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The Cool Story of Charlie Kaufman and Dan Harmon’s Next Project
by Alanna Bennett | 4:00 pm, July 22nd, 2012
Kickstarter is one of the best tools to hit independent filmmaking in a long time. For the lucky ones who can generate enough interest from the general public, it can mean raising enough money for your film with much less time, hassle, or interference than when a studio runs things. For Dan Harmon, who was very publicly fired from his job as Community showrunner a few months ago, it’s also a very handy and inspiring way for fans to show their support for a fallen icon.
It was announced and circulated around the internet a few weeks ago that Harmon’s next project would be a pretty exciting one–teaming up with Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) as an executive producer for Anomalasia, a stop-motion feature written by Kaufman. Also working as executive producer will be Dino Stamatopoulos, who some may know as Starburns on Community. The film will be directed by Duke Johnson, who also directed Community‘s stop-motion Christmas episode.
Here’s the synopsis of the film:
The film follows a celebrated motivational speaker travelling the country, changing the lives of countless people. But in the course of transforming others, his life has become hollow and meaningless. It’s a grey and monotonous existence where people literally look and sound identical.
Suddenly one day, a girl’s voice pierces through the veil of nothingness. She fills him with such a rush of “aliveness”, he’s willing to abandon everything and everyone, including his own family, and escape with her to a better life.
Most of the press for the film took place a few weeks ago, when it was first announced that the team was looking for funding through Kickstarter. They promised that those who donated $5,000 or more would receive a 20-page custom screenplay–written by Harmon himself–about your life. $7,500 or more would land you ”fully realized hand-crafted set,” and $10,000 would get you an executive producing credit, a personalized thank-you on Twitter, and a bunch of other things.
Well, it didn’t take long for Harmon & Co. to reach their goal of $200,000. They’d set 59 days aside to reach that goal, and they only needed nine.
In one section of their Kickstarter page they list their reasons for choosing the website for their funding search:
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. We’ve been working in the television and movie industry for years and we just want to make something ourselves. Something pure. Something beautiful.
This is all pretty great news for Community fans, and outright fantastic news for Harmon himself. It was never really a secret that Harmon grated under the overbearing stare of “The Man,” so an indie project with such a great creative team seems like the absolute best next step for someone who’s been so open about how hurt he was by NBC and Sony’s actions.
You can watch the Kickstarter trailer for the project here.
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