Thanks to our backers and supporters, we’ve reached our preliminary goal! We could not be happier! However, following the support this project has gathered in a very short amount of time, we’re planning ahead. We go into it in more detail below.
The European Union is crucial in paving our future as Europeans. And it is only right to be based on elections. But how do our votes, national and European, feed into the institutions? That needs explaining. With the European Parliament elections coming up at the end of May, this film we’re kickstarting does just this by addressing the question: What's in your vote?
It is easy to portray the EU as complex and opaque. Throughout Europe, pundits and politicians of a certain breed now even pretend the Union to be a dark conspiracy against the home states. That is, of course, a myth. Denmark, Poland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and even Greece have been members for decades, yet are flourishing democracies. Still, the myth is effective. It has brought us the Brexit fiasco and may bring us more of the same.
This fundraiser will present the Union as a modern and intelligible system of government, part and parcel of our home democracies.
We must not be defensive about the EU, but defiant. Far from being a conspiracy against our home states, the Union can be an asset to our sovereignties and democracies and to our common future. That is what the film will be about.
With much gratitude to out backers and supporters, we are incredibly delighted and thrilled to say that we've reached our first kickstarter goal. Thank you! This means that all our immediate external expenses (such as distribution, sound design, materials, premiere event etc. - see pie chart below) are covered. The film is now secure and sure to be on time, barring major misfortune.
Achieving this main goal also means that we get to look forward. To have reached our target this fast is very significant. It means that there is a critical mass of direct support and engagement from the public. This is, to us, an invaluable asset in the future. This kickstarter will run another couple of weeks and we aim to take the Voting in Europe project further as we go!
There are new projects we feel deserve our time and attention. The next film we project to make will delve into the Executive branch of government within the EU. This branch is the most eye-catching and intriguing of branches in any government. The EU executive manages the crises that we all know: euro-crisis, migration crisis, Brexit-crisis. And it runs the policies that we know: the market, trade, environmental, agricultural, social policies. Following this we would continue with the Judicial branch and there is a lot more to say about the Legislative branch also, and so we'll go on. It would be part of a larger project diving deeper into the system and the start of a small company pairing experts with filmmakers. It would work less with the day to day news, but provide the context to understand this news in.
So far we have been working on this film on our own time and there's a charm to that. We just really wanted to get this made. However, we have bigger plans than just this one film and going forward hobby-ing about as two professionals for long stretches of time (we have spent months fulltime on this project as it is, it's been intense) is simply not sustainable. This means that the next stretch goal of 20.000 will go to our time, to recuperate from this project, but also to prepare us for the next. Anything over the 20.000 (what a dream!) will go straight into the production of a film around the executive branch in the EU.
^ Timelapse of the making of a single frame (out of thousands) of animation
Language and Subtitles
The film itself is recorded in English and translated in several languages. However, if we go over the goal of this crowdfunder we will be able to subtitle it to allow as many Europeans as possible to follow it in their own language. The languages will include (but not be limited to) Dutch, German, French, Polish, Italian, Spanish and Hungarian.
To make sure Voting in the EU will reach all audiences, from the EU-passionate to the quizzical and skeptical, the film will be available online instantly. It will be published through the main channels of Youtube and Vimeo as well as various other websites. Additionally we have a brilliant Distribution strategist, Ursula van den Heuvel from Klik Distribution, who will look into various distribution channels throughout the Union. This will include blogs, specialised websites and online channels as well as tv distribution and other potential media.
Where will your money take us?
The Kickstarter goal will allow us to pay for the costs so far and those to come: materials, studio rent, distribution, campaign fee, kickstarter reward costs and the labour of Lot Rossmark (editor), Rik Kooyman (Sound Designer) and Gabriella Schmidt (Voice Actor). Anything over the kickstarter goal will mean that Tom and Anna will be paid for the time they have put into the project as well and if we go over 20.000 we will continue on with the EU-project in other ways (see Stretch Goals).
Pie chart original kickstarter goal:
We want this to be a serious film yet playful, critical yet hopeful, short yet powerful. Animation is a technique allowing full control over movement, timing and design and in such perfect for the film.
Paper cut-out animation is laborious with all individual elements of an image moved individually and frame by frame. However, pieces of paper can dance, play, bounce off and tear at each other: the material creates an additional life of its own.
As the institutions are animated while Europe itself is static we needed to find a way to bring the two together. The shots dealing with the history of Europe and the shaping of the EU find the shared image by having the animation projected onto the paper machéd relief map of the continent. Flecks of black and coloured paper are manipulated on an overhead projector base, then projected onto the map and recorded frame by frame.
The institutions themselves as well as their workings are animated separately and composited on afterwards. This gives the image both some distance and additional clarity when explaining the technical details of the Union.
