Help LARP City Project by backing LARP: the movie on Kickstarter!
For every $50 raised between now and May 16, LARP: the movie will donate one costume item or foam weapon to LARP City Project at the conclusion of filming in addition to the already fantastic rewards you'll receive with your pledge.
Items are sourced from well-known companies such as Epic LARP Armory and Calimacil in addition to custom made items for the film!
Should the campaign reach $60,000 by Thursday, May 15 ALL of the foam weapons and costumes from the film will go to LARP City Project!
Help two great LARPing projects by making your pledge here!
New Reward Added! Get the official Cast and Crew "Knight Hoodie" as a SENTRY level backer! - $111 for a limited time! Only 50 available at this price!(Backers who pledged or will pledge at the $500 level or higher will also receive this reward upon request. We love you.)
LARP is a feature film written by Nicholas Dunn and Ehren Remal. It is an adventure-comedy set in the world of Live-Action Role-Playing. It both satirizes and pays homage to the fantasy genre, and as the story progresses, the fantasy backdrop becomes more fully realized. At the same time, the plot, characters and comedy are universal in their appeal.
The movie will capture the interest of not only gamers, fantasy fans, and those who participate in Live Action Role Playing events, but also anyone who has ever enjoyed a story enough to wish to be a part of it.
To learn more about the story, see our pitch video below:
Fans who contribute to LARP's Kickstarter campaign are eligible to receive exclusive rewards in exchange for pledges ranging from just $1 to $5000 or more.
Rewards include a range of options from first-look access to the film and exclusive behind the scenes content to Executive Producer credit and VIP access to the premiere screening of LARP.
As an added bonus, backers at any level will be able to decide the fate of one of our characters played by Kaza Marie Ayersman (a.k.a. LARP Girl) The dollar amount you pledge counts as an equal number of votes toward deciding if her character lives or dies. Simply type "LIVE" or "DIE" in the comments tab at the top of this page to cast your vote. The number of votes is calculated by dollar amount, so larger pledges count for more votes!
To help improve your Larping, Indie Film, Stage Play or anything creative, backers who pledge $50 or more can choose 1 of 3 Master Class videos featuring techniques and real-world advice from our production team. Backers who pledge $100 or more will gain access to all 3!
LARP is a film of two worlds: one of Reality, with foam swords and armor, and one of Fantasy, with steel weapons, mythical kingdoms and blood!
Below are several examples of what the LARP Team have created for visual inspiration. The first 3 images are available as prints in exchange for pledge of $100 or more.
As a Larper I get the opportunity to live my fantasies. Novels, films, and video games all become reality with a few costume changes and a little imagination. Live Action Role Play takes us to a place we often only dream of. In recent years, several movies, including documentaries, comedies and even horror films have shed light on Live Action Role Play and its community. While it’s exciting to see the Larping subculture moving into the limelight, I suspect I’m not the only person who believes these films have consistently failed to communicate the true experience of Larping.
However, there is hope. Starting production this summer is LARP, an adventure/comedy film that aims to pay homage to Larpers and explore its true nature. With a heavy focus on the art of roleplaying, the cast and crew have dedicated their time and efforts to learn what Larping is, how it feels and why it’s such a popular pastime. The story aims to bring the audience into the world of Larping rather than make them laugh at the Larper’s expense. LARP is a film that Larpers can trust will advocate for the beauty in Live Action Role Play.
For the past four years the producers have been developing the world of the script and communicating their ideas through concept art. Writers Nicholas Dunn and Ehren Remal show the audience not only the outside perspective portrayed in other films, but also how a Larper's imagination can take a foam sword and turn it to steel. The goal is to immerse the audience in the film the same way we as Larpers immerse ourselves in the story. Illustrations from artists Rufus ZaeJoDaeus and Colby Dunn have outlined each character and their corresponding PC’s. (Player Characters) The film’s costumes have been individually designed based on the actors playing them. Characters we play at LARP are a part of us and that will be the same for the characters in the film. We spend hours writing character histories, days sewing costumes, and weeks crafting weapons. This dedication will be echoed for the characters and PC’s in the finished film.
The cast and crew of LARP are also unique because of their respect for the LARP community. Some of the cast are Larpers, and many of the crew have attended LARP events to better understand the world they were creating. The writers have even developed a rulebook for their in-film game similar to the ones seen at LARP events. To further the experience, the film creators have sourced props and weapons from actual LARP companies, so we will see both the nostalgic boffer weapons and many of our favorite creations that we know and love. All of the logistics aside, this film is a film that we as Larpers have been waiting for to portray our beloved hobby.
