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$7,146 pledged of $13,200 goal
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By Jeff Martell
$7,146 pledged of $13,200 goal
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About this project

ENDING SOON!  We've come so far -- We've got too much support not to make it past the final walls!  Persistence is all <3

NEW PERK-->  Give $10 clams and see the finished film online!

THE STORY

Mutwale (moo-TWALL-ay) is an animated short film about an elephant who is pulled into the chaos of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Based on true events, this story follows a young elephant who is banished from his herd in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. A local fisherman earns his trust with sugarcane, but their burgeoning friendship is threatened when the genocide intrudes into the protected territory.

THE GOALS

Mutwale is already a fiscally sponsored film with private backers, a pre-production grant, and a full animatic storyboard. Now animator Jeff Martell is gearing up for production. But he can't do it alone, and that means the film needs resources—scanners, colorists, background artists, and sound designers. The current goal is enough to get started, but the film will be completed faster and rewards fulfilled sooner if we can get enough people interested in the film to reach our stretch goals.

THE REWARDS

Super-limited plush of Mutwale hand-made for our backers!
Super-limited plush of Mutwale hand-made for our backers!

Backers can choose from the following perks, which range from mind-hugs toshirts and posters, all the way up to your own short film that you star in.  You can even write it if you want.

rewards with multiple perks may ship separately- you won't have to wait for the film to be finished to get a tee, for example.  most delivery dates reflect this, but in no case will you get a copy of the film before its completion date- set for Nov. 2014.
rewards with multiple perks may ship separately- you won't have to wait for the film to be finished to get a tee, for example. most delivery dates reflect this, but in no case will you get a copy of the film before its completion date- set for Nov. 2014.

THE ART

As an independent animator, Jeff is literally hand-crafting this film. Each image must be drawn with careful timing and spacing to achieve the illusion of movement. Then they must be scanned and matted, colored, and composited into layers with beauty passes for lighting and texture. Add this process together for a whole film, and it is time-consuming! But this is an artistic accomplishment that will stand on its own.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

-The first tier of funds goes to two assets: first, it will fund the animation. Second, it will pay a field guide to record the animal sounds and folk songs of Rwanda that are integral to the sound design.

-Next, animation can start handing over layouts to the background illustrators. 

-Then comes post-production: some 3D layouts and some liquid FX to be integrated into the final composites.

-Then comes sound design, one of the most important aspects of motion pictures.  As some in the industry say, "sound is half the picture."

-The next priority will be securing the rights to three songs to use in the film.

-Finally, festival entry fees and shipping for the finished film to travel the globe!

HOW ELSE YOU CAN HELP

One of the best things you can do to help out is to spread the word.  Even if you can't donate, a word to a film-loving friend or relative can make all the difference!

If you know about animal rights activists who focus on the lives of elephants, they may be interested in hearing about our project.  Send them our way because we'd love to chat.

As we mentioned, this project is fiscally sponsored by a 501c3.  If for some reason you don't like the way kickstarter is doing things, or if you prefer a tax deduction instead of a reward, you can always visit the project's page or contact us directly to donate for 100% tax deduction.

Thanks, Kickstarter!  It's an exciting time when filmmakers don't need Hollywood money to make amazing films.  We love you, and remember: we're all in it together.

Risks and challenges

There is no easy production. On this film, there will be plenty of production challenges- from coordinating a sound team half a world away to animating a huge quadruped through hundreds of scenes. But with a talented lead animator and a comprehensive pre-production phase already behind it, the film is ready to be made.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    SEA NETTLES--

    You lovely swimmers get our thanks and we send you hugs with our mind. We might slip some secret stuff your way at random later too- so give us your contact info, jelly legs!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    STAR ANIMALS--

    Five-armed friends, you get A PDF with an awesome thank-you note and some behind-the-scenes looks at animation, elephant lives, and some glimpses of real documents about Mutwale's life and story.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TRILOBYTES - You guys were ahead of your time, and to this party it's better late than never. You get the .PDF pack and a password-protected link to view the film online.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    OSSEOUS FISHES--

    Ya got backbone, I'll give you that. You get the PDF packet and a DRM-Free digital copy of the film. Since it's DRM-free you can copy it, compress it for your mobile things, and share it with friends hassle-free.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    AMPHIBIANS-- Terrestrial tetrapods know that landwalkers bring hard copies of films to parrtttaaaayyyysss. You get your sticky fingers onto the PDF packet, the digital copy, and two signed disc copies. Give one to a friend, or stack them sidled on your shelf if you're feeling haughty. (Choose from DVD or BluRay- yes you can mix it up and get one of each.)

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    LIZARDS-- You cold-blooded loungers get the PDF, the digital copy, two disc copies, and an 11X17" one-sheet. AND a limited Mutwale tee. It's like a warm rock to a cool belly. (note: prefer to ship only in the US for this one, but contact us if you live outside the US and we might be able to work it.)

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    BIRDS and BATS-- Stunning plumage! Creatures of the night! After you finish doing us all the kindness of feeding on crawly bugs, snag up the PDF, digital and hard copies, and an honest-to-Glob production drawing used in the film. 12.5X10.5" 22lb. Ingram Pro Bond ACME punched paper.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HOOFED ANIMALS-- Beasts of carting, of burden and sustenance. You help keep us alive and you have the cutest babies possibly ever. It seems only right then that you get the PDF pack, the digital copy, 2 hard copies, and a super-rare hand-made MUTWALE PLUSH by the marvelous Etsy team at The Amazing Owl Emporium. If these don't sell out I'm going to personally put them in a pile and roll around in them.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    GIBBONS and CHIMPS-- You clever toolmakers know it's often best to leave your mark on the world. Along with the PDF pack, the digital copy, and the two disc copies, you get ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit and a 6X12" oil painting by the director.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    POUCHED ANIMALS-- You guys are special. You're like nature's pockets. So you get the same package as the Gibbons and Chimps, plus you get one of the five Moleskine® storyboard notebooks that contains the original thumbnailing of the whole film's story. Sketches, mistakes, outtakes, scribbles and musings.

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    GORILLAS-- You are one of the few animals on earth with language, honor, and an almost genetic sense of nobility for your place in the kingdom. You are also nothing to mess around with. You get the PDF pack, the digital copy, two disc copies, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit, and a framed oversize 16f drawing from the film, embellished and personalized for you. 13.5X17" 22lb. Ingram Bond paper.

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

    THE PACHYDERM-- You are a source of love and knowledge and memory; a bastion of persistence for those around you. You get EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit, and a one- to two-minute animated scene all about you and a friend or loved one interacting with Mutwale. You can request a focus or subject, or give a general description of yourself, provide a picture, and leave it to us. How often do you get to be the subject of an animated film? (This scene is built for you- it does not appear in the film proper, but instead stands on its own.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)