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The Captured Bird's video poster

In this dark fable, a little girl is drawn to a mysterious mansion where she witnesses the birth of five horrifying apparitions. Read more

Toronto, Canada Shorts
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pledged of $15,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on June 4, 2011.

In this dark fable, a little girl is drawn to a mysterious mansion where she witnesses the birth of five horrifying apparitions.

Toronto, Canada Shorts
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About this project


Thanks to everyone who has backed us so far!  We're overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response and we'd like to keep the ball rolling. We have decided to upgrade our camera package to the much sought-after ARRI Alexa. It's a new high end camera designed for high budget feature films (James Cameron just bought several of them), television shows, and commercials. The Alexa is more compatible with all of our complex visual effects needs, so the film will look better than we had ever imagined! Finally, unexpected expenses such as a generator to power the set (we can't tie in, unfortunately) have just been added to our requirements, so we've had to increase our funding goal to $25,000 to cover the cost of the genny, truck and operator. We are so close, so please keep the pledges coming! The Captured Bird is going to fly!


Pledge $150 and you'll receive a LIMITED EDITION FULL SIZE MOVIE POSTER AUTOGRAPHED BY THE CAST AND CREW! + the DVD + A Thank You Credit in the film, of course! Act now! We're only printing 10 of them so they're extremely limited!

ABOUT THIS PROJECTThank you for taking the time to learn more about our project. We are currently in pre-production on The Captured Bird and would like to give you an opportunity to be part of it.  The Captured Bird has already raised a large portion of its financing through a generous grant from Bravo!FACT, a program run by Canadian broadcaster Bravo, as well as some generous donations from people anxious to see the film.

We’ve set shoot dates for the end of May, and now all we need to fully bring The Captured Bird to life is the last $15,000 - and we have 30 days to make it happen.  One of the reasons our film is so ambitious is the director’s commitment to filming a real monster created by special effects make-up artists, not another cheesy CG abomination.  If you're a horror fan, and want to see the return of classic genre filmmaking with practical creature effects, then please consider making a donation.

SYNOPSISThe Captured Bird is a darkly poetic fable that begins with a little girl drawing figures of people with chalk on the cement of a playground. She takes notice of an unusual crack in the pavement that is seeping a mysterious black fluid, which she follows to an ominous mansion. Inside, she encounters several bizarre phenomena, including walls that bleed black and tentacles that emerge from the ceiling to touch her. She then witnesses the birth of five terrifying supernatural beings that threaten the existence of her world.

The Captured Bird is a short film written and directed by Jovanka Vuckovic. It is inspired in part by a childhood nightmare, by the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, the fables of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen as well as the paranormal phenomenon known as The Shadow People. They are supernatural beings depicted cross-culturally in art and literature. Regardless of culture or period, these beings appear in the waking nightmares of dreamers all over the world. For dream interpreters, they are notorious harbingers of doom.

The Captured Bird has already been accepted, even before being shot, to the prestigious Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Mexico's Morbido Film Fest, the UK's Sheffield Horror Film Festival, LA's Viscera Film Festival, The Boston Underground Film Festival, Edmonton's DEDfest and Colorado's Telluride Horror Show. Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, among others, have also already shown interest. 


Jovanka Vuckovic | Writer/Director
Jovanka Vuckovic is an award-winning writer, artist, film critic and cinema historian. She spent five years as a digital effects artist at CBC Television, where she earned a Gemini Award for Best Visual Effects. She became a noted horror genre expert during her tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Rue Morgue Magazine and was recently named one of the top thirteen most important women in the history of horror alongside Mary Shelley, Kathryn Bigelow and Vampira. Vuckovic is the author of Zombies! An Illustrated History of the Undead (St. Martin's Press). The Captured Bird is her first film.

Jason Lapeyre | Producer
Jason Lapeyre is an award-winning filmmaker whose horror music video Crystal has played in 30 film festivals and won 8 awards. He has just finished directing his first feature, Cold Blooded, and his first documentary feature, Psychiatric Inpatient Unit.

Guillermo del Toro | Executive Producer
Guillermo del Toro is the Oscar-nominated director of The Devil’s Backbone, the Hellboy films and Pan’s Labyrinth. He is currently developing The Haunted Mansion for Disney and shooting Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures.

Steve Gonsalves | Associate Producer
Steve Gonsalves is a veteran paranormal investigator, founder of TAPS Paramagazine and star of the SyFy hit series Ghost Hunters. In addition to producing The Captured Bird, he is also the film's Chief Paranormal Advisor.

Spectral Motion | Special Effects Make-Up Design
Mike Elizalde’s Spectral Motion is Hollywood’s premiere creature-effects shop, making monsters for films such as Land of the LostX-Men: The Last Stand and the Hellboy films.

