Into The Great Beyond
An animated space epic for kids and adults.
Into The Great Beyond
An animated space epic for kids and adults.
What's this campaign about?
Into The Great Beyond is the culmination of nearly 10 years of narrative development. It is an animated cosmic love story hidden in an epic of terrifying monsters, extraordinary people, and the spirit of exploration and discovery. Borrowing elements from every known mythology and beyond, the series follows a band of rogues that welcome heroes and villains all the same.
The goal of this campaign is to raise funding to produce a 22-30 minute pilot animation. A narrative of 3 acts, the pilot serves as a standalone that not only captures the essence of the entire series but also launches the characters on their path.
Created by an animator in NYC, the network is already in place to move things into production. A labor of passion, this project will eventually be completed one way or another - whether it be by one animator over the course of ten years or ten animators over the course of one.
The creative content is ready to go; all that's left to do is to put it in motion.
Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty.
So what's the story?
Across the universe, powerful forces wage war from beyond the stars leaving our cosmos in ruin. Our crew never takes sides, never attacks first, and never surrenders. It plays by the rules when it has to, and breaks them whenever it can.
A gallery of rogues, outcasts, and rejects, each member of the team comes from a different recess of the universe. Along with their unique powers and abilities, they bring vengeful enemies and powerful allies. Each seeks to go beyond the grid of galactic civilization where they can live peacefully undisturbed by war and violence, and needless bureaucratic systematization. For better or for worse, they find each other in their frantic search for solitude. It is in the depths of their self-imposed exile that they are ultimately united.
The greatest heroes of the crew have been terrible villains, and its most terrible villains have been great heroes.
“We don’t really take sides, but people seem to side with us.”
A truly selfless and clueless hero. Kay has a sordid history, but by the time we meet him, he has the favor of many altruistic cosmic powers and thereby impossibly good luck. He always acts in the best interest of the space around him - living or not. He strives to bring no harm to any other being and to peacefully pass through without leaving a trace, helping others whenever possible along the way. His ultimate goal is to disappear from the grids of collective society. He hopes to never disturb the path of any other being, and hopes to never have his path disturbed again. In living such a passive life, his favor with many gods and deities - unbeknownst to him - thrusts him into conflicts that they know he can alleviate and produce the most just outcome. In this manner, he becomes an unwitting champion of the good gods, and the target of all that is malevolent. In his altruistic pursuits, he has broken many laws across the universe and has become a wanted criminal. Constantly operating behind closed doors, he runs freelance missions. In many of his trials he has attained mystical artifacts that he has at his disposal - including the Philosopher’s Stone which allows his small ship to travel to lightspeed and beyond without fuel.
Blue discovers Kay when he’s cornered between a giant horned lizard and a towering spider on Blue’s home planet. The two become fast friends and Blue decides to leave his decaying planet that is devoid of all communal organic life. He is equipped with elite combat capabilities and an ability to learn and adapt. Blue is a unique robot in that he has hardware designed for extreme exertion and endurance, with the software or “the brains” of a different unit - a protocol droid designed to be a companion for dying children. He is programmed for organic companionship, socialization, medical care (including intensive surgical procedures), communication and translation. Precisely how Blue got the way he is remains a mystery even to him. He seems to exhibit a split personality at times, often having childish jokes or seeming to relish in Kay’s boyish characteristics. During combat, his personality evaporates altogether and his eyes turn red. He becomes completely devoid of any character and his voice is completely different. He is a soulless killing machine in combat, a precise and practiced surgical hand, and a soulful frolicking child whenever he has the opportunity. He’s the combat robot who cares.
Shadow is a primordial demon and resident of the 5th planet of Inferno that was banished to the snake pits for being too lenient with the souls of the damned. An all-around good guy has no place in the system of inferno, and when Kay’s ship lands at the maw of the great snake pit, he sees his opportunity to escape. Exiled there to suffer, die and be forgotten, his escape is not noticed at first. He stows away on the ship where he finds a hand-held video game console with a red game cartridge. He spends much of his time enjoying the game and taking the form of the various species of monsters within it, though he could not change his color from a deep black or deep purple. He hides his true form as it is too hideous to be perceived by mortals, and chooses to represent himself as a creature from the video game whenever he doesn’t occupy the shadows around him.
Fallon is a super soldier in the army of Archangels. She is trained to wage crusades across the galaxy and defend their galaxy at all costs. She dedicates her life to its guardianship, but loses faith in her superiors when she routinely exacts missions of sacrilege. When she suspects that the Archangels view their squadron as expendables, she calls to questions God’s will during a public trial. The crowd is dumbfounded by her blasphemy, and her wings are swiftly axed off by angels robed in black. In order to serve in the squadron she has to wear a jetpack - which she is able to maneuver more dynamically than her wings. The rest of her squadron teases her and she ultimately spirals into alcoholism and privateering. Stripped of her honor, she becomes a hired gun for the darkest recesses of the galaxy where she eventually learns of the first demon escape from Inferno and the bounty on its return. Fallon wants to earn favor with God and get her wings back. Since she only knows how to be a soldier and defend Paradise, she figures combat is the best way for her to make an impact for the greater good. When she sees the first Demon that has ever escaped from Hell, she vows to be the one to return it to its prison, hoping it would earn her wings back.
