Chosin frame

“CHOSIN” An Animated Film About The Epic U.S. Marine Corps Battle — Kickstarter Project

Published On December 18, 2012 | By Mike Carroll | Filmmakers

As regular readers to this site may know, I have a soft spot in my heart for the U.S. Marine Corps. My father, P.F.C. Ward V. Carroll, was a Marine in World War Two and it defined his life. I have begun a website about him, but it is very much still in the early stages.

PFC Ward V. Carroll, USMC, 1943

So when I got this e-mail out of the blue I was both flattered that to be asked to help out with this project, and also incredibly honored to help to spread the word and try to help get this film on the road.

 

From Brian Iglesias:

Mike,
 
My name is Brian Iglesias and I am a service disabled, combat decorated Marine – and I am also a member of the Producers Guild of America.  I lead a group of combat veteran/filmmakers who currently have an animated war film on KickStarter and are tracking at over 80% funding.  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1083222116/chosin-a-korean-war-animated-movie
 
This project is based on our Chosin franchise (Transmedia).  We started with a Korean War documentary that was in theaters and is now on pay TV (EPIX), DVD, iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix (4.2 stars/57,800 ratings).  The film was optioned for a feature film and the script was written by Academy Award Winning writer Frank Pierson (WWII vet who recently passed); that project is moving along slowly.  We have a graphic novel coming out in early 2013 with art by Thomas Jung and Otis Frampton (another vet).  You will see the artwork on our KickStarter page.  We are now moving onto the animated film and have gone to KickStarter to get it off the ground.  Mind you we already put a lot of work into its development to include having Gavin Kusters from Australia create the 3d models for the main characters.
 
Our story has been featured in the news on TV, radio, online, and print – and I am fortunate to have been able to travel around not only talking about these projects, but raising awareness of the Korean War and honoring the veterans who sacrificed so much for the South Korean people.   It would be an honor if you would consider covering us for Naked Filmmaking.

Brian is a Marine vet and has put his heart, soul, and countless hours of time into this project, as well as other Marine-related documentaries that are available on Amazon and iTunes now.

Brian and his team are only trying to raise $25,000 in order to put together a 2-minute sampler of the full 3D quality animation of what the final film will be.

The Kickstarter window closes on Midnight of Christmas Day, December 25, 2012.

And here’s the great part — they’ve already raised  $20,967 (as of 8:55PM PST). They only need $4,043 dollars to make their goal!

Please join me in making this the best Christmas that Brian and the Best of the Chosin team will remember.

CHOSIN

Animated film about the most epic battle in Marine Corps history. Meet the filmmakers live! Wed Dec 19th, 8PM EST. See update #6.

  • Launched: Nov 28, 2012
  • Funding ends: Dec 25, 2012
  • MEET THE FILMMAKERS LIVE!  Talk with the Chosin Animated Film team on Wednesday, Dec 19th, from 8:00 to 9:00 PM EST.  Join Brian Iglesias, Richard Meyer, and Anton Sattler as they talk about the project and answer your questions live!  We already have some hot topics lined up! Check out Update 6 or go right to the event page here:  http://goo.gl/8raOH

WELCOME.  My name is Brian Iglesias and I am a combat decorated Marine infantry officer. After 13+ years of active duty, I decided to transfer to the Reserves to pursue my dreams of filmmaking. I am now an independent film producer and member of the Producers Guild of America. To date I have produced 5 feature films, 2 graphic novels, and I co-produced the NYC Veterans Day Parade live broadcast.

WHAT IS CHOSIN?

Art from "Chosin- Hold the Line" by Thomas Jung
Art from “Chosin- Hold the Line” by Thomas Jung

Chosin is an epic battle that took place during the Korean War. In the winter of 1950, deep within the frozen mountains of North Korea, 15,000 U.S. Soldiers and Marines were surrounded and trapped by 120,000 Chinese soldiers. Despite the odds, the Marines refused to surrender and fought their way 78 miles to the sea and rescued 98,000 refugees. 17 Medals of Honor, 73 Navy Crosses, and 23 Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded, making Chosin one of the most decorated battles in American History.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

Nobody has ever successfully produced a feature-length animated war film– this is literally film history in the making and we want you to be a part of it!

