LGBT representation in fiction has gone from effectively nonexistent to routinely accepted in just over a decade; still, at least in the English-speaking market, there is one type of media where LGBT representation remains all but nil: animation. With a little help, the short feature “Stitch” is looking to change that.
On the project’s Indiegogo page, “Stitch” is described as “a short coming-of-age story about the bittersweet nature of growing up and letting go. It’s a story about acceptance. About the lengths we go to in order to preserve what we love. About learning to let go so that new opportunities can enter our lives.”
Though the word “animation” tends to evoke thoughts of cartoons, “Stitch” will be an animated film of a different type: stop motion animation.
The project page explains, “In a nutshell, stop motion is a process by which inanimate objects are physically manipulated frame-by-frame and photographed to create movement. Like in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ or ‘Coraline.’ The hand-touched, nostalgic feel of stop motion will give Stitch a visual quality that simply cannot be created through any other form of animation.”
The downside to stop motion, however, is cost; the page goes on to say, “In order to make this dream of ours come to life, we are going to need a considerable amount of specialized equipment and materials. Costs include space rental, transportation, camera rigs, Cinesliders, silicone, armatures, paint, dollys, plaster, lens rentals, lighting, and so so so much more. And that means we need mulah!”
That’s where Indiegogo, and interested contributors, come in. The team is looking to raise $4,000 by December 7—and as of November 27, they only have $285. Contributor perks range from a digital copy of the film ($5) to executive producer credit, a signed DVD, a hand-crafted figure from the film, and “your very own stop-motion animated short!” ($5,000).
As a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, all donations towards the making of “Stitch” are tax-deductible.
Writer and director Michael Iemma told 429Magazine:
Through the intricate art of stop-motion animation, myself, as well as my talented team of artists and filmmakers, hope to aid in the liberation of the LGBT community from the stereotyped and clichéd confines that mainstream film and television have kept us within by creating realistic portraits of gay life through cinema.
And to attempt to do this through animation, a medium that has essentially denied the existence of the LGBT community outright through a lack of inclusion, our message becomes all the more meaningful, relevant, and necessary. It is our hope that by creating works like Stitch, hopefully one day realistic representations of LGBT life may fully acquire the place they so rightfully deserve within mainstream media.