mythical Creatures film poster, a collaboration with Hollywood’s best creatives at BLT & Associates, plus a digital download of our film! Plus exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    SECRETS AND TRUTHS T-SHIRT
    I've made these exclusive tees inspired by my parents’ beautiful story! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    VERITAS T-SHIRT
    This special tee calls for truth, an idea that I’ve been obsessed with for a long time. Featuring a hand sign that I created while I was in college, it is accompanied by the word in four other languages – Latin, Chinese, Hebrew, and English. Help me uncover the truth. Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    SPECIAL EDITION 24 x 36 VERITAS PRINT
    This special poster calls for truth, an idea that I’ve been obsessed with for a long time. Post up the truth on your walls. Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    *Early Bird* BEVERLY PARK 24 x 36 SIGNED PRINT
    Taken from my exhibit Mythical Homeland, the lion and the birch trees carry so much meaning to me that I wanted to make them into a print for you! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    *Early Bird* EXCLUSIVE 12" TOBY DOLL
    Toby is the keeper of your secrets and best friend. This is the first Toby series released since my exhibition in 2005. This is the first 12-inch Toby doll available. Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    EXCLUSIVE 12" TOBY DOLL
    Toby is the keeper of your secrets and best friend. This is the first Toby series released since my exhibition in 2005. This is the first 12-inch Toby doll available. Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    EXCLUSIVE BEVERLY PARK 24 x 36 SIGNED PRINT
    Taken from my exhibit Mythical Homeland, the lion and the birch trees carry so much meaning to me that I wanted to make them into a print for you! Plus 2 tickets to the screening in LA or NY! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    THE BASEMAN COLLECTORS PACK
    Get them all! Secrets and Truths tee, Veritas tee and the Veritas print too! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    SHEPARD FAIREY & BASEMAN LIMITED EDITION SIGNED PRINT
    Shepard Fairey and I are collaborating on a limited edition signed Partisan print in blue exclusive for my backers! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    LIMITED EDITION COLLECTOR PACK
    Get them both! Get the EXCLUSIVE 12” TOBY DOLL and the SHEPARD FAIREY & BASEMAN LIMITED EDITION SIGNED PRINT!

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    ORIGINAL DRAWING ON EPHEMERA
    I will create original drawings on paper I find during my journey in Ukraine and make special artworks inspired by one of the most important journeys in my life. You also get 2 tickets to the screening in LA or NY! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage!

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    COLLECTORS FAMILY PORTRAIT BY GARY BASEMAN & RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL MULLER

    This is the perk of a lifetime, seriously! I will work with renowned Hollywood photographer Michael Muller to create a family portrait of you and your loved ones. Muller will photograph your family, and then I will paint over it as a one-of-a-kind mixed media collaboration. Plus a private dinner with Gary Baseman and Director David Charles! Plus the Mythical Creatures film poster, digital download of the film and exclusive backer access to our travelogue updates and behind-the-scenes footage! Available in Southern California only.

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Funding period

- (28 days)