Kenji Itoso, a unit director on Satoshi Kon’s unfinished Dream Machine, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Christmas anime Santa Company. After attempting to finance it on his own, Itoso hopes to get at least $50,000 in crowd funding to complete the 30 minute anime and present it in a special special for children and their families in Fukushima,the affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Incentives start at $5, with $59 contributors receiving a DVD.
The creator describes the project:
Hello everyone. I’m Kenji Itoso, living in Japan.
I have a career learned under Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon.
Currently, I produce and direct live action films, music videos and commercials, mainly working on animation projects.
Also as a University professor, I do research on film techniques and teach my specialty.
I believe that Christmas day is the best day of the year. And I’ve always wanted to produce an animation film that is about Santa Clauses. After 12 years of planning, the time has finally come for me to get down to it.
There were two questions I had about Santa Clauses: How do they deliver gifts to the whole world in only one night? What do they do for a living except during Christmas season?
Without having had my own answers to them, I could not make the story move forward. And my answer is that Santa Clauses own their corporation to make their living. Yes, it’s kind of sad to imagine them working for the company!
Santa Company is an international large company that consists of three departments: Santa Dept., Reindeer Dept. and Gift department.
Except during Christmas season, Santa Dept. protects the safety of residences as the largest home-security organization in the world. It might be easier for you to imagine Santa Dept. is like ADT. Its workers, Santa Clauses, normally secure the safety of each home, so they can sneak into houses and know the shortest routes to the children’s rooms. Of course, they do that only when they receive requests from parents.
Reindeer Dept. usually breeds and educates reindeers. Also it provides navigation services. It’s like Garmin, I guess. It navigates on a daily basis so that it can take Santa Clauses to their destination for without any trouble.
Gift Dept. is in charge of product sales and delivery business. More simply put, it’s like Amazon. It has giant warehouses and sells various toys, so it can easily prepare, pack, and deliver gifts during Christmas season. It provides delivery of Christmas gifts only when it receives the requests from parents.
And only once a year, these three departments work together and use their expertise to safely deliver Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve!
Being set in Santa Company, the story focuses on the growth of 12-year-old girl named Noel, who gets lost in the secret company, and her friends. It’s told with a touch of romance and action. It also tells how ordinary people with no particular special powers systemize the job of Santa Clauses to make it fitted in the real world, adding some factors such as relationship between workers and this Christmas gifts delivery business’s power of influence and the economic effects.
This project may be a little bit too ambitious as an independent film. So far, I’ve paid all the expenses of production including overhead costs by myself.
It might sound cool if I say like “If there’s something I want to create, I should take the risk on my own.” To be honest, it’s very tough to make the film in this way.
But then, I came across Kickstarter!
I hope this amazing encounter will help me create a better and longer film.
With your support, I’d like to complete the film by Christmas and deliver it to the children all over the world.
- Color / Stereo / 30min / 16:9 / English subtitles
- Producer / Executive Director: Kenji Itoso (Transformers Animated, Dreaming Machine)
- Director: Yumi Kamakura (Pokémon,Eureka seveN)
- Screenplay: Naohiro Fukushima (009 RE:CYBORG,Eden of The East)
- Original Character Design: Hidari (VOCALOID, Atelier Ayesha)
- Animation Character Design: Hiroki Harada (Romeo×Juliet, Yu-Gi-Oh!)
- Background Art: Takashi Aoi (Xam’d: Lost Memories, Eureka seveN)
- Produced: KENJI STUDIO
Our film is scheduled for completion by Christmas 2014.
Where your funding goes
Funding will be used to create our film and English subtitles.
Our goal is raise a minimum of $50,000 for this project.
Anything raised above our minimum goal will go directly into the production of “Santa Company”.
If we exceed our funding goal, we’ll increase the quality of animation and increase the variety of language for subtitles depending on how much the excess amount we’ll have.
Plan of deployment
- A special screening for children and their families in Fukushima,the affected areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- Screening”Santa Company” for children by using projection-mapping.
- Screening at film festivals around the world!
- We will create a curriculum to learn how to make animation by using the anime material that shows the production process of “Santa Company.” Then we will expand the curriculum to students who want to study animation!
FOLLOW US on twitter @Santa Company!
“LIKE” US and join the fun on our official Facebook page!
Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain’t It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.
Read more here: Crunchy Roll