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Phil Tippett has a Kickstarter for a short film called MAD GOD, that I'm dying to see get kickstarted!!!

Hey folks, Harry here...  Next Friday, Phil Tippett is flying out to Austin to hang out in the Basement, show us some more secrets of MAD GOD - and to chat about his career and the world of film that we both love.   Of course that'll be for a future episode or two of the show, but first I wanted to get you folks on AICN abreast and filled in on this... MAD GOD thing.

Now - if you're a film geek, you know the name of Phil Tippett, his filmography begins with the awe & wonder of the CRATER LAKE MONSTER, then STAR WARS (before they had secondary titles), EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, DRAGONSLAYER, ROBOCOP 1-3, STARSHIP TROOPERS and so much more.   As a child of STARLOG & CINEFANTASTIQUE & CINEFEX - Phil was the man that took the wonderful world of Ray Harryhausen's DYNAMATION and continued to evolve it.   

Now, Tippett Studios does some of the absolute best character and creature animation in the digital world.   His time on JURASSIC PARK gave him a great head start in embracing what CG could do, it's what the Studios & most directors want - but Phil has decided to dust off an old project that he started working on decades ago.   It's a short film called MAD GOD - and frankly there's nobody in the world that can pitch it as well as Tippett and their magicians.   This will be Tippett style stop-motion...  or perhaps even some Go-Motion...   and some Puppet stuff...  and real blood...   and models...   and every old school trick that Phil spent a lifetime pioneering and pushing to its ultimate levels.

In addition - he's having his CG folks learn these tricks - pretty much doing exactly what Douglas Trumbull recommended to Visual FX artists on my show recently.   That folks in CG need to get their hands dirty on models and the tactile arts.   Me - I couldn't be more excited.   

To me, the various techniques of filmmaking are not disposible...  they're all useful and special in their own manner.  That Tippett is using this project to teach not just his own artists, but other local filmmakers that want to take part in MAD GOD.   Well...  that's just too fucking awesome, right?   

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  • May 17, 2012, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Going back to stop-motion?

    by lv_426

    Interesting. I like hearing things like this. CGI is not the end all, be all of visual effects or animation.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:08 p.m. CST



    very cool. that's all i got.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:12 p.m. CST

    I thought...

    by Tim Hamblen

    it was "impossible" to feature everything on Or is that only if you aren't already in hollywood?

  • May 17, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    I just watched the pitch video

    by lv_426

    This looks awesome. Phil Tippett is rocking a Santa Claus look too.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Henry Selick

    by Teddy Artery

    Henry Selick would dig it, although he might be surprised to find out that traditional stop-motion is "no longer practiced". Heh.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST


    by Teddy Artery

    End of line.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST

    How about...

    by Tim Hamblen

    a top ten type "article" once a week? Or set up a way to submit scripts for reviews, and a "best of the best" once a month.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    If Harry is soeager to see this....

    by Tim Hamblen

  • May 17, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Why don't I see his name as a backer?

    by Tim Hamblen

  • May 17, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    How can anyone else....

    by Tim Young

    get their Kickstarter campaign funded when real creatives like Phil Tippet are now using it? I have my own campaign up to fun my children's books "They're Coming!" and "Shadows On My Wall" and of coarse I've now pledged on $10 on Mad God. I only hope he'll bring new people to Kickstarter and I'll get sloppy seconds.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST


    by Tim Hamblen

    In the same boat for "The Diner", I personally thought thatkickstarter was for "Up and coming" creators, not established ones.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Trying to see if...


    I can budget giving $1800 - I want that reward. Sounds so cool.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    can you check out mine, I've got cool stuff

    by Tim Young

  • May 17, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST

    I actually all for big names rolling their own...

    by Tim Young

    so long as some of it trickles down to the start-ups.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    and it is budgeted


  • May 17, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    @ head geek....

    by Tim Hamblen

    Pledge a dollar to this, and I'll not only let you be an extra, I'll give you a shout out in the film.

  • May 17, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Dredd film poster leaked online

    by coolfan123

    Dredd film teaser poster: Any chance this can be put up as a new item on the main homepage. I think it's newsworthy.

