About this project
- a series of animated shorts based on the art of Luke Chueh
- a chance to reimagine Luke's art in a new medium
- Luke Chueh x Munky King x Tiny Giants
Grief Encounters is a series of animated shorts that brings to life the art of renowned pop-surrealist, Luke Chueh. Signature to his paintings are the evocative narratives contained within the still images and their titles.
What's the deal with the bear after he was hijacked by the Devil in Possessed? Or what's up with the chicken in I Asked For Scrambled?
We hope to explore these narrative conundrums by animating some of the most iconic paintings from Chueh's portfolio. Reimagining the worlds within whilst weaving narratives that stay true to his unique blend of comedy and tragedy.
TO WHAT END, YOU SAY?
- Ultimately...to make a Luke Chueh animated series. Grief Encounters is a feasible way to independently produce our vision of Luke's art in animation.
- A series of 1 minute shorts can be easily marketed online to a world with short attention spans.
- To create the perfect vehicle to infect the world with Luke's nihilistic vision.
- A chance for collectors to snag exclusive Luke Chueh and Grief Encounters products.
We will produce Grief Encounters to the highest standards. Check out our unique rewards, original pieces, and all-time favorites. Do you want to visit Korda Studios in Hungary or get sketched by Luke and animated by Stu?
Check out the reward tiers on the right to see our full list of perks.
Our Luke Chueh Combustion Bear 1.25" enamel pin.
GHOSTBEAR ZINE - BONUS REWARD!!
Ghostbear Issue #1 - to all our $30 backers and over, you will receive Luke’s first foray into comic strips. “I wanted to create an original character that was undeniably me, but didn't exist fully in the world of my paintings.” Ghostbear zine will be signed and numbered.
HUNG: Glow in the Dark edition
Luke's HUNG keychain/zipperpull made in Glow In the Dark just for Grief Encounters backers.
THE PRISONER: GLOW IN THE DARK
EXCLUSIVE THE PRISONER: GLOW IN THE DARK edition. Imagine opening your medicine cabinet in the dark of night to The Prisoner glowing in it's prescription bottle. OOoohhh!
THE PRISONER XL – EXCLUSIVE COLORWAY - KUMA KUSH
Flocked 6" Resin Figure
Based on Luke Chueh's original painting, The Prisoner ponders captivity in its many forms—physical, mental or in some cases pharmaceutical.
"Even though I don't smoke, I get the impression a ton of you do... So, to all my 420 fans, allow me to present The Prisoner - Kuma Kush (Medicinal Marijuana inspired variant)." - Luke
The sold-out Kuma Kush Prisoner is now available in XL dose…only here!
*Medicinal Marijuana not included.
10TH ANNIVERSARY POSSESSED - EXCLUSIVE COLORWAY - BLACK (AS MY SOUL)
It's been 10 years since the release of Possessed, serial number MK001, Munky King's iconic toy with Luke Chueh. Now remolded, with all the subtle changes we wished we did the first time, while staying true to the original - carved in features, two articulated arms, and improved design to address prior spinning devil issues. Possessed Black will be a toy built to last.
Possessed Black includes two figures made in rotocast vinyl. As a bonus, Luke Chueh will hand-embellish each box.
This exclusive black on black colorway of this 10th Anniversary edition is available only to Grief Encounters Kickstarter backers.
THE COMPLETE TOY PACKAGE
Insane perks include: 10th ANNIVERSARY BLACK(as my SOUL) POSSESSED, THE KUMA KUSH PRISONER XL (6"), THE PRISONER GLOW IN THE DARK (3"), HUNG - GLOW IN THE DARK, ENAMEL COMBUSTION BEAR PIN, Archival Giclee Print (TBA), the Grief Encounters Film AND the digital perks.
THE FILMMAKER PACKAGE
Have access to the production files of an animated show. See how we animate, edit and design Grief Encounters. Create your own animations with production quality materials - includes a short documentary on the production process, actual complete workfiles from the film, designs, boards, animatics, edit files, animation files, live action footage, comp files, music, sound and render files and all kinds of awesome.
POSSESSED IN CHROME
This hand-chromed 10th Anniversary Possessed art multiple is limited to only 25 pieces. Gun-metal chrome bear with red chrome devil.
Original Ink Drawing by Luke Chueh
A 16 x 20in Original Inked Drawing by Luke Chueh, inspired by our Grief Encounters mascot Combustion Bear. Hand-inked, each one will be unique. Only 25 available. Witness his personal process in the video below...
