Saturday 27 December 2014

Scampenstein's Celebrity Supporters

I was delighted just before Christmas to get some celebrity support for the Scampenstein crowdfunding campaign.

The inestimably wonderful Stephen Fry of Q.I. and Black Adder fame tweeted his support on December 16th with this Tweet.

He "would love to see this happen"!!!

I was even more delighted when renowned film composer Clint Mansell added his support just today. Exactly the post Christmas boost the campaign needed.

West Midlands native Clint who has worked extensively with hit director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Noah) has a fabulous filmography as composer. He has also worked with such luminaries as Old Boy director Park Chan-wook on Stoker, with Duncan Jones (Source Code) on the brilliant low budget Sci-Fi hit Moon and many others.

I'm particularly delighted with this as I hosted a Q & A with some of the filmmakers behind Moon at the Giant Screen in Birmingham last year. Thats me on the extreme right alongside veteran Miniatures specialist Bill Pearson, conceptual designer Gavin Rothery and Art Director Hideki Arichi.

So its just after Christmas and nearly 1/2 way through the campaign. There are 38 backers and the campaign is already 20% funded. Steady progress is being made with the immediate key goal being the 30% mark when all sorts of potential and invaluable indiegogo support could kick in.

You too can help make a big difference and support the campaign by choosing an affordable perk here.



You can join the Facebook group here.
You can follow @Scampenstein on Twitter here

Saturday 6 December 2014

The Script, The Script And The Script - Why I'm Crowdfunding Scampenstein

 "To make a great film you need three things - the script, the script and the script."
              Alfred Hitchcock

       I've pitched this idea to companies like Aardman and Lionsgate in the past. Aardman passed on it as not being quite right for them. Given that they are more of a stop motion animation outfit I can understand why. Lionsgate have offered another read once the script is fully developed. 

I want to take time out to draft and redraft the script to make it the best story it can be. I will also employ a seasoned script professional to help me. The idea is to both amuse and scare children a little bit. Kids like being scared. Dr. Who proves this.

Once the script is ready I'll resubmit to the major animation companies. If that doesn't get me anywhere then I'd like to make it into a graphic novel to popularize the story and grow the audience. The tax credit here in the UK has changed recently so good animation scripts are being actively sought. This Guardian newspaper article explains why.

I've always believed in my Scampenstein idea and am determined to make it happen. I'm inspired by indie animations like Signe Baumane's Rocks In My Pockets and Nina Paley's Sita SingsThe Blues that prove that determined individuals can animated features happen.

Thanks to those people who have already contributed and helped spread the word.

You can view the campaign and choose a perk here.

You can join the Facebook group here.

You can follow @Scampenstein on Twitter here


Sunday 6 July 2014

July 14 Update

In May I was selected for a UK team that pitched various film ideas at Dragon Forum at the Krakow International Film Festival. I pitched my animated series idea Animal Operations Executive which was very well received by both the Dragon Tutors and other delegates. I'm now looking for producer and co-producer partners.

Its a World War II themed idea based around Winston Churchill's wartime cat Smokey - leader of the clandestine Animal Operations Executive - a fictional counterpart to SOE. The idea is to educate and entertain children with stories of animals fighting the tyranny of the Nazis in Europe and North Africa.

Some of the adventures could be based on real animals such as Wojtec the Polish fighting bear.  Others could be based on fictional stories based on real events. The Dragons thought it had real potential and shelf life. I was delighted to find out that a new statue of Wojtec was unveiled in Krakow on the day of my arrival - an auspicious omen I hope.

Wojtec and I at Park Jordana in Krakow
Krakow was a brilliant experience and I met loads of new people and made some new friends. I was delighted to meet Bill Siegel from Chicago who was screening his new documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

Back in the UK I attended an event for animation writers at the BFI. The event was put on by Melwood Pictures in partnership with Euroscript. Melwood Pictures are a new UK-based company aimed at developing animated features. There is renewed interest in animation following the governments decision to extend the tax credit.

Melwood is run by Max Howard and Ramsay McBean. Max has "created and run studios for Disney in London, Paris, Orlando and Los Angeles, working on some of Disney’s most memorable films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.  As President of Warner Bros Feature Animation he oversaw such hit movies as The Iron Giant and Space Jam.  At DreamWorks, he was co-executive producer for Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron". Impressive.

I managed to pitch Scampenstein and some other ideas to Max and am waiting to hear back.

A few days after that event I was back at the London Screenings event at the BFI with 104 Films as part of their Generation 104 training scheme. The London Screenings is a sales and distribution market for British films. We learnt a lot about how the market evolved and also how the sales and distribution world worked.

Monday 2 June 2014

Dragon Forum.

I've just come back from the 54th Krakow Film Festival where I was chosen to pitch with a UK based team at Dragon Forum. My idea was very well received by the heavy hitter producers on the panel so I'm hoping to get my WW2 and animals themed childrens animation series into development. In the meantime here is a picture of me and a statue of Wojtec the famous Polish bear soldier. Spookily it was unveiled on the day I arrived in Krakow! A good omen I hope.

I'll be posting a full write up soon.

Wojtec the Polish Soldier Bear and me

Sunday 26 January 2014

Comedy Extravanganza Thursday 30th January - Prince of Wales

Please all come to my comedy night fundraiser on 30th January. There's a great line up. Tickets just £10 pounds on the door or in advance via Eventbrite. I'm raising funds for my next film with the help of some great Midlands comedians.