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Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They’re called hapheads.
561 backers pledged CA$ 30,802 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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HAPHEAD: a near-future videogame subculture webseries

CA$ 30,802

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"Support some kick-ass indie sci-fi about gamer ninjas"- Annalee Newitz, Editor-in-Chief, io9
"Support some kick-ass indie sci-fi about gamer ninjas"- Annalee Newitz, Editor-in-Chief, io9

UPDATE! New "Clone Your Head" and "Growth Crystal Necklace" rewards ($500) are now available, details here.

UPDATE! New "Rough Cut" reward ($100) gets you invited to our producer and writer screening of the work in progress. Or become a haphead and get it for $5! Details here!

UPDATE! All rewards at $50 on up get a copy of Overgrowth, the rabbit-ninja game. Details here, with a special reward for Overgrowth fans.

UPDATE! Our post-apocalyptic pin-up calendar, Fallen Toronto, has been added to the rewards. Details here. (Coverage in Toronto Life & BlogTO.)

The Story

Maxine is a quiet teenage girl working at a factory that’s manufacturing new haptic cable inputs. After she steals one, her favourite rabbit-ninja game gets a whole lot more punishing, with the haptic feedback loop beating skills into her muscle memory. 

But it's just a game... until a fellow haphead causes her father's death. Then she starts to apply her new deadly abilities to finding out why. 

For more of the story, check out our original proof-of-concept trailer that we made earlier this year to get our production funding.


"Munroe and co have shown that they can produce amazing scfi movies with tiny budgets" - Cory Doctorow, author & co-editor, Boing Boing
"Munroe and co have shown that they can produce amazing scfi movies with tiny budgets" - Cory Doctorow, author & co-editor, Boing Boing

Our Story

Haphead is a brand new, neo-noir sci-fi webseries filled with action, intrigue and heart. Through a minor miracle we got funding for production in the spring and since then we've been going full tilt. Polishing the script. Casting. Rehearsing. Shooting all eight episodes (60+ minutes) of season one in just two weeks. And now we’re ready to show the world! 

Well, almost. 

The Last 10%: Easy, Right?

Post-production is everything after the shooting, from editing to music to special effects. Here's a breakdown of where backers' money will go.

Special effects: We use special effects strategically as each one represents many hours of work.

The two first steps in the effects pipeline: Marc Ngui's concept sketch for the drone butler becomes Mat Borrett's rough 3D rendering.
The two first steps in the effects pipeline: Marc Ngui's concept sketch for the drone butler becomes Mat Borrett's rough 3D rendering.

Music: A must-have element that helps create a mood, evoke emotion and build tension during those nail-biting moments. 

Colour correction: A crucial element to make every scene look rich and vibrant.

Editing: We have 15 hours of footage that needs to be combed through meticulously.

Sound effects and sound design: Every sound from doors creaking to punches landing need to be added or enhanced.

Hamstrung by a Shoestring

We’ve been making sci-fi features on a shoestring budget for over seven years. This is our first webseries, and a real opportunity to connect with a much larger audience. And we think it has a chance. As our first project with a real budget, Haphead is our most ambitious and accomplished work yet -- the first season involved over 90 talented cast, crew and background actors. But even smart, independent sci-fi can only go so far if people are distracted by a lack of polish or low production values -- we know this from experience.

We started with a feature film, Infest Wisely, that was made for just $700. (Yup. You read that correctly.) Ghosts With Shit Jobs was our next film project. That one was also made entirely with volunteer power and came out in 2012.

After its UK premiere where it won Sci-Fi-London's Best Feature award, we toured Ghosts to over 25 cities around the world, including the Beijing International Film Festival. It even made a small profit.

Ghosts did great, but it also took us three years to get it out there, and most of that was spent in post -- everyone had to squeeze it in between paying gigs.

With your support we'll be able to keep it smart, keep it independent, and keep episodes coming on a regular basis! And here's just a few of the rewards you can get for backing.

