A victorian steampunk fantasy TV series inspired by Native mythology.
A victorian steampunk fantasy TV series inspired by Native mythology.
Our team consist of independent filmmakers. We hope to raise a modest goal to make this project come to life! Right now we are aiming to make the Pilot episode as a "proof of concept" with the hope of shopping the show around and eventually moving onto a full season.
Why Not a Web series?
For us, "Forbidden Two," is an immersive and lavish world, and with the complexity of the story, we don't feel that a web series format would do the show justice. This is why we are aiming to create the pilot.
So, what's the story?
The fictional universe depicted in this series is on the premise that Nunne’hi do exist, unbeknownst to the majority of humans on Earth.
The series follows Claudia L’Martinaire, a Nunne’hi on her first mission to Earth, and how her world is turned upside down when Tristan, an up and coming inventor, walks into her life as she searches for the human she is meant to protect.
The original idea of this story came to me when I was required to take a creative writing class in my undergrad at Full Sail University. On the first day, our teacher said, "You have ten minutes, write whatever you want." So, I popped in my earbuds, selected my film score playlist (Bram Stoker's Dracula and Interview with a Vampire, of course!) and in ten minutes I had a scene in a graveyard in New Orleans. Once the teacher read what I had written he started asking me, what happens next? Well, ten minutes really isn't enough time to create a backstory, ya know? So, like most writers I "shelved" the story and moved on.
In November 2015, I was living in New Orleans working in film. There was an announcement about a grant for $50,000. Requirements were long and time-consuming but for $50,000 it was well worth the work but I had to first write a script! The main requirements were to be original and showcase Louisiana, I instantly thought of the story I had written 6 years ago in creative writing, but it was only one scene. So, the creative juices started to flow and after 2 days I had the first draft! By the due date, I had a pretty solid script and was ready to submit!
Unfortunately, the script didn't win the grant money but something better happened. One of the readers, a producer in Los Angeles, reached out to me asking if I could sit down and talk. "Of course!", I said. During our meeting, they expressed how much they loved the story but thought, if I was willing to do it, that it would be better as a TV series. Personally, I never thought about doing a TV series but the idea was intriguing. So, I went to work on the pilot script and that is where we are today, trying to accomplish making the pilot with Kickstarter.
A Nunne'hi? What the heck is that?
The Nunne'hi are said to be a race of immortal spirit people in Cherokee mythology. In the Cherokee language, Nunne'hi literally means "The People Who Live Anywhere", but it is often translated into English as "The People Who Live Forever", or simply "The Immortals". As a Cherokee, we believe the Nunne'hi to be a type of supernatural human being, completely distinct from ghosts and nature spirits, as well as from gods.
I grew up with these stories and I've always thought, "Why do we not see our native stories in films and television?" Then my imagination started to go wild and I thought, "Why couldn't the Nunne'hi also be in alternative universes?" Other films and tv shows always showcase mythology from European countries, why not showcase American mythology? Better yet, Native American mythology!
Did You say Steampunk? I LOVE Steampunk! Where's the Steampunk?
Ah yes, steampunk one of my favorite style, genre, and worlds to live in! When creating the Forbidden Two world I started looking at my surroundings, which at the time was New Orleans, Louisiana. I was born and raised in Louisiana and absolutely love New Orleans (lived there for several years in the Marigny!), it's my heart and soul and what better city to set a steampunk tv series in than New Orleans!
The architecture of the city just screamed steampunk to me and I've always been a huge fan for the victorian steampunk style. Steampunk also lends itself to fantasy, which brought me back to the Nunne'hi. What if they were also in that world too? Victorian Steampunk with a Native influence? Well, that's never been done!
I'm with you, but you can't make a TV pilot yourself?
You are absolutely right! To get this project to where it is right now required hours and days of unpaid work by some of the most amazingly talented people in the industry! As the creator and director there is absolutely no way I can do this alone so let me introduce you to my crew.
As much as I would like to call myself a "screenwriter" there would be no way I could get such an amazing script if it wasn't for my co-writer Jonathan James. Jonathan and I met when we both attended AFI for our masters. He was the first screenwriter I had worked with there and since then I've called him "my guru of screenwriting". He's my go-to-guy for an honest opinion when it comes to story!
Jonathan James has been living in Los Angeles for close to 5 years now. Originally from Chicago, Jonathan moved to L.A. after receiving his BA in Film/Production at Columbia College Chicago, and later his M.F.A at the American Film Institute. He has been creating stories since he can remember. As a writer, he loves telling deep, emotional character stories set in far off and fantastical worlds. Recently he placed as a semi-finalist for the 2015 Slamdance Horror competition and looks forward to further deepen the world of "Forbidden Two."
