This is a documentary about the ubiquity and cultural influence of the Legend of Zelda game franchise and its continuing inspiration.
It's Dangerous to Go Alone...The Movie is a documentary about the ubiquity and cultural influence of the Legend of Zelda franchise. We have begun production on this film, and after putting much of our own time and money into it, realize we can not do it proper justice without help from the Zelda community! Based on what we've already invested into this project, we've estimated travel, legal, and production costs for the experience we'd like to create for you. Filming this project will take us on travels all around the country as we sit down for intimate interviews with current creatives of all types who were first inspired by the Zelda series.
Please help us make this project a reality.
Here is an early 90 second teaser trailer of the film.
As a thank you to those who have donated, and a call for help to those who have not donated yet, here is an exclusive look at a two minute segment from the film of the Symphony of the Goddesses, its performing musicians, and its creators, examining the ascension of Zelda's music from nostalgic, 8bit chiptunes to this 4 movement, symphonic experience.
WHAT IS THIS PROJECT?
From the time most of us first touched the 8 bit cartridge, our lives were changed. As children, the fantasy game contained in that golden plastic NES cartridge was our initiation into our own imaginations.
Many of us have gone on to become creatives...writers, filmmakers, game designers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, animators...and we owe our first creative compulsions to our adventure contained in that golden cartridge.
The game franchise continues this day to inspire and compel new generations. With a huge library of licensed games and an unending well of quality, unlicensed media, our film will be its own narrative adventure story through which it will explore the games' far reaching influence. It will examine the pervasive fascination for 8-bit gaming beyond nostalgia, and how it has evolved from its tiny blocks of color to a form of fine art. It will explore the roots of the innate, international appeal of this game series that bridges across cultural divides. And for those of you who have invested thousands of hours in the world of Hyrule, it will validate your passion.
Not only that, but it will be a playable documentary. For those that are interested in a non-traditional way to watch a documentary, an interactive version of the documentary will be available. It will be its own adventure game that will serve as a metaphor for the film, and through the unique virtual adventure, you will be able to find pieces of the film, bonus material, and behind the scenes footage.
Here is a proof of concept image of the documentary/game being played on an iPad (also represented in the video for this project). While the art style is still being discussed and assets still being created, this offers a general idea of tone and concept.
We feel that this idea will make for a unique, interactive, experience with much replay value that will be appropriate for a documentary about the influence of the Legend of Zelda.
Thank you so much for your interest and your support.
WHAT ARE OTHERS SAYING?
The film has gotten some great press and support from the Zelda community. Check out these links for awesome support from around the web!
Early Production Stills
Here are a few images from early production. We hope you enjoy them! We have a lot more cool stories to tell...this barely scratches the surface. Some of these may end up on the cutting room floor, but there's plenty of room for bonus material! This gives you a very small taste of what we've done so far, and a very general gauge of where we may be going. We want to leave some surprises for you!
Having an in depth look at, and a one on one talk with the creators of, the Symphony of the Goddesses.
Looking at fandom in general, featuring some great Zelda-inspired cosplay.
Artist Chris Veal, creating his nostalgic art.
Joel, creator of the feature length Hero of Time film and starring actress Hannah, who portrayed Zelda in it, discuss the project's creation, its unexpected attention, its criticism, and their opinions on the prospects of a Hollywood feature length Zelda film.
Rom hacks don't even scratch the surface. We sit down with Zack, creator of Zelda Outlands; is a compelling new chapter of the 8 bit original that plays on a NES playable cartridge.
Retro gaming is alive and well at independent game stories across the country. In fact, according to employees (and huge Zelda fans) at places like Gamer's Edge, NES era games sell almost as well as current gen games.
In case it is not obvious by this point...this documentary will not be a string of youtube videos with voice over. It will follow its own adventure (as a true film about zelda should!), through which it will weave together several personal accounts of established creatives and artists inspired by the series.
The website for this project is its own 8-bit adventure in a parodic style of those games we all loved. The navigation for the website IS the game itself. Many people have played and enjoyed the project, however in order to update and improve, we have taken it down for the duration of the Kickstarter Campaign. It should be live again the first week of June.
