We have hit our funding goal of £15,000! So what does that mean? It means we are definitely making Flyspy but now any extra pledges we receive will now go towards our new stretch goal of £18,000. This extra money will all be seen on-screen. No one is being paid on this project so the money will go directly towards better locations, better equipment, more art department and extra visual effects shots!!
Thankyou for all your pledges so far.
FLYSPY is a short film about our not-too-distant future – a world of mind- blowing technology and the possibilities it will create.
Are flying insect drones with nano-cameras in their heads a long-distant fantasy?
How long do we have to wait before this is a reality or does this technology exist today?
As technology alters our world more and more do we humans exploit it for good uses or bad?
With your help we can explore and answer these questions together.
FLYSPY will not only be a thoroughly entertaining film using the best cutting-edge technology behind and in front of the camera but will also force us to ask important thought-provoking questions about ourselves and the technological world we live in!
FLYSPY is a dark, short-film about a young, genius deviant called Greg, who has made a wirelessly controlled robot drone in the form of a fly, with a camera in its head.
Everything the fly can see Greg can also see through a virtual reality headset. He is deeply obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Haley and so what does he do? Of course, he secretly flies the fly into her house through an air vent so he can spy on her without her knowledge.
Now, with Haley completely unaware, Greg can watch her most intimate moments through the fly's camera eyes.
His obsession is all-consuming. Greg is typing everything Haley and her new boyfriend say into detailed transcriptions.
But Greg witnesses something he wasn't expecting. Haley's relationship with her new boyfriend is poisonous. She is emotionally and psychologically trapped and being abused by her new boyfriend.
But Greg doesn't do the right thing and help Haley sort things out - instead he coerces her in to making a pact: if she sleeps with him one more time he will get rid of her abusive boyfriend forever.
It might seem that Haley is the victim in all of this, trapped between two less-than-ideal suitors. But in a crucial twist, Haley matches them both for cunning and deceit and exacts some serious revenge on both guys. We won't give too much of the game away here but it will involve a radio controlled robot-drone-WASP!
This film is essentially a sci-fi/psychological-thriller. It's a piece of entertainment but it is also topically very relevant at this moment in time. Drones are everywhere right now and this sort of technology is not far off, so who knows what will happen when we devious humans get our grubby hands on something like the devices in this film? You can already buy tiny drones online for just a few pounds and as we know, technology is getting smaller and smaller so surely this sort of technology is just around the corner.
I love the whole theme of how technology affects the way we humans deal with each other and that is what this film is really all about. It is a look at what happens when people are corrupted by the power given to them by unregulated and powerful technology.
THE TEAM & THE TECHNOLOGY
FLYSPY peers into our not-too-distant future – a world where flying insect -drones spy on people through nano-camera eyes while transmitting images and sound into virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Some of this technology is available today – various companies have produced first and second generation VR headsets and there are indications that the military and security establishment are manufacturing early prototypes of insect-drones for use in spying and warfare.
In FLYSPY, the VR headset is being supplied by a well-known company and we’re currently in negotiations with various brands – more news on this soon!
So where are we so far with pulling everything else together?
Well, one incredibly exciting thing is that we have our fly and wasp designed by a concept artist called Jake Lunt who is currently working on the new STAR WARS films. You can see one of his designs in the new STAR WARS TRAILER here it's at about 29 seconds in to the clip. Check out his amazing designs below. (BTW these will be available as posters, t-shirts, mugs, caps and keyrings in our "rewards")
The fly in the film will be 100% computer generated. A 3D model will be built and animated in a computer based on this "concept art". We will film empty "plates" or shots in which our actors will act to nothing in the frame then we will place the CGI fly in to the shot afterwards. The wasp, however, we are making for real, as a prop.
Another very exciting thing is that Jellyfish VFX who are one of the top visual effects companies in the UK have agreed to do all of our visual effects for rock bottom, cost rates. They have won all sorts of awards: several BAFTAs, RTS awards, you name it. So they will be able to provide us with amazing CGI robot-insects for our film.
Unlike the fly, the wasp will be physically made by a brilliant model maker called Aidan Campbell who specialises in miniature models and that is exciting enough for us but the way we are building the wasp is also really interesting. The guys at Jellyfish have built the basic model of our wasp in 3D software based on the designs by Jake Lunt just like they would if it was 100% CGI. (These designs might look basic right now but when it's finished it will look amazing. It will be a "photo-real" wasp nano-robot, this is just the first stage).
