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In this eleven-minute pilot, the schlock-loving Kurt and the snobbish cinephile Jason find common ground in their love of film.
In this eleven-minute pilot, the schlock-loving Kurt and the snobbish cinephile Jason find common ground in their love of film.
In this eleven-minute pilot, the schlock-loving Kurt and the snobbish cinephile Jason find common ground in their love of film.
572 backers pledged $19,180 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Multiplex 10: the animated short

$19,180

572

Thank you so much for making Multiplex 10 a reality! 

— Gordon

 

Multiplex 10 is an eleven-minute animated short about a schlock-loving movie theater usher named Kurt and a snobbish cinephile Jason, who come to realize they have just a little common ground in their mutual — but very, very different — love of film, which is a topic we think any film nerd can relate to.

Multiplex 10 is based on the comic strip Multiplex by Gordon McAlpin that ran from July 2005 through April 2017, which has been described as “Clerks in a movie theater” (Newsarama), with a “smart and human take on geek culture [that] is brutal, nuanced, and damn funny” (Gene Ha, Top Ten, Mae).

This animated version is part reboot and part prequel. While fans of the comic will love seeing these characters brought to life, we're hoping to reach a new, wider audience, as well. Fans of Community, The Office, and Clerks will all find something to love in the Multiplex 10 Cinemas.

Becky and Melissa (not final art)
Becky and Melissa (not final art)

Multiplex 10 will appeal to movie lovers, anyone who's ever worked a retail job, and anyone who's had an annoying friend who just can't shut up about why the things you like are terrible. While the short will stand on its own, we're hoping it can also serve as a pilot for full series.

But we can’t make this first episode without YOU!

Even long-time Multiplex fans may not know that — way before the comic strip began in 2005 — it was originally conceived as an animated short. But at that time, Gordon didn't have the resources to make it happen, so instead it evolved into a comic strip.

Now, with thanks to crowdfunding and a few years of 2D animation experience (storyboarding, designing, as well as final animation), he's thrilled with the idea of bringing the concept (and the characters) full-circle in Multiplex 10.

Watch “Multiplex: The Chosen One,” a student film by Gordon, to get a (very) rough feel for the tone of the Multiplex 10 project.

We’re also creating all-new Multiplex 10 comic strips leading up to events in the first episode, which will be featured on the Multiplex 10 website and the Kickstarter project updates.

 The team (so far) for the Multiplex 10 pilot includes:

Gordon McAlpin is the Executive Producer, director, lead animator, and co-writer on Multiplex 10. He’ll also be voicing Jason. He wrote and illustrated Multiplex from July 2005 through April 2017 and has produced three Kickstarter-funded Multiplex collections. Beyond comics, he is a freelance writer, designer, illustrator, and animator; you can see some of his earlier video and animation work on his portfolio site

Dana Luery Shaw is a Producer for Multiplex 10 and co-wrote the script. She has dreamed of making animation since she was a kid, and she has successfully tricked Gordon into making her dream a reality. She is currently the co-executive producer of digital series Personal Space; she also created the indie ARG The Wall Will Fall, and wrote for the webseries Echo Chamber and Classic Alice.

Joe Dunn is a Co-Producer on Multiplex 10 and will be voicing Curtis from Flickhead Video. He is a graphic artist living and working in the New York City area. He loves watching movies and drawing. He tries to do both non-stop. You may know his work from Joe Loves Crappy Movies or some other terribly-titled webcomic. Check out @joerules on Instagram and @joedunn721 on Twitter to keep up to date with his current nonsense.

Tom Brazelton is a Co-Producer for Multiplex 10 and will lend his voice to Kurt. He is the former artist/writer of the movie-themed comic Theater Hopper. He still enjoys writing and drawing, and he still likes movies (although, these days, it’s a lot more Pixar and a lot less Jim Jarmusch). Eventually, he’s going to get back in the game and publish some journal comics. Until then, follow @tombrazelton on Twitter, where he obnoxiously live-tweets SNL, and @tombrazelton on Instagram, where he uploads pictures of sunsets.

Chris Rager is a professional voice actor, perhaps best known for his roles as Hercule/Mr. Satan on Dragonball Z and Mr. Torgue in Borderlands 2. He’ll be lending his mahogany tones to The Blogger.

Aiyanna Wade will be voicing Becky, the shy science nerd at the Multiplex 10. Her more recent work includes YouTube Channel Awesome's Nostalgia Critic and cohost of the Awesome Comics podcast. She currently works on stage in Chicago and lives with her other half Jake and kitten Gideon.

