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You can still support Frank & Zed. Visit our Backerkit store to pre-order the film and other great rewards.
You can still support Frank & Zed. Visit our Backerkit store to pre-order the film and other great rewards.
352 backers pledged $32,074 to help bring this project to life.

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Frank & Zed: An All Puppet Monster Movie

$32,074

352

11/19/15

We're writing this note with 10 minutes left in our Frank & Zed Kickstarter campaign. Bringing Puppetcore out into the world has been thrilling, strange, scary, and wonderful all at the same time. 

We have many stories left to tell; come find out which one we're telling now.

Thanks to all who were with us on this leg of our journey. 

Jesse & Team Puppetcore 

============================================================

 Final film will be 35 minutes of complete puppet mayhem!

Centuries ago, a desperate battle left a village wasted, a new bride dead, and two mortal enemies dependent on each other for survival. Forgotten amongst the crumbling ruins, our two heroes have eked out a meager existence, each responsible for feeding the other.

One fateful day, a villager trespasses into Frank's hunting grounds. The resulting 'harvest' provides Zed with a full tummy and sets the entire town on a course of bloody retribution.

Our undead heroes are out-numbered, out-axed, and falling apart but they're not going down without orchestrating a macabre symphony of blood, guts, & felt. 

"We open on Frankenstein's Monster in a HUGE rotten castle..."

How do you tell that story if you are an independent filmmaker in the Pacific Northwest? Our answer: Puppets.

It all comes down to control. Using puppets, filming in a converted garage, and self-funding the film has given us the ability to tell the stories we want to tell with as few compromises as possible.

We can create our characters exactly as we see in our heads, mis-stitched eyeballs, gaping head wounds, and all. We can take our time making sure each shot reaches its full potential. Our characters can chop, maim, kill and be killed in the fantastic locations in which they belong. We can make the film as it should be made.

Of course, the price you pay is that every shot becomes a special effect!

There's nothing more rewarding nor challenging for us than making an inanimate object come to life; it's just magic when it works. To do that and to scare people is the greatest thrill we've found in the world of filmmaking. 

We love practical effects. (You don't get into horror to play with CG blood.) The visceral realism and happy accidents that occur bring the films to life in a way that we feel is worth the extra time and effort.

We've also committed to hand-building the entire world of Frank & Zed. Whether it's constructing a silicone puppet from scratch or re-purposing an old candle holder to create a stained glass window, we want every element on screen to be something you've never seen before.

People always ask, 'How far along are you?' to which we reply, 'If you count pre-production, we're at least halfway done."

The majority of the last two years has been spent designing and building the characters, props, and sets, designing mechanisms, and assembling the core production team.

The story of Frank & Zed will be told in 450 shots. We know this, because we have storyboarded the entire film and created a full-length animatic. We then use these tools to workshop the puppets and mechanisms and plan the camera placement and movement. This saves valuable production time.

We've also completed roughly 16% of principal photography, including all of the castle interiors sequences that feature Frank and Zed as well as some key moments from the final, epic battle that were possible in our small studio. Below is a sample of scenes from the film that are not in the trailer.

The finished film will dwarf the trailer in scope and badass-ness. (There are some fantastic shots we couldn't pull off in the garage. Dear viewer, you're in for a real treat when the film is done!)

Stretch Goals! See Chart at top of page.

The world of Frank & Zed is big and our characters move throughout the breadth of it. When you watch the film, we want you to completely forget they are puppets and just get lost in their story. To achieve this we need your help.

We also want to connect with you. We make our films for the audience. One of the fantastic benefits of Kickstarter is that we can extend that past the film itself and invite you along for the ride of the filmmaking process itself.

We'll be providing major updates via Kickstarter, if you're interested in seeing even more of the day-to-day production, join us on Facebook or Twitter.

  These sweet banners will take you to social media nirvana!

Every time we film something we're really saying, 'We think this is cool and we want to show it to you!' Now, with the rewards, we can put that cool stuff in your hands. We've worked really hard to make the rewards great. We hope you like them!

The rewards are almost all 'packages' so you get a whole bunch of cool loot. For instance, at the $95 t-shirt level, you will also receive the DVD or Blu-Ray, the Frank Print, and the poster. Lots of cool stuff!

We are hand-dying the resin of each mini-set in exclusive colors for the Kickstarter campaign. These guys are over three inches tall and made of solid resin. We've painted a couple of them to show you the detail.