We are then going to 3D print the wasp in 5 different parts on a super high resolution 3D printer. Then Aidan will paint those parts, add details and assemble, ready for filming. We will be making several of these wasps. One version will be normal wasp-sized for the shots in which the wasp is seen in the actor's hand. Another version will be a 3D-sized wasp for the close up shots. And the exciting thing for you is that these models will all be for pre-sale before we shoot as part of our "rewards" to help fund the film! (There will be several of each size for filming purposes and we will also be making limited edition replicas).
We have a highly accomplished director of photography called Xavier Amoros who is shooting the film for free. He's shot commercials, music videos and feature films so he will make our film look beautiful and dramatic. His recent projects have included work for Channel 4, BBC, ITV, SKY, TATE MODERN MEDIA, Endemol, Somesuch & Co, Hobby Factory, Steelmill and 2AM amongst others. He is also bringing his whole team of assistants, gaffer, focus puller, the whole camera crew and they have all agreed to work on this for free. I met Xavi a couple of years ago when he shot my short "The Best Medicine".
Our writer Simon Hewitt is, in my opinion, a bit of a genius. He first earned a first-class honours degree in screenwriting and now has several feature-film projects in development. He has also recently been selected for this year’s iFeatures scheme with his feature script White Collars. For television, Simon has also had three sitcom spec scripts optioned – two with Cowboy Films and one with Carnival Films & Television. He was also commissioned to write the pilot for the upcoming comic-strip adaptation Fish Head Steve for Random House Children’s Screen Entertainment, and has earned a number of commissions to write for BBC Radio. He also reached the final of Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year in 2011 and was a Cordelia finalist in the Bluecat Screenwriting Competition in 2013. I find his scripts intense and gripping. The characters he writes are believable and deep and his effortless dialogue jumps off the page. We've been trying to get something off the ground together for years and it finally feels like this one is going to see the light of day and it's going to be a highly original film crackling with drama and intensity so I am unbelievably excited about the part Simon is playing in this project. I know he is pretty excited too.
The production company producing FLYSPY is Flat Cap Films. Flat Cap Films are based in west London and pride themselves on working and supporting some of the UK's finest talent whether it be through music videos, commercials, documentaries or film. In line with every company involved on this exciting project Flat Cap Films are offering their services free of charge. The £15,000 raised will be dedicated to the running fees of production including actors, locations and equipment. Flat Cap Films are very excited to be working alongside an exciting and talented director in Dan Smith and look forward to delivering you a fine piece of entertainment involving some of the country’s most talented film makers.
Our Co-Producer is Talesmith Media headed up by the brilliant and talented multi-Emmy award winning Martin Williams. Martin has taken on the role of Executive Producer and will be imparting his production wisdom on us, helping out with his vast wealth of contacts, overseeing and keeping our production on the straight and narrow! Martin has been a producer and director for 16 years working on multi million pound productions for BBC, ITV, CH4, Sky, Discovery, Nat Geo. He has worked with legends such as David Attenborough and Steven Hawkings so we are very lucky to have him on board!
Risks and challenges
All films come with challenges. Every film I have made has brought up problems that have come from the least expected direction and it's always tricky to predict what could go wrong.
One problem we might face is losing one of our heads of department or even actors. As everyone is working for free on this, if some paid work or a dream job turns up for them it could well be the case that one of our team takes that option and that would be totally understandable. In this scenario we will simply have to find other options. Between myself and all the team at Flat Cap Films we have contacts all over the place in the film and TV industry so finding last minute replacements, although far from ideal, is certainly not impossible.
The 3D printing of the wasp is already proving to be tricky but certainly not impossible. Finding a printer that is of high enough resolution is proving to be quite hard but we are making headway (we know they exist in the UK!) and it is clearly an obstacle that is possible to overcome, we just need to overcome it!
Kit can always go wrong but there are always ways of problem solving and rescheduling on the day and we will have contingency built into our schedule to allow for the inevitable delays that always happen on these shorter shoots.
Once everything is filmed the pressure is off a little bit but there can still be problems. We are lucky as we have no deadlines apart from festival deadlines so if anyone becomes unavailable during the post-production process we'll just wait. If any of the lovely people who have offered us their services for free pull out for whatever reason we will just have to (with regret) find someone else. Like I say, between us we have enough contacts to pull in more favours and the project has enough kudos attached to it to make it appealing enough to attract people.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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