I am absolutely giddy with excitement about all of the cool science fiction/space/alien film projects that are on Kickstarter right now. If you think science fiction is all about expensive special effects and explosions, then think again. All of us hardcore sci-fi lovers know that you need to have a good story, and that’s what makes each of the following film projects really stand out:
Set thousands of years in the future, a derelict spacecraft powered by a human brain floats aimlessly in the outer reaches of space. HENRI, the name of the ship’s power system, is an acronym which stands for Hybrid Electronic / Neuron Responsive Intelligence, and was the first of earth’s Neuro-Tech space exploration research vessels. The brain has been wiped of its memory and acts as a biological interface with a computer which can interact with the crew, reason, and problem solve. Trapped in the cold, mechanical prison of the vessel, the ‘brain,’ which has no recollection or concept of self, gradually begins to experience disjointed images of its former life – images it cannot understand.
When I watched the pitch video for HENRI 2.0, I experienced that sense of anticipation you get when you watch an unbelievable preview for a movie and can barely wait for it to be finally released. Naturally, I watched it 3 more times. In a row. I’m not sure what I find more incredible — the amazing miniature sets, the tiny articulated HENRI robot, or the film’s ambitious story that probes the most fundamental questions of what it means to be human. The video is incredibly compelling, drawing you in with gorgeous storyboards, video of the 1/4 scale sets, and an essential, eerie soundtrack.
Vessel is the story of the passengers of Flight 133, a redeye on its way from Boston to San Francisco. Midway through the flight the passengers encounter an otherworldly force and are subsequently thrown into a fight for their lives. The story focuses on Danny (an everyday traveler), Emma (a flight attendant), Chloe (an unattended underage passenger) and Jim and Murray (the two pilots).
One of my favorite movies in the world is Alien, so when Clark Baker launched his project “Vessel,” a suspense/horror/sci-fi film he describes as an homage to “late 70’s early 80’s science fiction films like Alien, Thing, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” I once again became filled with embarrassingly ridiculous levels of excitement. Like Sasich, Baker is using miniatures and practical creature effects. He’s also shooting on 35mm to capture the feel of classic sci-fi movies.
With a stowaway lab mouse as his only companion, S.E.S.O. (Space Exploration and Sciences Organization) Botanist Francis L. Childs must make it back to Earth before his supplies run out or cabin fever gets the better of him.
The pitch video for Good Luck, and Godspeed is just so darn charming that I immediately pledged $10 (reward=a copy of the final DVD + a postcard from the cast/crew!) and then once again contemplated how it was possible to have so many incredible science fiction films on Kickstarter at once. Surely I was dreaming! Watching the video, I was immediately won over by the behind-the-scenes shots showing the crew as they construct their 800 sq. ft space ship. It’s the DIY spirit and passion of these independent filmmakers that never ceases to amaze me.
So there you have it — my favorite science fiction film projects on Kickstarter . This wave of incredible, story-driven science fiction projects flies happily in the face of Hollywood’s big budget model, something I’m thrilled to support. Here’s hoping this trend continues, and that more brilliant filmmakers will continue to bring their science fiction projects to Kickstarter! (Seriously, talk to me.)