Hi, I’m Stephen Belyeu, and I’m a writer/director from Austin, Texas. Science fiction is one of my favorite genres. But, as an independent filmmaker, I’ve always considered making a sci-fi film out of reach, financially speaking of course. This genre has always been on the cutting edge of technology and the films have innovated the ways we create special effects, but this also makes the sci-fi genre one of the more costly genres to make. But despite this obstacle, I was determined that my next project would be science fiction. So I began writing THE FATHER 3 years ago, hoping somewhere along the way I’d stumble on a way to make this film possible on a smaller budget. And I believe I’ve found a way.
THE FATHER tells the story of an extraterrestrial father and son who have recently crash-landed on Earth. Stranded, lost, and injured, the Father neglects his already estranged Son and focuses his energy on repairing the ship with the hope of returning home. But his mission is interrupted when he discovers a vital part of the ship’s power supply is in the hands of a young Hispanic boy living on a nearby ranch. The Father is forced to venture away from the safety of his ship and discovers a family on the ranch is coping with issues of their very own. Injured, faced with fading rations, and concerned for the safety of his son, the Father sets in motion a plan that unintentionally puts both families in danger and forces each to confront their own estranged relationships.
At it's core, THE FATHER is a story exploring fractured relationships, tensions, and the unspoken understandings between fathers and sons.
OUR UNIQUE VISION
So now that you know a bit about the story, I want to tell you how we’re making this film in a very unique way. Instead of trying to out-do the best CGI in the industry, we’re taking a step back to apply what modern techniques to an older style of filmmaking. In lieu of CGI, we aim to produce top of the line practical effects, which are real effects you can see and touch. And instead of setting this story in the future, we’ve set it slightly in the past, 1989 to be exact. We’re also throwing out the shiniest new toys in digital filmmaking and going back to one of the most beautiful and trusted mediums in cinema history, film. 16mm. What we hope to end up with is a nostalgic film that merges a complex drama with science fiction elements in a way viewers have never seen before. Using practical effects in a modern way can bring back a bit of the magic in cinema we grew up loving as kids, while keeping it all contained within a mature story people of our generation can connect with and enjoy as adults.
WHAT WE NEED
This Kickstarter's goal is not aiming to raise ALL the funds needed to make this film happen. But we need a start. The funds from this Kickstarter will allow my team and I to create the special effects make-up for the main character in this film, THE FATHER. We will also use the funds to film two scenes illustrating the main character in full make-up, which will be edited together and shown to potential investors for the final project. The funds from this Kickstarter will allow us a chance test the make-up and also show people what our character will actually look like. A film of this scope needs a start, even if it’s a small one, and this Kickstarter can give us just that.
OUR TEAM & SUPPORT
We’ve already got a fantastic team behind this project. Several key players from my first film are on board this project, but we’ve also brought on new talent. Ben Ploughman is our special effects artists and as you can see from the images we’ve shown you, he’s got some serious talent. Actor Tishuan Scott, winner of the 2013 Special Jury Prize for Acting at SXSW will be portraying the Father in this make-up test and potentially the feature film. We’ve already completed the life-casting of Tishuan, as you can see in the photos. We’ve also received some support for this project. Since THE FATHER will be shot entirely on Kodak motion picture film, Kodak has gotten behind this project and helped us with a lot of the stock necessary for this test shoot. On top of that, a local film equipment company is sponsoring the project with a 1 ton truck of gear.
For your support, we’ve lined up a ton of really cool, exciting prizes. Depending on your level of pledge, you can win links to private photos, behind the scenes videos, invites to special screening & Q&A’s, an even an actual bust of The Father handcrafted by our special effects artist Ben Ploughman!
This is a project of great ambition for an independent production. Telling an intimate story of family dynamics within the science fiction genre is no small feat, and special effects are the key ingredient in adequately conveying the story to an audience. And for this project time is of the essence. The story is set in the Texas winter which is a season very short lived in this region. The time allotted for creating the make-up appliances, equipment and crew assemblage, and location scouting are all time sensitive due to the short season turnaround. We really need to make this happen now. We could use your help. So please, click on the green button and pledge today. Whether you’re able to pledge or not, just the act of sharing this link with everyone you can will do so much for our project. Thank you so much. You're support means a lot.
Is this tax deductible? Yes. Every pledge that becomes a donation is tax deductible. You get to deduct the total amount of your donation minus the cost of the perks you receive. Upon funding, we will email you with all the details.
What does my pledge go towards? Toward creating THE FATHER special effects make-up and costume as well as the filming of two scenes involving THE FATHER in full make-up and costume.
What happens if the money isn't raised in time? If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, we DO NOT receive any of the pledges. Your credit or debit card will NOT be charged.
Can we exceed our goal of (NEED GOAL) ? Yes. Exceeding the goal would help us cover more of the costs involved once the test shoot and make-up are completed. The goal set was a lower-end budget we worked up for this test run. If we have more, then we can cover additional costs that might come up and also increase the quality of what we are doing with some extra supplies and materials.
When will I receive my perks? If the project is successfully funded, you will receive an email that tells you when to expect your perks. Some perks will be sent to you earlier than others, depending on the nature of the reward and if they're contingent upon the actual film being greenlit and obtaining a fully funded status as a production (i.e. special thanks credits, producer credits, etc.), so please bear with us. You can track our progress by friending/liking THE FATHER on Facebook and Twitter.
What else can I do to help? Spread the word of our Kickstarter campaign via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Doing this truly helps us in more ways than you can imagine! Every bit of word-of-mouth helps. We only have 15 days to hit our goal!
KICKSTARTER VIDEO MUSIC CREDITS:
What I've Learned by Patrick Patterson
Courtesy of Patrick Patterson
Risks and challenges
Once the Test Shoot for THE FATHER is funded, the challenge will be to work as efficient as possible with our tight schedule to keep the shoot on time and get the footage for the scenes we need for our next goal: pitching the final script with this test scene to investors for the feature budget. The good thing is we have been planning this shoot for half a year and have professionals and great crew on it to complete. The costs of many things have been donated or extremely discounted, so the support is all around the project, starting with this test scene to producing the full feature. An outlier to our cost is Make-Up and SFX materials, but we have secured the support of a couple businesses that will provide great rates to materials in case we need more.
If anything happens that we had not planned, the experienced filmmakers involved have plans of action to help make sure we complete and get the most out of the test shoot. What’s great is that the locations are secluded and will be easy to control the environment while filming and we only have 2 actors to work with, which will allow focused time from the Director and crew to set up the scene. The SFX artist and team behind all of these elements have been working on the design for months, and when filming this shoot, everything will be already set in place for the actors that will be dressed in make-up and wardrobe.
Overall, getting to this point has been very planned and calculated, filming this test scene is just one big move to show visually the great story this is on paper and will be on camera when the feature is fully funded. Thank you for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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