Gabriel's Lyre - on your screen in 2015
Gabriel's Lyre - on your screen in 2015
Can a totally paralysed kid in a wheelchair and his dysfunctional family save the human race from the worst crisis it has ever faced?
Can a totally paralysed kid in a wheelchair and his dysfunctional family save the human race from the worst crisis it has ever faced? Read more
Our casting wish list! OK our budget of £250k wouldn't pay any of the above's expenses let alone pay for a whole film but you can see we have ambition!
Gabriel's Lyre is a story which should be told as it has some really important themes and messages layered into the story even if it's hanging from the edge of its seat mostly. It's been my obsession for two years so far. I had the idea, or maybe it had me, when I was looking out the window of a plane on my way to west Africa. I was thinking about my friend Gareth who has a limp from the broken leg which ended his chances as a pro soccer player.
It got me thinking about the nature of disability and how I would cope if I had a stroke or something and ended up paralysed in a wheelchair. Coping with such a cataclysmic event would be sink or swim. Then it got me to thinking about having a hero at the centre of a really big story who had undergone something similar. How would they cope with a crisis outside their own personal issues? And I mean something really bad...and weird.
That's how the central character, my hero, Gareth developed into a 3D living, breathing person. First of all the story came out in the shape of a novel which I published first, then as soon as I was done, I started on the screenplay while it was all fresh in my head. Of the 250 hours of tv I've directed I've written most of it, so I've had a bit of practice now.
All the time this was going on I was working as a writer and director in tv and I worked out the other day I've made something like 250 hours of tv. Which is a lot. So this movie business can't be that difficult can it? But it is - it is really hard to penetrate. One door slams in your face as another shuts!
It makes the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group look like an open day at a cornerstore! But Gabriel's Lyre is a story which just won't go away for me. Just won't lie down and stay still. I think about it all the time. I talk about it all the time. It came deep out of my subconscious and it is the story I have to make if I do nothing else with the rest of my life.
The feedback I get from people who have read the book, and now the screenplay, is that it is one of the darkest yet most important stories they have ever read - even if one of the main characters has changed sex between writing the book and the screenplay.
The story is set in the Scottish Highlands and unfolds in a spectacular Scottish castle which holds some dark secrets discovered by the unlikely little band of friends and family who stumble on it. Gareth, his parents, and some family friends find themselves trapped by a set of circumstances which prevent them from being able to leave a place they quickly realise is hostile in the strangest way.
The amazing thing about writing Gareth as being paralysed with locked-in syndrome and confined to a wheelchair is he has a huge, troubled, playful character and expressing that along with his ability to survive some dreadful things was really rewarding instead of the metaphorical corner I thought I might have painted myself, and him, into. It turned out to be quite, quite the opposite.
Gareth has the coolest tracked wheelchair ever and it will look like this:
It will be a go-anywhere multi-terrain self-propelled little bit of genius and we have already worked out how we are going to build it and operate it remotely.
I have already assembled the core team who will help me perform, shoot, edit and deliver the film. We have identified an incredible location for the shoot:
And we are in talks with I would say the best cgi company in the world, multi Oscar-winning double negative in London. Everyone involved has brought shameless begging to new levels! This stuff is incredibly expensive but we hope with a little persuasion to arrange some special effects in the film which will be as good as anything you currently see. Just not two hours of them!
I have been casting for months to find new young talent to help along their career path - there is so much brilliant raw talent just waiting to be given a break - and we have a pool of around 30 stars in waiting you will have never heard of but have blown me away again and again with their level of professionalism, talent and energy!
We are budgeted, cast, have a fully developed screenplay, identified locations and figured out the technical issues with delivering a quality project. This is my passion - a multi-layered story which twists and turns and touches on themes which will resonate with you - and have you rooting for Gareth as he struggles for survival.
I believe that Gabriel's Lyre is a very strong project and we are asking for quite a lot by Kickstarter standards but I have seen other movie projects on here raise several million occasionally and Kickstarter raises $650 million annually so it's definitely got its groove on!
Risks and challenges
Investing in film is a very efficient tax break which can yield as much as a 75% benefit tax wise as well as between 18% and 30% in tax credits on your investment depending on the countries the project is made in.
For more information go here http://startups.co.uk/the-enterprise-investment-scheme-eis-explained/
Making movies or anything involving a camera is like every expression you can easily think of like herding cats, pushing water uphill or...you get the idea right? It can rain on your parade, break down or not show up.
Every time something gets completed and finished it is a tiny miracle from Angels it ever happens. The risks for us with setting sail on making my story and book into a film are the same as for anyone else.
We might run out of money before we complete it, things can go wrong and the shoot doesn't work out the way you hoped for a thousand different reasons. But we have contingency plans if anything unforeseen goes wrong.
It would be very easy to spend $50 or $60 million making this film. Projects are made for that sort of money regularly and if a major studio is involved the number can be much higher.
Our team will be working for a tiny amount of money and we will have to watch every cent we spend.
But the good news is this won't be the first time I've made a complex piece of film, nor will it be for all the heads of department as we call them in this business. Our line producer Liz Roberts is an award-winning movie producer in her own right for "Unstoppables" and was Development Producer for Network Seven in Australia and Executive Producer Christine Losecaat won an Emmy for "Peter And The Wolf".
And because we have a lot of contacts in the studio and distribution business between us there is a good to excellent chance we will pick up a distribution deal before the project is finished - maybe even as soon as we have landed our budget through this campaign. Distributors and studios all want to wait for someone else to put a toe in the water first. They are like wallflowers at a school dance!
Between us we have half a dozen Facebook pages and we will be doing daily sponsored posts to promote the campaign. Previously when promoting the book, I was able to reach upwards of 250k people per post and you are able to track their click throughs etc. I already have 17k followers on Twitter and I will be updating them regularly on progress too.
We are plugged into dozens of media websites, blogs and other platforms and will actively use them to promote the campaign. We will appeal to our friends in the media who have their own radio or internet shows to feature us and the project to help raise the profile. Gabriel's Lyre has its own FB page ready to go.
We are setting out to plan for success not failure and we all have a clear idea of what success looks like. I am far more used to succeeding than failing although I have found the movie business to be the most challenging I have ever attempted to scale. I did it as a journalist, then a tv director, then as an author and screenwriter and next is movie director. I expect this project to be a success. I am competitive and have learned it's all about exceeding expectations.
Which is pretty important when companies regularly spend more than the entire budget we will make Gabriel's Lyre for on a 30 second spot on advertising on tv.
We are currently in the process of trying to raise the money for four other film projects. All have great, fully-formed scripts and are already budgeted.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)