Kickstart This: Kaufman's Stop-Motion 'Anomalisa' + 'The Slender Man'
by Ben Pearson
July 22, 2012
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects around the web that need your help to become a reality. This week we've got three film projects we want to spotlight here: a stop-motion film from the minds of Charlie Kaufman and "Community" creator Dan Harmon called Anomalisa; an episodic spy thriller called Burn the Ocean; and a new feature film based on the internet legend of The Slender Man. Take a look, sound off in the comments below, and don't forget to toss these filmmakers a few bucks if you can. Check ’em out below!
When writer/director Charlie Kaufman announces a project, the film community pays attention. He's one of the most interesting and unique filmmakers in the industry today, and he has a ton of hardcore cinephile fans out there. Another personality who garners that kind of hardcore fandom is Dan Harmon, creator of the brilliant NBC series "Community." So when I found out that these two minds were collaborating on a stop-motion animation project using the same techniques and mini-studio that Harmon used to create the stop-motion Christmas episode of "Community," I knew we had to feature it in this column. Anomilsa is a forty minute film that follows one man "crippled by the mundanity of his life," but with these creative minds involved, you know that's just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at their awesome pitch video:
For more information about Anomilsa, or to help support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. The filmmakers have already reached their goal, but any support you can give will go toward making this amazing-looking film turn out even better. Donate if you can!
Next up, there's a spy thriller called Burn the Ocean. Imagine if you were a spy in your early twenties, living in New York City and scraping along to make a name for yourself in a tough profession. That's a good enough premise for a web series to explore, but there's another twist - the protagonist's roommate is also an undercover agent who happens to be working for the same organization. After a mission goes south, the two must team up and work together to stay alive. The production value looks terrific, and while all too often we come across very amateur-looking productions on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, this one has a team of true professionals working behind the scenes to bring a cinema-quality look to the project. Plus, if you're a regular reader of all the movie blogs out there, you might recognize the producer of this series as Da7e Gonzales from Latino-Review and the OpKino Podcast at CinemaBlend.
For more information about Burn the Ocean, or to help fund the project, visit its IndieGoGo page. The filmmakers are hoping to raise $10,000 by August 30th, so help spread the word if you're interested.
Here's a home-grown project hailing from the halls of FirstShowing. Our own Jeremy Kirk, reviewer and podcaster extraordinaire, is co-writing a feature film based on The Slender Man, an internet legend of a humanoid creature who preys on children and adults alike. It sounds like a totally creepy concept - the Slender Man watches you from afar before he takes you, and the more you believe in him, the higher the chance he'll come for you - and colleague bias aside, this sounds pretty rad. Director AJ Meadows is helming the project, and with the way that The Slender Man lore has spread throughout the internet community, I'm guessing there are a ton of you out there who want to see a project like this come to life.
For more on The Slender Man, or to help fund the project, visit its Kickstarter page. AJ and Jeremy need $10,000 by August 9th, and they're already halfway to the goal. Let's help them get all the way.
That's all for this week's edition of Kickstart This. We're always looking for more feedback from you guys, so leave us some comments with your thoughts on each of these projects below. Plus, my personal inbox remains open to your suggestions, and I've been getting some great stuff from you over the past few weeks. So if you come across something you'd like to see as a featured project in this column in the future, fire an e-mail my way at BenPears85@gmail.com and hopefully we can give it the push it needs to reach its goal. As always, thanks for supporting these projects, because the filmmakers couldn't make them without your help.