Reward: Extended World Extras

Our extended world extras include:
  • job review interviews with employees at Aster*sk, the factory where the haptic cables are made
  • Haphead scene reports from video blogger Lizzie Blitz
  • ebook version of season one by creator/writer Jim Munroe (DRM-free .mobi, .epub, .pdf or .rtf)

Reward: USB "Employee Access Card"

A mockup of the Aster*sk Employee Access Card with flip-out 4GB USB with 1080p DRM-free .mp4s of the season and the extended world extras.
A mockup of the Aster*sk Employee Access Card with flip-out 4GB USB with 1080p DRM-free .mp4s of the season and the extended world extras.

Reward: The Blacksmith Special

The Haphead belt buckle, created by actor Ryan Leis.
The Haphead belt buckle, created by actor Ryan Leis.

The Team

Barb Benoit, Visual Effects Artist: With 18 years of experience and over a hundred credits to her name Barb’s skills are top notch. She has created visual effects for feature films and TV series including: RoboCop, Resident Evil: Retribution, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the TV show, Revolution. She’s won two Gemini Awards and earned an Emmy nomination for her work.

Mathew Borrett, Matte Painter and Illustrator: For the past six years Mathew has been creating 2D, 2.5D, and 3D environments for film and television. His matte paintings can be seen on films like: Resident Evil: Retribution, The Three Musketeers, TRON: Legacy and Hannah. Mathew's recent illustration of Toronto in the future garnered widespread media attention and was nominated for best illustration in the 2014 National Magazine Awards.

Adrian Ellis, Composer and Choreographer: Adrian Ellis is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist, and martial arts master. He created the award-winning score for the Canadian Screen Award-nominee, Out With Dad. This year, Adrian won Outstanding Score in a Drama at the 2014 L.A. WebFest. and was also nominated for Best Score and Best Soundtrack L.A. Indie Series Awards. 

Tate Young, Director and Editor: Tate is an award-winning director and editor. He directed the "Human Spam" segment of Ghosts With Shit Jobs, and has directed and edited shows for GlobalTV, BRAVO!, CityTV & CTV, among others.  

Jim Munroe, Creator and Writer: In his teens he was empowered and transformed by videogames and punk rock. Decades later, he concocted a way for them to collide in the year 2025. He's written films, novels, and award-winning videogames.

Anthony Cortese, Producer: Anthony has been an actor, writer and producer for over 15 years. As well as producing Ghosts With Shit Jobs, he's produced the Canadian Comedy Award-winning feature film Unlucky, and most recently Danko Jones' Legs music video with director Bruce LaBruce.

Sean Lerner, Producer: Sean has been creating, producing and acting in independent films for over 12 years. He co-produced Toronto’s first 48-Hour Lo-fi Sci-fi Film Challenge. Sean also associate produced and co-starred in Ghosts With Shit Jobs.

Risks and challenges

One of our biggest challenges is time. Ideally we want to release the full season by January 2015. But with eight episodes to edit and multiple post-production elements to layer, there’s no time to waste. What’s more, our editor Tate just had his first baby. And although it’s an incredibly exciting time for him, it also means he’s editing episodes on four hours of sleep -- between changing diapers and singing lullabies. Fortunately, he only needs three hours of sleep a night...

So what are we doing about these challenges? To maximize the time we have, members of our post-production team will be working on the film simultaneously. For example, while Tate’s editing the footage, our special effects team can create the effects.

We’ve also built a rock-solid post-production schedule and we’ll monitor our progress closely. That way, if we start to fall behind we can do something about it right away. For instance, if our editor needs a hand, we can bring in a junior editor to help assemble a rough cut of some of the episodes.

We hope that using these tactics will help us overcome our time-crunch challenge. And when January 2015 rolls around we’ll be ready to share Haphead with the world!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    The Hardcore Rough Cut: Gets you everything in the Rough Cut reward, but only can be chosen after the restrictions in Update #5 (see UPDATES at top of page) are fulfilled. Please contact us before selecting!

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $9

    Early Adopter: 720p digital download of all eight episodes of season one before the public release.

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    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $13

    Toronto Screening: We will be having a cast and crew screening of the full first season. We'd love to have you join us! Plus the 720p digital download as above.