In other films, LARPers have been made fun of, looked down on, and portrayed as subculture of nerds. Although many Larpers embrace that title, the truth is that the LARP community is very diverse. From the girls at the comic book store to the guys on the football field, Larpers can be found almost anywhere. LARP shows Live Action Role Play in full circle. The film takes the audience on a journey of what it’s like to be a new Larper and also how veterans interact in the atmosphere of the immersion. LARP has dedicated itself to advocating for Larpers, not shaming them.
But LARP is not just a film for a niche audience; non-Larpers will enjoy it as well. This movie shows the audience what’s inside the character’s imagination and encourages them to imagine as well. The challenges faced by the characters are common to everyone and the film shows that sometimes it takes a little creativity to make the best of the situation. Furthermore it shows that we can have fun if we abandon our reservations and give something we've never tried before a chance. Both Larpers and Non-Larpers will be inspired to try something new, and to stick with what inspires them.
LARP is the film Larpers have been waiting for to show the world who we are and what we do as artists, adventurers and dreamers.
Nicholas Dunn has worked professionally as an actor, writer, and Director on both screen and stage. As an actor he’s appeared on the WB’s Everwood, Magnolia Pictures The Yankles, KUED documentary series and in a number of commercials and industrials, including Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, and the NBA’s Utah Jazz. He holds an Associates Degree in theatre and film studies, a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Acting, and was a fellow in the Salt Lake Film Society’s Screenwriter’s program where he was mentored by and worked with Oscar nominees John August and Mark Medoff. His play Viral debuted at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2011 and his films Art and The Offerings both played at the Salt Lake City Film Festival and the Fear No Film Festival, and were both nominated for the Utah Short Film of the Year award in 2007. He also directed the award winning spot I Am Downtown for the Salt Lake Downtown Alliance. Nick is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writer’s Guild of America’s Independent Writer’s Caucus.
Ehren is a graduate of the University of Utah Actor Training Program where he was an honored fellow of the John Arson Kittredge National Arts Fund, bestowed by Harvard University. He has appeared in many productions at Shakespeare & Company, where he also taught and directed with a troubled youth program. Ehren has also acted in several short films and commercials, including Art and The Offerings. He appeared in the commercial campaign for the Utah Film Commission that played during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and on Park City TV. Inspired by one of those commercials, he and Nicholas Dunn had the idea for LARP, and proceeded to co-write the screenplay. Ehren is also now a participant in a Larping Guild in Philadephia, where he plays a dwarf named Fuegos in the service of the God Ramos... All because of this script.
Connor has been making films for ten years. His filmTIC was nominated for Utah Short Film of the Year and screened at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. He has worked freelance in Utah’s film industry for the past 6 years working on feature films and television including Need for Speed (DreamWorks) The Giver (The Weinstein Co.) and Granite Flats. Commercial credits include Lexus, University of Phoenix and Chase Bank as well as numerous industrials for companies such as eBay, World Financial Group, and Skanska. Connor also put together the filmmaking team that won the 48 Hour Film Project in Salt Lake City in both 2012 and 2013.
Jacob has produced, directed, and edited over 100 short films, event videos, TV spots, and web videos spanning a 20 year career--many of which have won awards and received special honors and recognition at international film festivals, including cooperative productions with Nicholas Dunn and Connor Rickman.
“I’ve always been captivated by technology and the possibilites it offers to create genuine magic on screen when combined with the traditional practical effects that inspired me as a kid. The thing about creating visual effects, however, is that nobody should even realize that they had just witnessed an “effect.” The best visual effects just engross you further into the story and the moment. Whether we are compositing digital extras, adding in the spattering of blood from the blow of a sword, or even creating an entire magical environment for the characters, it is the characters and their story that matters.”
He is also a former Larper.
Michael has been a diehard fan of the LARP script since the first draft, and that script was the inspiration for the formation of Ex Machina Films LLC, the production company that will shoot the film. Michael has produced corporate events, fashion shows, theatrical productions, Shakespeare festivals, live concerts shoots and fundraising events across the country. As an actor, he’s performed extensively in Regional and NYC theatres. As a fight director, Michael has arranged fights, stunts and large-scale sword battles for over ten years at various theatre, live and filmed events. Michael is a member of the Dramatists Guild and is the author of The Mad Pirate & the Mermaid, The Too-Tight Pants of King John, What Would Hamlet Do?, The Difference Engine and Berkshire Ranch Hotties, along with the scripts for various corporate videos and other ghostwritten pieces. He is currently adapting a play by Chekhov and a short story by Edith Wharton that will be produced in western Massachusetts this summer by Pythagoras Theatre Works. He is the Creative Executive and one of the producers for Ex Machina Films along with his partners Nick, Connor, Jake and Jamie Greenland.
