The first ‘Non-Disney’ animated feature I ever watched was Ralph Bakshi’s amazing ‘Lord of the Rings‘. I was a mere teenager and had already read the book a few times, but the movie blew me away. It was so much more scary and violent than anything Disney had ever done and certainly opened my eyes to other forms of animation. The extensive use of rotoscoping made the film look completely different to anything I had seen before and added to the feeling that was obviously watching something special and revolutionary. I kept up with Ralph Bakshi’s work for some time but wasn’t surprised that his particular preferences in storytelling weren’t in vogue anymore by the eighties and he slowly vanished from my radar.
Hence my surprise when I heard that he was planning to direct a new film, ‘Last Days of Coney Island’. Fed up with the mainstream studios, he financed the movie with a successful Kickstarter campaign to which I contributed a few bob. As promised, I received an original doodle from the man himself, together with a print from the new movie, a print from ‘Wizards’, and a character sketch for the new protagonists. Now all framed and polished, my loot is ready to go on the walls of house and office.
It feels good to have contributed to the creation of new art and get something in return. Crowd sourcing projects like these can give the humble punter a chance to be involved in something big. Or very small.