I went to AFI for producing and I know how extremely important this job is, it's much more than just finding money if done right! When entering the grant contest in Louisiana, I was required to find a producer to work with me and support this project. Better yet I found TWO amazing producers!
Casey Moore has worked in Film & TV in Louisiana for nearly eleven years, most recently the WGN TV series UNDERGROUND and the indie film CAMERA STORE. He was born and raised in New Orleans. He currently resides there with his wife and son and Boston Terrier.
Originally from the east coast, Jon-Claude Harris is a camera operator living in New Orleans. He worked in news production for ABC and NBC affiliates, videography, and indie films. After living in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching film production he moved to New Orleans. Most recently he was Gaffer and Camera Operator on the feature FIRST MAN ON MARS, which is showing at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in May.
Finding an amazing cinematographer for a project that doesn't have funding yet, is like searching for a needle in a haystack. But I have been lucky enough to have worked with one of the best up-and-coming cinematographers in the industry from my days at AFI. Terrence and I worked on our last cycle film at AFI together and the knowledge and experience he has to get the story across by sculpting light is truly astounding!
Terrence Laron Burke, is an award-winning cinematographer. He creates beautiful naturalistic images that tell a story. Terrence, is an MFA graduate from the prestigious AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE in Los Angeles, CA. His experience at AFI, has made him a standout cinematographer, camera operator, and collaborator. Before becoming a cinematographer, Terrence, spent many years in NYC as a Local 52 union grip, and Local 600 camera operator. He currently shoots short films, music videos, and feature films. Terrence's experience, lighting expertise, creativity, and collaborative attitude, make him a valuable asset on any set.
I met Nate about three years ago for another project we were going to work together on but unfortunately, it just didn't happen. I'm beyond excited to have him on my team for this project! He's talent, expertise and passion to create a highly visual worlds is superior.
Setting the stage to create movies that inspire and make the viewer think deeper into the characters on the screen, Nate Jones has taken the forefront of design by producing spaces that flow with the imagination of the sets, the actors and the story. He concentrates his work on films to design environments that elevate the movie’s and moviegoer’s experience. Nate has had several projects in the film festival circuit – including HELL BABY at the most recent Sundance and WHITE RABBIT at Berlin. He has worked in several countries and finds the impact of taking new challenges as a positive and necessary movement. Nate’s sharp eye and ability to create worlds that bring the viewer closer in to the moment, is what drives him to continue his journey in the world of Production Design.
Now, a bit about me! Before going back to school for my degree I was the owner and artistic director of a dance studio. After a few years, I decided to adventure out and go back to school receiving my BS in film production from FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY. During my time there, I directed a short documentary called I AM SEMINOLE that toured worldwide at festivals including being accepted into the Cannes Film Festival and winning Best Short Documentary at the Palm Bay Film Festival. After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles where I am now an alumni of the producing fellowship at the AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE where I produced several short films. Since then I formed Black Castle Productions and have been creating and producing projects ever since.
For even more information follow me on Twitter @BellaminaL & @BlackCastleProd or Instagram at BellaminaL
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for a TV series is not just funding it but also distribution – "Forbidden Two" does not have a distributor attached yet. The producers and I are truly doing this all ourselves. Lack of distribution can also be a blessing. We want to make this series without the constraints from a distributor or financier demanding we adapt it to fit their needs, especially when it comes to casting. Also remember "Wish I Were Here" didn't have a distributor either along with most projects not supported by a studio.
The great thing about doing this series is that there are multiple avenues we can take instead of feature film or shorts. Don't forget there is Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon!
Our goal is to debut the pilot at as many festivals as possible. If you fund the project, we intend to start pre-production right away, shoot this August/September, and finish the pilot in time to submit it to festivals. There's a very accomplished team behind the scenes which makes this goal completely attainable.
Your goodies like t-shirts and posters for helping us make this possible will be fulfilled well before March of 2017, which is when we hope to release the pilot and have all of our premieres and screenings. For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you in the loop on our schedule.
THE FINE PRINT
• For those of you visiting our set, we anticipate shooting in August/September in New Orleans. Keep in mind it is hot and humid in Southern Louisiana!
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork.
• My final cut of the film may have to be further edited in certain cases to adhere to the laws in the country which it is being viewed, or for different types of media.
• All shooting locations are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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