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A researcher follows clues to a mystery on the English coast involving a strange creature in a remote house
A researcher follows clues to a mystery on the English coast involving a strange creature in a remote house
93 backers pledged £2,689 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Distant Sea - HP Lovecraft Inspired Short Film - Horror project video thumbnail
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WE MADE IT!! STRETCH GOAL ANNOUNCED!

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the campaign. It's amazing to have hit our target and have the support of so many people. We still have time left though and still want to drive the campaign forward, not only of course to help us further towards the many production costs, but to get the word out to more people who would love to see the film.

To that end, I'm announcing our first stretch goal. Upon reaching £2500 we'll be recording a dramatic audio production of the short story upon which The Distant Sea is based - The Night Ocean by HP Lovecraft and RH Barlow. It will be read by the star of the film and experienced voice actor, Emily Lucienne (whose voice you can hear in our video!) and will initially only be made available to backers (at every pledge level). We want to make this a fun bonus while you're waiting for the film to be finished, so please keep sharing and helping get the word out about the campaign and then one balmy night you can curl up with your headphones and take a dip in The Night Ocean...

Thanks again so much everybody. We so excited to be here.

THE PROJECT

A weird fiction film set on the coastal hinterland of England, inspired by both classic authors like MR James and HP Lovecraft and films from Don't Look Now to Under The Skin. We are already backed by Film London/BFI but we need your help to raise the funds to make this happen.

As the wind blows through the sand and reeds, spreading its eerie whispers around the camp fire, a presence is lurking in a nearby house. A horror thought long gone by the inhabitants of the dunes. A horror that is all too real...

We would love to have you along with us making this film, and your contributions will be vital to bringing this story to the screen. We also need to get the word out there though, so please share the project using the button at the top of this page and invite your friends and family to join us.

THE DISTANT SEA - THE STORY

L is an erosion researcher driving around the English coast. On one lonely beach, in a forgotten corner of the country, she comes across Sasha and Jo, two local teens out on an adventure. After Jo gets too freaked out by what they are going to do, Sasha tricks L into going with her instead, up to the old house... the one by the sea... the one with something unnatural behind its boarded up windows..

THE IDEA

The Distant Sea is loosely based on The Night Ocean by HP Lovecraft and RH Barlow. I loved the evocative writing, the way it captured the sense of strangeness that comes with being an outsider in a unknown place, and really identified with the sense of the sea as the true great unknown. Having grown up by the sea for much of my childhood, I have always been fascinated by stories of what may be lurking beneath its surface. So powerful and so little understood, the sea is the dark mirror of humanity, indifferent to our hopes and desires. Our mother. From its deep waters we came, and whispering in the hidden pools of our nightmares, it still tries to draw us back.

A FILM LONDON/SOUTHERN EXPOSURE FILM!

The real journey of The Distant Sea began at the end of last year when, out of 63 submissions, the script was shortlisted alongside 5 others for development by Film London. After six weeks of workshops and script sessions, we pitched to the final panel and were overjoyed to receive a phone call later that day saying that we had been selected for funding. Unfortunately, although a great beginning and a real vote of confidence in the project, the funding isn't enough to make the whole film. And that's where you come in...

THE COSTS

One of the rules of the Film London funding is that everyone must be paid at least minimum wage for their work on the shoot (excluding the main production team of course). It's great to reward the hard work of our great cast and crew but it does mean a large chunk of the funding we have from Film London will go towards that. Shooting outside of London is also a challenge as although some of our team will be from the local areas, most of us will be traveling there, so transport and accommodation costs will come into play. I love the coastal landscape of Sussex and Suffolk (our two locations) and we think it will be a source of beautiful and haunting imagery in the film, but shooting there instead of in our own back yard does bring up practical considerations. Then there are the usual filmmaking costs - camera hire, costume, production design and post-production. We will use all the contacts and production skills we have to keep these costs as low as possible but there is still a price attached. We want to bring you an eerie and imaginative tale, a chilling story set on the nexus between the sea and land, but we need your support to do it.

Every penny we raise from this Kickstarter will go into production costs (camera hire, production design, costume and make up). We are putting in our own money too of course but to really make it a stand out film, we need a bit more than what we have available. We are huge fans of the genre, from horror films to classic ghost stories, and we want to do you proud and create something for you that will make you remember why you love weird and chilling tales in the first place. Please help us bring this film to life.

THE LOCATION

Covehithe is a hamlet in Suffolk with one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the country. It is perfect for our tale of horror on the windswept sands, and we're really excited to have found it. On our last trip up there on location scout, it was just us, the wind in the dunes and the roar of the waves and even in the bright warm sunshine, the strangeness made us turn - was that something hiding in the surf? Behind the driftwood? Make sure you pledge at a level that snags you the photobook shot in this haunting area - the perfect companion piece to the film!

THE CREW

Nic Wassell | Writer/Director

I am a filmmaker and photographer from London, UK. My work ranges in narrative from emotional journeys, stark landscapes, dreams, time travel and metaphysics. With The Distant Sea I have been exploring the spaces between reality and imagination, looking for stories where the wilder things we dream of can slip between the cracks and invade our world.