Javier Prusky was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. After relocating to Atlanta, he trained at The Company Acting Studio in Atlanta for three years. He graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Acting in 2016. He has also attended master clown Philippe Gaulier’s  at school in Étampes, France; studied Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre in London, UK; and studied On-Camera Technique at The Actor’s Space in Barcelona, Spain. He splits his time between Atlanta, New York City, and LA. Beyond acting, Javier enjoys anything involving nature and family. Whether it be hiking, SCUBA Diving, or rappelling, he feels at home with nature. His family, especially his mom, mean everything to him. In Multiplex 10, Javier Prusky will play Neil, a young manager at the theater.

Tangelene Bolton is a film composer in Los Angeles known for her powerful and distinctive melodies.  Upon moving to Los Angeles, she had the amazing opportunity to work for Remote Control Productions (Hans Zimmer) and now continues to work on projects in the realm of film, TV, and video games. She most recently worked on Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics), Girlfriend’s Day (Netflix), and Jem and the Holograms (Universal). Tangelene's goal as a composer is to create an experience that lingers in the subconscious of the viewer, impacting and shaping their experience. You can listen to some of her work at Tangelene’s professional website and on SoundCloud.

Ian Vargo’s sound design has been heard on nationally-televised ad campaigns, award-winning short films, and viral web content. Most recently, he has worked with the Los Angeles directing team “Cousins,” whose videos have amassed over 30 million views on the internet. He’s also a music producer, mix and mastering engineer, and a multi-intrumentalist musician. Ian also teaches Audio Production at The Art Institute of California. He enjoys binge watching television while sitting on the couch with his wife Erin, Italian Greyhound Luigi, and fluffy cat Babycita. You can see some of his work on Ian’s professional website.

Additional cast will be announced in the coming weeks! Depending on the final budget, we’ll be able to hire additional animators, visual development artists, voice actors, and more. We will put out a casting call to fill some of the remaining roles shortly after the project is successfully funded.

Animation is an expensive and time consuming process.

The $15,000 goal we're asking for, minus approximately $2,750 for payment processing and Kickstarter fees — amounts to a little over $1,200 per minute for design, animation, voice acting, sound, music and distribution, which is extremely low-budget for animation.

But of course we want it to look and sound as good as it can!

At $20,000, we’ll be able to do a few extra things:

  • Smoother, 4K animation
  • 5.1 Surround Sound mix
  • Theatrical premiere at the Somerville Theatre here in Somerville, MA. (All backers at the Special Thanks level and up will have free admission, though you will need to RSVP… and, of course, transportation is not provided.)
  • A Multiplex 10 comic book collecting the Multiplex 10 story comics (including as-yet-unpublished material) PLUS new material, reformatted into a single, continuous comic book — free to all $25+ backers.

And we'll have a bigger distribution and promotion budget to submit the film to film festivals and/or digital distribution platforms like Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.

The screenplay is already written (aside from a few movie references we’ll update as close as possible to release, to keep them timely), and most of the characters have already been designed (as you can see in the project video). Pre-production can begin in earnest as soon as the project passes its goal.

Storyboarding, visual development, and the rest of the design work will take two to three weeks. (The backgrounds seen here and in the pitch video are from the comic strip.) Once the storyboards are complete, we'll make an animatic, editing together the boards (with some rough animation) and adding temp sound and dialogue.

Kurt and Jason get philosophical (not final art)
Kurt and Jason get philosophical (not final art)

Over the course of six to eight weeks (approximately), we'll slowly replace the storyboards with finished artwork, sound, and dialogue, fine-tuning the edit along the way, before doing the final, polished animation in sync with the dialogue. Depending on the final budget, we'll be able to bring in other animators to help make the animation more fluid.

Next, we'll lock down the edit, let the composer work her magic, and do a final mix. This step will take a few weeks.

Finally, we'll master the final video files and release the short to the backers here on Kickstarter! With a projected release of September 2017, the four month production schedule should be plenty of time to complete the project.

We'll be exploring various distribution channels for the completed short and avenues for funding a full season, so it will NOT be immediately available for free streaming.

Backers can support the short and get — of course — desktop and mobile wallpapers, PDFs of the "shooting script" and the storyboards, DRM-free digital files of the rough animatics and the finished short, hand-drawn sketches, appearances as background characters or other non-speaking roles, and even producer credits!

