IndieGoGo: Malacostraca

Check out the craziest (in a good way) project on IndieGoGo today. Filmmaker Charles Pieper's newest creation looks pretty wild, and you can help bring it to life! I got a chance to talk with Charles about his film, and grabbed a little insight into his mind and the process behind his creepy creations. 

401: Where did your idea for Malacostraca come from, and how long has it been brewing?

Charles: Malacostraca began as a short story I wrote at Emerson College back in 2007. I forced myself into thinking of the most disturbing visual I could and then built a short story around that visual. As for the current short film version that has been brewing for a little over 2 years.

401: How about the monster, any particular inspiration for that design?

Charles: The monster is inherently an exaggeration of a crawdad, lobster, crustacean of any kind really... The film is from the point of view of the husband character who's losing his mind. So when his wife finally gives birth the husband doesn't see the baby as his, or even human. Instead he sees it as some sort of hideous crawdad mutant for he has crawdads on the mind (as will be made graphically evident in the film's first scene!).

A sketch by Charles of the monster. 

A sketch by Charles of the monster. 

401: Sounds twisted!

Charles: Twisted indeed. It's a very warped and dark film that is all about the horrors of losing control of one's mind for sure.

401: Gabe Bartolos mentions you’ve been working on and off with his company, Atlantic West Effects, for a couple of years. How did you first become involved there?

Charles: I started work at AWE as an assistant painter. I painted a huge miniature of the entire city of Los Angeles that was being built as a private art installation piece for a billionaire who lived in Beverly Hills. Once the miniature city was finished and fully painted it was installed below the floor of this guy's living room, displayed under plexiglass. This sounds ludicrous but is totally true!

After that I worked off and on there for a few more years, mostly doing horrific strange stop motion animations for an infamous Norwegian artist named Bjarne Melgaard who had hired AWE to work on many of his art shows.

401: Obviously you’re a huge horror guy. Who are some of your biggest influences to your work?

Charles: For Malacostraca the two biggest influences are 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' and 'Possession.' I want it to look as beautiful and eerie as the 1st and have as much emotional intensity and grotesque creature work as the second! 

*EDITOR'S NOTE: 'The Possession' is dope.*

Charles: In a more general sense some of my biggest influences and favorite directors are Jan Svankmajer, David Lynch, and David Cronenberg. I tend to most appreciate horror that explores the worries of the body and the mind the most for I find that the most relatable and therefore the most terrifying!

401: As far as crowdfunding goes, what drew you to indiegogo as opposed to any of the other myriad of options?

Charles: Indiegogo made the most sense to me for on that site you get whatever amount is raised, even if you don't meet your full asked for number. Considering the larger than average budget for this short film (due to its extensive FX) I felt safer using indiegogo than say kickstarter... I've seen others use kickstarter and not hit their full price and then get nothing and that is not an experience I want to go through!

Right now for Malacostraca we are almost 50% funded with (currently) 11 days left to go. I feel great about this though for as an utterly independent filmmaker with no ties or connections to big film studios I feel this is impressive indeed... From this point on even if we don't raise it all enough interest has been shown/generated that I feel confident that individual bigger investors may swoop in to help fund the film after the campaign ends!

401: Awesome. Best of luck Charles, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the finished film!

Check out the IndieGoGo campaign for 'Malacostraca' and show some love by donating if you dig it. Because not only is it going to bad a badass film, but  Charles is responsible for THIS...