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    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $18

    Worldbuilder: 1080p digital download of all eight episodes of season one before the public release plus all the extended world extras (videos and ebook -- see left).

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    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $27

    DVD: All eight episodes of season one on DVD, including the extended world extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $27

    Fallen Toronto digibundle: The post-apoc calendar, 1080p digital download of all eight episodes of season one before the public release plus all the extended world extras (videos and ebook -- see below in column to left).

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    Pledge CA$ 35 or more About $31

    USB Access Card: A wallet-friendly, Aster*sk Flex Employee Access Card (pictured below) with a 4GB USB containing season one in 1080p plus the extended world extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $36

    Blu-Ray: All eight episodes of season one on Blu-Ray plus the extended world extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $45

    The Lo-fi Sci-fi Library: Everything we've made in the last seven years in three DVDs. Haphead (season one, plus extras), Ghosts with Shit Jobs, and Infest Wisely.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $45

    Fallen Toronto physical bundle: The post-apoc calendar, plus the show on either DVD/USB/Blu-Ray including all the extended world extras (videos and ebook -- see below in column to left).

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $45

    The Fightin' Indies: A copy of Overgrowth on PC/Mac/Linux plus Haphead season one on either DVD/USB/Blu-Ray including all the extended world extras, plus the Fallen Toronto calendar.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $45

    The Overgrowth Fan: A copper pendant with an Overgrowth rune on it (see updates for pic) suitable for bracelet or necklace. Haphead season one on either DVD/USB/Blu-Ray including all the extended world extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $54

    The Lo-fi Sci-fi Library & Calendar: Everything we've made in the last seven years in three DVDs. Haphead (season one, plus extras), Ghosts with Shit Jobs, and Infest Wisely, as well as copy of the calendar.

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $67

    Toronto Haphead Training: A parkour beginner's class at The Monkey Vault in Toronto for yourself or a friend, available to redeem until June 2015. Plus the first season in the format of your choice & the extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $67

    The Blacksmith Special: Along with the first season in the format of your choice & the extras, you get a Haphead belt buckle created by one of our actors.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $89

    The Toronto Booster: Excited about seeing Future Toronto play itself, not as a stand-in for another city? Along with the first season in the format of your choice & the extras, you get a ticket to the screening and a drink with us before or after!

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $89

    The Rough Cut: Gets you invited to a screening of season one in the same session that the writer and the producers see it -- in its raw and unpolished form -- on Dec. 12th, 8pm in Toronto. Includes the Fallen Toronto calendar and Overgrowth.

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    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $134

    Toronto Stunt Session: Want to be able to do things Hapheads can do? Well, we can get you started with a one-on-one stunt session. Along with a Toronto screening ticket, the first season in the format of your choice & the extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $447

    Voice Actor: The future has many inanimate objects talking. Want to be the voice of a security drone? Or how about the voice of the mall door AI? Plus the show in the format of your choice and the extras. (Some restrictions apply, please contact us!)

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $447

    Episode Patron: Each episode of season one will have a special thank you in the credits, with a screen all to themselves. Perhaps it will be to you? Plus the show in the format of your choice and the extras.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $447

    Clone Your Head: Maker Derek Quenneville will 3D scan your head, help you sculpt/remix the model, and then he'll print it out. Includes Haphead in the format of your choice with all the extras, the calendar, and a copy of Overgrowth, and either the Overgrowth pendant or the Haphead belt buckle.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $447

    Growth Crystal Necklace: A custom made necklace made by Barb Benoit from a prop in Haphead. Includes Haphead in the format of your choice with all the extras, the calendar, and a copy of Overgrowth, and either the Overgrowth pendant or the Haphead belt buckle.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $893

    Dystopian Politician: We need someone who can smile falsely and give a thumbs-up to progress and economic stability for a billboard in the series. Plus the show in the format of your choice and the extras. (Some restrictions apply, please contact us!)

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    Pledge CA$ 2,500 or more About $2,233

    Associate Producer: Want to really make sure this series goes the distance? Put some serious backing behind it, and get your name in the season one credits & Haphead on your producer resume! Plus the show in the format of your choice with the extras.

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Funding period

- (30 days)