Risks and challenges
We have taken many steps to ensure the risk associated with making a motion picture is managed as much as possible. These include a contingency in the budget, unscheduled days in the shooting schedule should certain scenes need to be rescheduled or re-shot, and a start date in August to reduce the possibility of weather delays.
Furthermore, to reduce delays in both shooting and post-production, our entire script is storyboarded with special attention paid to the VFX shots in order to reduce confusion on-set and begin post work as soon as a scene is shot.
As is the case with nearly all film and video production there are other challenges that are beyond our foresight. In these situations we must rely on our excellent production team, all of whom have professional experience in Film, Television, Theatre and Live Events to adapt and overcome.
Here at Ex Machina Films we have a huge number of connections that allow us to shoot a large-scale film without a large-scale budget.
What we ARE spending the money on:
1. People!: In order to get people to take 24 days out their schedules to work for us we need to pay them something. With such a large cast it's difficult to keep the overall costs down but everyone is being paid enough to scrape by on their rent after missing work the month of September.
2. Food: Working 12 to 16-hour days makes you hungry! We'll need a variety of human fuel to keep our movie-making machine running smoothly.
3. Equipment Rental: Ex Machina films is part of a co-op that allows us access to a certain amount of grip and electric equipment for free. What we do not have access to we'll need to rent but luckily we have access to everything at a local rental house for a discount.
4. Production Design: This is the largest expenditure in the LARP budget as it is the most important category. We need excellent props, costumes, makeup and sets to create the fantasy world inhabited by our characters and every one of those items will require a foam or duct tape version of itself for when the audience is viewing the game.
5.Kickstarter/Amazon fees: In exchange for allowing us the use of their crowd funding platform both Kickstarter and Amazon collect a percentage of our total amount raised. Kickstarter charges 5% while Amazon may charge anywhere from 2.5 to 5%.
What we ARE NOT spending money on:
1. Director/Producer Wages: Neither Director Nicholas Dunn nor Producer Connor Rickman are collecting any pay from shooting this film. They are both volunteering their time to bring this film to life.
2. Story Rights: the script is owned by the writers who are not seeking any compensation for their efforts aside from making the film.
3. Fringe Benefits: This is a non-union film and therefore we owe no money to any labor unions after we finish shooting. You may think this limits our access to cast and crew but because the state of Utah is defined as a “Right To Work” state, many of the professional film crew in Utah have no reason to be union members despite their experience. This allows us access to very good people who are willing to take a pay cut to help us make this film.
4. Transportation: Usually, large films have fleets of trucks to move all the gear around. Luckily for us we have a dedicated crew willing to transport most everything we need to the set in their own vehicles.
5. Locations: Because we'll be shooting exclusively on private property there is no need for film permits. All our fantastic locations have been donated to us by friends of the film.
6. Cast and crew accommodations: Nearly all our cast and crew are local to the State of Utah. For those that aren't, they have agreed to sleep in spare bedrooms, on couches and on living room floors while filming.
LARP is a labor of love for everyone involved. We're young and ambitious and ready to show the world what we can do with a few bucks and a lot of enthusiasm. Please take a moment to pledge your support to our Kickstarter campaign and share us on Facebook and Twitter to help us make “The movie Larpers have been waiting for.”
NPC - Thanks for the tip! You have our sincerest thanks in helping us becoming $1 closer to LARP! As a backer of this campaign you are now eligible to cast your vote in deciding the fate of LARP Girl a.k.a. Kaza Marie Ayersman's character in the film. Leave a comment in the comments tab: simply write "LIVE" or "DIE." You hold a life in your hands...
SQUIRE - In addition to the digital download at the $10 level you'll also get a digital copy of the first and final drafts of the script so you can see how far the film has come since its inception. Finally you'll receive a digital copy of the film's soundtrack "Music to LARP to" composed by Randin Graves.
ARTISAN - You'll get a download of our Fantasy Makeup Master Class video taught by our designers: Erin Dockstader and Bethany Deal to help improve your makeup skills for Larping, Film, Theatre or anything at all. You'll also get exclusive access to our online production diary which includes behind the scenes pictures, video and interviews with the cast and crew. Includes all the rewards of the $25 level.
