Melting Point is an epic 30-minute Brickfilm, which is a stop-motion animated film created primarily with LEGO bricks. The story follows a cop, Tony, as he tries to protect the city from a ruthless villain intent on melting the entire plastic world. It’s an action movie with humor, epic set pieces, and intimate character drama. I’ve been working on the script for over a year to ensure it’s as good as possible.
Pre-production for this film has been ongoing for the last several months. I’ve completed storyboarding the entire film and voice recording. I assembled an amazingly talented cast of voice actors including Robert Fleet (J. Edgar) and Tim Walker (The Pacific). All that remains now is to shoot the film, which is what I need help with.
I’ve been interested in filmmaking my whole life and began Brickfilming in 2005. Since then I’ve made almost 25 Brickfilms, ranging in length from 13 seconds to 23 minutes. The film I’m most proud of is Zombie: Genesis, which won first place in the Avant-Garde competition on BricksInMotion.com in 2010.
Why I Need Money
Although I have been fortunate enough to avoid spending any money on my previous Brickfilm projects and am striving to keep costs as low as possible on this film, I am in need of funding for a few aspects of the filmmaking process. Essentially, what I will be able to do with $3000 in this film would cost $150 million in a live action feature film. Without your generous support I will not be able to make this film as good as it can possibly be.
With Melting Point, I’m attempting to make a Brickfilm on a greater scale than any ever made before. In order to tell this story, I need to build a city out of LEGO bricks. In my past films I’ve used CGI to achieve a larger scale, but the results have never been satisfactorily realistic. My goal with this film is to minimize the use of CGI to create as authentic and beautiful a world as possible. LEGO bricks, unfortunately, are very expensive. Purchasing the parts to build a single LEGO building can cost $100 or $150. Making an entire city adds up, which is why this is the largest segment of the budget.
Although I have most of the equipment necessary to Brickfilm, including a Canon 60D camera and Nikon Macro lens, some new items are needed every time I make a film. These include hard drives to store the footage and back it up, as well as additional lights.
Once the film is completed, I will be submitting it to festivals that qualify for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. If the film wins one of these festivals, it will be eligible for submission to the Academy Awards. Festival entry, however, is not free, with entry fees often around $50.
Finally, a portion of the budget will go towards creating the rewards, including the DVDs, Blu-Rays, and posters.
Exclusive Kickstarter rewards include a digital download of the film, digital downloads of the screenplay and soundtrack, DVD or Blu-Ray copies of the film, an original Tony or Duman minifig used in filming, a signed poster, a copy of the script and storyboards with director’s notes, Associate Producer credit, an invitation to the premiere screening party with the cast and director in Orange, CA, the ability to design a custom character featured in the film, Executive Producer Credit, and an invitation to join the director on set for a day in Boise, ID. If you pledge $3000, I will even animate a short scene for you based on your idea.
Without the generous help of friends, family, and other supporters, I can’t make the film I want to make. Only with your support will it happen. Thank you!
NOTE: If the project doesn’t reach its funding goal, you won’t be charged. If it does reach its goal, you won’t be charged until the end of the campaign.
Risks and challenges
Although I’ve made many stop-motion films in years past, this project is on a much greater scale. As such, animating some of the crowd scenes could prove difficult. However, I believe with the right amount of time dedicated to these scenes it will be doable.
The film also involves some complicated visual effects such as a car transforming into a helicopter and LEGO minifigures being melted. Since I have never created these effects before, I will need to spend significant time researching options and conducting tests.
Since I am working on this project alone, another challenge is completing every step of the process in a timely manner. Animating, editing, sound designing, scoring, and color grading the entire film is a process that will take at least 7 months of uninterrupted work. Given my passion for this project, though, I believe I will be able to work harder than ever before to get it finished.
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