So, what is “Mr. Baker’s Wonderful World”?
In simple terms, it’s a musical dramedy, or in my terms “A love letter to Jim Henson”. It deals with the simple concept of overcoming grief and irreversibility of death, expressed in a surreal musical escapade and through Jim’s phantasmagorical journey. It targeted at a large and varied demographic, acting as a fun adventure for kids and a layered and poetic voyage for adults.
In the words of Jim Henson, “I’ve always tried to present a positive view of the world in my work. It’s so much easier to be negative and cynical and predict doom for the world than it is to try and figure out how to make things better. We have an obligation to do the latter”.
Jim Baker, a children’s television presenter gets dragged into the world of his own show after learning that the studio is canceling the program due to declining ratings as kids these days “don’t connect with puppets”. Jim trying to process this information, is thrown into a musical adventure with his onscreen gang trying to come to terms with the fact that this may be the end of “Mr. Baker’s wonderful world”.
Jim Baker’s goal is simple, to educate and entertain children at the same time through his show. “Mr. Baker’s Wonderful World” is a show that teaches its audience the most important values and morals in life. For Jim, the show is everything, as he created this vision with his wife Lily, originally titled “Mr. & Mrs. Baker’s Wonderful World”. Jim has preserved his last living memory of her through the show. However, Jim is told by the cooperate overlords that the show is to be canceled, due to becoming “obsolete” in this day and age’s form “children’s entertainment”.
Learning that his show and legacy will be coming to an end, he is thrown into a wild musical adventure within the world of his television show. Meeting the characters, he has created and come to love over the years, he must overcome the lesson of grief. With the help of his puppet friends and some musical numbers, Jim slowly learns that even though the show may be ending, he will always have the memories of Lily and her legacy, meaning “Mr. Baker’s Wonderful World” never will truly end. He takes this chance to say one last goodbye to his past, ready to embrace whatever comes next.
Music will be a key component to making this work. The style and genre of music will be mostly inspired by early glam rock, disco, and funk. Some major inspirations include ABBA, David Bowie, and Fleetwood Mac. The music will emulate the characters feelings and motivations, moving the story forward, you could say the lyrics act as a form of dialogue, but I can also guarantee it will be stuck in your head for days! ANNA’S Number will be creating original music for our musical set pieces, if you haven’t checked them out already, they are absolutely incredible. To see some of their work, you can view their Website, Facebook, and Youtube channel below
I will be paying homage to the golden age of Hollywood, painted backgrounds, studio lit sets, and most importantly, puppeteering. Yes, you read that right, puppeteering! Our main group of characters will be original characters, small and large who will be helping Jim along his way. Our puppets will be very much like the familiar favorites we all know from the “Muppets” (1979), “Sesame Street” (1969), “Labyrinth” (1982), and “The Dark Crystal” (1986).
Funding is essential to make this happen, without it, the execution will nowhere near the full potential that I believe this production has. Our end goal is to distribute the project across the festival circuit across the globe. Our production company already has a pre-established and successful track record across these circuits, currently, with over 30 + awards and nominations, some to note, Los Angeles, Venice, Istanbul, and Manchester.
We can guarantee you, with your help, this project will be created with the utmost care and highest quality.
What we need funding for?
Due to the nature of the production, our ability to create our idea and deliver to the highest standard we will need a strong budget to help us produce the entire project, from start to finish. In brief, this is what funding would help us cover
> Props & Costumes (Clothing, Creating the Puppets, any object that is seen on screen to be created)
> Set Design (Hand Painted background sets & walls, decorations)
> Practical Effects (Jim will crawl through the television set, Faling through the void into the world, stage lighting and timed stunts)
> Securing Actors and Extras (Extras for our puppeteering and musical sequences)
> Securing Locations
> Travel Expenses for crew & cast
> Funding an Original Musical Score (Studio booking and musical instruments
> Festival Submissions & distributions (Aiming to release on Amazon Prime Video at the current moment in time)
We have multiple donation options which all include unique perks, a special way of thanking you for helping us fund this project. These options can be seen listed on the right hand of your screen.
Transferring donations is a secure process that guarantees your donation will make it safely to us.
However, if we do not reach our intended goal the raised funds will not be wasted and will still be used in full capacity to support this production. If we pass our initial goal, this will allow us to have even more creative freedom and work and deliver the highest quality production possible.
We will need to have our budget organized by the end of January 2021 to allow us time to distribute and prepare for production.
If you want to have a look at any of our previous work, I have attached links below. These projects were ALL produced with a very limited budget.
We currently are in the midst of pre-production and would like to offer you some insight into our character designs
The following mood boards illustrate the artistic vision I have for this project. They cover the general tone, style, and mood.
Risks & Challenges
We understand the plethora of risks involved in aiming so high and being ambitious. This production encompasses a large-scale production process and careful planning and attention to location, costume, and overall production design. The style in itself is a risk due to the significance of production value and genre.
If we are unable to achieve the scale of our influences within our time frame, while production will proceed as planned it will of course be lacking authenticity. In order to bring to life, the story we want to tell, securing actors a necessary challenge that we will need to undertake. Our cast of characters is pivotal to its emotional core that will carry the film.
Links to our previous work
Other Ways You Can Help
Any form of donation will help towards our ambition of fully funding this project.
Actions speak louder than words, but word travels fast. Sharing through word of mouth or any form of online or offline communication.
How long will be the film be?
Our film is predicted to have a 10-15-minute running time which fits the requirements for 'short films' at worldwide film festivals.
Where will the first screening / Premiere be located?
Our first screening will a cinema hired premiere (Location yet to be determined) Tickets are included within particular donations
When will I receive my rewards?
Rewards will be dispatched in June 2021 once the film has finished.
Has the team worked together before?
ASTRL pictures is an international award-winning independent film production company set up by Riagáin Grainger in summer, 2020. We have collected over 30 + awards and nominations to date. Our team consists of three people: Riagáin Grainger, Daniel Valentine & Luke Taggart. This team loves working with each other and continuously strive to make great original content.
Thank you for taking the time to read
- Kevin Doyle
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