What is Multiplayer?
Multiplayer is the latest feature film from Squidjib Productions, a Denver-based production team that dabbles in low-budget movies and shorts. It's an independent comedy film paying homage to video games old and new, told in the style of Are You Afraid of the Dark? crossed with The Twilight Zone Movie.
Four children huddle around a campfire late at night to play handheld video games, but when their batteries run out, they decide to tell ghost stories instead. Multiplayer is broken up into four segments, an anthology of comedic-horror stories that surround the subject of video games. From the government investigation into the deaths of gamers, to the discovery of a haunted Nintendo cartridge, Multiplayer is threaded together by the game-obsessed children weaving these tales.
Who are we?
Squidjib Productions is a small team of filmmakers working in Denver, Colorado. From shorts to music videos to feature-length films, we've done it all--on the cheap and on the fly. Sandwiched between our day jobs and personal lives, film-making is something we typically do on the weekends, meaning a feature-length project like Multiplayer takes a while to make. Because we're only filming only on the weekends-- plus working around everyone's schedules-- Multiplayer has been in production on and off since April 2013. Our last stretch of filming will start in October and end by mid-November, with post-production wrapping by mid-2014.
While we've done other projects and movies out of pocket before, Multiplayer is a different kind of animal. It's our first movie with an ensemble cast, meaning we essentially have 14 main characters (FF6 style!) on top of a ton of supporting character roles. Basically it totals to around 40 speaking roles in the film, not to mention background extras, all of whom we must costume and feed (lest they be naked and hungry).
We've already shot 3 out of the 4 segments on our own dime, but the costs of props, costumes, and especially catering have blown a beluga-sized hole in our budget. Using a tool like Kickstarter, we're hoping gamers and movie-lovers alike will aid us with the remaining production and post-production costs. In exchange, we could ensure the movie finishes strong, plus we'd get everyone who helps out some pretty nifty rewards.
How will funds be distributed?
We've got over two-thirds of Multiplayer shot and we're anxious to finish the rest, but we'll need additional funding to help complete production and post-production. We'll need at least $5500 to cover the rest of the filming as well as post. Here's a breakdown:
- $2000 toward the remaining production costs. This last segment has many props, costumes, makeup, vehicles, and locations that need to be purchased or rented. This production cost also includes catering for the 10 remaining days of shooting.
- $1000 toward post-production color correction and special effects. The film has many sections that require special effects, including one very special effect-heavy scene.
- $1000 toward post-production music. We would be paying someone to compose an original score to Multiplayer.
- $1000 toward film festival entries. Once Multiplayer is finished, we'd love to enter it in several film festivals. These range from larger general fests like the Starz Denver Film Fest ($45 to $60 per entry, depending on the date and entry fees) to smaller festivals that deal exclusively with low-budget films (typically $20 to $40 per entry). Assuming the average film festival entry fees are around $50 (including WithoutaBox fees), a $1000 budget would get us about 20 entries into the festival world.
- $500 toward Kickstarter/Amazon's 8-10% fees.
Of course, we'd love to exceed our goal of $5500 to make the film even better. For instance, our $1000 budget for special effects is very very low, so if we can exceed our initial goal, we'll up our special effects budget to make sure every effects shot is made as professionally as possible. Likewise, extra funding also means more film festival entries, so we can get Multiplayer the maximum amount of exposure.
Risks and challenges
Although there are many risks and challenges when making a feature-length film, Multiplayer is already over two-thirds shot, so we anticipate very few hiccups in the remaining days of production. Weather is the one possible problem; there are a handful of exteriors left to shoot, and Denver weather in October/November can be a bit unpredictable. If we do run into any bad weather, we can simply juggle shoot days around and film interior scenes in the meantime.
Other setbacks might crop up in the post-production process. While we're doing the editing ourselves, we're branching out to others for the soundtrack and special effects. We have worked with composers on other projects before, so that sort of collaboration should go swimmingly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (15 days)