Nevrland is a feature film project by writer-director Gregor Schmidinger and tells the story of 17-year-old Jakob who wants nothing more than to feel alive. Uncontrollable anxiety attacks force him to escape into fictional and virtual worlds.
A chance encounter in a sex-cam-chat marks the beginning of an online relationship with the seemingly perfect 26-year old Christian. It's not until the death of Jakob's only true emotional attachment, his grandfather, that he is willing to meet up with Christian in real life.
Over the course of one night, they embark on a transpersonal journey to the wounds of their soul where Jakob must face his biggest fear.
After my short films The Boy Next Door (2008) and Homophobia (2012), which have combined more than 15 million views on YouTube, I felt ready to write my first feature film. The only thing I knew at the time was that I wanted to write a post-gay coming-of-age drama. This means a story about growing up and finding oneself, featuring gay characters but without the stereotypical themes usually depicted in LGBT film (e.g. the struggles of coming out.)
I wrote the first draft as my graduation project at UCLA, where I studied screenwriting for three years. I have come a long way since then and I'm finally ready to move on to the next step:
Once a screenplay is finished it moves on to project development before it gets produced. The main focus of project development is to assemble the key creatives, pre-visualize the movie with mood and storyboards and of course...
Casting the main actors will be one of the most exciting aspects of project development as we ideally want a well-established international actor portraying the character of Christian.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a assistant casting director? You should! We most definitely can use your help in finding the right actor.
But there is much more to the project development of Nevrland: Before I studied screenwriting at UCLA, I graduated from the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, where I wrote my thesis on transmedia storytelling. That's why I envision Nevrland as...
...MORE THAN JUST A MOVIE
I want it to to be a full blown transmedia experience. Transmedia means that the world of the story extends beyond just one medium (in our case a feature film.)
While I was writing the screenplay, I jotted down lots of ideas on how to extend the world of Nevrland over the edges of the screen into different virtual and physical spaces. Therefore, I want to use project development to further develop these ideas and weave them tightly together into the feature film for a truly unique experience.
Although the creation of a movie usually starts with countless hours of solitude, in the end, making a movie is a team effort. In the last two years, five people in particular have joined me on my journey; four of them are featured in the video below, expressing their personal thoughts and feelings about Nevrland:
WHAT IS CHAPTER 1?
It's important to know that we are not raising money for the production of the feature film with this Kickstarter campaign. The feature film will have a projected budget of about €1.5 million to produce the movie exactly the way I envision it.
We wouldn't be able to realistically raise such a large amount on Kickstarter. The feature film itself is therefore intended to be funded by Austrian cultural grants.
The Austrian Film Institute - one of the three main public funding organizations in Austria - has funded the development of the screenplay twice already: a strong sign of approval and support for the project.
What's the money for then?
The money we are raising on Kickstarter will go towards:
This fall we'll apply for production funding. The most important goal is to convince the jury members of the funding organizations that Nevrland is a project with both social and artistic value. We achieve that first and foremost by casting at least one of the two main actors and fleshing out the look and feel of the movie.
We want to prove to the jury members that there is already a strong fanbase out there who want to see Nevrland become a reality. The more people support the project, the more we can demonstrate that it's a socially as well as artistically relevant project.
If you can help us achieve that ...
...WE'LL REWARD YOU!
For as little as 10 Euros we offer you...
- access to the streaming version of Nevrland before its official online release, including exclusive behind-the-scenes material, audio commentary and subtitles in English, German, Spanish and French.
- some #instalove, which means that we'll follow you on Instagram with the official Nevrland Instagram account.
- a monthly backer's digest with recent developments.
Sounds good already, right? But the real fun starts at 25€ because...
...we'll make you a part of the project!
You'll of course receive all the great perks described above, plus access to my exclusive online diary where I'll document my personal artistic journey with photos, videos and status updates - unedited and unfiltered, in realtime. By commenting on my thoughts and ideas, you can even help shape the creative process.
As one of the first 500 people to access my exclusive online diary, you'll get a personalized backer-certificate postcard with your unique backer's number as a holographic sticker.
1 € equals 1 script page
Starting at 25€ as well, for every Euro you pledge you'll get one page of the current draft of the screenplay. This means, if you get the 25€ perk, you'll get the first 25 pages. If you get the 50€ perk, you'll get the first 50 pages.
If you want to know the ending before everyone else, you should consider getting the 100€ perk. You'll get the full current draft of the screenplay, printed and signed, plus a 15-minutes Google Hang Out with me to talk about the story as well as a thank you credit in the movie.
Since nobody wants to buy a mystery bag, you can read the first 7 pages for free here. Enjoy!
Come visit Vienna or travel the world with us
Starting at 50€, you'll be invited on set for a day to be an extra in the movie. Plus you'll get two tickets to the official pre-premiere of Nevrland in Vienna/Austria with cast and crew including two guest list spots for the exclusive pre-premiere after party. Disclaimer: What happens there, stays there.
You could even ramp up that perk and be a premium extra, which means you'll be placed more prominently in the frame, get reserved seats at the pre-premiere plus a thank you credit in the movie for 500€ or even an Associate Producer credit for 5.000€ which includes two tickets for the world premiere, wherever that will take place in the world.
So how long will it take before you can watch Nevrland? Below you can see a rough estimate of the timeline, with release scheduled for the beginning of 2018.
Making a movie is a highly logistical and resource-intensive endeavor; it needs time to develop and prepare properly. The above schedule is our best guesstimate, leaning towards the optimistic end of the spectrum.
Any Questions left?
I hope I have answered all your questions. In case you have any others, write us a message here on Kickstarter, on Facebook or via e-mail to email@example.com. We'll get back to you as quickly as possible!
A lot of people helped make this campaign a reality so we want to take the opportunity to thank them here:
- Kick-Off/Closing Event: Nelson Etukudo, Jürgen Fellhofer, Maja van M, Mark Elsinger, Gerald Wenschitz, Schikaneder Kino, Flimmit and Vangardist
- Campaign/Pitch Video: Tassilo Herberstein, Nino Leitner, Katharina Dietl, Bernadette Schmatzer, Mirza Sprekakovic, Stefan Steiner, Nelson Etukudo, Alexander Boboschewski and Joël Macher
- Testimonials: Ulrich Gehmacher, Ines Häufler, Simon Baumgartner and Angelo D'Agostino
- Campaign Feedback: Katharina Dietl, David Winterberg, Jürgen Fellhofer, Simon Baumgartner, Ulrich Gehmacher, Manuel Dünfründt, Joël Macher, Angelo D'Agostino and Benjamin Petrie LaFirst
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that we won't get enough public funding for production. But as mentioned before, the project has already been funded twice by the Austrian Film Institute, which is a great indicator that they are very interested in continuing to support the project.
We have also come up with two alternatives in case one of the organizations declines to further support Nevrland. The first is going for international co-productions with other countries and the second would be to raise additional private equity to make up for any funding deficits.
I have been working on the project for two years now and it has become such an important part of my life that I can ensure you that I will do anything in my power to get this project on the big screen and beyond.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)