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Phil Tippett's "Mad God: Part 3" Fully Funded on Kickstarter!

The stop motion legend, Phil Tippet, has launched – and has now successfully funded – the third chapter in his beautiful and weird dystopian series of stop motion short films entitled Mad God, via crowdfunding the project through Kickstarter.

The project’s initial goal of raising $40,000 has been met and surpassed by financial backers with a final tally of $45,845 from the Kickstarter campaign, which ended yesterday. As Mr. Tippett explains in his Kickstarter video, the money will go towards feeding the crew working on the project out of Tippett studio in Berkeley, as well as to buy materials and to help “keep the adventure going,” as he explains in his Kickstarter video.

Phil is a master of the craft of stop motion, which he's helped pioneer since the earliest work of his career.  Starting in 1975 with his employment at Industrial Light & Magic, he worked alongside George Lucas to create the stop motion effects seen in Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Among many other things, Phil is responsible for creating and animating the creatures on the holographic chess board that Chewbacca and R2-D2 play in the Millennium Falcon Star Wars. He went on to found his visual effects company Tippett Studio in 1991 to create the effects seen in Jurassic Park.
His latest passion project, Mad God, is a very personal film that has been baking in Phil’s mind ever since the 1980s. He describes his original conception for the project in his Kickstarterfor part one as a means to use “all of the tricks in the book that were available at that time [1990]” to create the experimental short film that became Mad God. He began principle photography on the first chapter of Mad God back in 1990, of which he produced “maybe five or six minutes of footage all on 35mm film” before shelving the project for over two decades after the beginning of the digital age of special effects sparked with the CGI work done on Jurassic Park. (Although it is interesting to note that Phil, who was on the special effects team for Jurassic, actually animated a few pre-vis scenes for the film using a variant of stop motion called “go-motion” to bring the dinosaurs in the film to life which can be seen here. Sadly, the use of traditional effects such as stop motion on the film were scrapped in favor of CGI in order to bring to life the prehistoric beasts seen in the film. This was a decision made by the heads of the film after they watched some of the pre-vis CGI tests done for Jurassic. You can read more about go-motion here.) The project was revived in the 2000s when a few of Tippett’s collaborators working at Tippett Studios discovered Mad God and encouraged Phil to recommence work on it, offering to contribute to the project.

“The idea is to make a certain kind of cinematic product, if you will, that is unlike anything that has ever been done,” Phil explains in his first Kickstarter video. In the Kickstart video for Mad God: Part 3, Tippett explains his hope for the project in the future, “I always had this fantasy that – should I get hit by a bus – the team that’s involved in making Mad God can keep Mad God going as an entity…it may never be done.” It would seem that the only way for this project to keep going and to fulfill Phil’s vision in the future will be for fans of unconventional special effects and films to raise the money to allow the film’s crew to continue to work on it. Although we have at least another year to wait for the Kickstarter for Mad God: Part 4, as Phil imagines that part three will at least take until December of this year to finish. However, while we’re waiting for part three, you can go buy and watch the first two chapters on the Mad God website for an affordable $12.

Note to reader:
Firstly, as you may have noticed, this post is the first published in a very long while. I have been almost completely silent for nearly two and a half years now, excepting a few sporadic posts in 2016. I do not intend to remain silent any longer. Starting now, I intend to write one post a week – give or take a day or two depending on when news appears – until things change. You can expect to hear more from me shortly.

Secondly, you might see some changes to the Stop Motion Geek website and previously published content in the future. It is too early to make any other predictions, other than that I will provide notices before updates are made on the website.

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