It's more than a game. The feature film based on the arcade urban legend, Polybius.
What is the Polybius urban legend?
The urban legend takes place in 1981 in Portland, Oregon, where several arcades started to display a new game titled “Polybius.” These games were said to have strange effects, causing headaches, seizures, and often those who played it would suffer from amnesia. Mysterious men in black suits would come to collect information from the game, and to see the high scores.
What is the Polybius film about?
Eric, Jimmy, and Reed are best friends, and are attending high school together in Portland, Oregon in 1981. They decide one day to revisit one of their favorite middle school activities, which is playing at the local video arcade. Eric doesn’t seem to enjoy arcade games as much as he used to, despite being the best in the group at them.
When they finally convince Eric to go, he tries out a new arcade game that nobody else seems to enjoy much. It’s title is….Polybius.
Eric wakes up two days after playing Polybius with no memory of what happened the previous day. He returns to that arcade, finding the arcade machine is gone. The arcade owner has no memory of it, and neither do his friends. But Eric does, and he makes it his mission to find out the mystery behind this game, who created it, what their goals are, and what happened to him that would cause him to forget an entire day.
My film will be true to the Polybius legend, while adding it’s own unique personality. I have looked into stories of those who contributed to Polybius, including Blister, Steven Roach, the fan game, and many other stories people have made to add to this urban legend.
What made you decide to make a film based on Polybius?
The arcade scene of the 1980’s has always fascinated me, as it is very different than the way video games are played today. Arcades were a social gathering place, a place not only to play games but also to spend time with friends and meet new people. The characters in this film are about the same age as my father, and he was an excellent player of the game Robotron, Joust, and many other classics. I have always wanted to make a film set in this time period, and I believe the unique story of Polybius will help me accomplish that.
I have already shot a short film that takes place in this Polybius universe. It focuses on a character named “Phillip Bergman,” one of the original developers of Polybius. In this short, he is being forced to make a video explaining the effects of the game because he has been kidnapped and the game has been stolen from him by….well, you’ll find out eventually.
Who is working on Polybius?
Taylor Scott Olson and Livingston Oden: Co-Writers, Co-Directors
Taylor and Livingston attended film school and have worked on several short film projects together. This will be their first feature length film, and they are very excited to work on it together. Both Taylor and Livingston know each others strengths and weaknesses and assist each other creatively where they might need it.
Troy Bakewell: Director of Photography
We will be shooting on the RED Scarlet-X, and with Troy as our D.P. we will have no worries that we will get the best shots available. Our plan is to shoot this feature film this fall!
We will be adding more to the crew soon!
How you can help
While $18,000 seems like a lot of money, it’s actually relatively low compared to the budget of most feature films. This budget is necessary to cover the costs of the cast and crew, as well as the equipment, locations, and props. I would not be able to accomplish this project without those who support projects on Kickstarter, and I am proud to have supported other projects on this site. I am always willing to answer questions that anybody may have, so please feel free to leave a comment, or visit our official website at www.polybiusfilm.com
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Kickstarter Video filmed by Erik Michael Lundin
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