Community creator Dan Harmon is teaming up with eccentric director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and comedy writer Dino Stamatopoulous to create Anomalisa, a stop-motion animated film about a “man crippled by the mundanity of life.” And the power trio is turning their back on Hollywood to do so, seeking funding instead from Kickstarter.
“Our goal is to produce this unique and beautiful film outside of the typical Hollywood studio system where we believe that you, the audience, would never be allowed to enjoy this brilliant work the way it was originally conceived,” the group wrote on the project’s page.
Just how much will this vision cost? A grand total of $200,000.
To incentivize their fans, the team has offered a series of unique incentives for pledges. Those who donate $20 or more will receive a digital download of Anomalisa after it’s been distributed. Have $2,500 to spare? You’ll get a chance to have a 20-minute Skype conversation with either Harmon, Stamatopoulous, or director Duke Johnson. If you’re really generous and give them $10,000, you’ll be rewarded with an on-screen executive producer credit, an authentic handcrafted prop from the the film, a special-edition handcrafted stop motion puppet, two tickets to attend the premiere and party with the cast and crew, the aforementioned Skype session, and much more.
The move makes sense for Harmon, who was recently forced out of Community for reasons beyond his control. He also understands the power of the crowd. Harmon was active in the fan campaigns that helped bring the NBC comedy back on the air, and he’s a regular contributor to r/Community, the Reddit section devoted to the show.
Of course, this isn’t the first time someone famous has used Kickstarter to fund a project. In May 2012, author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) teamed up with screenwriter-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) to fund their upcoming film, The Canyons. The duo succeeded, surpassing their goal of $100,00 and raising $159,015.
As of this writing, Anomalisa has raised $88,363. With 59 days left to go it’s very likely that this project will not only reach the $200,000 mark, but will surpass it.
Photo via Kickstarter