Take one part steampunk, add a dash of spy comedy, mix liberally with puppets and computer animation — and you've got the recipe for 1884: Yesterday's Tomorrow, a film concept by animator and frequent Terry Gilliam collaborator Tim Ollive.
Tim Ollive was an animator and model maker for Monty Python movies The Meaning of Life and Life of Brian, and has done visual effects for numerous other Gilliam projects, including Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, Time Bandits, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Now Gilliam is backing Ollive's own film 1884, a collaboration with production designer Dennis De Groot.
The promotional trailer is a proof-of-concept reel, shot entirely on Ollive's kitchen table, to test out the effects for an eventual feature-length film. The clunky feel of the animation and Thunderbirds-style marionettes is deliberate, trying to evoke the sense that it was filmed using the same steam-powered technology it depicts.