We want the message of the film to be clear, original and focused on the role of voters in European democracy and institutions. All while cutting the expert's cult of complexity and instead offer an intelligible reading and view of EU. The technique and design help us in achieving this.
The team combines a profound expertise in the field of European history, law and democracy, with a prize-winning record of animated film work.
Anna Eijsbouts - Director & Animator
Anna Eijsbouts is an award winning Dutch animation director and animator specialising in puppet and cut-out stop-motion animation. Her previous films Hate for Sale and Tired of Swimming have screened all over the world. She is also a lecturer at the Utrecht School of the Arts in Animation and Illustration. Anna graduated with an MA in Animation from the Royal College of Art in 2012 after completing a BA in Animation at the Utrecht School of the Arts in 2010.
Tom Eijsbouts - Writer
Tom Eijsbouts is a professor of EU constitutional law and history at Amsterdam Law Faculty and an emeritus of Leiden Law. He is an editor of the leading Dutch textbook on EU law and has written extensively on law, legal history and political theory. He was founding editor of the European Constitutional Law Review (Cambridge). Tom Eijsbouts also has taught philosophy and written, a.o. A Little Philosophy of the Ball (in Dutch). Before being an academic he was a journalist and has remained a columnist.
Gabriella Schmidt - Voice Actor
Gabriella Schmidt trained at The Oxford School of Drama. She is a natural, honest, and engaging actress, with strong comedy skills and great energy. Her work as an actor has been varied and she has worked extensively in physical theatre, as well as classical plays, comedy and new writing.
Rik Kooyman - Sound Designer
For the past 10 years is has been Rik Kooyman's passion to write, record and produse music. He also loves working on special sound effects for films, games and all sorts of media. Over the past years he has obtained a vast amount of experience and worked on a wide variety of projects. Rik has also worked on Hate for Sale which received several special mentions on its sounddesign.
Lot Rossmark - Editor
Lot Rossmark has professionally worked in editing for the past 6 years. After graduation from the prestigious Netherlands Film Academy, she has edited short fiction, documentary, feature- and tv-films. In addition to having worked on several award winning works, she has also edited many of Anna's previous films.
To thank all our backers personally we will have postcards printed especially for this project and write them all a little thank you message. Also all backers will be mentioned on the website (unless they would rather remain anonymous - also fine!)
The Digital Package and all rewards of E10 and up will receive a digital HQ download of the film as well as several HQ images.
For the Riso print you will have a choice out of several designs. The fun is that they will all be slightly different. They will be printed on high quality mat paper.
The Animation Work in Progress blog will be ongoing from the moment this campaign starts. It will feature new posts and shot-breakdowns roughly twice a week and continue for a month or so after to ensure full coverage of the film and answers to all the possible questions about the process you might have. There will be no secrets.
The book will again be a collaborative piece, but this time there will be less restraints on the word count. It will be a written elaboration on the film by Tom, illustrated and designed by Anna. It will be a Special Backers Edition and not available in this shape or form anywhere else.
- sold out! If more tickets become available we will let you know, message us for a spot on the waitlist- The première will be held in Amsterdam at de Roode Bioscoop on May 9th at 8pm.
There is only one Europe relief map reward as it’s the only one we have. It was made out of thousands of pieces of paper especially for this film. The material allowed us to show Europe clearly and simply, but with the depth and texture it deserves. It looks magnificent when lit from behind and measures 77 x 57 x 2.5 cm without a frame. A frame will be added before shipping.
We have been working on this project for months to ensure its finalisation by May, just in time to inform the people before the European Parliament debate-storm hits.
The Premiere-date is still to be confirmed but will most likely be the 9th of May, which is precisely two weeks before the elections and (not unimportantly) Europe Day.
The book will need some work, both writing and designing, but we assure you that we'll be on it. You will be able to hold it in your own hands in September 2019.
The planning of the more personal rewards such as the presentations and personal animations will be negotiated on more personal basis and we will try our best to fit your schedule where we can.
Animation is a time consuming ordeal and while the script is ready, the voice over has been recorded and half of the material has already been shot, there is a slight chance things go wrong. However, we do not want them to go wrong and will do whatever we can in our power to finish the film by the first week of May. If this deadline starts feeling too tight we will hire other animators if necessary.
Brexit: there will be two versions of certain shots involving the UK. Once a decision has been reached we will add/change to the appropriate shots.
Contact us: VotingInTheEU@gmail.com
Risks and challenges
Animation is a time consuming ordeal and while the script is ready, the voice over has been recorded and some of the material has already been shot, there is a slight chance things go wrong. However, we do not want them to go wrong and will do whatever we can in our power to finish the film in the first week of May. If this deadline starts feeling too tight we will hire other animators if necessary.
Brexit: there will be two versions of certain shots involving the UK. When they’ll have made up their mind we will edit in the appropriate shots.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)