Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 4, 2013.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

A computer-animated short film about the inventiveness of childhood imagination.

In a world of video games, mobile devices and social media, the value of imaginative play is quickly being lost.  "Summer Daze" is a nostalgic look at the creativity and beauty of childhood imagination when it is let loose upon the world.

As a child, I turned couch cushions into space ships and used planks of wood to traverse pits of lava (the back yard).  Today, I use art to capture my perspective of the world and the computer to craft it into meaningful and artistic expression.  Here is a recent illustration of mine that portrays the struggle between adventure and stability:

"The Cliff's Edge" 2012.  Ink on paper.  Colored in Adobe Photoshop.
"The Cliff's Edge" 2012. Ink on paper. Colored in Adobe Photoshop.

With "Summer Daze", I hope to inspire others to rediscover their inner child and to approach life with curiosity and creativity.  And for the parents out there to encourage their children to go outside and just play!  ...and maybe play along for a bit as well.

The Story

Maggie, an audacious little girl, spends a summer day having a fantastic, epic adventure.  Along the way, she pauses her story to create things that will augment her experience.  The accompanying video is an animatic of the opening scene, where Maggie is being "chased" by the evil Dr. Vile (her stuffed bunny).

In addition to being one of the rewards, the following greeting card was the original inspiration for Maggie and the story of "Summer Daze".

"Wondersill" Greeting Card. 2012.  Ink on paper, colored in Photoshop.
"Wondersill" Greeting Card. 2012. Ink on paper, colored in Photoshop.

How to make this film happen...

My goal is to complete the film by the end of 2013.  When finished, I will submit it to a few film festivals, then post the film on my website for everyone to see.  Backers of $10 or more will get access to exclusive, behind-the-scenes material, including a production blog, and images and video that catalog the progress of the film.

Here's what I already have:

  • High-powered computer
  • Video editing, video compositing, computer animation, graphic design, and audio recording/mixing software.
  • Still photography and video cameras (for reference material).
  • Musical instruments and audio recording equipment.
  • Graphics tablet.
  • Script and some storyboards.

Here's an example of my CG work that captures the visual style I will use with this film:

Modeled and rendered in Cinema 4D.  Lens effects and compositing in Adobe After Effects.
Modeled and rendered in Cinema 4D. Lens effects and compositing in Adobe After Effects.

Here's what I need:

  • Upgrade for Cinema 4D, a full-service computer animation software.  This will provide extensive, updated modeling tools, additional rendering capabilities, and simplified character building/animating tools.  This will greatly enhance CG productivity and make a 12-month timeline possible.
  • MIDI Controller + Cinema 4D plug-in.  First, this device will help speed the audio mixing process.  Combined with the plugin, the device can also be used within the animation software, providing significant enhancements to the production workflow - particularly with character animation.
  • 3D Mouse.  This simple, 6-degrees-of-freedom controller provides invaluable speed and flexibility during the design process.  When modeling, for example, one hand can rotate the object in any direction using the 3D mouse, while the other sculpts using a standard mouse or a graphics tablet.  This is a significant time-saver throughout most phases of CG design and production.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Producing this short film will definitely push my boundaries as a multi-media artist. While I have been making live-action films since high school (and earned a B.A. in Cinema), I have not yet produced a computer-animated film.

For the past seven years, I have been dabbling in computer animation and have honed a great number of the skills required of a production like this (demonstrated by some of the material presented here). The final skills I need to develop require additional tools - which brings me here to you!

I expect there to be twists, turns, and bumps in the road, but that's what I love about creating art. "Summer Daze" is about finding joy and excitement in the challenges we face. I have gotten this far by facing those challenges with curiosity, ingenuity, and optimism.

Most importantly, I have written a story that is dear to my heart and continues to inspire me. I cannot imagine a better first animation for me to tackle than one that is so simple, yet so meaningful.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
23
Backers
$1,051
pledged of $900 goal
0
seconds to go
Decarlo.medium

See full bio

  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    Receive special thanks in the credits of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    Receive exclusive web access to behind-the-scenes material throughout the production: production blog, concept art, renders, videos, etc.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    Receive the above and a 5-pack of the inspirational greeting card I created that ultimately inspired the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Receive the above and a 8x14 print from the film, signed by creator Thomas DeCarlo.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (10 left of 12)

    Receive the above as well as the original storyboard drawing that accompanies the film print.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    Receive the above as well as Associate Producer credit on the film.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (21 days)