My work has been shown internationally in festivals and online and I have traveled to a number of countries to make films and take part in filmmaking programs. I am confident that, with the great team I have assembled, we can make a really unique and striking short film that will satisfy lovers or horror and weird fiction everywhere.

Charlie Cauchi | Producer

Charlie is a researcher and creative producer. She has served as evaluator for the Malta Film Fund (2010) and has produced work in cooperation with Arte and the UK Arts Council and is currently working on a 3-year audio-visual project for Malta’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2018.

Annette Remler | Cinematographer

Cinematographer Annette Remler has photographed numerous award winning shorts and music promos. Festival credits include Camerimage, New York Independent Film Festival and the London Short Film Festival. Her work as a camera operator has won at Cannes and has been nominated for a BAFTA and Sundance.

Based in London she is working around the globe with experience of shooting all over Europe, and in South America, North Africa, and Asia and was sponsored by the European Union to attend the prestigious Budapest Cinematography Masterclass with Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC

Jaclyn Pappalardo | Production Designer

Jaclyn graduated from a BA in Film &Television at the London College of Communication in 2014, where she specialised in Production Design. She won the Ideas Tap Film Showcase for the short film "The Things I Do For You" and has worked on a range of short films, feature films, music videos and commercials. Her passion for design is not solely for film but it ranges from furniture design, to making props for music videos to working with fashion installation. She has just assisted on completing a fashion installation for the Nigerian Showcase at London Fashion Week and worked as a prop buyer for the new D&G Spring Advertising Campaign. Jaclyn's determination comes from her focus and motivation on wanting to create an emotional connection between her work and the audience.

Jaclyn has no K because her father misspelt her name. She does however have very curly hair and an even curlier mind.

CAST

Emily Lucienne | L

We are still casting the other roles, but we are pleased to announce the casting for the main character "L". Emily is a very accomplished and experienced actor, having appeared in many films (including the Oscar nominated "The Road Home") as well regularly working as a voiceover artist. We're very excited to be collaborating with her again and are really looking forward to creating a very exciting film together.

YOUR REWARDS!

We're trying to keep things fun on the reward front and everyone who pledges will get a handwritten seaside postcard sent from our filming locations. We also have exclusive notebooks for when you want to go out surveying on eerie coastlines yourself, and of course the film. On higher pledges we're really looking forward to sending you a very special photobook, professionally printed in association with ExWhyZed (http://www.exwhyzed.co.uk/), that will be shot on location showing the beautiful landscapes of Suffolk, and your own copy of the poster of the film, hand designed by our very talented designer, Erin McGrath (http://eerieerin.tumblr.com/). On the highest levels, you can join us as an Executive Producer, attend cast and crew screenings in London, or a festival screening if one is near you and have a personalised copy of the film with recorded messages of thanks from the whole production team. There's something for everyone so please contribute as much as you are able - and we've got some exciting updates still to come too! !

AND FINALLY...

We really need your help to get this short film made. Please take some time to have a look at the campaign and chip in whatever you can afford to help us. We want to make a really special film - a return to classic weird tales of the kind made popular by storytellers like HP Lovecraft. If you think a good chill down your spine is the perfect accompaniment to a cold winter evening, then please give us your support and we promise to deliver!

Risks and challenges

Making a film is always a challenge but we have a great team dedicated to making it happen. With the funding we have in place, we have already started our pre-production and have found some fantastic locations. We're accumulating our cast and crew and still refining the script to make it the best it can be. We will make this film whatever happens, but please walk with us and help us create something really special.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £3 or more About $4

    Buy Nic a "birthday drink" reward! It's my birthday the day after the end of the campaign, so if you'd like to contribute but just don't have that much right now, why not pledge the equivalent of a (cheapish) drink in London. It won't actually be spent on alcohol I promise... Oh and a thank you in the credits of course!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    A huge thanks from everyone on the team (and officially recognised in the credits of the film) and a handwritten postcard from one of our seaside locations letting you know what we filmed that day.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $21

    Heading out for your own coastal survey? Bring your own Distant Sea notebook and pencil to write down the spooky happenings. Each notebook will be printed with a handdrawn image from our poster. Also the handwritten postcard from the seaside and your name in the credits. Link to an HD streaming link of the film during a special two week period after the film is finished.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $36

    Postcard from both locations and double notebook pack! Digital high resolution download of the film to keep. Also see the world through L's eyes with an exclusive landscape photobook shot on our striking location!

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    Pledge £50 or more About $71

    Postcards, double notebook pack, digital download and photobook, plus an exclusive poster printed to A3 size.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge £100 or more About $143

    Postcards, notebooks, digital download, photobook and poster, as well as an invitation to the cast and crew screening of the film in London (transport not included!)

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    7 backers
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    Pledge £500 or more About $713

    Executive Producer! Everything above and a credit in the film as an Executive Producer. You'll be welcome to attend one of our shoot days on location (transport not included) and 'clap' a take as well as a special photo with our stars. You'll also be personally thanked in every copy of the photobook.

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Funding period

- (25 days)