It appears to be one of the most ambitious crowdfunded projects yet: a 40-minute stop-motion animated film written by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and realised by the creative team behind the cult US TV show Community. Should you wish to contribute, you might want to get a move on as producers have already received more than a third of their $200,000 (£129,505) funding target in under 48 hours via crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
The campaign for Anomalisa, billed as the tale of a celebrated motivational speaker who transforms the lives of others despite his own existence having become hollow and meaningless, comes with a smartly produced and heartfelt (if typically whimsical) video asking for your cash in return for the chance to put the film together independently.
“We want to make Anomalisa without the interference of the typical big studio process,” we’re informed by a bearded plasticine model. “As many of you know, the entertainment industry is filled with incredible scripts, written by incredible talent, that have not or will never get made, or worse, they’ll be changed into something that is nowhere close to what the original creator envisioned. Starburns Industries does not want to compromise the original vision of Charlie Kaufman or any other artist. The only thing we want to change is the way artists are treated, and that’s why we need your help.”
Anomalisa will be directed by Duke Johnson, who oversaw the famous stop-motion episode of Community in 2010. The sitcom’s creator and former showrunner, Dan Harmon, and consulting producer Dino Stamatopolous, are also involved.
Meanwhile Kaufman is reportedly struggling to get his planned musical, Frank or Francis, into production. Actor Elizabeth Banks, who was due to take a supporting role alongside Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, Kevin Kline, Kate Winslet, Catherine Keener and Jack Black, revealed last month that the movie “isn’t happening”.
According to reports, the film features a self-important writer/director whose movie is nominated for a record-breaking 29 Academy awards, a comedian typecast as a fat slob, a film blogger who has built a cult following by writing scathing commentary from his bedroom in his parents’ house, and “Robert” – a robot head that has mathematically worked out the formula for the perfect script. The musical elements apparently manifest whenever the characters begin writing online; the process resulting in them breaking into song.
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