SORCERER - You'll get a download of our Fantasy Visual Effects Master Class video taught by our VFX Artists Jacob Dickey and Joel Petrie to help improve your Indie Film, YouTube Video or anything at all. You'll also get exclusive access to our online production diary which includes behind the scenes pictures, video and interviews with the cast and crew. Includes all the rewards of the $25 level.
KNIGHT - You'll get a download of our Fantasy Stunts and Sword-Fighting Master Class video taught by our choreographers: Braxton McAllister and Michael Burnet to help your sword and stunt techniques for Larping, Movies, Stage Plays or anything at all. You'll also get exclusive access to our online production diary which includes behind the scenes pictures, video and interviews with the cast and crew. Includes all the rewards of the $25 level.
THE CHOSEN ONE - An 11x17 print of the original concept art featuring Preston: The Chosen One as well as access to ALL 3 Master Classes. (Makeup, Digital VFX and Stunts) You'll also receive a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film complete with special features and cast commentary. Includes all the rewards of the $50 level.
THE SEER - An 11x17 print of the original concept art featuring Mina: The Seer as well as access to ALL 3 Master Classes. (Makeup, Digital VFX and Stunts) You'll also receive a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film complete with special features and cast commentary. Includes all the rewards of the $50 level.
THE PHANTOM LORD - An 11x17 print of the original concept art featuring The Phantom Lord as well as access to ALL 3 Master Classes. (Makeup, Digital VFX and Stunts) You'll also receive a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film complete with special features and cast commentary. Includes all the rewards of the $50 level.
SENTRY - By popular demand we are pleased to offer our Knights Armor Hoodie as a reward for our backers. Custom made by our wardrobe department, our hoodie features a zipper in the front and custom designed armor plating on the shoulders, elbows and visor. Guaranteed to give you +10 awesome! Includes a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the film, access to all 3 Master Class Videos, access to the film's production diary, a digital download of the first and last drafts of the script, the soundtrack and a digital download of the film in addition to your power to vote to #saveLARPgirl. Does not include the printed artwork.
SENTRY II - Same as previous reward, but without the early-bird discount. You get our Cast and Crew Knights Armor Hoodie, custom made by our wardrobe department. Our hoodie features a zipper in the front and custom designed armor plating on the shoulders, elbows and visor. Guaranteed to give you +10 awesome! Includes a Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the film, access to all 3 Master Class Videos, access to the film's production diary, a digital download of the first and last drafts of the script, the soundtrack and a digital download of the film in addition to your power to vote to #saveLARPgirl. Does not include the printed artwork.
EASTERN WARRIOR - All the benefits of the $100 reward level but with no difficult decisions to make. Instead of needing to choose a piece of artwork we'll give you ALL 3 pieces of artwork: that's three times the rewards for only twice the price! As an added bonus, all the concept art will be signed by the artist: Rufus ZaeJoDaeus, author/illustrator of Cosmoknight.
BARON - Congratulations! You're now an Associate Producer of the film. Your name and title will appear in the film's credits and on our IMDB page. In addition to everything included in the $200 level, you'll receive a limited edition poster, a hard copy of the first and last drafts of the script complete with the writer's notes and an original storyboard from the production signed by the artist. We'll also send you a surprise prop or costume item from the film!
ARCHBISHOP - All backers at the $1000 level will be placed on the VIP Guest List to attend the official LARP wrap party during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. You'll also receive tickets to the premiere screening in Salt Lake City, to be announced later in the year along with a prop weapon used in the film! Also, remember the poster from the $500 reward? It's now signed by the cast! Remember the scripts? They're now signed by the writers!
JESTER - A speaking role in the film! (At least 1 line) This is your chance to look totally BAD ASS while cutting an orc's throat or dying a glorious death. On our day off from shooting you'll get to grab lunch with the director, writers and producers as well as a tour of our production facility and when you're done shooting, you'll get to keep your prop weapon.
STAND ALONE REWARD: includes the rewards of the $100 level only. (Travel and Lodging not included)
THE FORETOKEN - You'll be listed as Executive Producer both in the film's credits and on IMDB! You'll get all the perks of being an associate producer plus a private tour of the set during any of our shooting days. The next year we'll also treat you to a private dinner with the cast and crew before the premiere screening in Salt Lake City where you will be presented with one of 10 unique steel swords engraved with your name.