Bill Plympton, a two-time Oscar nominee for his slightly deranged hand-drawn animated films, returns to Kickstarter on Tuesday, seeking to raise $100,000 to finance his eighth feature-length film, Revengeance, co-produced with Jim Lujan, another animator who wrote the screenplay.
He cited films such as The Big Lebowski, Inherent Vice and Pulp Fiction as thematic touchstones. According to a video Plympton and Lujan created for the crowdfunding campaign, the film follows the misadventures of a “bounty hunter named Lou Rossi, the low-rent posse.”
“It’s neo-noir, L.A., the sleazy underbelly in the 1970s,” Plympton said, describing the film. “We watched Inherent Vice and I recognized a lot of the characters. It’s probably one of the best stories I’ve ever done. I’m not an great storyteller, to be honest. Jim Lujan is doing all the voices, it’s his story. I do every drawing.”
Indeed, Plympton draws each cel by hand, then gives it to his support staff to scan it into a digital format, clean it up and color it in. For his last film, that was 40,000 drawings. It’s a time-consuming process but still quite a throwback to earlier days in animation history.
The latest campaign is Plympton’s third with crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Five years ago, he raised a relatively modest sum to finish rehab of The Flying House, a short film by animation and comics pioneer Winsor McCay.
And two years ago, Plympton raised more than $100,000 (on a $75,000 goal) for Cheatin’, a film that he will briefly tour around the country after a week-long run this week in New York City. After the theatrical tour, Cheatin’ will be available on Vimeo on Demand, a path Plympton said he’d like to follow for Revengeance as well.
The new film, already a third done, will probably cost about $200,000, and run about 90 minutes, Plympton said.
“In the past, I financed these myself,” Plympton said. “But this project is going so fast I don’t think I can do that in time.”
He also could have tried to interest Hollywood backers into funding the film but said that has long been a difficult and “demeaning” process.
“Before (Kickstarter), I’d have to go out to Hollywood and do pitch sessions,” Plympton said. “That’s very frustrating. They don’t get it. I just said ‘Why don’t I go to my fans? They’re the proper place to go (to raise money).’ I really think it’s the wave of the future.”
Besides Plympton and Lujan, Adam Rackoff is working as executive producer, and spearheading the Kickstarter campaign. Dave Foley (The Kids In The Hall) also will do voice work.
Among the donor bonuses for the film is one particularly entertaining one: for $1,000, Plympton will draw a caricature of the donor, as whatever kind of character type they’d like. The character can even be animated into the movie as a further “extra.” For more information about the campaign, go to http://www.revengeancemovie.com or the Kickstarter page, which is now live.
Here’s the video from the page: