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A short about a doomed mission to mars, and the value of manned space exploration, based on a real-life speech Nixon never gave.
A short about a doomed mission to mars, and the value of manned space exploration, based on a real-life speech Nixon never gave.
151 backers pledged $8,885 to help bring this project to life.

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Far Beneath the Ship - (Sci-fi Short)

$8,885

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WHAT?

A speech was written for President Nixon in case the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the moon. It was never used, but it has been circulating the internet since it was revealed in 1999.

I have modified the speech to serve as the underscore for the story of a doomed astronaut on humanity's first trip to Mars (in 2001), and his heroic last-ditch attempt to pass on the kind of inspiration he received from seeing the Apollo 11 broadcast as a child in the '60s.

The short relies on carefully orchestrated, visual-effects heavy cinematography to carry the narrative from a living room in 1969, to the Moon, to a disintegrated space craft, to the surface of Mars, and back to the modern day streets of Japan in a fluid 7 minutes, with no dialogue.

WHY? 

I would like to explore the importance of bold space exploration as one of the few things humanity does that can bring large-scale inspiration and new ways of thinking to the generation that participates.

NASA has parked its space ships in museums, and most people alive today didn't exist the last time humanity left low earth orbit. Almost a half century has passed since we undertook an endeavor captivating enough to provide the next generation with a reason to pursue excellence. It seems like a good time to make things that remind us of what we have done, and what we can do.

(Or maybe I just thought the speech was cool and wanted to make a space movie)

HOW?

This project is a personal labor of love that I have been researching, writing, re-writing, shot-listing and pre-visualizing for over a year now. I rent a small industrial workspace where I have built a spacecraft interior set and space suit, and begun construction and plate photography on miniatures. I even have a couple aerial shots already in the can.

I am now at the point where I need help from my talented friends and from your generous pockets to create the scenes that I can't produce all alone in my workspace; which require actual location fees, production insurance, travel expenses, prop/equipment rentals, and pizza.

Previsualization Animations:

 My capsule set:

An odd thing we accidentally made while screen-testing my suit:

 A successful location scout for parts of the Mars EXT:

WHO?

My name is Andrew. I have a professional background in Cinematography and live-action Visual Effects Compositing. I have a non-professional background in classical piano performance and Halo 4 online multiplayer. Here are my reels:

Cinematography:

Visual Effects:

WHAT ABOUT BRUCE GREENWOOD?

If anyone knows (or is) Bruce Greenwood, It would be great to have him deliver the speech as the President, in voice-over. How much could he possibly charge for a 1 hour recording session...

Risks and challenges

This project is clearly subject to the standard film production woes, but I have been working in the technical side of production long enough to know how to use a nimble crew to achieve specific visuals. I have given this project more thought, preparation, and experimentation than anything I've ever done - as well as a good percentage of my financial worth.

The locations will be controlled, the people involved are friends, the stage space, sets, and equipment are largely mine, and post-production is my speciality. If there is any significant failure it will likely be due to a bad creative decision, in which case I will attempt to reshoot until things work.

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    A frame from the movie printed on canvas + Blu-ray + Digital Download

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    Provide me with a recording of your voice saying something as if you were on the radio and I'll put it in the sound mix (it might not be particularly intelligible, but you'll be able to hear it!).

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    I'll make you a functional DCP of the movie so you can play it in that multiplex you own in stunning JPEG 2000 quality!

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Funding period

- (20 days)