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A short stopmotion animated film of Neil Gaiman's poem 'In Relig Odhrain'.
A short stopmotion animated film of Neil Gaiman's poem 'In Relig Odhrain'.
A short stopmotion animated film of Neil Gaiman's poem 'In Relig Odhrain'.
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1,812 backers pledged $70,053 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Grave of Saint Oran: A Neil Gaiman Animation

$70,053

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New Limited Edition Copperplate Etching Reward!

Inspired by the amazing response to our kickstarter campaign, Ellen has made a limited run of beautiful hand printed copperplate etchings. They will be signed by Ellen Barkin, Jim Batt, and Neil Gaiman himself!

Limited Edition Copperplate Etching
Limited Edition Copperplate Etching

What Is The Grave Of Saint Oran?

This short stopmotion animation is a twisted philosophical tale of two saints, a murder, and the dark history behind the chapel on the island of Iona. Narrated by master storyteller Neil Gaiman, it is based on his poem 'In Relig Odhrain', and will be brought to life with beautifully illustrated paper cutouts meticulously hand animated frame by frame. We believe in the tactile magic that happens when real light hits actual paper, so the whole film will be shot in camera with minimal digital interference.

"He will touch you, he will taste you, he will leave his words inside you - god is not what you imagine, nor is hell, and nor is heaven." 

- from 'In Relig Odhrain' by Neil Gaiman

Early animation test showing Saint Oran on the storm swept shores of Iona.
Early animation test showing Saint Oran on the storm swept shores of Iona.

Behind every film is a crew of talented people, and this one is no exception. To make this animation, we have pulled together a crack team of incredibly accomplished individuals from around the world:

Director Jim Batt is from Australia. and Berlin. and New York. His award-winning animations and music videos have screened worldwide, and he has enjoyed many wonderful collaborations that include Amanda Palmer, Sydney Opera House, Ben Templesmith, Kim Boekbinder, Molly Crabapple and more. Jim crowdfunded his last short film, I Have Your Heart, with a successful Kickstarter.

www.jimbatt.com

Writer Neil Gaiman is rumoured to be from England, but seems most at home in the realms of the imagination. A bestselling author, Neil has long been one of the top writers in comics, and also writes books for readers of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

www.neilgaiman.com

Artist Ellen Barkin Söderholm is from Sweden. Originally a classically trained painter, Ellen has turned her keen eye and deft hand to book illustration, comics, and drawing dinosaurs for a living.

http://www.ellenbarkinart.com

Composer Jherek Bischoff hails from Los Angeles and is equal parts composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumental performer. Jherek has collaborated with an ever-growing list of notable creators including Neil Gaiman, Cibo Matto, Zola Jesus, Amanda Palmer, Meow Meow, Missy Higgins, and toured the world more times than he can count.

www.jherekbischoff.com

Co-Producer Josie Hess is a transdimensional being who spends her sleeping hours dreaming she is a human from Australia producing a short animation.

www.josieiscool.com

The walls in Jim's studio have already started filling up with Ellen's beautiful art.
The walls in Jim's studio have already started filling up with Ellen's beautiful art.

The poem is a strange tale, full of brooding atmosphere and metaphysical horror, and we intend to build on that mood, keeping the darkness and sense of philosophical curiosity that are at the core of the story. Everyone on the project is excited to be involved, and we’ve already started preproduction. However, animation – especially stopmotion – is time consuming and expensive. We don’t want to compromise on quality or take years to finish, so to make this short film possible we have turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to start production. 

The characters and world will be designed by illustrator Ellen Barkin Söderholm, then these designs will be turned into paper cutout puppets and sets, ready to be hand animated frame by frame.

Initial cutting tests on our two saints.
Initial cutting tests on our two saints.

The poem ‘In Relig Odhrain’ was published in a recent collection of Neil Gaiman’s short stories called Trigger Warning. It tells the tale of two saints who land on the island of Iona, and attempt to build a chapel there.

But things don’t go smoothly and the ritual murder of one saint by the other begins a chain of events that brings into question everything they believe. It’s the kind of story that gets stuck in your head for days, its rhythm bringing back words to haunt you in the quiet hours.

“This is a true story. Well, as true as any story about a sixth-century Irish saint can be. The churchyard is there, on Iona. You can even visit it.” - Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning

Ellen's watercolor landscapes and deft linework are a perfect fit for the mood of the poem.
Ellen's watercolor landscapes and deft linework are a perfect fit for the mood of the poem.

We really appreciate your support, and over on the right we have a wonderful selection of lovely rewards available including DOWNLOADS, a set of ART CARDS, a softcover ART BOOKLET, an old school DVD, a FINE ART PRINT of our beautiful poster, original CONCEPT ART, even the opportunity for a STUDIO VISIT.