  • May 17, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    timsyoung -- I will check out your stuff on Kickstarter

    by lv_426

    You do raise an issue though, one that I've been wondering about Kickstarter for a bit. Once all the videogame developers started storming Kickstarter more recently, I figured it was just a matter of time before it blew up with lots of really well known artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and video game developers getting in on it. Not to mention tons of fan films which I am surprised can get away with asking for money online when they don't have the rights to whatever their fan film is based on or inspired by (I suppose there is always a risk of getting sued and you just gotta roll the dice if you're funding a fan film through online donations). What worries me though, is that it feels like the time for using Kickstarter as the go to solution for starving artists and unknown indie projects is possibly nearing an end. It is only a matter of time before a really big name already multi-millionaire artist or entertainer hits up Kickstarter for millions of bucks for their project and opens the floodgates for lots of celebrities and other millionaire artists and entertainers, who in turn could truly down out all the unknown and struggling people trying to also fund smaller projects. It can't be too much longer. Hopefully though, there can be some sort of balance achieved between well off mainstream media moguls and the Ramen noodle eating masses of creative people fighting for funds via Kickstarter. Now, I am not saying all this to disparage people like Phil Tippett or the game developer Double Fine for doing a Kickstarter. I'm just guessing at the reality of Kickstarter in the near future.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST


    by Tim Hamblen

    I think you said it all, except that it's actually happening, right now.

  • ...of what can be accomplished with Kickstarter if people actually care about what you're trying to accomplish. I keep checking, expecting people to have stopped giving. But no, it's at almost $740,000.00 Crazy. I've never seen anybody do anything close to that with Kickstarter.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST


    by Tim Hamblen

    Seen that too. Has to do with already having a large fan base.

  • The point of Kickstarter is that it cuts out all the middle people, allowing the artist to create work funded directly by their fans, giving them cool, exclusive rewards in return. It shouldn't matter if that's Madonna, Stephen Spielberg or any of the multitudes of unknown artists who use the service. The only issue is getting your name or your project out there so people know you're looking for contributions. Amanda Palmers Kickstarter info was spread around the world through word of mouth from her fans, but anybody could spend a couple hours a day traveling the internet, getting the word out about their own project.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST


    by Tim Hamblen

    So you really think that having the money to run ad campaigns and the connections to get press can be done by anyone? So, by that theory you could raise the same amount on kickstarter as Steven Speilberg. Good luck with that. Now passwhatever you're smoking this way bub.

  • My main concern is if a ton of wealthy celebrities got on there asking for shit-loads of money, it will drown out all the unknown but no-less important people who are also seeking funds for their projects. I don't want it to be limited one way or the other, but let's face reality, if KS gets bombarded with celebrity projects, those have a much higher chance of steering funding away from the non-celebrity ones. As I said before, if a balance can be achieved between the Amanda Palmers on KS and the completely unknown artists on KS, then that would be ideal. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out.

  • I believe that models should be used, with small support from CGI when necessary to make the shot look right. But total CGI? NOOOOOOO!!!! FAKE FAKE FAKE! You can't immerse yourself in a movie that has so much CGI. It's like watching a 2-hour video game cutscene.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    @ lovequake

    by Tim Hamblen

    Doesn't seem to do much good either way.

  • May 17, 2012, 7:43 p.m. CST


    by Munro Kelly

    Tippet looks like he's making the "experimental Films" Lucas has been talking about for like 30 years.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:04 p.m. CST

    wallywest1980 - No, I think you missed what I was saying

    by Jaka

    The whole point is to NOT run ad campaigns and use connections to the press. If Spielberg did that with a Kickastarter people would call bullshit. But if he used blogs and social media - which everyone has the same free access to - that were then picked up on by the press, that's fair game. At least it is in my mind.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    And lets not forget!

    by Jaka

    Some fans WANT to be involved. Amanda Palmer knew that before she started hers. How many times have you read people saying, or thought yourself, "if they could just get the funding, that would be cool", or "wish I could help somehow with my measly $10" etc etc etc. That's why Kickstarter was created. Plus, you DO get something in return for you contribution.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:09 p.m. CST

    lv_426 - I think we'll have to agree to disagree

    by Jaka

    Because I would much rather see a "famous" or "well-known" artist of any kind fund a project through Kickstarter - thereby allowing them to remove the middle man, include their fans in the process and pocket the profits themselves - than continue to see major corporations decide what we're supposed to find entertaining. In fact, I think it could very well be the future happening right in front of our eyes.

  • May 17, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    @ jaka

    by Tim Hamblen

    Not to use connections to the press? go re-read the first line in this "article". Don't you think this is doing a friend a favor?

  • May 17, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    AICN is an entertainment blog site

    by Jaka

    It's not the professional entertainment press. <p> Entertainment Weekly, Empire and Variety are the entertainment press. <p> Please believe that there is a Grand Canyon size difference between the two. <p> Also, doing a friend a favor is the point I was trying to make. That's how people SHOULD USE Kickstarter. They should tell everyone they know who doesn't have a direct connection to the usual people who supply the funding (and really, if the usual people want to contribute through a Kickstarter, more power to 'em - because they'd have no control over the "art" in that case). I don't understand why anybody would take offense to AICN or Tippet working together in this manner.