Co-Producer + Meal with Luke and Munky King
Become a Co-Producer and tour the magical Munky King Los Angeles Studio. Dine with Luke and the Munky King team. Comes with cool swag.
1000% POSSESSED RESIN STATUE – EDITION OF 1
There is only one 1000% Possessed in existence. Cast in solid resin, this two piece sculpture never saw production because of the weight needed for stability. But now you have the opportunity to own this one-of-a-kind sculpture based on Luke’s “Possessed” painting and toy produced by Munky King.
The 4’ Bear weighs 150lbs and supports the 1.5’ Devil via a threaded metal rod. Standing a total of 6’ tall, the sculpture is display-ready and signed by Luke Chueh. Local pickup only or backer to arrange for shipment.
Become a Luke Chueh Character
Become a real animated character in the film designed by Luke Chueh. Luke will create a character based on your likeness and then we'll animate you within the story. You get to keep his sketch of you :)
COMMISSION LUKE CHUEH
The first commission was snapped up on Day 1 so Luke is offering one of you another chance at commissioning him. Those who are familiar with Chueh's work know he rarely takes on commissions. Here's your opportunity to get your ideal Luke Chueh painting. The maximum size of the painting will be 20" x 30"
For those of you who would like to receive more than one of our epic rewards, we offer add-on items. Simply pledge the highest tier you want (especially important for limited reward tiers), and increase your pledge amount to cover the additional tier costs. You may add multiple items from your selected pledge tier, or any tier below that amount. We also offer these add-on items:
- SILKSCREEN PRINT $250 SIGNED 16" x 20" Silkscreen Print exclusive to the Grief Encounters series. Hand embellished by Luke.
- SIGNED HARDBOUND ARTbook $50 SIGNED hardbound ARTbook filled with the essence that is Grief Encounters - art, designs, boards, stills, behind the scenes photos, and more!
If you wish to purchase multiple items from our limited stock rewards, Kickstarter recommends setting up a second (or third) Kickstarter account to register your items - Kickstarter does not allow us to edit our rewards (for your protection).
We will send a Backer Survey upon successful completion of our campaign to all backers to confirm shipping addresses and add-on items, but you can also send us a private message through Kickstarter or email LIZ@munkyking.com and we will note your add-ons in our log.
LUKE CHUEH: Born in Philadelphia, but tragically raised in Fresno, Luke Chueh (pronounced CHU) attended California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso, where he earned a BS in Art & Design (Graphic Design concentration).
In 2003, Luke started pursuing a career as a studio artist, quickly working his way up the ranks of the "Pop Surrealist / Low Brow" art scene, establishing himself as an artist not to be ignored. Employing minimal color schemes, simple animal characters, and a seemingly endless list of ill-fated situations, Chueh stylistically balances cute with brute, walking the fine line between comedy and tragedy. lukechueh.com lukechueh.blogspot.com
PATRICK LAM: He didn’t set out to be a toymaker. Patrick's career began in film, chasing the dream of directing a feature while plying his trade. In 2002, he leased the perfect location in the heart of historic Chinatown LA to start preproduction for the movie that never was. His financing fell through and the landlord wanted him out because he was wasting prime retail. So out of desperation to save the project, Patrick proclaimed that he was opening a toy store. And having no idea what to sell, he searched the web and found "designer vinyl", a subculture of art toys from Asia with a budding international following. And so Munky King, SoCal’s first designer toy store, was born.
What started as a front for a film became a hub of the low-brow art scene. The quaint shop hosted epic shows and events, fueling Chinatown's renaissance as an arts district. MK expanded to a 2nd shop/gallery and turned Melrose into a collector’s mecca, fostering community and inspiring competition. And they produce toys with the artists they showcase, creating award-winning pieces that cement their legacy in designer toy lore.
The desire to direct never died, but Patrick is no longer that young filmmaker with only one goal in life. Now he has a community of artists, an established brand, and 14 years of working with others to build a successful business. So Munky King is now producing animated projects with artists to bring their art to an even wider audience. And to his humbling surprise, Patrick's career has come full circle, making him a firm believer of going down paths not planned. munkyking.com instagram.com/munkykingtoys linkedin
STU GAMBLE: During his time on planet Earth, Stu Gamble has created, developed, written and directed many projects in the film and TV industry. He has worked with many international clients such as Lego, Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and MTV creating high quality work that has entertained a lot of people. Probably.
He was Cartoon Network’s very first commission for the UK. He wrote the creative brief that helped secure the latest show from Lego (Nexo Knights) becoming series director, and episode director of the first season. He has also directed a 4D Stereoscopic theme park ride for Lego Land.