All the props at this level will be screen used from the film. We'll have a grab bag of brains, heads, gears, and other goodies that we will send out once the film is done. The above picture shows you some of the items most of which can be spotted in the trailer.

We would love to get you in the film itself. We have loads of sets and props to make and getting your name or mug on them would be so much fun. Whenever possible, we'll also send you the prop or set piece with your name on it once we wrap.

Our villagers belong to the 'Cult of Krampus' and have decorated all of their holy weapons with his visage. Take one of these screen-used beauties home with you. These weapons are all hand-sculpted, molded, cast, and painted and featured throughout the film.

SHIPPING:

We've attempted to make shipping as fair as possible. For U.S. backers, we've rolled the shipping cost into the pledge amount. Our international backers will find their shipping charges added as they check out. We've kept them as reasonable as possible.

The story of Puppetcore begins with me as a filmmaker. I had been making films and enjoying some success: I was picked by Drew Barrymore for a film series and a true highlight was having George Romero pick my zombie short film (despite having running zombies!) to be distributed on the Diary of the Dead DVD. *("Protege" may be a bit generous, but hey...) But I still struggled to tell the stories I wanted to tell.

At that particular time, I wanted to tell a barbershop horror story:in a moment of desperation, I turned to puppets. The resulting film was Shine.

What this experience taught me was that there was an audience who had as much fun watching the films as I had making them. I was hooked.

From there we went on to do Chompers, a proof-of-concept trailer for a shape-shifting monster feature (script and storyboards are done, financiers!).

While writing the script for Chompers, I conceived the initial idea for Frank and Zed. I talked to the team and we decided to pursue Frank and Zed as a full demonstration of what we want to do with puppets. Not only was it a chance to show off our technical prowess, but tell an actual story with characters you care about. What lead sculptor, Erin DeBray coined as "Puppetcore." A sandbox we hope to be playing in for a long time to come.

As our team continues to grow, some fantastic companies have come on board for the projects. We'd like to thank Digital One and Mission Control here in Portland for their work. 

Risks and challenges

Every project encounters risks, challenges, obstacles and pitfalls; anyone who says differently is selling something (thank you, Westley). Frank & Zed is no different. However, we feel confident that we're in a good place to succeed. Here’s what we’ve done to prepare:

-Because this style of filmmaking is so laborious, we’ve storyboarded the entire film so that no effort is wasted.

-We’ve filmed over 30% of the film already. During this process, we workshopped the entire production pipeline from creating the puppets through post-production.

- You’re not just hiring one person: you are hiring an entire team. We inspire, motivate, and help each other. After all, it takes a village to raise these guys.

- We’ve completed extensive preproduction on the remaining parts of the film including sketching out the locations and developing the mechanisms for all the new characters.

- We’re not afraid of what we don’t know. We created four different slimes from scratch (KY mix, PVA, Borax, and Methucellulose) before finding the right stuff in "Goo #5." We didn’t know anything about slime before but we sure did our homework. This is how we approach every problem. Work. Work. Then work some more.

- We have a track record. Although certainly our biggest, this is not our first film. We've included links to two other Puppetcore Films here.

- Lastly, we care. We love this film. We love the characters. We’ve found that you have to if you’re going to keep going on a project like this.

Of course, anyone can say the above. We wanted to show you. This is why we put two years into the project before bringing it out. We hope you see characters and a world you love as much as we do. We can’t wait to show you the rest.

Thanks!

The Puppetcore Team

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    JOIN THE TEAM

    Every dollar counts! For being able to scrounge up 5 bones, you'll follow along with us as we make the film, gaining access to exclusive updates, behind-the-scenes photos & videos. Plus, be the first to know about any future Frank & Zed news once production is finished.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
    &
    NAME IN THE CREDITS

    As you sit back and watch the world's greatest puppet horror film with the satisfaction of knowing you helped make it possible, you may as well stick around for the credits to see your name. This film happened because of you!

    + Previous Reward.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    DVD OR BLU-RAY (Region Free!)

    Decorate your movie shelf with the finest in independent horror animation. Choose between a DVD or Blu-ray of the finished film complete with Blooper Reel, Audio Commentary, Behind-the-scenes, and more!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EXCLUSIVE FRANK PRINT

    Get something for your wall and your movie shelf by adding an exclusive hand-screened print of Frank to your rewards.