The Teaser Trailer Music
The teaser trailer music was composed specifically for this trailer. Its outline is based on the common chord progression that opens the original game's main theme, and its melodies and musical motifs are playfully derivative or reminiscent of those found in the rest of the game, reworked into a nostalgic musical homage. Here it is without the voice over or interview clips from the trailer. Enjoy!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If we do reach our goal, we will be traveling far and wide. It is possible that this could take longer than anticipated, however we have built in a little extra time for ourselves with our idea of a December release. If this proves to be impossible, we will be releasing content to hold our supporters over until the film is successfully finished!
The film is being shot in HD. We wanted to make the DVD reward available here because pretty much everyone has access to a DVD player, but some still haven't gotten a blu-ray player. Since a blu-ray will play both, we've listed DVD as a deliverable here. In all likelihood, this reward tier will offer the choice between disc deliverables...EITHER a dvd OR blu-ray. The idea is that this will be a physical copy of the film.
** we have added a digital tier. The form of this may change because we are in the works for some cool stuff! But either way, this reward tier will absolutely get you a digital copy of the film.
This is a very important question that I feel neglectful for not addressing. I had hoped the scope of the trailer would sort of imply some things, but I consider it very important for those who are considering backing this project to understand how the money will be used! I will be very transparent about it.
The budget is almost 100% a projected travel budget. This film will not be a fan service collection of YouTube clips, but instead face to face, one on one interviews with and profiles of relevant people, such as the guys at Rainfall, who did that awesome IGN April Fools Zelda trailer a few years back, the programmers who started Zelda Classic which has been allowing fans to make their own Zelda games for 15 years now, the creators of Symphony of the Goddesses who worked directly with Koji Kondo to produce a four movement symphony based on the themes of the Legend of Zelda…etc. It is intended to be a very personal project capturing some unique perspectives from people whose entire art or livelihoods have resulted from the game franchise. It is not a talking head info dump spouting generalities about things that anyone can find online, but instead a deeper look into these things, their impetus, and a commentary on the franchise's influence through what I hope is an entertaining narrative that will weave it all together.
That being said – travel costs alone for just me and a DSLR are considerable enough (a single flight from where I am to LA, for example, is well over a thousand dollars. That's just the flight. And that's just one city. LA is just one of the MANY cities that this adventure will take me to). Not to mention, I either have to bring crew with me (again, to LA for example, add 1k per person per flight, plus hotel/food...and that's IF they'll work for just the experience/credit/love of the project) or hire a small crew at all of these various locations. In most cases, I need to rent equipment while out of town as well - transporting a single DSLR is pretty simple, but it’s difficult to board multiple cameras, lenses, laptops, hard drives, lighting kit, and sound gear.
Then there is the inherent cost of fulfillment of kickstarter rewards (and general distribution considerations…DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, etc), the fact that I will be attempting a limited theatrical release of the project if the budget allows and there is an interest from fans and venues for it, cost associated with promotion for the project…you get the idea. The money, as ambitious as it seems on the surface, dissipates quickly. Anyone who has ever worked on a film will attest to it. Chances are even if I reach that goal, I’ll be spending my own money on the project as well to see it finished. Everything shot so far (as evidenced by the trailer) came out of my own pocket, so I am well invested into the project myself. Continuing forward, however, I realized I just can't do it justice on what little budget I can pull together with my owns means, thus the Kickstarter.
I hope that answers questions for those who are curious about where the budget will be going if this project gets funded. Thanks so much for the support!
This is an excellent question, and for months we have been consulting some excellent people in the field of entertainment law to make sure that we cross our t's and dot our...lower case j's in that regard.
This film is, at its core, a commentary on the cultural influence of the franchise. We take no credit for official Legend of Zelda images or media, as all intellectual property relating to the Legend of Zelda belongs to Nintendo (and we also give full credit to fan works to their creators as well, used with permission).
However, as a commentary on the series' influence, our use of this material is covered under the extensive fair use laws which protect documentary filmmakers for this exact purpose. We have investigated this at length prior to beginning this production, and in each instance where any game iconography is used, approximated, parodied, or paid tribute to in some manner, we weigh it against the fair use laws to make sure we stay on the right side of that line. It is not an easy nor short process, but we are taking pains to make sure that this project is not subject to any negative legal action.
I hope that clarifies that question. If you have any further questions, please let us know!