Stu is the founder of Freakish Kid, a production company based in the Hungary and United Kingdom that has provided high-end animation work for film and TV. Stu was one of the few artists asked for his creative take on the new Micky Mouse shorts for Disney TVA. He wrote, produced and directed the hit show Mansour which has over 100 million views on YouTube. In 2016 Stu and his creative partners formed Tiny Giants, a creative agency and IP development company whose ethos is to take tiny ideas and make them giant. Stu signed with The Gotham Group which is an amazing coincidence because he's also Batman. stugamble.com
In 2004, Luke Chueh meandered into a little shop in Chinatown called Munky King. Under the suspicious gaze of the proprietor, Patrick, he proceeded to digitally probe all the blind boxes, ruining them in search of the elusive chase figure. And so began a friendship that has spanned over a decade and a partnership that produced award-winning, sold-out art toys.
Inspired by Bill Plympton’s Plymptoons, Patrick and Luke came up with Grief Encounters, a series of animated shorts that are literal translations of Luke’s paintings. A test based on Spontaneous Combustion debuted at SDCC a few years back.
But then one day, director extraordinaire Stu Gamble stumbled into MK Melrose in search of art in LA’s cultural wasteland. His impressive body of work, unique vision, and infectious enthusiasm led to this unholy alliance. On Grief Encounters, Stu smashed our preconceptions for the series, liberating it from a literal interpretation of Luke's work and sending it on a far more ambitious and inspired trajectory.
So the stars have finally aligned to bring Luke’s art to a new medium and reach a broader audience. But his subject matter has always been a bit off-brand for traditional studios and their corporate cash. And most importantly, we aim to stay as true to his art with animation as we do with our toys.
Animation is expensive. You will see below how the monies will be used. We've stripped it to the bare(bear) essentials and working overtime to make this series a reality at the lowest cost possible.
- We are pros. We produce quality work. We've been well-reviewed by critics and fans and will deliver to the highest standard expected of us.
- We will create a visceral nihilist world that is unique and not often seen in traditionally funded animation.
- Costs include hiring a team of animators, original music, materials, backer rewards, shipping, and our general operational expenses.
The costs analyzed -
40% - Animation Production. This is the budget for the actual design, direction, and animation.
30% - Backer Rewards - Budget for reward production, warehousing, shipping, etc.
15% - Pre-Production - Cash to film live sequences and pay for the teaser trailer and character build work already done.
7% - Operational Costs - Budget for operational costs such as daily staff, quality control, paying bills, etc.
3% - Credit Card fees - The fees from Visa, Mastercard, PayPal etc.
5% - Kickstarter fees - They take a cut of all monies raised from all campaigns. They've bills to pay too.
Help us by pledging to animate Grief Encounters and produce fantastic rewards for you.
$120,000 is the minimum we need to create the first five shorts in Grief Encounters. With each short being around 1 minute long, they will serve as an intro to his universe and generate interest and funding to create a larger package of shorts.
GRIEF ENCOUNTERS - THE SERIES
The more money we raise, the more shorts we can produce and the more Luke characters we can bring to the screen. This will also give us the opportunity to combine the films and submit to festivals and broadcasters.
- Finish our 30 day campaign
- Finalize script August
- Film the plates and live-action in Los Angeles
- Animators furiously animate x 5 months
- Behind the scenes updates for you
- Send out first look to you
- Submit to international festivals and distributors
- Screening SDCC 2018
- Release to the world
We want to make something that we can all be proud of, so we're coming to Kickstarter because we believe in the benefits it offers over traditional avenues of funding and it gives you, our patrons, the unique opportunity to take part in something very special from the ground up.
Thanks for hearing us out and thank you for your support :)
Vinyl Pulse | Collecting Toyz | TOYSREVIL | The Toy Chronicle | Spanky Stokes | Toy Mania | Arrested Motion | A Work Station | TOYSREVIL | The Toy Chronicle | Spanky Stokes | The Blot Says | TOYSREVIL | The Toy Chronicle | Toon Zone | Vinyl Pulse | Indie Kick | ToyMania | Evira Art News | The Toy Viking
Check it out - Santa Monica Blvd/Vine - the location for the shoot that became Munky King's Grief Encounters: Target.
Risks and challenges
A big cost to this endeavor is the manufacture of the rewards. Munky King is known for their quality and that level of perfection will be maintained. Shipping is a surprisingly large cost too. We intend to use the most secure method of delivery for your reward. Customs/VAT fees may be incurred depending on the country they are shipped. These costs will mostly be absorbed into our campaign proceeds.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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