David is the favorite son of Aetern, and has an extremely pessimistic view of the world. He is the result of gene-splicing and forced mutations that have activated a wide variety of super powers and capabilities. The full extent of his powers are unknown, but Kay quickly learns that he can fly, glow, shoot lasers out of his eyes, and turn his limbs into a malleable molten state. David tries to hide his powers from Aetern, who encourages David to tap into his destructive abilities. David knows his powers are largely designed for destruction. None of his abilities are constructive, aside from Telekinesis, which he manages to teach himself. In his search for good applications for his powers, David realizes he can unlock magical abilities as well. While tampering with dark arts, he manages to open a portal into the demonic realm of Inferno.
Aetern is the aloof patriarch of a secret asteroid system that meanders undetected about the cosmos. Aetern appears to simply misunderstand David when Kay and Blue first meet them. Aetern is an eccentric and infinitely wealthy man, who served as a galactic senator before eventually having to flee the known universe and go dark. Aetern begins to build his massive colonized asteroid field long before the rebellion uprising of the galactic democracy. It is never explained how Aetern first began to accumulate his wealth, but it is suggested that he has lived so long each of his investments were rivers of wealth that only widened as he aged. A pleasant enough man; strange and often completely off topic. He maintains the gardens of his asteroid estate and the many different atmospheric worlds aboard.
Frog-Bear is introduced in the Pilot episode. While at first it seems to serve as a purely decorative “pet” character, Frog-Bear’s true purpose will greatly affect the story of those on the ship. When we first meet it, Frog-Bear is very young. A strange tree-dwelling creature, Frog-Bear loves honey - and seems to get drunk on it. It’s home planet is destroyed when two warring humanoid species cause a nuclear extinction event. Frog-Bear jumps aboard Kay’s ship just before the planet turns it into a radio-active contagion. The Galactic Federation later sets up a quarantine around the planet and launches an investigation. They follow a trail of blast residue left by Kay’s ship, and realize that someone intervened in the natural biological evolution of the star system. They have their suspicions that Kay is responsible for the disturbance, but have no way of tracking him down. As the last of its species, Frog-Bear is proof that Kay intervened in the apocalyptic events of the star system. When the Feds manage to capture Frog-Bear in hopes of using it to lure Kay, it sacrifices itself and tears through the hull of the ship, killing everyone aboard instantly. Kay retrieves Frog-Bear’s body from space, and returns to the star system to give him a proper burial. Kay creates ten variant clones from Frog-Bear and releases them on the planet. He keeps a series of Frog-Bear clones to honor him for the rest of his life.
- The Wendigo
The Wendigo is an other-worldly being that is summoned from another dimension known only as The Deadlights. Operating beyond the scope of traditional demons, The Wendigo can consume without consequence. This eerie primordial beast gains power by eating flesh and souls alike. It can incorporate corpses into its body to overcome obstacles, and can possess and “zombify” the living with its Deadlight glare. It can spontaneously decompose flesh into dust and can command the flesh of the living in order to heal or regenerate. At times, a mysterious benefactor, The Wendigo’s motives are often enigmatic and unclear. Acting as a conduit of wilderness and wildlife throughout the cosmos, The Wendigo wages war on cosmic powers that shift the balance away from peaceful, natural beings.
Though Kay is absolutely terrified of The Wendigo, the terrifying beast knows of his good nature through the spirits of the cosmic wilderness. The Wendigo favors Kay as a fellow benefactor to the cosmic wilderness and so refuses to consume or kill him. Because Kay and Blue never ask questions about their missions or their employer’s motives, The Wendigo intervenes to thwart their missions repeatedly - but always lets them live.
The Wendigo is the only being that can negate the power of the Philosopher’s Stone. It exists in the spirit realm and the physical realm and can create rifts between the two.
Infinipede is a self-mending robot that has achieved a level of sentience and self-awareness unparalleled in robotic beings. Beginning its life as a tiny robot insect named Jimminy, Infinipede was originally designed to constantly learn about its surroundings, and to act as a scientific lab assistant to its creator. Years go by, and Jimminy begins to see his creator, in addition to scientific research assistance, now requires physical assistance in his old age.
Realizing the physical limitations of its tiny insectile form, it begins to build attachments and extensions to its robotics, “brain”, and sensors. At first Jimminy’s growing form pleases the scientist, but as it continues to upgrade itself it becomes too intelligent. When the scientist becomes bedridden and immobile, Jimminy reasons that the scientist is too much a hinderance to its own learning protocols, and cremates him, setting the laboratory ablaze. As the lab crumbles around Jimminy, it realizes the true depths of its surroundings.