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    EXCLUSIVE BACKER T-SHIRT

    A Kickstarter exclusive backer T-shirt to show everyone that you're one of the cool kids.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    YOUR NAME IN THE FILM

    We'll immortalize you by fitting your name into the world of Frank and Zed. Maybe it will be on a tombstone in the background, or part of a sign over the village tavern. If at all possible we'll also send you the set-piece or prop bearing your name.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    FRANK & ZED JUMBO MINIS

    Bring home the monsters with these hand sculpted paintable figurines standing over 4" tall and made of solid resin. Comes in assorted colors. It's the cereal box toy worth keeping!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SCREENING AND PARTY!

    Attend a cast and crew screening of the film, plus after party! See the film on the big screen and mingle with those of us who brought it to life. (transportation/lodging not included)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PROPMASTER

    Snag a screen-used, featured prop. Will it be a set of gears, a "stone" gargoyle, or The Brute's helmet? Big or small, you won't know until you receive your package!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    YOUR FACE IN THE FILM

    Be it as a gargoyle on the castle, a painting in the tavern, or plastered on a missing poster, we'll integrate your mug into the set so you will be immortalized on the silver screen. If possible, we will also send you the set-piece or prop bearing your likeness.

    + The F&Z crew hoodie that you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Weapons Master

    You will receive one of the hero prop weapons used by our mob of villagers and Frank, each one hand sculpted and painted, mounted on a plaque, and likely still glistening with fake blood. Each piece will be individually signed by the Director, Sculptor, and Puppeteer and come with an exclusive Behind-the-scenes photo of the prop weapon in action.

    + The F&Z crew hoodie that you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    WATCH YOURSELF DIE...AS A PUPPET!

    You. As a puppet. In our film. We'll create a puppet that bears a striking resemblance to you (or a friend! Loved one? Enemy?). You'll even be able to perform the voice of the poor soul's final moments through screams or grunts if you can supply us with adequate recordings.

    + The remains of your felted clone mounted to a plaque. (whatever's left!)

    + The F&Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier! (That's a lot of stuff! Mini's, prints, shirts, Blu-Rays, wow!)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SET VISIT/ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    For helping make this production come to life, not only will you be credited as an Associate Producer, but you will also receive a set visit to watch your investment at work. And while you're here, you may as well personally select a prop or piece of the set to take home with you. (set piece/prop needs approval, transportation/lodging not included)

    + The F&Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PICK A DEATH/CO-PRODUCER

    Your morbid imagination will forever be cemented in digital celluloid. Work with the filmmakers to devise a fiendish way to dispatch one of our puppets. For contributing so significantly, you'll also receive a Co-Producer credit, a set visit, and the instrument of death as the ultimate souvenir! (transportation/lodging not included)

    + Visit the set and watch your devious imagination come to life as you watch the doomed puppet's demise unfold before your very eyes!

    + The F & Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE PUPPETCORE EXPERIENCE

    You are the puppet that starts the war.

    Frank's first victim will be made in your likeness and, schedules allowing, you will get to puppeteer the demise. Don't just own this piece of film history, be a part of it.

    Spend a whole day with the crew, learning the ropes from professionals, and truly be a part of bringing the film to life. You will also receive the mangled remains of your puppet self as the ultimate souvenir of your experience. (transportation/lodging not included)

    + The F&Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    You will be credited as the executive producer of the film. Your name will appear first in the credits and on all promotional material. (transportation/lodging not included)

    + For being our right hand man you'll receive....Franks right arm, mounted on a plaque, to show off to all your envious friends.

    + The Frank & Zed film slate, used at the beginning of ever shot, a true piece of Puppetcore history

    + The F&Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier!

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    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    CAST YOURSELF AS A PUPPET!

    You will play a featured character in Frank & Zed. Select one of our stretch goal characters and own the role! We will work with you on their look, their name, and you can even voice their lines if we are able to secure adequate recordings from you. You will be listed in the credits and on IMDB as your character.

    +Characters are first come first served (Priest, Innkeeper, Mayor, & Blacksmith)

    + The Krampus Weapon your character wields!

    + The remains of your felted clone mounted to a plaque. (whatever's left!)

    + The F&Z crew hoodie you've earned!

    + All Rewards at and below the $300 tier! (That's a lot of stuff! Mini's, prints, shirts, Blu-Rays, Squirrel Heads, Storyboards, premiere party, wow!)

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Funding period

- (23 days)