  • The thing I am getting at is wouldn't it be a shame it if got to the point where the only people who could successfully kickstart a project, were the big dogs? All I am saying is that it would suck if the unknown but talented artists and creators got shoved to the side in favor of already established ones. Once you get your big break, and especially in the case of uber-powerful people like a Spielberg for instance, you have crossed one of if not the biggest hurdle in the path to becoming a professional artist, musician, filmmaker, etc. I think the biggest value of Kickstarter is not to stick it to the corporate man, which is a good aspect of it no doubt, but more importantly to allow new voices to work on their art and craft and possibly rise to greater notice down the line. Who knows, maybe some great new filmmakers or writers or musicians will get a career going because of Kickstarter or similar online methods of money-raising allowing them to devote the proper time, energy, and funding to a passion project? Also, I'm not against what Tippett is doing. In fact, I am going to contribute to his Mad God project because I think it looks great. I'm a miniatures and practical effects fan and to see that style plus stop motion being brought back by none other than Phil Tippett is pretty cool. I guess I'm just a bit pessimistic about it in that I dread the day we see someone like Paris Hilton or a Kardashian raise 5 million through Kickstarter to write her memoir or something along those lines. It wouldn't surprise me to see that happen eventually. If it did, it could divert a lot of money away from a ton of KS projects that actually really need the money to just barely get the thing done.

  • May 17, 2012, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Phil Tippett can't finance this himself?

    by GulDucati

    Lucas mustve screwed him out of blu ray royalties.

  • May 17, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST


    by JayStrang

    That's pretty clearly not a poster of any kind.

  • May 17, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    @Jaka, Re: Kickstarter Fundraising

    by Rerun

    There have been plenty of people who have raised over $750,000.00 on Kickstarter. Tim Schafter blew the doors off of Kickstarter when he raised $3.3 million and now an iPhone watch accessory, Pebble, has raised $10 million. Much of the big money has been with video game creators though.

  • May 17, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    rerun - Very cool, didn't know that

    by Jaka

    I'm impressed with Amanda Palmer's total because I don't believe she's very well known (I realize some people may disagree, but I'd be willing to bet the average "man on the street" has never heard of her or The Dresden Dolls). But I've never heard of Tim Schafter or Pebble, either. So good for them!

  • I think it would suck if, for whatever reason, smaller artists (of any kind) were pushed to the side. But in concept I think Kickstarter makes it much more difficult for that to happen than the way things are done now. <p> Kickstarter allows whoever is using it the freedom to promote their project however they like. Is it going to be harder for some people to get attention, and therefore money, than others? Sure. Of course. But it's still all about the freedom of them doing whatever they want, however they want, independent of those who would control their personal vision. <p> Now, in regards to someone like a Hilton or a Kardashian (and I realize those were just examples) being able to use Kickstarter, I still think it's cool that they would choose to go that route, rather than working with the huge corporate conglomerates who would gladly throw money at them, so long as they were in control or getting served the biggest piece of the pie. <p> Lastly, I think there will always be room for everyone because the people who would be giving a Hilton or a Kardashian their money are probably NOT the same people who would be giving to a Tippet or a Palmer to begin with (although I sure there is some overlap no matter how divergent the people seem to us from the outside). It's like, the kind of person who would give a Hilton or a Kardashian money are probably going to do so regardless of how much they know (or don't know) about the little guy. Ya know what I'm saying?

  • I miss the models and the stop motion and REAL JUICY BLOOD SQUIBS on people getting shot up on film.

  • May 17, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    This Looks Fucking Incredible!!

    by BarCrow

    ..that's all.

  • If anyone's interested, we're raising funds to shoot a dramatic scene from our upcoming feature "Come Find Me" so we can take that scene and show it to investors as a test film demonstrating what we and our film are all about:

  • May 18, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    Tippett is a god damn living legend

    by Yukon Cornelius

    This looks great--can't wait to see the finished product!

