On Kickstarter: ‘Calliope’ A Stop-Motion Short About a Cute and Creepy Horseman of the Apocalypse

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Calliope PosterJust in time for Halloween comes a Kickstarter for a short, strange stop-motion animation about Calliope Jackalope, an other-worldly girl living after the apocalypse, telling fortunes and completely unaware that she’s one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, Pestilence. The proposed short film comes with an impressive array of talent attached. If funded, the film will be made by Circus Posterus toy designers Kathie Olivas and Brand Peters, Stop-motion Innovator Martin Meunier (Coraline), and Filmmaker Jon Schnepp (The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened), and will feature artisans, animators, and fabricators that have worked on stop-motion features like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Enjoy the trailer below and scroll down for the synopsis, further information on the Kickstarter rewards, and a slideshow of concept art and rewards.

Synopsis for Calliope

Based on Kathie Olivas’ classic toy character Calliope Jackalope, Calliope is a post-apocalyptic, fantasy adventure stop-motion animated short film about an other-worldly girl who’s unaware that she’s actually Pestilence, one of the four horseman of the apocalypse. If funded, Calliope will be written and co-directed by Olivas, Peters and Meunier (Coraline, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), executive produced by Schnepp (Metalocalypse and The Death of ‘Superman Lives; What Happened?), and will feature artisans, animators, and fabricators that have worked on stop-motion features like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Kickstarter campaign to fund Calliope, live through November 24th, is at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1933555525/calliope-stop-motion-animated-short-film.

Digital Background Concep art for Calliopet--Work in Progress

Digital background matte painting (WIP) by Stan Manoukian.

The Calliope Kickstarter campaign features a number of rewards.

These include a comic book written by Olivas, Peters and Jon Schnepp with art by Olivas, Peters and Dennis Cornetta. “The original Calliope comic book will reveal Stingy Jack’s backstory and his connection to the Brides,” said Schnepp.

Other rewards available exclusively through the Calliope Kickstarter campaign include:

  • A 4-figure mini toy set, fabricated by Cardboard Spaceship Toys, based on the second installment from next year’s Olivas-Peters imagined Wandering Misfits mini series;
  • A brand new vinyl toy figure, also from Cardboard Spaceship, based on Peters’ Night King;
  • An exclusive color design of the ‘Bat with a Secret Past’ from Peters’ Stingy Jack’s universe;
  • Olivas and soft sculpture/fine artist Lana Crooks’ micro-edition Calliope resin sculptures with fabric costuming;
  • Peters-designed toys made in Japan by toy company Tomenosuke, hand airbrushed by Peters;
  • A handmade talking Spirit Board which allows you to play an interactive role in the Calliope story through Divination;
  • and a new Oracle Deck, like the one Calliope uses in the story’s haunting nod to American Spiritualism.

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Peters and Olivas have long offered their Circus Posterus creations, including Calliope Jackolope, directly to the public through their flagship gallery and store, Stranger Factory, which has just moved to a new location along historic Route 66 in new Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is their first Kickstarter campaign.

“By funding the film independently on Kickstarter, we can make sure the film looks and feels exactly the way we, the artists, want it to,” says Peters, who also has a background as a concept and development artist and production designer on animated films.

The Kickstarter campaign to fund Calliope, live through November 24th, is at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1933555525/calliope-stop-motion-animated-short-film.

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