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Friday, 26 February 2016

Operator - the Kickstarter campaign for the Scifi/horror stop-motion web series

I’ve had a lot or requests from people since I began this blog, and while it’s fair to say that most of the requests have been for me to shut up and stop (harsh, but probably fair) some of them have been in the form of asking me to help publicise their work or campaigns. Amongst the usual requests of movies/books and comics reviews (and all very welcome by the way, so don’t stop!) there occasionally comes my way a project that is quite simply so eye-catching different that I’m seduced (in a clean cut legal non restraining order sense of course) straight away. This week I was well and truly seduced. I was asked if I would help publicise a Kickstarter campaign that's coming very close to it's deadline date to raise the necessary funds for Operator, a sci-fi horror stop-motion web series about a corporation which unleashes a plague of bio-mechanical parasites on its workers.

Hold the front page!!! – You’re telling me that in this world of ever intricate computer generated 2D & 3D graphics which has almost completely consumed contemporary animation, there are people still pursuing the art of stop-motion?! Sweet!

Ever since I discovered the genius of individuals such as the mercurial Ray Harryhausen, when I was a mere mini-blogger, the world of stop-motion animation has been incredibly close to my heart. Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the eye of the Tiger, to name but a few, are amongst my personal treasure trove of all-time movies favourites and simply never ever get old. So to find out that there are some who are determined to continue this remarkable genre in the face of the computer revolution was music to my ears.

The Kickstarter campaign for this new web series is currently asking for backers for the follow up to the hugely successful Operator which was made two years ago. The link for the campaign can be found at

In the original story, the InfoCorp Corporation enslaves all of its workers with a biomechanical parasite. Operator is a stop motion animated web series about a corporation that unleashes a plague of bio-mechanical parasites to enslave its workers. In this episode, we find Bob fighting for his life and family against forces much greater than himself. The episode was met with a huge amount of acclaim and at the last time of looking (about 5 minutes ago) the YouTube clip has gained precisely 632,640 views – which I’m thinking is just a little bit on the bloody impressive side of things.

I must admit that I had missed out on this scifi horror stop-motion phenomenon the first time and so decided to watch it for myself last night – Oh my, it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen before…..  Inventive, philosophical, entertaining, unsettling, shocking…….. In other words, it’s bordering on genius – and believe me, that is not hyperbole in any sense of the word.

If you want to see what I mean, then see the complete episode for yourself RIGHT HERE.

The web series, providing the campaign generates the required funds, picks up where the short left off, following workers that escape the initial infection as they fight back against the company. Chaos grows as upper lever employees turn against the company, the mastermind of the biomechanical parasites seeks to take complete control of the company, and everyone deals with the fallout of the Rhizomect System.

So what inspired filmmaker, Sam Barnett. Writer Director of Operator to aim for the stars (sorry, I’ll get my coat) to take the monumental step of producing a web series? Well why don’t I let the man himself explain – and to those who might dare to suggest that this is just a method of me of avoiding to write an original piece of work, my lawyers will be in touch……..again. So go on Sam, say it again (I’ll definitely get my coat now).

In the original Operator the InfoCorp corporation enslaves all of its workers with a biomechanical parasite. The web series picks up where the short left off, following workers that escape the initial infection as they fight back against the company. 

After receiving an incredible response I immediately set about expanding it into a web series. I’ve spent the last two years writing a full season of 15 episodes with one overarching story. Developing new characters and fleshing out a much larger world.

I was inspired to make Operator by a few things: parasites like the cordyceps mushroom, which controls the brains of ants so it can use their bodies as food while it spreads its spores as far as possible. Also, what I like to call “parasitic ideas.” Our minds are made up of ideas that come from all over the place. And somehow once we accept an idea it feels like it’s part of who we are, even if that idea ends up being terrible for us.

The point is that we grow up with this idea that there is a clear barrier between ourselves and everything else. Operator is a story about a world in which that barrier is ripped to pieces and the boundary between what is and is not us becomes very unclear. It is told from the perspective of characters that have very little power, struggling against a massive corporation that is trying to destroy them. It is a story that I am passionately committed to.

We need your help to make Operator happen. Many of the rewards include putting your name in the credits because it really is you that is bringing this project to life.

There is no way around the fact that making great animation takes a lot of manpower. Everything in stop motion is individually crafted: each puppet has to be sculpted, each mouth and hand and prop and set piece is created. I want to make a web series that is gripping, fun, and terrifying.

With the ability to hire some other very talented artists I think we can make something that is truly excellent. I hope you are excited to see more OPERATOR and help me fund this project!”
The Kickstarter campaign provides backers with a tasty set of rewards with perhaps my favourite being for $55 you can get a 3 inch plaster bust of your choice of Mike, Carl or Laura plus all the previous rewards before that. If all that wasn’t enough you also get your name on the credits. If Sam wanted to send me Carl then it would be rude and remiss of me to say no, wouldn’t it?

The big news is that the team are VERY close to their initial target, but there are only now just over TWO days to go until the campaign ends – that’s right, just two days! So if you would like to back this incredible venture then please go along to the Kickstarter page and do that thing you do!

For further information then go to these following links;

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