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Science fiction short Auroras host some stunning visuals and features a very unique storyline

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We recently received an email from director Niles Heckman about an amazing short he’s trying to finish through Kickstarter. It’s an ambitious project and a labor of love for him, hence the reason he’s using all his free time and money and home, to see this project to fruition. Seems to be a lot of really talented VFX artists of late are tired of waiting for a job to come along that would allow them to flex their visual prowess. Auroras, just happens to be, such a project, but as I mentioned in the title of this post, Auroras storyline touches on themes that are unlikely to be received by mainstream Hollywood at present, but we hope that’ll change soon.

Synopsis:

In a metropolis at the north pole on planet Earth, a female cyborg (“The Occupant”) is called on a mandatory long term mission to travel along a space elevator through the Aurora Borealis to serve aboard Space Gate Auroras. Forced to leave her pregnant partner, another female cyborg (“The Loved One”), they say goodbye for an extended period. Two women, human or not, in love, are forced to separate and say goodbye for an extended period of time as one departs on a life changing journey to a place that redefines imagination.

After watching the Kickstarter video, I have to say, I was very impressed. I’m up for any science fiction that breaks new ground and touches on ideas facing the current world we live in. I would also like to mention his visual style, inspired by Japanese animator  Makoto Shinkai (The Garden of Words), can really be seen in many of the shots from the film. As always, we urge you to reach into your pockets to help this film make it’s goal. Whether it becomes hugely successful or goes straight to DVD (still a success on all accounts) and if your a science fiction fan and love to see forward thinking narratives, you owe it to yourself to give Auroras shot.

AURORAS KICKSTARTER

AURORAS HOMEPAGE

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Trailer for Kung Fury is easily one of the best things you’ll see all day

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I’m a child of the eighties. I’m the type that searches feverishly on the web for reminisces of my childhood, so when someone manages to take all those whistles and bells and presents them back to back, I am a devoted follower. Director David Sandberg created a kickstarter for this project several months ago and the project is gaining steam. This crazy blend of 80′s nostalgia and Atari-like imagery, makes you feel like you’re playing NARC. This homage to Miami Vice, Escape from New York, and all the muscle films of the eighties, is just what the doctor ordered for those in real need of a quick fix. Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Total Recall) would be very proud of this one. This project is funded right now, but the added help is always welcomed. Things can and will, always go over budget. Give to this amazing project, plus whatever extra they make will most certainly go into fundng a sequel! Yippeee!

Press release:

KUNG FURY is an over-the-top action comedy written and directed by David Sandberg. The movie features: arcade-robots, dinosaurs, nazis, vikings, norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, all wrapped up in an 80s style action packed adventure. During an unfortunate series of events a friend of Kung Fury is assasinated by the most dangerous kung fu master criminal of all time; Adolf Hitler, a.k.a Kung Führer. Kung Fury decides to travel back in time, to Nazi Germany, in order to kill Hitler and end the Nazi empire once and for all. Kung Fury is a visually spectacular action comedy that has it’s foundation in 80s cop movies.

Kung Fury Kickstarter

Kung Fury Facebook

 

Makers Series: Writer/Director Adam Nicholas Talks about New Project, DANIELS

DANIELS a new film by Adam Nicholas & Thomas Rees

As a horror fan, nothing excites me more than independent projects.  I think platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed & Spark enable makers of horror related content to truly explore the genre.  It’s a game changer.

Sitting down with us is Adam Nicholas, the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming project, Daniels.  Join us as we talk about making independent horror films, the art of storytelling, and why – as a creator – you should never, ever give up.

interview_CTaylorThanks so much for taking the time to talk to us about your current project, Daniels.  I’m a big horror fan and it’s always exciting to hear about everything that’s going on, behind the scenes, in order to bring the scares to life.  Daniels sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Could you give us a quick rundown of the project?

Writer / Director Adam Nicholas

interview_ANicholasThe film in a nutshell is basically a game changing horror. It starts of as a coming-of-age teen comedy in the vein of stuff like “American Graffiti”, “Stand By Me”, films by Shane Meadows, that kind of stuff. Just about three very average teenagers all named Daniel, living in an average small South Wales, valleys town. Then one night something happens completely out of the blue which changes the films direction into an extreme horror film. I’ll leave it at that as it will be a very cool surprise and something viewers won’t see coming.

interview_CTaylorOne of the things that stands out about the project, at least from the outset, is that it’s an independently- and crowd- funded horror film being made in the UK.

Can you tell us about the process (headaches, triumphs) of trying to get Daniels made?

interview_ANicholasBeing our first film makes it hard, here in Wales the film industry is a bit awkward as in they only seem interested in funding projects by directors who have a track record, which is completely understandable in one way but makes it so much harder for first timers, literally they won’t even listen to your pitch if you haven’t made a feature film before.

This is why Kickstarter and all over crowd-funding platforms are so great because it’s purely your future audience seeing you in your rawest form, seeing they like the project and then chucking you a couple of quid. I think indie film right now has a lot to thank crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo for.

 DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorTell us about the inspiration behind the project?  Where did the idea come from?

interview_ANicholasMe and my co-writer Thomas Rees had just finished shooting a web-series (which is currently being edited and will be released early next year) and after filming that which all together was 80 minutes worth of material we thought “Hey we just filmed 80 minutes worth of stuff, that’s the same length of a feature film” and we thought we’d write a screenplay.

We wanted to do a horror as it’s such a great genre for a first film and has worked greatly for directors such as Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson etc. also we’re both HUGE horror fans. So got on to writing something we could do on a small budget and be as compelling and as intense as possible.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorWhy is Daniels a story that you *have* to tell?

interview_ANicholas It’s not so much a story we have to tell but more of a story we want to tell. I think a lot of films these days become bogged down in having to have a direct message or be a life-changing or thought-changing dogma. We just want to make a film that will entertain people as much as possible for 80-90 minutes, that will make people just get zoned in and getting the most out of the story and intense thrill-ride we have up our sleeves and then hopefully watch it again and again and have conversations with their fellow film fans and friends about it.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorWhat’s your favorite horror film / book / graphic novel? 

interview_ANicholasToo many to name, but to have a stab at it… One of my favourite horror films is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or Takashi Miike’s “Audition” or “Martin” by George A. Romero, seriously there are too many horror films to name I have to stop myself here! One of my favourite books ever is “Salem’s Lot” either that or “Flow My Tears The Policeman Said” and as for comics I like anything written by John Wagner, Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, Jamie Delano, Pete Bagge, Shannon Wheeler, Robert Kirkman, Michael Pearlstein again this list is huge.

interview_CTaylorPractical special effects or CGI – which do you prefer? 

interview_ANicholasPractical are my favourite. However I also am fond of CGI effects, in “Daniels” we are using practical effects however to a lot of filmmakers these days CGI is the only option on such a small budget when they’re ideas are quite high concept so in a lot of cases if it weren’t for CGI a lot of the great low budget fantasy or zombie genre films wouldn’t be possible. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without the incredibly un-PC Kickstarter funded zombie epic “Osombie”.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorWhat medium are you guys using to shoot the film?  Traditional stock, digital?

interview_ANicholas We are shooting on a Red Epic which of course is digital but very high end digital. I love the look you get shooting on 16mm or 35mm but again, it’s too expensive and digital is what filmmakers like us on “Daniels” rely on to make our projects on low budgets, digital filmmaking is groundbreaking for today’s underground film scene.

interview_CTaylorWhat’s been the best part of working on your project so far?

interview_ANicholasEarlier this year we shot two test scenes from the film so we could cut together a trailer and such. That was the best part of the project for me so far, seeing all the cast bring the characters to life and working with the crew. It was brilliant.

interview_CTaylorAnd the worst? 

interview_ANicholas What we’re going through now, which is the waiting. The big chunk of time before we shoot the film.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorWhat do you want people to take away from Daniels?

interview_ANicholasJust a fun experience which they’ll tell their friends about really. The way we’ve written it is to be very relatable for anyone who grew up in a very boring, uneventful small town, so to have people watch it and think “I remember doing something similar” would be brilliant.

interview_CTaylorWhat inspires you to scare the shit out of your audience?

interview_ANicholasBecause having the shit scared out of you is fun. As is scaring the shit out of people with your film. I just think about how happy, director Hideo Nakata was at the time when people were watching “The Ring” I bet he used to go to every screening of it close to him but with a chair facing out toward the audience making a loud Jimmy Carr sounding laugh in an odd, proud ecstasy.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylor We all run up against creative blocks.  Can you tell us about how you handle any creative roadblocks you’ve run into while working on this (or past) projects?

interview_ANicholas Yeah it does happen. I remember when we were writing “Daniels” the first two acts were a breeze really, flowed very well but the ending was near impossible. It’s annoying at the time but so satisfying and a real “HIGH 5 MOTHERFUCKER!” moment when it’s resolved. To anyone reading this, DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR NOVEL, COMIC BOOK, FILM SCRIPT OR WHATEVER YOU ARE WORKING ON BECAUSE OF WRITER’S BLOCK. YOU WILL THINK OF SOMETHING!

interview_CTaylorTell us about your favorite horror film moment?

interview_ANicholasSPOILER ALERT HERE: One of my favourite ”Jesus Christ” moment’s in a horror film was the end scene to Wes Craven’s DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films“The Hills Have Eyes” where Martin Speer’s character is killing the final savage and in this shot that goes on for too long as he’s pounding his head in with a blunt object you see this guy just losing it, this character with a liberal, anti-violence outlook on life reduced to the most primal state ever and just enjoying venting his anger in the most brutal way ever. Then it goes still and this deep red colour just bleeds over the image and the film ends. You just don’t get endings that amazing anymore. Loved that moment, Wes Craven is just amazing. A true genius.

The remake directed by Alexandra Aja is also good! And stars one of my favourite actors ever, Ted Levine. Just a little side note there…

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorIs it harder to get started or keep going?

interview_ANicholas It’s different for everyone I guess. I (and I’m sure a lot of people into writing or anything creative can relate to this) go through a stage of thinking, I need to write a script, then you go through like fifteen ideas which never materialize past three pages of a bogus written script opening, then finally out-of-nowhere you’ll have an idea that just spikes you a little more than the others and then that goes past page three and ends up becoming finished and you fall in love with the idea and your script and you want to tell the story and that love and determination to get your project made I think just drives you and then it’s easier to keep going I find.

interview_CTaylor The act of creating a film is ultimately collaborative.  Can you tell us about how you discovered members for your team?  What makes for a good collaborative environment?

 interview_ANicholas Just from working on other films projects in and around Cardiff city being made by fellow filmmaking friends. A lot of networking events, I’d recommend to any filmmakers reading this to attend any sort of networking event possible or close to them, through doing that we met the producers for the film “Daniels”! So it really helps.

As for making a good collaborative environment I think the main is just, don’t be a dick. Treat everyone fairly whether their a runner or the DP, be cool to everyone and be a friend, the second you get a power trip because you’re the director is the second everyone is all like “What a fucking dick” when they’re having lunch together. It’s not worth it.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films

interview_CTaylorTell us about the moment you realized you wanted to make films. 

interview_ANicholasI remember when I was really young and seeing “The Terminator”, I was around four years old and being blown away and TERRIFIED of it (I was only four) – I think then at that moment I fell in love with films but I think it was when I was around seven when I learnt the word director (I had no idea what a director did back then just that they made the film) that I started telling people that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up. It was from watching films like “Army of Darkness”, “Jason and the Argonauts”, The Dollars Trilogy, “Drop Dead Fred”, BBC show “Bottom”, John Carpenters “The Thing” “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, “Return of the Living Dead part 2”, the kids show “The Demon Headmaster”, “Star Trek”, “The Toxic Avenger” and much much more, films I weren’t supposed to see but did anyway mainly thanks to having a TV in my bedroom with Channel 4 that got me wanting to make films one day, now all these years later here I am still trying to do it.

interview_CTaylorWhat makes a horror film a great horror film?

interview_ANicholas I love a lot of horror films. Seriously from the trashiest piece of trash ever, something like David Decoteau’s DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Films“Creepozoids” to the really artful, incredibly skillful, beautiful horror films like Dario Argento’s “Suspiria”.

I think what makes a great horror film is what makes any great film really and that’s just an engaging story and originality. “Creepozoids” for example, although there may be many rooms for improvement is about some people who are overdosing on 80s thrifts and hair-do’s being chased down by a radio-active mutant baby who eats people’s faces off. That to me is a lot more fun and original than say “Paranormal Activity 28” or any generic found-footage “Argh no, there’s a ghost in my house that makes loud ‘causing-the-audience-to-jump’ noises”.

But to make a great horror film is something with a great story and at the end of the day something that doesn’t give a shit i.e no characters are safe, stereotypes are thrown out of the window and something that is a huge thrill-ride. A great example of this, one of the more recent GREAT horror films is “Red State” directed by Kevin Smith.

DANIELS production still provided courtesy ARC Filmsinterview_CTaylorWhat is the one thing about Daniels that will set it apart from other indie horror films?

interview_ANicholasWell I don’t want to give too much away, but I think the genre switch will take a lot of people by surprise and also the fact that it mixes comedy with the horror.

By this I don’t mean it’s an a-typical comedy/horror, I love that genre, but I mean it doesn’t have scenes where there’s a funny bit of violence and there are laughs throughout. No. It’s a coming-of-age teen comedy one minute and then BAM it becomes the most unforgiving horror intense film possible. I haven’t seen many examples of this in horror films. There are always seeds of what’s to come planted throughout the film whereas in this, it’s purely a slice-of-life film where the life it’s chronicling is randomly plunged into chaos.

interview_CTaylorThanks so much for taking the time to chat with us about your project Daniels!  We look forward to seeing it!

interview_ANicholasThanks so much too and thanks very much for featuring us and this project on your blog. We love you C. Taylor.

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Teaser Trailer:

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Check out the official site for Daniels

Daniels on Facebook

Daniels on Twitter

kickstarter_logo this project! Now until Saturday, October 12th you can help make Daniels a reality.

Trailer for documentary 12 O’ Clock Boys is a stunning look at a new breed of bedlam

'12 O'clock Boys'

Continuing in that tradition of groundbreaking cinema the production company Oscilloscope Labs, started by The Beastie Boys MCA (R.I.P), brings us another riveting documentary about youthful rebellion on a whole new level. Directed by Lofty Nathan, The 12 O’Clock Boys follows the lives of a notorious motocross gang that has developed a new way of spreading hi jinx across Baltimore’s inner cities. Is it breaking the law and how far will some of the impressionable youth go to become one of the boys?

This film premiered at SXSW Film Festival this year and also took the Hot Docs HBO Emerging Artist Award this summer. This is one of those Kickstarter successes that I think everyone should see…it looks amazing.

Via. Firstshowing.net

The 12 O’Clock Boys are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore. Converging in groups and invading the streets, they dangerously–yet magnificently–make their presence known as they pop wheelies and weave in and out of traffic at excessive speeds, all the while taunting the police who must obey a self-imposed “no chase” rule for fear of endangering the public. Nathan frames the years-in-the-making narrative through the eyes of the adolescent Pug – a kid from the Westside eager to join the 12 O’Clock Boys’ ranks. Pug reveres the Boys’ every move, and Nathan follows this young man through some of the most pivotal years of his life, providing a compelling and intimate personal story within the broader depiction of the wild, dynamic world of the 12 O’Clock Boys. Oscilloscope Labs will release Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’Clock Boys starting in early 2014.

 

Trailer for an amazing science fiction-fantasy film “DUST” arrives

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Quick shout out to Mercia Goia for posting this on Facebook. I don’t know when this all started, but I hope it never stops. A couple of weeks ago you heard me go on and on about my friends Kickstarter project The Ningyo, which is about 15k away from their goal by the way. This got me thinking about the role of the VFX artists in the new millennium and how many of them like The Ningyo’s Miguel Ortega, are beginning to take back the creative control that has been taken from them for so long. It’s a trend that is growing in numbers, especially after the Life of PI debacle, along with a slew of others.

I’m not certain as to whether the creator’s of DUST share the same sentiment, but one has to believe that when a VFX artist decides to take the helm, he or she must empathize with the plight of other VFX artists around the world, but especially those in the U.S.

 DUST is one, of what I hope will be many, midblowing Kickstarter films that made it’s goal, thus allowing them to complete all the visual effects for this piece. Director and Chief Creative Officer at Ember Lab Mike Grier  has created a movie that not only delivers  on emotion, but also cinematography. Before embarking on this amazing journey he spent a lot of time in and around the countrysides of Japan.

Seeing how the landscape of Japan has changed over the years helped inspire some of the themes in DUST. Having seen the trailer, there’s no doubt about the man’s eye. Some of the locations in this film are some of the most amazing images I’ve ever seen.This film reminds me in a strange way of Beast of the Southern Wild in that it blends science fiction with fantasy by utilizing the existing backdrop and the end result if breathtaking.

The money Ember Lab made from commercial gigs helped fund a lot of the set construction, but everyone who worked on the film, did so without compensation. La Vie Boheme! It’s a labor of love and the end result is something to behold. Shot on the RED Mysterium X, it’s a visual masterpiece and rivals anything I’ve seen a major studio release. This is why I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon. Who knows better than a seasoned VFX artists about what a shot needs and how it should be lit? Not taking anything away from cinematographers, but let’s be honest…when 89% of all the cinematography in recent films is being done in post production, who’s the real DP?

I for one hope these talented guys form something bigger than what Hollywood has done and become prosperous at it. It’s time to take it back.

To find out more about DUST please checkout their WEBSITE

DUST on Kickstarter

The World

Throughout history the role of Trackers was to study the shifts in the environment and teach people to live in harmony with the natural world as it changed. Regarded as spiritual guides, Trackers cultivated and protected the balance that existed between the land and its people. But slowly, people’s views began to shift—and the balance was lost. Emboldened by the advance of technology, humanity came to view nature as an element to be controlled and conquered. The rise of walled cities led many to flee the harsh environment of the countryside in search of an easier life. Now, Tracker cultures have all but died out. While Trackers are still needed for trade and travel outside of city walls, they are tolerated as outcasts. City-dwellers have come to view them as a necessary evil.

The Story

A deadly new plague linked to a mysterious dust is devastating the countryside around Kabé—the world’s oldest city.Irezúmi is a disgraced Tracker living in the abandoned outskirts of Kabé. Hired by a Merchant of the city’s underground medicine trade, he has yet to find a cure to the mysterious Dust that has begun falling on the city. Little is known about the Dust or the unusual sickness it causes but as it continues to consume the countryside, Kabé is preparing to shut its gates—denying refuge to anyone outside the walls.


MITNGTV Episode 4

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This week on MITNGTV we’ve got some new clever graphics for ya, showcasing two new spots on our program…The Kickstarters (where we focus on a Kickstarter we are excited about) and Underground Mondays (where we showcase some up and comers to the music scene). Course we will be highlighting all the stuff we’ve been talking about all week Mezo and Dj Micro Connected Remix, IDW’s Locke and Key coming to the big screen, Tom Morello’s work on the Pacific Rim soundtrack, the art of Nicola Verlato and much much more. Be sure to watch and subscribe to our channel or face the wrath!!