  • May 18, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    2012. Still no holograph star wars chess.

    by UltraTron

  • May 18, 2012, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Kick start that immediately

    by UltraTron

  • May 18, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    I doubt Lucas screwed Tippett...

    by v3d

    Most of filmmaking, is work for hire, freelancing. You're hired to do a job and then you're on your way to finding the next gig. I personally know people who created characters for companies, that later became toys and figures. They were paid for the initial job and that's it. The employer generally owns all rights to the work you create unless otherwise stipulated in your contract. And most studios and producers don't generally grant those exceptions. So if you design a character that is spun off into dozens of toys and products, you are out of luck. Unless of course you had a clause giving you rights to the character or a share in the profits. That's showbiz. If I remember correctly, the late great Stan Winston would, if possible, maintain certain rights to characters he and his studio created. Oh, and yeah, Tippett is a genius.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by K-Gin

    You are absolutely right in your assessment. I do however think the current legal system fails to recognize that unless someone is well off or famous enough, they are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to negotiating. There are reasons why doctors can't negotiate prices with a patient needing a life saving procedure which is an extreme case, but the system should have recognized the fact that one party has very little choice in signing a contract that perhaps disproportionately favors the other side.

  • May 18, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    I'm thinking about starting a Kickstarter

    by Chris

    account to pay for my rent, of course all those that donate will get a producer's credit and collectible trading cards of me lounging around the pad

  • May 18, 2012, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by v3d

    Agreed. Until you reach the level that a Phill Tippett or Rick Baker is in 2012, you can either take a job or pass. And hope you find something else. There are plenty of stories out there. I have a friend who majored in Business and Marketing and they heard some of these in class. Like the design student who designed the NIKE swoosh for $35. That story does have a happy ending though. Phil Knight later gave stock in the company. Or something closer to home for the readers of AICN, all the designers and model builders of a little 1970's movie called Star Wars. Those designs and models are still used for toys and action figures, generating millions of dollars. On the other hand, designers and artists can also be very well paid for projects that go nowhere. For instance there are many commercials, television shows and movies that after being produced forever sit on the shelf.

  • May 18, 2012, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Tippett's Blu-Ray Royalties

    by Battybrain

    You don't get royalties when all your work is erased and replaced with the 1999's cutting edge CGI.

  • May 19, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Phil T! You get a pass on Kickstarter only if...-

    by bluebalrog

    you help us noobs trying to break into the industry! WITHOUT the help of big budget friends/contacts. i love your work man, absolutely LOVE your work!... but let the no-budget/no-resources format of fundraising be exploited by those who actually need it...? yours in the arts, BB

  • May 19, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Would Phil be able to do a "how to" video as well?

    by hallmitchell

    Just thought that would help so many people.

  • May 19, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    I'm waiting for Kickstarter

    by gotilk

    PROFIT share incentives. Yeah! lol. Not really, but I'm surprised more high profile projects have not tried that. If it blows up, you get a piece of the action. If it doesn't, you've funded something cool that you wanted to see/hear.

  • May 19, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    This is ridiculous...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    This is ridiculous, people who are already millionaires shouldn't be using their own goddam money to fund their projects, not beg it from the little people who get suckered into contributing by some promise of a lame t-shirt or a signed coffee cup or whatever other bullshit they're passing off as a thank you.<p> <p> I have a crazy idea, how about Tippett contributes significantly to other people's projects and pays for his own.

  • May 19, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Agreed, hairy nutsack

    by alienindisguise

    I do find it difficult to contribute to a project done by a professional who has been in the business forever. I love the mans work and everything but if I'm giving money to any project, it's gonna be my own.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Man, I'd support it just for the fact that it's Phil Tippett, but...

    by AlienFanatic

    I'm afraid the subject matter just doesn't interest me. Folks, these are pet projects. The money they're talking about is a PITTANCE. Idk how rich Phil is, but I'd guess he's not ridiculously, filthy so. Be nice to see him explain why he went to kickstarter, but people don't get to Phil's level of success by throwing money away. If he can get others to fund his project, then he's smarter than someone else who tosses $75k of their own money down a hole.

  • May 19, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    quit pimping, third time already this has been bumped up

    by Daniel

  • May 19, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Some of you are missing the point

    by Jaka

    It doesn't matter how much money you have, it's still a risk to spend your life savings on a project like this. Its still giving away some, or all, or your creative freedom to go to the usual sources of funding. Reaching out to fans, most of whom WANT to be involved, is a fun, FAR less risky way to attempt creative endeavors without losing your ass in the process. <p> Nobody is DEMANDING people contribute - it's an "ask". If you're not interested, then ignore it. But if you are interested it's likely you would have put out some money to see it or own it in the future, anyway. So why not actually be involved in the process of creating some cool art? Something that you can say, for the rest of your life, YOU helped get off the ground.

  • It's something that they think is COOL. Something they think we might think is COOL. Something that, geek-wise, a lot of us SHOULD think is COOL. That word is in the name of their site and all.