Our ultimate objective is to use this short film to help us secure funding to complete a 90 minute, 3D animated film. A successful campaign would mean that we would be able to complete a 2 minute scene from the movie. Each additional $15,000 would allow us to add one minute. The more animation we produce on our own, the more of this amazing story we can tell, and the easier it will be to find investors or a studio to help us finish the film.

Script/Character Design/3D Modeling/Storyboards/Animation
Script/Character Design/3D Modeling/Storyboards/Animation

Over the past year, we have spent over $20,000 and hundreds of man hours in developing the story, building the 3D models, creating storyboards and layouts, and conducting animation tests. The real life heroes of this story have already been immortalized as 3D models – Now they’re waiting for you and your contribution to bring them to life.

The $25,000 would get us two minutes of animation which breaks down roughly to: Texturing 10%, Rigging 10%, Environment modeling 10%, Animation 40%, Effects 10%, Compositing 10%, Final Render 10%.

Art from "Chosin- To The Sea" by Otis Frampton
Art from “Chosin- To The Sea” by Otis Frampton

ARE YOU NUTS? WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S POSSIBLE TO MAKE A 2-MINUTE ANIMATED WAR FILM FOR ONLY $25,000?!?!

My co-director Richard C. Meyer is a 3D animator and cartoonist. While we developed the graphic novel and especially after seeing the anime-style character designs by artist Tom Jung, we started to realize that this could be done as a 3D animated film for a fraction of the cost of your normal studio film.

One of the major costs of an animated film is assets, that means 3D models of characters, vehicles, props, and environments. In your typical 3D film, you have to create the mom, the dad, the 3 kids, the talking dog, his enemy the talking cat and the granny. That is 8 completely different character models and you haven’t even left the house. Every person or animal they encounter in the story requires a completely new character model. Every house, streetlight, and car they walk by costs hundreds of man-hours and thousands of dollars to produce.

A single basic body model can be modified to make 4 different characters
A single basic body model can be modified to make 4 different characters

But this is a military story which means uniformity. So we only have to build one basic body model for Marines and one for the enemy soldiers. Then we make them bigger, taller, wider, whatever, but it’s the same basic model. This is an incredible savings and we have things like this throughout the story. Both armies use about 5 different weapons and just a few vehicles. Almost the entire movie takes place in the mountains, which are a lot easier to build than an entire city.

When you add in the fact that most of it takes place in the snow at night, we have a lot of mitigating factors that help us make a dramatic and stylish piece of animation while also being able to “hide” things that would cost money to perfect and polish if this story was set in the middle of a city on a sunny day.
 
And to make sure we weren’t crazy, we’ve consulted with several major animation production houses and they have confirmed that our plan is feasible.
 
 
PROJECT HISTORY
 

The Chosin project began in 2010, when Brian Iglesias and Anton Sattler produced and released an award winning documentary film titled Chosin which has screened across the US and South Korea – and is now available on EPIXNetflixAmazon VideoDVD, and iTunes. The material was optioned as the basis for a 100 million dollar 3D Korean War action film that was written by Academy Award winner and WWII Army veteran Frank Pierson. Check out the trailer:  

*** Click here watch an EPIX exclusive behind the scenes interview with the filmmakers and Chosin veterans.

When Richard C. Meyer (a 3D animator and former machinegun squad leader in Brian’s unit) heard about about the project, he contacted Brian and they decided to produce a graphic novel that focused on the embattled Marines defending Fox Hill.  One look at the anime-style character designs by Tom Jung and we realized that this story would be a natural fit for animation.

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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