Paul Jones Effects Studio | Special Effects Make-Up
Paul Jones Effects is Toronto's biggest creature effects studio. Recent genre film credits include Silent Hill: Revelation 3DThe Thing and Resident Evil: Afterlife

Karim Hussain | Director of Photography
Karim Hussain is a director and cinematographer (Hobo With a Shotgun) whose most recent films as director include the upcoming anthology Theatre Bizarre, La Belle BêteAscension and Subconscious Cruelty.

Douglas Buck | Editor
Douglas Buck’s most recent film as editor is the film adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s Offspring, but he is also the director of several films, including the upcoming anthology film Theatre Bizarre, the remake of Brian DePalma’s Sisters and the award-winning short Cutting Moments.

Anastasia Masaro | Production Designer
Anastasia Masaro is an Academy Award-nominated Canadian production designer whose film credits include Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusTideland, Vincenzo Natali's Cube, the Stephen King mini-series Storm of the CenturyThe Perfect ManHoney and Dead Silence.

Tammy Sutton | Visual Effects Supervisor
Emmy-award winner Tammy Sutton has worked on the visual effects for Avatar, the Twilight films GI Joe: The Rise of CobraSlither and Spider-Man 2, among dozens of others.

Rob McCallum | Storyboard Artist/Concept Artist
Rob McCallum is the Canadian film industry's go-to storyboard artist. His film credits include The ThingScott Pilgrim vs. the WorldResident Evil: AfterlifeKick-AssSilent Hill, Orphan, Dark Water, George Romero's Land of the Dead and dozens more.

Nat Jones | Concept Artist
Nat Jones is one of the industry’s top horror artists. He has worked with many of comics' most recognized creators including Rob Zombie, Steve Niles, Joe Hill and Todd Mcfarlane. Jones' credits include 28 Days Later30 Days of NightSpawn, Frank Frazetta's Death DealerThe NailThe Devil’s RejectsFear the Dead and '68.

Redeemer | Film Score
Redeemer is a critically acclaimed underground musical act featuring Juno Award-winning guitarist Jason Cuddy, Gold and Platinum Record Award-winning bassist/producer Darius Szczepaniak (whose film credits include The Passion of the Christ and Hostage), vocalist Shane Faulkner, guitarist George Giourgis and drummer Victor Rebelo.            

HORROR FILM SCHOOLAs mentioned in our video, we’ve been busy documenting the whole process so far, as well as interviewing some amazing horror filmmakers about how to make your first horror movie.  You can check out the videos at the following links:

Storyboards with Rob McCallum

Cinematography with DP Karim Hussain

Directing with George Romero

Directing with Mick Garris

And we’ll be adding more as we get closer to production!  You can check out even more detail on our blog:

Find out more about our project at

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    11 backers

    We’ll give you our eternal gratitude plus a huge thank you on our Facebook and Twitter status and list your name on our website as a donor.

  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    91 backers

    We’ll thank you in the credit roll of the actual film and send you a link to an HD digital download of the film after it’s played the festival circuit.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    92 backers

    We’ll send you an autographed DVD of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and all of the Horror Film School videos, as well as a limited edition THE CAPTURED BIRD t-shirt!

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    48 backers

    We’ll send you an autographed copy of Jovanka’s brand-new book ZOMBIES! AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE UNDEAD – a super-cool overview of the history of the living dead in cinema and pop culture + the DVD + a thank-you credit in the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    NEW REWARD UNLOCKED! Pledge $150 and you'll receive a LIMITED EDITION FULL SIZE MOVIE POSTER AUTOGRAPHED BY THE CAST AND CREW! + A Thank You Credit in the film, of course! Act now! We're only printing 10 of them so they're extremely limited!

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    The director, Jovanka Vuckovic and the producer, Jason Lapeyre, will be glad to sit down with you via Skype and have a 30-minute conversation about horror movies, making short films, why most remakes suck, how Uwe Boll gets to continue making movies and other mysteries of the cosmos + the DVD + a thank-you credit in the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Jovanka and Jason will take you out to lunch (not including travel to Toronto!) + the DVD + a thank-you credit in the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    We’ll send you an original prop or piece of scenic art design from the film, specifically chosen by Jovanka and her Oscar-nominated production designer Anastasia Masaro! + the DVD + a thank-you credit in the film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Come to set! We’ll arrange for you to visit the set during the film’s 3-day shoot and meet Jovanka and the crew in person. If you can’t get to Toronto, then we’ll arrange for a private virtual Skype set tour instead + the DVD + a thank-you in the film. This pledge amount is only good until our shoot date (May 27-29) so act now!

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    2 backers

    The VIP package! You’ll get an Executive Producer credit on the film + an invite to the Toronto premiere (or the festival screening closest to your hometown) + dinner with the crew of the film + an autographed copy of Jovanka’s book + the DVD

  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The Big Kahuna! As much as it pains Jovanka to do this, for this amount you will become the new owner of The Creature, the full-sized animatronic puppet designed by Oscar-nominated creature effects studio Spectral Motion Inc. and special effects make-up wizard Paul Jones. An unbelievable opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind piece of motion picture history.


Funding period

- (31 days)