STRANGE NATURE An Eco Horror Film
An Eco Horror film based on real unsolved ecological mysteries of wildlife deformity outbreaks in the Midwest.
What is STRANGE NATURE?
It's a story:
Based on a true unsolved ecological mystery. The script concerns a struggling yet forceful single mother and her shy son as they start life over by moving in with her estranged hermit father in the backwoods of a small town as the local discovery of deadly offspring mutations spread from animals to humans.
It's a cause:
In 1995, hideously deformed frogs began popping up in Minnesota ponds. Over the next few years, thousands were discovered.Some frog populations were as much as 70% deformed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency came up with many possible theories for the cause but nothing definite. It was known as something in the water. In 2001, the U.S. Government pulled all further research funding. The malformations spread to other states and even other countries such as most recently, India and China. The current likely theories are parasites and pesticides or a combination of the two.
The problem continues to grow…
It's helping promote practical makeup/creature FX in movies:
CG (computer generated) FX is a great tool and often helpful to practical makeup/creature FX in the form of enhancements. However in films of ALL budget sizes we see way too much CG that would have been done better as something physical. When we see a bad CG character, poorly done CG blood or gore work it really takes us out of the film. We feel like we just saw some video game instead of a dramatic experience. We know a lot of others that feel the same way. 100% of the FX in STRANGE NATURE will utilize practical FX.
The money raised will go directly toward:
-Casting both in Los Angeles and mostly in Minnesota
-Makeup/Creature FX supplies
-Setting up a production office in MN
-Talented crew, cast
-Meals and lodging
-Camera, grip, lighting equipment
-Post production, editing
-Film festival fees
*Remember, if we don't reach the entire financial goal the project gets nothing and you will NOT be charged!
What we've done so far:
-An entire nightmare sequence from the script has already been shot, edited, scored and completed.
-All winter exteriors in Minnesota have already been shot.
- Deformed frog footage has been shot. Live severely deformed frogs were supplied to us by one of the leading U.S. ecologists involved in the mysterious cases of widespread frog deformities.
-For the news “broadcast” footage needed for the film, we have already shot all of the footage at a Duluth news station using real newscasters using the station’s news cameras.
-70% of all makeup/creature fx already completed for the film by myself and other industry professionals.
-70% of all shooting locations for the film in MN are already secured at little to no cost.
-Numerous leading U.S. Ecological scientists supporting the film as it relates to their efforts of finding this mystery water mutation cause. One scientist has already supplied us with severely malformed frogs to exhibit in the film.
-Hit song by the film’s protagonist, Kim Sweet, “Sweeter Than Kandy” already created.
-WWE Wrestling Superstar, John "Nitro" Morrision has recently signed on for a substantial supporting role in the film.
Plan of attack:
The film will be shot this fall in Duluth and surrounding areas of Minnesota from mid-September to mid-October. This time frame will capture the gorgeous look of the fall colors on to the deadness of bare trees.
Once filming has wrapped we will jump immediately into post-production back in Los Angeles. We will edit the film for 3 months with a January 30th deadline. The original score will be composed at the same time along with the same deadline.
As soon as we have a rough cut we will begin submitting to film festivals for consideration. The hope is that several distributors at these film festivals will be interested in the film and we go with whoever will give the film the most attention and really get it out there to the world. The recent casting addition of WWE Wrestling Superstar, John "Nitro" Morrision will also help bring in a substantial wrestling following which will be appreciated by distributors.
If we are not satisfied with offers from distributors at festivals, we will approach distributors directly with whom Jim has numerous contacts with from working on makeup FX for dozens of genre pictures.
To keep the film as it should be.
We've had interest from producers to film everywhere from Bulgaria to Louisiana. This is a Minnesota story. The story was written for specific locations in Minnesota. That's where writer/director, Jim Ojala, is originally from and that is where he has a fantastic support system. That area also has a very specific beauty that very few have captured in narrative features before. Minnesota is where it needs to stay.
We've also had interest from producers if some major things could be changed. Like the lead protagonist, Kim, is not a single mother in her 30's with a past but maybe a hot girl in her early 20's. Or maybe the deformed animals turn out to be aliens! That's stupid. We've taken a lot of constructive criticisms from industry professionals to make the script the best it can possibly be and we stand by it.
Risks and challenges
Okay, a lot can go wrong on a feature film...especially a director's first feature film. Here are some examples and how we plan to remedy:
We are filming in MN with real locations that are provided by friends and family so chances of losing those locations would be very minimal. As far as public locations go, we already have the support of the local film board as well as Duluth Mayor Don Ness. Heck, our writer/director went to high school with him!
So far the extended forecast doesn't show any specific problems for this fall's shoot in MN. However if we get closer and find that there will be heavy rain during our shooting schedule we will simply have to push to next summer. All finances will be kept in an account where it can build interest. We would continue all facets of pre-production until then.
Practical makeup and creature FX can be very complicated elements of a shoot. This film will include numerous creature/animal puppets as well. A lot can go wrong with puppets especially when animatronics are involved. That's why we are building all creature puppet mechanisms as simply as possible so if anything does go wrong when we're on location it's nothing we can't fix in a reasonable amount of time with parts that we can get at any hardware store.
We are raising enough funds to get us through the post-production phase of the film. If unforeseen circumstances cause the production phase to become more costly we will reach out to potential private investors noting Minnesota's Snowbate rebate plan as well as the U.S. Government's Sec. 181 Tax Incentive for U.S.based production film investors. Beyond that we will be forced to use funds from post-production to complete production. At that point we will cut a captivating trailer from the footage and reach out again to private investors and distribution companies for completion funds. It's a lot easier to raise completion funds when you have something dynamic to show.
That covers a lot of the biggies. Anything else that arises we feel confident that with our team's combined experience, skills and energy that we can solve any obstacle that should present itself.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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