Looking for the next great VFX team, animator, production designer, comedian, or cool concept for film or television? Crowd-funding is that untapped resource to find talented creatives thirsting for the right opportunity to break-out. Rummaging through thousands of campaigns can be overwhelming, so SSN has done the heavy-lifting for you and compiled a list of top talent and concepts to leverage in your next project.
This is the first in a series of top picks from crowd-funding campaigns ripe for traditional media crossover from recent and active Kickstarter campaigns. Contact these creatives now and see your next project flourish. And don’t forget to donate to your favorites!
Writer/Creator Adam Kline asked for $30,000 and has so far captured $34,850 and change for his children’s book entitled Lucy and the Anvil with expert art by Scottish artist Brian Taylor. The tone of the children’s book conjures Coraline and The Iron Giant with the attitude of Tim Burton and the warmth of a Pixar short. Adam Kline showed Lucy and the Anvil to his lawyer, and although not a sad story, the lawyer had quite the reaction as Adam points out, “I had never made a lawyer cry before.” If a lawyer can have that emotional response, it bodes mighty well for the story’s aptitude for resonating with a large audience. The duo paired up on Brian Taylor’s brillant original work, Rustboy, about a “curious little orphan made of metal” and tried to get it made at Sony Animation. Kline has the skilled ability as a writer to walk that line between quirk and mainstream while Taylor is more than ready to launch into the world as an animation director.
Teenager Spencer Howsen is the writer and director of the short film Synth-City for which he’s raising money and his couth bravado is downright hilarious. Akin to Michael Cera’s confident alter-ego in Youth in Revolt, Howsen exudes an adorable, assured refinement interspaced with words like “boo-yah”. He describes his short saying, “It’s like a mix between Fight Club, The Dark Knight, Dodgeball, and The Departed…with synthesizers.” We watched the promo three times and laughed every time. If you’re looking for the next wave of Judd Apatow proteges, start with Spencer Howsen.
Films about magicians can sometimes come off as hokey, but the documentary, Our Magic, brings back a feeling of childlike wonderment and promises to show you “how and why magic works”. A whimsical score combined with producers’ expert knowledge, infuse the promo video with passion. Filmmaker Paul Wilson describes the endeavor, “The documentary will introduce you to a real world of wonder, much richer and deeper than you ever suspected. Forget the clichés, we’re going to show you the truth.” Instead of releasing trade secrets from a traitorous magician, it pays respect and tribute to this long-lived craft. If the polish on their promo is any indication of its long form counterpart, this doc would be a well-suited addition to The History Channel.
On the edge of cool sits Share, a concept ripe for a film or a one hour drama. While it uses SciFi to introduce the concept, the short is really about relationships. Filmmaker Jason Lange pitches a film about the near future in which couples can digitally share a complete memory or life in crystal clarity. The promo video makes you think about how far you would go for true intimacy with your partner. If you were given that choice, would you share? If so, how much would you share and how would that alter your relationship? The concept combines “intimacy and technology” to curious effect. If a studio released it as a feature, the social media campaign would write itself.
A cross between Space Ghost and Pigs in Space, Dogonauts is a 3D stop-motion film pitched with professional concept art. Justin Rasch, an animator on ParaNorman, along with wife and choreographer Shel, completed principal photography and are now raising completion funds. The story revolves around a dog pilot (a Doberman to be exact) who faces off against his mortal enemy the Space Flea on an alien planet in this twist on the galaxy far, far away genre. This is the type of show that has that wacky sense of humor that only kids can understand. We can already see them gleefully begging their parents for action figures.
Asking for $2,750 and receiving $4,205, 12 year old director, stop-motion animator, and Steadicam operator Trinity Anderson deserves an honorable mention as one to watch. Her well-lit studio houses a miniature hill with real grass that is clipped with scissors to maintain continuity. She filmed this short about a male sheep trying and failing to impress a female sheep entitled “Me & Ewe”, similar to the award-winning Chipotle commercial, over the course of a month and then edited the piece herself. If nothing else, Trinity would be an awesome intern at Laika.
These crowd-funding campaigns showcase just some of the talent and concepts waiting to be discovered online and utilized to great effect in film and television properties. The next top five lists in SSN’s crowd-funding series will take a look at projects from IndieGoGo, RocketHub and Slated. Let us know in the comments if you’ve found any other diamonds in the rough for future lists.