Jon Heder and Nick Peterson share the kind of banter you’d expect to see on a TV sitcom about creative smart people who don’t take them self too seriously. They are funny but considerate, and value what is being said regardless of who is speaking. This humbleness is super important in their task of raising money for their short animated film, tentatively titled “Drained.” They’ve stepped away from tradition methods of raising money and are using the “largest funding platform for creative projects in the world”, Kickstarter.
“I think a lot of people like the idea of Kickstarter because they don’t know investors, or maybe they don’t have rich friends, or maybe they do but they’ve just done that so many times that they want to escape the route of sitting down and doing all the meetings where you’re kissing these investors butts,” Heder said. “It’s kind of a cool way to get out there without the pressure of finding investors, and allowing anyone out there to help out… It’s up to you how much you want to give.”
Heder, from Salem, Oregon, graduated with a BFA in Animation and has starred in movies such as The Benchwarmers, School for Scoundrels, Blades of Glory, and Napoleon Dynamite, and provided voice talents in the animated film Surf’s Up.
“You put these videos up and you just assume that everybody sees it.” Heder continued, “But that’s really not how it works. I mean there are the videos on the front page that everyone sees, but there are tons that don’t make the front page. We have to figure out how to really get it out there.”
Peterson has IMDB credits as a producer, writer, and director. He Graduated from Calarts in the Experimental Animation Program and was an official selection a the Sundance Film Festival for his stop motion film “MuM.” The short film also won a Student Emmy.
“We didn’t really build anything up before we put it on Kickstarter.” Peterson continued, “What happened was, we put it on Kickstarter and then someone blogged about it and it started getting onto a ton of blogs because of Jon’s name. Which is great and the money started coming in fast. But the blogs are only up for a day or two, and once its cycle is over nobody knew about it anymore. It’s a full time job promoting this Kickstarter thing. You can’t just put it out there. You really have to work it. Since blogs are only up there for a day you really have to find lots and lots of blogs.”
The two met through mutual friends in Hollywood and decided to work together after Heder helped Peterson on different animated project.
“The concept for this story actually came from a music video that I wrote. I didn’t get the job but I really wanted to do the story. When I shared it with Jon we both got excited about making it.”
Heder is also working on an animated series based off the movie Napoleon Dynamite. The series will feature voice acting from the majority of the show’s cast, including Jon Gries as Uncle Rico, Aaron Ruell as Kip, Efren Ramirez as Pedro, and Diedrich Bader as Rex.
The series will be coming to Fox early 2012.