Every so often I will come across a kickstarter project that I get excited to jump on board and support. In this case not just financially but also getting the word out there to anyone else who may be interested. I have been a big fan of Michel Gagné for some years now. So I was very excited when he started campaigning to animate his graphic novel The Saga of Rex. Below is the official press release for the project to learn more. Feel free to post and or pass along.
THE SAGA OF REX: FROM GRAPHIC NOVEL TO ANIMATED FILM
Bellingham, WA, November 5, 2012 – Veteran animator, Michel Gagné, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the first four minutes of a proposed animated feature film based on his graphic novel, The Saga of Rex.
Gagné began his career as an animator in 1985, and went on to work on several high profile projects for studios such as Don Bluth Entertainment, Disney, Pixar, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and many more. In the mid nineties, he worked his way up to Head of Special Effects at Warner Brothers Feature Animation where he remained for six years. In 2001, he decided to leave the big studios behind in an effort to pursue a different goal.
"I have always done personal work after hours and on weekends", said Gagné. "With my departure from Hollywood, I was planning to make my personal art the primary focus of my career. In 2002, I moved to the Pacific Northwest, converted the first floor of my home into a state of the art studio, and began seriously working toward that dream."
Since becoming a full time independent artist, Gagné has created books, graphic novels, short films, a video game, live performances, etc., while at the same time, continuing his affiliation with the movie, television and game industries as a freelancer. Earlier this year, he was awarded a BAFTA (British Academy Award) and an Annie Award (Animation's Highest Honor) for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, a video game he created with Seattle based game veteran, Joe Olson. The Saga of Rex: The Animated Film is his latest venture and he is confident that he can get the project off the ground through the crowd funding opportunity that Kickstarter offers.
"Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for independent artists to create something special and visionary that would, otherwise, have no chance of funding within the traditional commercial route," said Gagné. "In America, 2D hand drawn classical animation is on the brink of extinction. With The Saga of Rex, I hope to help the medium move forward with new ideas and concepts, and prove that it can be done with a responsible budget. Essentially, I want to make an author film with animation that harkens back to the Bluth and Disney classics."
The Saga of Rex was born when Gagné was approached by editor Kazu Kibuishi, about creating a story for the annual comics anthology, FLIGHT, published by Image Comics and Random House.
"In 2004, I was doing a signing at the Long Beach Wizard Con", said Gagné. "Kazu Kibuishi came to my table and showed me a binder containing the artwork for a comics anthology he was putting together called, FLIGHT: Volume 1. He was familiar with my work and hoped I'd be a part of future volumes. Impressed by his presentation, I suggested a science fiction story around Rex, my little fox character. One of Kazu's goals with FLIGHTwas to help artists build their own graphic novels in manageable chunks. I saw a golden opportunity to not only produce a graphic novel, but laying the foundation of a potential animated film as well."
The Saga of Rex was serialized in six volumes of FLIGHT, from 2005 to 2010. All the chapters were then compiled and published as a single book by Image Comics in the Fall of 2010. The story features a little fox who gets abducted by a flying saucer and is transported to the planet Edernia, where he encounters the Blossoms, a race of shape shifters. One of the Blossoms, chooses Rex as a potential mate and so the adventure begins. Rex must prove his worth and Aven, the shape shifting Blossom, must conquer Rex’s heart. The Saga of Rex is a labor of love that reflects Gagné's deep enthusiasm for offbeat golden age science fiction and classical animation.
Find out more about The Saga of Rex's Kickstarter campaign, and Gagné's plan on how he intend to make the movie at the following links:
The Saga of Rex Kickstarter Video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/A5M3ebgBL04
Michel Gagné's Official Website: http://www.gagneint.com/