PORTAL POPPERZ: An '80s Style Creature Feature (Canceled)
PORTAL POPPERZ: An '80s Style Creature Feature (Canceled)
Creature Features haven't been the same since the 1980s. PORTAL POPPERZ is going to change that.
Creature Features haven't been the same since the 1980s. PORTAL POPPERZ is going to change that. Read more
About this project
PORTAL POPPERZ is a 1980s-style creature feature in the spirit of films like Gremlins, that expertly balanced their laughs with screams.
An augmented reality game called Portal Popperz has become a cultural phenomenon, and it seems like everyone has their eyes glued to their smartphones trying to catch the digital creatures. But when a motley crew of misfits discover the Popperz are spawning in the real world, it's up to our unlikely heroes to halt their path of destruction.
Directed by special effects artist and toy designer, Jerry Macaluso, Portal Popperz will focus on traditional practical effects, puppets and good old-fashioned rubber monster suits.
As a teenager in the 1980s, the video store was my cathedral. I'd wander up and down the aisles, trying to choose between the amazing painted box art of the VHS slipcases, imagining the experience awaiting me when I brought it home. Today I can appreciate what a great time that was to be a teenager, a golden age for things like cartoons and action figures, but most especially for creature features.
But what is a 'Creature Feature?'
The 'creature' part is obvious, but for me it was the expert blend of comedy that made them distinct from more traditional horror films.
Movies like, Return of the Living Dead. Night of the Creeps. Evil Dead. An American Werewolf in London and Gremlins all had awesomely cool creatures in them, but more importantly, they threaded the needle between legitimately funny and legitimately frightening. And THAT is the kind of movie we want to make!
Check out the above video to see Jerry Macaluso's Fx Reel !
Monsters are my passion.
I have been working in the film industry since I was 17, creating hundreds of creatures and prosthetics on projects like Toxic Avenger 2, Darkman, Wishmaster 2, Power Rangers, Halloweentown and Weird Science.
I am very thankful to have been working during the Golden Age of practical creature effects, before CGI took over. It was a time when creatures were sculpted in clay, molded in plaster and cast in rubber, not rendered on a hard drive, and it made me appreciate how amazing the tangibility of a real puppet on screen can be.
Practical effects is an art form — one that can take years to master — and with the benefit of my 15 years experience building practical effects,, it’s my pledge to do this film the way it would have been made in the ‘80s, using as little CGI as possible.
In fact, I designed, sculpted and painted 'Chomperz', the Popper you see in the video up top. Using Chomperz as a template, Roy Knyrim, Jake Corrick and our amazing team of artists will bring many more poppers to life.
Now, thats not to say we will not use any CGI. We will need digital fx to remove the rods and rigs required to operate the puppets and we may use CGI to make the Popperz eye effects (though we are currently experimenting with ways to do this live on-camera using miniature OLED screens.) But there will be NO digital creatures in this film.
The genesis of Portal Popperz began this past summer, during the Pokemon GO phenomenon.
As I saw these massive crowds catching virtual Rattatas, Zubats and Meowths, I couldn't help but wonder...what if these creatures came to life, and weren't very happy about constantly being captured?
It was an idea that refused to go away. No matter how much work I had to do, it kept fighting it’s way back to the surface, demanding my attention. And that’s when I realized it was the perfect concept for the kind of creature feature I’d been waiting for someone to make. So rather than suppress the thought until it faded away, I surrendered to it.
You see, if there is one thing my experience has taught me, it’s that the best ideas are the ones you can’t seem to shake, and I could not wait to call up some of my film industry friends and say “Let's do this thing! Let's make the '80s-style horror comedy we’ve always wanted to see ourselves!”
And after they said “What the hell, Jerry, it’s 4:30 in the morning!” they all agreed.
Our team comprises experienced producers, writers, designers and creature fx artists, and we knew we could get it started without a lot of money since we would be doing all the initial work ourselves (plus calling in some favors.)
And, sure, between the movie and our regular jobs, we would be working 15+ hour days, 7 days week, but, as the title says: train keeps a' rollin' all night long !
We realized the technical requirements of movie-making wouldn't be the challenge. The real challenge before us is...
...how do we pay for it ?
I understand how ambitious this project might seem for the relatively small amount we are asking for, but we save a lot of money by not paying ourselves, and we already own much of the equipment a production like this would need. Plus no one knows how to stretch a dollar better than an fx artist. (For example, I built the original Alpha 5 from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers with a few hundred bucks)
That said, we also know the difference between creative problem solving and handicapping yourself, and we have estimated that relying on our personal savings alone to finance the film is not going to work. We just don't have enough to achieve the results we feel this film deserves.
So, we are reaching out to the Kickstarter community to help us make this love letter to the Creature Features of the 1980s a reality.
Our $75,000 goal will pay for the additional time, equipment and crew we need for the shoot, as well as the entirety of post-production, from sound to score to editing and VFX.
To paraphrase David Byrne of The Talking Heads, 'You may ask yourself, what if you exceed your goal?', and that's a dang good question.
If we are fortunate enough to exceed our target, we’ve got a list of stretch goals like more elaborate puppets (Anyone want to see a Bat-Popper?) and kill scenes to help make the film even better. The more we can raise, the more insane the project will get.
We hope that you are as excited to see this film as we are to be making it, and sincerely appreciate every dollar.
Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram, Share this project with your friends on social media, and pledge whatever you can.
Okay, okay...here is what you have been waiting for !
Cousin Sean, Steve Forde, Aaron Hubrich, Conceptopolis, Brynn Metheney, Kevin Deal, Bryon Webster, Glenn Takakjian, Sandy Collora, Eric Mayse, Arielle Brachfeld, Roger Nall, Max Shepard, Adam Beesley, Tara Spadaro, Brett Horn, Todd Masters, John Pinkerton, Carolyn Hatcher, Mike Su, Justin McMillan, Hector Arce and the filmmakers that have inspired me since childhood - Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, Chiodo Brothers, James Cummins, Mark Williams, Chris Walas, Rob Bottin, Steve Johnson and Greg Cannom
Risks and challenges
PORTAL POPPERZ is not without ambition, but much of the concern can be alleviated by the fact that we're experienced filmmaker and, well... we are already deep into it. The ship left the dock months ago, and we are so far along we can't see the shore even if we wanted to swim back. The film will be completed, there is simply no other option.
But in terms of fulfilling rewards, my company, PCS Collectibles (popcultureshocktoys.com) , has been making high-end statues and toys based on video game, movie, TV and comic book properties for over a decade now. That existing infrastructure is a tremendous advantage most campaigns don't have the luxury of. Getting Rewards made is as simple as a phone call to our factory, and our printer is an email away, 24/7.
Rest assured that if you put your faith in us, we will not let you down.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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