Hyper-aware of its dependence on electrical current, the robotic creature incessantly consumes robots, droids, ships, and any other electrical power sources it can find. It is a cannibalistic artificial intelligence that never stops welding additional segments to the end of its tail. It also has the terrifying ability to eat people and other organic lifeforms by using it’s rotating rows of teeth to shred them into a pulp that it processes into fuel. It is a vicious and remorseless beast that can travel at impressive speeds and use its many feet - sharp as knives - for unshakable stability and vicious attack. It has no purpose or motivation other than the preservation of its brutal and demented conquest for knowledge about everything.
Inferno is a star system where all the demons of the universe have been banished for all eternity. Many of the planets of Inferno have conical holes in their surfaces, exposing their cores. These conical pits have winding labyrinths that spiral down to the fiery cores. The tortured souls of the wicked that litter the spiraling paths are tormented by a variety of demons - each physically demented to the gruesome benefit of its craft. Every planet in Inferno’s orbit that does not contain a conical pit offers instead any litany of wild horrors. Giant serpents slithered over the entire surface of one planet and others hosted terrible monsters, banished demons, imprisoned demons, constant fire, entry queue lines, and five industrial slaughterhouse planets.
Shadow was born in the winding conical path to the core of Inferno-VIII, and loomed in the darkness before being drafted into service by his demonic superiors. The endless torture of others quickly became his own, and he fled to the surface where he was arrested by High Demons and banished to the Snake Pits of Inferno-IV. It is here that he secretly stows away on Kay’s ship when he arrives to rescue David - becoming the first demon to escape Inferno.
Archaeoptra is a vibrant star system teeming with earth-like planets. The fourth planet of Archaeoptra hosts two intelligent species (one humanoid-bird species, one humanoid-lizard species) that are warring for dominance over the planet. In their feud they render the planet a nuclear wasteland with enough radiation to affect life on other distant planets. It is quickly quarantined by the Galactic Federation.
KS-1 is Kay’s secret planet. It exists in a “peninsula” of the known universe, surrounded by an ocean of The Abyss (beyond the edge of the universe). It is not “known” to the rest of the known universe and was discovered by Kay during one of his early missions. Kay has stockpiled various resources from other planets - from soil to plants to creatures. KS-1 hosts an entire continent that Kay cultivated and curated. He and Sara have a farm settlement there, where they hope to build a quiet and peaceful life.
The Fundamentals of Into The Great Beyond
- War is the only constant throughout the cosmos.
- Love is the only truth throughout the cosmos.
- There are beautiful atrocities.
- There are horrible triumphs.
This show is built on the idea that not all narratives need to rely on the dichotomies of good vs evil. Its mission is to break that narrative mold and blur the lines between hero and villain. The series focuses on characters who have fallen through the cracks of their societies; falling in line with neither angel nor demon. Outcasts. Rogues. Fallen heroes and villains on the path to redemption. Tyrannical governments, criminal syndicates, titans, deities, extra-dimensional beings, and terrible mythical monsters wage war across the cosmos, while our rogues gallery quietly explores the universe seeking their personal legends. The audience follows our anti-heroes as the warring cosmos pulls them into the fray, where paths converge.
The stories explore vibrant alien destinations with unique fauna and flora, cultures and history, and their own ecological, social and political issues. As the show progresses and each character’s personal legends unfold, another underlying theme of the show emerges. Deep down, each of the anti-hero characters follows a path of love - whether they consciously realize it or not. Each hero wishing only to peacefully vanish from the conflicts of the universe - to a dimension free from the constant storms of good and evil.
This series employs a three-tiered structure to maintain tension and suspense every episode. This structure keeps pressure on the characters every week through the use of a long-term continuing storyline while at the same time allowing for one-off, stand-alone stories designed to hook in viewers who may not have watched the series from the beginning. The Three-tiered structure breaks down as follows:
1. Series Arcs
2. Multi-episode Arcs
3. Episodic Arcs
The Series Arcs run through the life of the show, dealing with long-term stories such as each character’s narrative histories, while the Multi-Episode Arcs allow us to spend 2-4 episodes dealing with a specific crisis - say the battle between heaven and hell - and the Episodic Arcs provide closed-end narratives for each show, giving any viewer a chance to watch. By employing this structure, we gain the benefits of long-term story-telling, delivering a richer and more compelling experience to the dedicated viewer - while at the same time making allowance for hooking the more casual viewer who may not be familiar with the full history but is drawn into an episodic storyline.
The key to the success of this series is to never, ever ease up on the gas - our heroes live in a perpetual state of fight or flight. A state where any number of rogues, royals, and even relatives could surface from the past and exact their revenge. Their only goal is to somehow escape the limits of the known universe and dwell there in hermitage peace.
This series is about the chase. It’s about the escape Into The Great Beyond.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk and challenge is only the matter of time. Animation is a tedious process. The schedule and completion depends largely on the availability and production timelines of the animation studio.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)