  • May 19, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    hairy nutsack

    by DrMorbius

    shouldn't should be should.

  • May 19, 2012, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Oh, and hairy nutsack...

    by gamerawangi

    Please supply evidence of how you KNOW Tippett is a millionaire. This is a side project. What, from his past behavior, makes you think Phil Tippett is a millionaire trying to get MORE money? Get a sense of logic. If he were a Lucas, he could make this film on his own, no Kickstarter needed. But it's gonna take 40 grand. Seems to me a millionaire wouldn't be asking for that relatively pittance of a sum to make his own vision. WITHOUT studio influence. WITHOUT product placement. Get it? He ain't the richest guy, he has a pet project he'd LOVE to create, but doesn't have the free $$ to do so. You REALLY think someone with a reputation like Tippett is gonna ask for money to complete a film if he could do it himself? Really? And did you even BOTHER to read the Kickstarter website? No, he's not offering coffee mugs and t-shirts. He's offering some pretty cool stuff and a lot in return. And it's an opportunity for him to teach the CGI youngin's of today the various old-school ways of making a cool film. Please tell me how that's bad... Then again, your griping is coming from someone with the oh-so-clever name of "hairy nutsack".

  • May 19, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Talkback, reminding me everyday how much i fucking loath most people.

    by the Green Gargantua

  • May 19, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    green gargantua

    by gamerawangi

    Thanks for the happy thought! Troll much?....

  • May 19, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Stop Motion still looks stilted and unnatural looking

    by MajorFrontbum

    CGI looks too shiny and sterile. There is no happy medium. Go back to making movies about people. Forget your shitty puppets and monster stories. That shit's been done to death and it's obvious that they cannot and will never perfect these techniques.

  • Some things are better left unsaid... ...other things are better said.

  • Bad ass!

  • May 20, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and shut the fuck up majorfrontbum

    by steve

    Had to be said.

  • May 20, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    George Lucas just pledged $10.


    He will be getting a digital download of the film.

  • May 20, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    All I know for sure is...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    All I know for sure is there are student filmmakers and other film artists out there struggling to generate much smaller amounts than Phil "Star Wars" Tippett who are now competing with Phil "RoboCop" Tippett on Kickstarter.<p> <p> But yeah it's totally fair for someone who's won two Oscars already to be competing against amateurs who actually need the money.

  • May 20, 2012, 5:27 p.m. CST

    yo, hairy nutsack! good news!!!

    by gamerawangi

    Nobody's hold a gun to your head to make you contribute. Or even read this story. Did you even watch the video, or listen to it? Tippett is making this short film, using effects that span the history of motion pictures, to not only complete a pet project, but to help current CGI people to learn crafts that are soon dying. He's not making it via a studio. He's not making it to earn enough to buy a villa in Italy. He just wants to make a short movie, in HIS vision (without studio interference; without product placements). You think he's a multi-millionaire based (apparently) on the fact that he's won an Oscar or two. Please site stats that correspond to your line of reasoning. (i.e.= Oscar means rolling in the dough). And last I looked, it's a free country. Don't want to contribute to Tippett's film 'cause he's such a big-wig? Fine. But you know what... I gotta a feeling you haven't put cent one towards anyone else's project on Kickstarter. Just a hunch. But if you have supported other film(s) on Kickstarter, please let us know which projects you deem worthy of your oh-so-insightful blessing. Trolls having nothing to back up their carping except a chip on their shoulder and a bitter outlook on the world. Hey, you're doin' a great job with that!

  • May 21, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Talk about trolls...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    I'm just sharing my opinion, an opinion based on the fact that I am an aspiring filmmaker myself, an opinion based on the fact that I've worked on many student films, an opinion based on the fact that I know how hard it is to raise funds for a project.<p> <p> So why don't you take Phil's dick out of your mouth for 5 seconds and consider for a moment that maybe there are people who actually need the money more than Phil and he's just made it a lot harder for them.

  • May 21, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    hairy nutsack

    by gamerawangi

    "So why don't you take Phil's dick out of your mouth for 5 seconds..." Oh, well, that'll teach me to go up against the head of the debate team. And the movies you've helped fund via Kickstarter? We're waiting...

  • May 22, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    They've achieved their funding level!

    by gamerawangi

    And I think I'm about to hear some aspiring film maker's head explode. One that's sadly bitter, and blaming his frustrations on others. Watch out, you-know-who, or you'll have taken the dark path...

  • May 22, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Great Job everyone!!!


    Woo-hoo! MAD GOD is happening!