MITNGTV on Youtube

 

VFX artists Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma, Kickstart a visually stunning cryptozoology adventure The Ningyo

c81d2b4fe81413d6d88044bf62053483_largeGot an email from Miguel Ortega, this amazing VFX artist we did a story on awhile back. In it he told us about a new project he’s working on, that he’s trying to get some crowd funding to complete. My immediate response to the letter was “YES!” and “How can I help?” All this and I hadn’t even looked at the Kickstarter video yet. Why my undying devotion? Cause Miguel is a true autuer/bohemian, doing whatever it takes to transform what’s in his head into something real.

His first project The Green Ruby Pumpkin, was done for $7,000 dollars and he shot the whole thing in his house and he’s doing the same with The Ningyo. I urge anyone reading this article to click this jump and watch that film and you’ll see right away why I am about to get down on the campaign trail for his new project The Ningyo

What Miguel and his VFX partner Tran Ma, has planned is quite ambitious, but if funded, it will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Miguel is a skilled artist with an amazing understanding of light, textures and anatomy, qualities that come in very handy when you consider the scope of this fantastical tale of the “neverwas”. All the pieces are in place for this project, amazing actors, concepts, sets, passion and know-how, all he needs now is for you to watch the Kickstarter video and let it conjure up feelings you haven’t felt since you were a child, well that and whatever you can spare to complete it.

Folks this isn’t like some Kickstarters where huge actors use their celebrity to fund projects they’re too cheap to do themselves. This man is shooting this in his home! If that doesn’t say commitment, I don’t know what does.

THE NINGYO KICKSTARTER

MIGUEL ORTEGA HOMEPAGE

The Ningyo KickStarter from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

Trailer for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s THE DANCE OF REALITY is amazing

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Alejandro Jodorowsky is kinda like Terry Gilliam, but with more psychedelic’s and more spiritualism. His film’s always inspire me. and are like taking something that effects the synapse of the mind. He evokes moods with his use of metaphors and colors and his outlook on politics and religion have always been cleverly disguised, but sometimes blatantly obvious, in a kaleidoscope of smoke and mirrors and it is because of this,  I imagine, that producers in Hollywood will not take a chance on him. Hell, John Lennon had to front his own money to get Alejandro’s psycho-western El Topo played in NYC, back in the seventies, but that should tell you something about the man’s gift for film making. The Dance of Reality is written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, but produced by donations from his fans. I don’t think he even did the Kickstarter thing, he just posted a video and the necessary people got wind and that was it. Hear that Zach Braff? When your talented, they will remember. The Dance of Reality (La Danza de la Realidad) has the same feel as his 80′s film Sante Sangre, but it’s no less intriguing. His use of colors and symbols are a welcome site in this world of mediocrity. Being that we are now just seeing the trailer, I’m guessing that it might’ve premiered before the recent Cannes submission Jodorowsky’s Dune (A documentary that talks about Jordorowsky’s most ambitious endeavor, that never was). Hopefully you’ll see this trailer and want to know more about this brilliant film maker.

jodoDANZAJDJDJDJDD

The Dance of Reality is an independent film written and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, and based on his autobiography of the same name. The film blends Jodorowsky’s personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, reflecting the director’s view that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our imaginations: “The story of my life is a constant effort to expand the imagination and its limitations, to capture its therapeutic and transformative potential… An active imagination is the key to such a wide vision: it looks at life from angles that are not our own, imagining other levels of consciousness superior to our own.” The film has been described as “surrealistic”.

 

Cool trailer for SXSW, history of video documentary, “Rewind This” arrives

MITNG reviews Dark Horse’s The Goon: Them That Raised Us Lament

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