Or simply become a PATRON SAINT, needing no more reward than to see your pledge go one hundred percent toward making this film a reality!

A sample of the beautiful concept art that Ellen has been painting, available as rewards.
A sample of the beautiful concept art that Ellen has been painting, available as rewards.

Making films is a costly business, and we based funding goal on what is needed to make sure we do this story justice, giving it the time and attention it deserves. The money will go toward covering the team's production costs, including:

  • Studio Rent
  • Lights, Equipment, & Printing
  • Months of Animating Time!
  • Audio Recording
  • Post-Production

What happens if we make more than our goal? Then we can make the film even better! We have a few key stretch goals in mind that will be introduced if the campaign goes well.

The Grave of Saint Oran poster image, available in the rewards as a fine art print!
The Grave of Saint Oran poster image, available in the rewards as a fine art print!

New Concept Art Reward Added!

Ellen has been working hard on preproduction art and we have a new tier of concept sketches available as rewards. These will be graphite landscape sketches of the backgrounds we are developing for the film. If you're keen, get in quick - the other concept paintings got snapped up fast!

Landscape Concept Sketches Available As Rewards!
Landscape Concept Sketches Available As Rewards!

Risks and challenges

We like to think the biggest danger is paper cuts and ink stained hands - and of course stopmotion animation always comes with the risk of madness.

With any creative endeavour, especially those involving film & animation, there is a good chance of delays from unforeseen challenges and obstacles. But the funds raised by this kickstarter will give us the resources we need to be able to focus on getting this animation completed in a timely fashion.

We will be keeping everyone informed of our progress with regular updates, so any unexpected hiccups or delays in the production will be clearly communicated. However, the team are all professionals who have successfully completed numerous projects of this kind before and we have full confidence in our ability to bring this film to the screen.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    PROJECT UPDATES: All backers will get access to regular 'behind the scenes' updates during the making of the animation, including photos of the process and the occasional video.

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    ONLINE ACCESS: Access to a private online streaming video of the finished film well before it becomes publicly available.

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    DOWNLOAD PACK: High quality download of the finished film, Jherek Bischoff's soundtrack, high res art desktops, behind the scenes photos, and other digital goodies.
    [INCLUDES: ONLINE ACCESS]

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    ART CARDS: Set of three 6x9" high quality art cards featuring beautiful concept art from the film.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    ART BOOK: An 8x5" soft cover booklet with 28 pages of color art from the film & preproduction.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    DVD: A copy of the film on dvd, along with bonus video extras.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    ART PRINT: A large 11x17" fine art print of the Saint Oran poster.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    MICHAEL ZULLI 'IN RELIG ORAN' PRINT SIGNED BY NEIL: A limited edition 11x17"print featuring the full text of the poem, signed by Neil Gaiman.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK. Message us to combine this with any other reward level!]

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PATRON SAINT: If you want to help this film get made, and have no interest in material rewards... this pledge earns you our eternal gratitude. Kickstarter fulfilment can be an epic task, and you have helped us focus on the most important thing - the film. Your name will be included in the film credits as a Patron Saint.
    [INCLUDES: DOWNLOAD PACK + OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE]

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ART PACK: All the beautiful art-things in one wonderful collection!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    BIG BUNDLE: All of the things in one big collection for that person who wants it all!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + DVD + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    LIMITED EDITION PAPER SAINT: Get your very own paper animation puppet of a character from the film, along with all of the other things!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + DVD + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    ORIGINAL BACKGROUND CONCEPT ART: Get an original graphite landscape drawing by Ellen Barkin Söderholm, created during preproduction on backgrounds for the film. Very limited supply!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ORIGINAL CONCEPT ART: Get an original painting by Ellen Barkin Söderholm, created during preproduction on the film. Very limited supply!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    LIMITED EDITION COPPERPLATE ETCHING: A hand made copperplate print of our title character by Ellen Barkin Söderholm. Approximately 8x11". Extremely limited supply!
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]
    <<NOT INCLUDED IN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BUNDLE>>

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    STUDIO VISIT: Come visit the animation studio in New York during the shoot, see how the magic happens, and have lunch with the director Jim Batt. (Doesn't include travel costs.)
    [INCLUDES: ART PRINT + DVD + ART BOOK + ART CARDS + DOWNLOAD PACK]

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: You're as excited about this story as we are, and are Very Serious about making sure it happens. Get involved at this level and you get a film credit as an Executive Producer!
    [INCLUDES: STUDIO VISIT + EVERYTHING ELSE.]

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Funding period

- (30 days)