After absolutely smashing our initial funding goal in just over 2 hours I am ecstatic to announce The August Club stretch goals! Already we've hit stretch goal 2! Let's see how many more of the bars we can give a little colour:
Before I give you anything, who are you?
That's a fair question, thankfully I've prepared this card to give you a quick and easy summary:
So What is The August Club?
The August Club is a 5 episode series of films in which two young boys from a working class neighbourhood in the North East of England discover their small home town is host to a slew of monstrous creatures.
In response to this the two boys, Jack and Noah form a monster hunting squad (known as The August Club), taking down a supernatural being each week as they slowly uncover the town’s secrets and clues, all of which point to the existence of a surreal urban legend, an eerie entity known only as ‘The Crimson Man’.
We want to make the first episode of this series, in which Jack and Noah form their friendship over a chance encounter with a hideous Vampire known as Count Varias, this will act as a standalone film.
Who are Noah and Jack?
Noah is a somewhat babied only-child. A fair bit more wealthy than Jack, Noah is the kind of 13 year old who still sleeps in a race car bed and plays with action figures. Friendless, lonely and a little bit of a coward, Noah learns to conquer his fears through his new acquaintance Jack and the bold adventures the two of them go on.
Jack is the leader of the group, fearless in the face of all the things that go bump-in-the-night he isn’t scared of this newly discovered life filled with ghosts and ghouls. What Jack fears is his father. Jack is scared of going home to the everyday poverty of living with an alcoholic single parent, he fears being lonely, he fears the real world. He loves putting himself in danger battling creatures of the night in dingy crypts and basements, the only thing that terrifies him is going home at the end of it all.
Through each other the two children, at first resistant to their friendship, form a strong bond that over the course of the episodes sees them come face-to-face with the things that scare them most, but gives them the power to overcome them all.
So what is it you're actually making?
The August Club is a massive passion project and we want your help to make the first episode which will also act as a standalone film around 30-45 minutes in length. With a talented team ready to make it come to life. We want to create the kind of childhood adventure we always wanted to watch, with all the fun of the classic flicks you know and love but with a working class twist, to make something like nothing you've ever seen before.
The August Club is fantasy, it's horror, it's comedy and adventure all rolled into one complete package and with your help it could also be a reality.
So whether you contribute or share our Kickstarter page, we’ll be incredibly grateful. Making films is something that brings communities together and we want you to be part of that, we hope you join us on our journey.
Why only one episode?
Films are expensive. The vast majority of the budget from this effort will not come from Kickstarter but rather my own savings, for this reason I don't want to ask the Kickstarter audience to fund such a massive project before they see what I can do. The first episode will still act as a standalone film that can be watched on it's own and although there will be some mysteries left open for the future the main plot of this episode will stand on it's own as an entity in it's own right.
Who is in charge of the project?
That would be these guys:
These three are (named from left) Mark Hunter, Daniel Richardson (myself) and Connor Langley. They make up Digital Arcadia, a small and passionate group of film-makers who have previously held international awards both as a team and as individuals.
I will be taking creative lead, with Connor Langley aiding in production and Mark Hunter assistant directing and acting as DOP.
Your crew is only three people?
No, we aren't mad. We have a team of extremely talented people behind us such as:
Michael has worked in Theatre, music and film for over a quarter of a century. Starting out as musician before moving on to manage TIME recording studio at the buddle arts centre where he worked for 13 years.
Michael continues to work in the sound industry and his expertise is very welcome on The August Club.
Mark Danbury is a professional Make-Up Artist, seen here beginning to create a life cast of our Count Varias. Mark has a variety of experience having worked in the industry for over a decade and often works on major television productions.
Stav Drieman is our composer, he created the excellent title track you heard from the pitch video. Stav is a hard worker and has composed multiple short films and features, a lot of which went onto have large festival success.
Here's some more examples of some the work he has produced so far for The August Club:
There's loads more crew working with us, including more concept artists, camera crew, storyboard artists, effects teams and many others but we don't want to beat you over the head with a thousand names just yet. We'll be announcing more crew in our Kickstarter updates as the campaign runs. Until then though, let's look at some of the cast.
Meet the cast
Lucas Byrne will be performing as one of the two leads. An extremely talented actor, Lucas shined at the audition and his chemistry with co-star James Grainger was unparalleled.
James Grainger will be performing as Noah. During the audition process James truly captured Noah's essence. With a background in theater performance and video James' experience shines through in every thing he does.
The only thing scarier than the Vampire, is a Bully. Ben Robert slayed in his audition as Kyle, an older kid who gives the main protagonists are a hard time. We can't wait for you to see him on screen. Don't let the smile fool you, he'd proper knock you out this kid.
Playing Stoogey, Kyle's right hand man is Jack Johnston. During the audition process Jack stood out as having strong visual performances. He was the perfect ally to Ben's Kyle.
David Lavery has worked with Daniel in the past. A super actor with an imposing figure David is set to make for one terrifying Count Varias.
Look at this handsome lad man. Class that. Jacob Anderton is an astoundingly talented performer who has been acting for years. Previously he has been cast in television and film roles and he looks set for a bright future ahead of him. We don't want to tell you who he's playing yet, that's a surprise.
There's still more cast to be announced but we'll updating with those as the Kickstarter goes on.
How are you shooting this?
We'll be shooting across a wide variety of lenses on a Black Magic Cinema Camera kit. We've worked with this kit before so we know what we're doing. Here's a sample of the kind of stuff that can be achieved with this kind of equipment:
A film of two styles
Narratively, the film is a movie of juxtapositions. We want their to be a distinct feel to both sides of the film. One 'look' for the grounded realism of the kids everyday life and one for when they escape into fantastical adventure.
Why should I back?
Load of reasons! For one you'll be helping independent film-makers, which gives you the absolute pleasure of feeling really good about yourself, knowing that you played a part in getting a big creative project off the ground, but we don't expect you to back for nothing! We have a load of rewards available from digital music to Blu-Ray copies of the film, we've got loads to give you as thanks for being so kind and supporting us help make a dream a reality. Check out the rewards at the sidebar!
We don't want to reveal all everything just yet as we'd like those to be big reveals as the days go on. However if you're wondering what kind of stuff you'd be looking at with regards to purchasing posters and postcards here is one of the postcard designs by our artists, Rachel:
Oh and yeah, you can get this coffin:
Whether you contribute or share our Kickstarter page, we’ll be incredibly grateful. Making films is about creating communities and we hope you can all get involved in making something special.
Risks and challenges
Shooting on location in the North East of England will really help sell the concepts we're trying to convey but it also has famously fickle weather. We aim to be on point with our scheduling and planning, making sure to always anticipate the possibility of rain and be prepared with back-up plans and alternative shooting dates.
We aren't amateurs though and we know what to look out for, a lot of our crew have backgrounds in television and film production and our cast are a talented bunch with a variety of credits to their name. Everyone plans to put their all into this production and an issue like weather while inconvenient would never dampen our spirits.
Our second major challenge will come in conveying the reality of the setting, our team have been handpicked to be the best possible bunch of people to represent this world you never get to see and through talent, skill and craft, they'll be able to tell the story we truly want to share.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)