While the upcoming John Cusack film The Raven will probably have some merits, the best medium for a feature film about the life of horror pioneer Edgar Allan Poe just might be animation, in which the scribe's wild imagination and fevered paranoia can most fully flourish. So I'm thrilled to hear that one of the best independent animators working today, New York's Michael Sporn, is working on just such a film. There's just one problem -- Sporn needs funding. So he's launched a Kickstarter campaign for help. Find out more, and watch a video of the work in progress, after the break.
Here's what director Michael Sporn has to say about Poe (to find out how you can contribute to getting it made, check out the Poe Kickstarter page): "Edgar Allan Poe was a brilliant writer who lived a very short and eccentric life. He died at the age of 40 and in that time created literary genres including the detective mystery, the sci fi epic, the horror story, and many of the most beautiful love poems imaginable. Within this life there is a very dynamic story to be told."
"The film opens with baby Edgar dragged from theater to theater by his ever-squabbling actor parents. They travel to cities up and down the East Coast performing, as their marriage falls apart. Edgar's father disappears, and his mother dies of consumption. The three year old watches the last theater his mother performs in burn to the ground. He's left an orphan, and the film begins.
"Poe's life was destroyed not by drugs or alcohol, as is often stated, but by absolute poverty, and this is the crux of our film. Many of the women in his life died of consumption and illness as he was too poor to be able to care for them properly.He, himself, died in a poorhouse hospital.
"Our film will show various biographical key points in his life and will use selections from his great fiction to depict this dramatic story."
"Where we are now:
"The Script and the storyboards are complete.
"Designs for the two styles that will be employed are being developed
- a Daumier-like style for the main narrative and
- a German Expressionist style for Poe's stories within.
"There are 20 minutes of the biographical "Animatic" completed already.
This was done by the brilliant Master animator, Tissa David (age 91), who will continue to supervise Poe's bio for the feature.
"We have also storyboarded the four stories being told within the feature: The Premature Burial, Murder in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and Ms. in a Bottle.All are used to comment on Poe's life and story.
"Animator salaries, Music, Editing, Designers, reams of artwork. It all is dearly expensive, and we're hoping Kickstarter will allow us to do just that for this feature desperate to jump out of the box.
"There will be a cast of well known actors doing the voices. We've already recorded several."