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GREEN RUPEE PACKAGE: A personal thank you email from the crew along with a digital catalog of still images from production.Estimated delivery:
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BLUE RUPEE PACKAGE: You will receive a copy of any score work for the film via email or online link. This will be sent to you as it is made available, so your initial pledge will continue to yield rewards all throughout production!Estimated delivery:
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BOOMERANG PACKAGE: We heard the demand, so we're making it available! $15 will get you a digital version of this film. We have a unique method we'd like to offer this, and while we don't want to talk about that quite yet, if that doesn't work out we will provide you directly with a digital copy of the finished film.Estimated delivery:
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YOUNG HERO'S PACKAGE: A copy of the feature documentary It's Dangerous To Go Alone...The Movie on DVD.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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WOODEN SWORD PACKAGE: The Wooden Sword package will get you a copy of the DVD plus ONE of the following - 1) The promo film poster of your choice. 2) Limited edition T-Shirt for the film 3) An 8 bit avatar of you appearing in the web-player game; your avatar will be clearly named in the gameplay and will offer hints, secrets, weapons, etc. *out of US shipping fees do not apply to digital rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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WHITE SWORD PACKAGE: The White Sword package will get you a copy of the DVD plus TWO of the following - 1) The promo film poster of your choice. 2) Limited edition T-Shirt for the film 3) An 8 bit avatar of you appearing in the web-player game; your avatar will be clearly named in the gameplay and will offer hints, secrets, weapons, etc. *out of US shipping fees do not apply to digital rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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MAGIC SWORD PACKAGE: The MAGIC Sword package will get you a copy of the DVD plus ALL THREE of the following - 1) The promo film poster of your choice. 2) Limited edition T-Shirt for the film 3) An 8 bit avatar of you appearing in the web-player game; your avatar will be clearly named in the gameplay and will offer hints, secrets, weapons, etc. *out of US shipping fees do not apply to digital rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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MASTER SWORD PACKAGE: The Master Sword package includes all of the above. Your DVD will come in a custom NES game box complete with "manual" for the film. Your package will also include bonus footage. This can be thought of as comparable to a "special addition" Your name will also be included in the credits of the film as producer.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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MOON PEARL PACKAGE: Be transported into another world! Yes, this is where it gets fun. If you have visited the website, you've played the 8-bit style game there. This game will receive many updates in the film's life cycle. You could have YOUR chapter in the online adventure too. We will tell (metaphorically, through 8bit awesome) your story of your experience with the franchise in an 8 bit adventuring featuring an 8 bit version of you. You will have creative input into monsters, bosses, locations, items, weapons, dungeons, etc. (keep in mind, they will be limited to the constraints of the engine, but there are a LOT of possibilities. Consult us first if you have ideas to make sure they would be possible). Your 8 bit adventure will be hosted on its own page at www.TheZeldaMovie.com (ex: TheZeldaMovie.com/TheLegendOfJohnSmith). I am posting a date of Dec 2013 as a deliverable date for this, however it may be sooner or a little later depending on how popular this reward becomes.Estimated delivery:
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TRIFORCE OF COURAGE PACKAGE: This is for a co-Executive Producer credit on the film. Different from the Production credit in the MASTER SWORD PACKAGE, this credit will be a "stand alone" credit. A hero wielding the Triforce of Courage package will also be consulted and have creative input on additional Zelda related stories to be featured in the feature film, interactive experience, and/or it's companion 'second quest bonus featurette'. ***Please contact for details before pledging for this tier to ensure we can accomodate the reward.***Estimated delivery:
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TRIFORCE OF WISDOM PACKAGE: All the percs from above plus a "red carpet" showing in their hometown in the pledgees honor. The venue of this showing is subject to what will be possible. ***Please contact for details before pledging for this tier to ensure we can accomodate the reward.***Estimated delivery:
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TRIFORCE OF POWER PACKAGE: All of the percs from above plus the following: Credit becomes EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and is displayed in the opening title sequence. The executive producer will also receive travel and accommodations to the exclusive cast/crew premiere of the film (date and time tbd) and an invitation to any and all premiere festivities. ***Please contact for details before pledging for this tier to ensure we can accomodate the reward.***Estimated delivery:
- (40 days)