Thanks to the absolutely incredible support from all of our backers, we managed to hit our £8000 target earlier than we anticipated, a full 8 days before the end of the campaign! This now means that we have enough money to guarantee the film will be finished! However, with a week left to go in the campaign, we'd like to see if we can go the extra mile and hit £10,000!
That extra money would help us make the film even more spectacular, as well as giving us a little more wiggle room when negotiating our upcoming costs and allowing us to bring on some extra crew to help with the visual effects. The more talent we can get to join us on the project the better!
Once again, thanks so much for all your support so far! This is your film now, as well as ours, so lets rally together in this last week and make the film the best it can be!
Andrew & David
Turning Tide follows the story of David McKellar, a young boy growing up in wartime Scotland. On one fateful day, a massive German air squadron flies over his home on their way to a bombing raid. Overcome with excitement, David runs after the planes, and in doing so, changes his life forever, as he discovers a lone enemy pilot who survives after his bomber crashes into the sea.
Shooting for the film didn't exactly get off to the best start. On our first full day of filming in August 2014, on location in Troon on the West coast of Scotland, the cast and crew were caught in an unrelenting thunderstorm, instantly putting a stop to proceedings. This was to continue into the next day as well, putting the film at great risk of never even getting off the ground. However by the third day, our luck (and most importantly the weather) changed, and we were finally able to get shooting back on track.
After the initial panic caused by the bad weather, we eventually relaxed into the shoot as we saw all of the different elements coming together. The film was shot across a number of outdoor locations, taking full advantage of the Scottish coast's unique scenery. In addition to the location's natural features, a large amount of research was conducted in pre-production to accurately portray the authentic props, costumes and vintage vehicles of the 1940's.
We were extremely blessed with an amazing cast. Stepping into the lead role of David McKellar is newcomer Patrick McLaughlin, a talented 10 year old haling from the nearby town of Ayr. Patrick blew us away in his audition, with a mature, subtle performance rarely seen in actors his age.
Also starring in the film is Marianne McIvor, who plays David's mother Jean. Marianne is a veteran of numerous BBC dramas, and brings a warm presence to the story as she desperately tries to find her missing son.
Finally we have Neal Roxburgh, who takes on the role of the imposing Luftwaffe pilot, stranded a long way from home. Neal's intense performance brings a level of tension to the film as his character finds himself face to face with young David.
In supporting roles we have Katrina Scott, Stuart Falconer and Peter Robertson, who round off the cast perfectly as local townspeople finding themselves pulled into the extraordinary events unfolding.
After 10 days of shooting, dodging adverse weather conditions and rising tides, we finally wrapped production on the live action portion of the film. Since then, we've been putting all the pieces together and streamlining our edit of the movie, whilst also planning for the next stage. That's hopefully where you guys come in..
There are still a number of important stages that we have to put the film through to finally bring it to completion. The main issue we are facing is a lack of funding. Having spent over £5000 of our own money to bring the film to this stage, we have very little left in the bank! Therefore we can only climb the final steps and finish what we started with your support. If we are able to achieve our Kickstarter target of raising £8000, the main key areas your money would go towards are listed below.
Sound design has an extremely important role to play in transforming the film into the cinematic experience we know it can be. Everything from the roar of Spitfire airplanes, the distant thunder of bombs hitting their targets, or blaring air raid sirens needs to be in place to sell the visuals on screen. To deliver the most engaging, immersive experience possible, we're aiming to present the film with a 5.1 surround sound mix, which can only be created in a professionally equipped mixing studio.
Similarly, music is an essential ingredient in any film, but particularly in an adventure-drama film such as this. The style of the movie harkens back to films of a period that featured orchestral musical scores on a grand and sweeping scale. The Kickstarter funding would be used to bring on board a composer to create a stirring score that would elevate the visuals and heighten the emotional drama of the film.
When originally shot, the raw footage that comes straight from the camera is actually extremely flat and desaturated. It needs to be graded to bring out all the colour information and enhance the shot to it's full potential. Although colour grading is an element that can often go unnoticed, it is an extremely skilled art, and for us to achieve the best possible look for our film, we'd like it to be done by a dedicated professional.
Without a doubt however, the single biggest task remaining in the completion of this film is the creation of our visual effects...
What needs to be done?
Midway through the film, an exciting sequence takes place when a large squadron of Heinkel He 111 German bombers fly directly over David's home. Out over the sea, they are engaged by 12 RAF Spitfires from the 602 Squadron, culminating in the dramatic crash of a bomber into the water. To bring this ambitious, complex sequence to life, we need to employ a mix of practical effects involving miniatures and pyrotechnics with digital compositing.
Computer generated imagery is an extremely powerful tool, and with a large budget and an army of visual effects artists, it's potential is unlimited. However one huge advantage of filming physical miniatures, as opposed to CG models, is that textures, lighting and reflections (all the things that make something look real to the human eye) are instantly and effortlessly captured 'in camera', and don't have to be simulated later with computer software. On a lower budget project such as ours, this offers a perfect way of creating visuals that feel authentic and tangible. That's not to say digital technology won't be used at all however, as we would still need it to combine, enhance, and animate our miniature footage.
What do we need to build?
To suit the different shots, the Spitfire and Heinkel miniatures will need to be constructed in a variety of scales. The largest miniature will be a 1/7th scale section of the German bomber, with a wingspan of 3 meters! These miniatures need to be controlled and animated to give the illusion of flight, and for this we'll be constructing a variety of rigs that can suspend and move the models as required.
One inherent challenge with using miniatures, is that if they are not filmed correctly, they can appear to be, well, "miniature". To give them a sense of scale and weight, they need to be shot at high frame rates, which can later be slowed down. This creates a smooth motion for the models that makes them appear full size. To achieve this, we would need to hire camera gear capable of shooting at extremely high speeds, as well as long lengths of camera track so that we can "fly" past our models.
Recreating the 1940's
The visual effects workload also extends to smaller effects that you wouldn't necessarily notice. During principal photography, we did our very best to create a 1940's environment for the camera by filming with authentic costumes, hair styles, props, period buildings, and vintage vehicles.
However, when filming out doors, elements of the 21st century inevitably creep into the shot. All manner of things from satellite dishes to road markings, and double glazed window frames to oil tankers on the sea's horizon will need to be removed. We also want to enhance the environments by adding 1940's period features as well. War time posters, period lamp posts, cars and buildings can all be added to existing shots.
Thank you for your support
Once again, many thanks for checking out our Kickstarter page. Anything you can donate to help us achieve all of the above and finish our film would be enormously appreciated and we'd be forever grateful! If you have any questions about the project, please don't hesitate to contact us. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated with our progress!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge we have still to face is undoubtedly our miniatures shoot. The complexity of the job still at hand will require a lot of careful planning and preparation.
However, with the majority of the film substantially in place, and so much of our own time and money already invested in the film so far, our commitment and determination to completing this project is unwavering. We've faced many challenges in bringing the film to this stage and we're more than ready to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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