About this project
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 their lives over. By moving in with her estranged hermit father in the backwoods of a small town, Kim and Brody find themselves in the middle of this horrendous phenomenon where 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 as most recently in China and India. The current likely theories are parasites and pesticides or a combination of the two.
The problem continues to grow…
It's promoting 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. We think you will agree, nothing is more distracting than watching poorly executed CGFX- no matter the size of the film's budget . 100% of the FX in STRANGE NATURE will utilize practical FX.
Special Guest Stars:
We are happy to announce Reno 911 star, Carlos Alazraqui and WWE Wrestling Superstar, John "Nitro" Morrision along with David Mattey most notably from Get Smart and Hancock are on board. We welcome our newest cast member, Chalet Lizette Brannan, known for She Wants Me and Alice in Zombieland.
The money raised will go directly toward:
- Casting both in Los Angeles and mostly in Minnesota
- Makeup/Creature FX supplies
- Production insurance
- Setting up a production office in MN
- Hiring experienced crew, cast
- Meals and lodging
- Camera, grip, lighting equipment
If we go past our goal:
- Post production, editing
- Sound mixing
- Original score
- Film festival fees
*Remember, if we don't reach the entire financial goal the project gets nothing and you will NOT be charged anything.
What we've done so far:
- An entire nightmare sequence from the script has already been filmed, edited, scored and completed.
- All winter exteriors in Minnesota have been filmed.
- Deformed frog footage has been filmed. 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.
- 70% of all makeup/creature FX already completed for the film by Ojala Productions and other industry professionals.
- 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 shooting locations for the film in MN are already secured at little to no cost.
- Hit song by the film’s protagonist, Kim Sweet, “Sweeter Than Kandy” already created.
Plan of attack:
The movie will be filmed in Duluth and surrounding areas of Minnesota from mid-September to mid-October of 2014. 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 for approximately 3 months with a January 30th target deadline. The original score will be composed at the same time along with the same deadline.
Next, we will test the distribution waters by submitting STRANGE NATURE to festivals for consideration. In addition, we will approach distributors directly with whom Jim has numerous contacts.
To keep the film as it should be.
There has been interest from potential producers who wanted to film everywhere from Bulgaria to Louisiana. Even though this issue affects the entire planet it begins as a Minnesota story. The story was written for specific locations in Minnesota. Duluth, is where writer/director, Jim Ojala, is originally from and where a fantastic support system is in place. The area also has a very specific beauty that very few have captured in narrative features before. Minnesota is where it needs to stay.
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. In fact, just recently Mayor Ness publicly endorsed STRANGE NATURE, Jim Ojala, and the Kickstarter campaign.
So far the extended forecast doesn't show any specific problems for the fall's shoot in MN. However, if we are faced with weather complications, we will simply have to push the schedule. All finances will be kept in a specific production account where it can accrue 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 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 film 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 which 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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