At the $100 level, The Art of Multiplex 10 ebooklet will include concept sketches, promotional art, and all of the Multiplex 10 comics leading up to the first episode in a high res, vector-friendly (where possible) PDF format.

Three vector portraits (your appearance in the short will likely be slightly simplified to fit the design of the animation)
Three vector portraits (your appearance in the short will likely be slightly simplified to fit the design of the animation)

 

Some sketches by Gordon McAlpin
Some sketches by Gordon McAlpin

You can see the various reward levels along the right side of this page, but here's a handy breakdown of the various rewards:

Be sure to read our project updates for more information!

Risks and challenges

Gordon has previousy run and fulfilled two successful Kickstarter projects, and I'm in the process of fulfilling a third, for the third Multiplex print collection. That print run is currently in transit from the printer and should be arriving in (approximately) mid-May, so shipping the rewards may overlap with the production of the short (assuming this project is successfully funded).

Creatively speaking, this will be Gordon's longest, animated narrative short — so that will undoubtedy present some challenges. But, based on his experience with writing, designing, storyboarding, and animating several animation projects (not to mention the last twelve years of working on the Multiplex comic strip), he is up for that challenge.

We have a very strong script already written, and a generous time frame to produce the animation in order to meet the projected September release. That said, filmmaking is an organic process, and hiccups will undoubtedly arise.

As with all of the Multiplex book Kickstarter projects, backers will be kept informed about our progress with frequent updates, so you'll know if and when there are any unforeseen problems — and how we’ll solve them. But the funds raised by this Kickstarter project will give us the resources to complete this project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    EARLY ACCESS

    Access to three digital and mobile wallpapers, access to a private online stream of the finished film (at least) one week before its digital release, and access to the behind-the-scenes updates here on Kickstarter!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    Get a DRM-free 1080p MP4 of the finished short — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    SPECIAL THANKS (early bird discount)

    See your name in the credits under a "Special Thanks" section — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    SPECIAL THANKS

    See your name in the credits under a "Special Thanks" section — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SCREENPLAY

    Get a PDF of the script once the short is complete (no spoilers!) — PLUS all the lower level rewards.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STORYBOARDS

    Get a PDF of the storyboards after the short is complete — PLUS all the lower level rewards.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    DIGITAL POSTER + SOUNDTRACK

    Get a digital poster (PDF) featuring the Multiplex 10 gang AND soundtrack MP3(s?) of Tangelene Bolton’s original score — PLUS all the lower level rewards.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE ART OF MULTIPLEX 10

    Get a PDF booklet (with exclusive commentary!) of concept drawings, character designs, promotional art, and more from/for the short — PLUS all the lower level rewards.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    DIGITAL PRODUCER (early bird discount)

    You will be credited as an Digital Producer in the end credits for the short — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    DIGITAL PRODUCER

    You will be credited as an Digital Producer in the end credits for the short — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE TRIPLE FEATURE (SKETCHES)

    Get an original 6"x8" drawing from Gordon McAlpin, Tom Brazelton, OR Joe Dunn (your choice!) — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    (NOT QUITE A) MOVIE POSTER

    A 24"x36" printed copy of the Multiplex 10 poster (shipped folded) — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    BACKGROUND EXTRAS (early bird discount)

    Look for yourself in the background as an extra. You'll also receive a portrait of yourself as you appear in the short, suitable for use as a social media avatar or whatever! — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    BACKGROUND EXTRAS

    Look for yourself in the background as an extra. You'll also receive a portrait of yourself as you appear in the short, suitable for use as a social media avatar or whatever! — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    SEQUENTIAL ART

    I will write and draw (by hand) a single-page comic based on your premise. You’ll receive the original art on 11"x14" Bristol plus an 8.5"x11" print of your comic. It can feature Multiplex characters, your favorite superheroes or movie characters…. It's up to you! (Although I retain final say on the script, and I will not draw porn.) — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    Get a credit as an Associate Producer in the finished short (instead of the Special Thanks) and a special Multiplex 10 crew T-shirt — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (early bird)

    Get a credit as a Co-Executive Producer in the finished short (instead of the Special Thanks) and a full-sized (27"x40"-ish) printed Multiplex 10 poster — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Get a credit as an Executive Producer in the finished short (instead of the Special Thanks), your production company logo after the credits (I'll design and animate one for you if you don’t have one), and dinner with the director (in Somerville, MA; transportation not provided) — PLUS all the lower level rewards!

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Funding period

- (28 days)