A father and daughter search for a turn-of-the century Edison device. It's "Goonies" meets "The Prestige."
DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE
Only our backers will get an exclusive first-look at the finished film in 2013. If you pledge at least $20, you will get a copy of the finished film, and pledges starting at $100 also include an invite-only theatrical screening.
Everyone else will have to wait until 2014, and maybe even longer, to see "The Spirit Machine."
THE 1ST SCENE TEASER
We shot the first scene to give you a taste of what this film has to offer. With your support, we can tell the entire story of "The Spirit Machine."
FILMS SHOULD BE FUN
Films should make you feel something.
Visual Effects are not a replacement for story.
"Never bore people. And if you have something important to say, wrap it in chocolate." - Billy Wilder
The Spirit Machine is a 30-40 minute short film about Randy, a crazed, dorky dude searching for a rumored-to-be-lost "Spirit Machine". Along with his very-cool, teenage, daughter Jane, he enters the world of Edison-steampunk, full of devices and traps designed to keep them away.
THE STORY OF THE SPIRIT MACHINE
In October 1920, Thomas Edison shared with The Scientific American that he was working on a machine that could communicate with the dead. The machine was never found, and some people thought it was a hoax.
We begin the film with at an early 20th Century seance where the machine is being tested. But things don't go as planned and the device proves to have powers beyond anyone's imagination.
Cut to present day.
We introduce Randy, a crazed, dorky dude whose wife died six years ago and his teenage daughter, Jane, who never got over it. Her mom was the woman she looked up to. Dad, on the other hand, is a real dweeb. Their father/daughter relationship has been strained almost to the breaking point, but Randy keeps trying. Despite his best efforts, Jane still sees him as a real dud with bad fashion sense, a stupid job, and he doesn't even pretend to get her. She misses mom.
It's a Hollywood popcorn movie with heart.
Our antique hunting duo think they've found the machine hidden underneath an old property, but getting to it won't be easy. Like the temple in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or the tunnels in “Goonies,” traps have been built to protect to prevent our heroes from reaching the machine. And along the way, Randy and Jane's relationship will be redefined. The film builds up to a climatic finish as Randy and Jane learn the true power of the Spirit Machine.
I know! It's an ambitious amount of money to raise, but this is an ambitious film.
Even with everyone working at reduced rates or for free, we still have a lot of hard costs over a 10-day shoot, including crew, props, locations and equipment rentals. After factoring in Kickstarter fees, credit card processing, and rewards, we are left with a budget of $76,228.
We plan to shoot the film over 10-days in August and begin editing in September. By October we will begin the longest portion of the project: visual effects and finishing. We have a goal of being done by early 2013. By September, we will start submitting the film to festivals. Most people won't see the film until 2014. Your pledge assures that you will be the first to see the film, at least 6-months before everyone else.
WHY WE'RE DOING THIS
Because we love making movies. And if we do a good job, we know we'll get the opportunity to do it again. This is not about getting rich. Or becoming famous. We simply want to tell stories you’re excited about. Stories that, regardless of genre, create a singular experience, surprise us, and make us feel something. Big screen films. The movie-theater experience.
The Spirit Machine will be our calling card to a feature film project, maybe even a feature-length version of the Spirit Machine.
WE’D LOVE TO HAVE YOU BE A PART OF THIS!
Thank you for considering our project. We’d love to have you become part of the Spirit Team. We think this film has massive potential and I hope you’re as excited about it as we are.
Thank you for supporting independent filmmaking. It takes the generosity of a lot of people to make these projects a reality. You're contribution, no matter the size, is a big deal to us.
“The Spirit Machine” is a Hollywood-style film made on an independent level. I’m able to achieve this using my commercial industry contacts to assemble an amazing production and post-production team. Everyone involved is a professional:
- Concept Art by Whiskytree
- Visual Effects by Brickyard (commercial VFX for the NBA, Cheetos, Comcast, etc.)
- Visual Effects/Color by Spy (Avatar, Iron Man, Priest)
- Character Design and Animation by General Gau (Paul, Hellboy II)
- The Spirit Machine Prop by White Room Artifacts, Peter Overstreet and Don Bies (The Fly, Galaxy Quest, Pirates of the Carribean)
- Editing by Stewart Reeves (commercial editor)
- Opening titles by Buck Design (commercial graphics and animation)
- Music by Vincent Pedulla (commercial music composer for Samsung, SyFy, MTV)
- Phillip Briggs/Cinemtographer (commercial, film and music video DoP)
- Exec.Producer/Producer Jake Grand (commercial producer on NBA, Milk and my short film "Man's Best Friend")
- Exec. Producer Tommy Maples (TV, Commercial and Film Producer/Director)
- "1st Scene Teaser" Production Services provided by Evolve Media (commercial, film and music video production)
If we can raise more than $95,000, we have plans to expand the movie. There is a scene that we currently can't afford that we'd love to add back in and a lot of other things we'd like to do if we only had the money. Your dollars will not go wasted. We promise to spend them in a way that will improve your film-experience. It only gets better!
Only our backers will get an exclusive first-look at the finished film in 2013. If you pledged at least $20, you will get a copy of the finished film, and pledges starting at $100 also include an invite-only theatrical screening.
In addition, all of our backers will be notified about film festivals, events, and private screenings of "The Spirit Machine."
Everyone else, well, I'm sorry, but you will have to wait.
We're not sure when we'll be able to release this film publicly, or how. Your best bet will be in 2014 at one of the film festival screenings. Unfortunately, we won't be able to post the film on-line for a long time after it's completion. Our best guess is 2015. It pays to become a backer.