Friday, May 27, 2016

Crowdfund This: 'Insects': The Last Film by Jan Švankmajer

Jan Švankmajer is something of an animation legend. His stop-motion films- both shorts and features- have a very singular and distinct style, featuring surreal- and frequently disturbing- imagery. The Czech film-maker has been making animation for over forty years, but now at the age of 81 he is ready to make his final feature film entitled Insects. And he is turning to crowdfunding to make it happen.

Now on IndieGoGo, the project is inspired by the work of Czech writers Franz Kafka and the Čapek Brothers. The producers describe the pitch:  " A local pub in a small town. It’s Monday and the bar is closed, chairs are turned up on the tables. The pub is empty except for six amateur actors sitting in a corner. They've met to rehearse “The Insect Play” by the Čapek brothers. On a raised platform across the room we see a stage, set for Act II of the play. As the rehearsal progresses, the characters of the play are born and die with no regard to time. The actors slowly become one with them and some of them experience frightening transformations..." The idea apparently originated back in 1970 but only now does the stop-motion maestro feel able to bring it to life.


Even legends like Švankmajer are finding it ever harder to seek funding through conventional methods for their independent films- hence the decision to go the crowdfunding route. The goal is $150,000, which won't in itself be enough to make the film, but will allow them to shoot live-action segments with actors. Stretch goals would enable the campaign to cover more of the total budget, right up to a top target of $400, 000. They have currently raised around 75% of the total budget, but the crowdfunding will hopefully allow them to raise the remaining amount.

Perks includes scripts, digital downloads and even actual models from the film. Head over to the campaign page to learn more.





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