Weird fiction writer Randolph Carter encounters the terror of the unknown in this Lovecraft-inspired serial.
What It Is
The Dream Cycle of Randolph Carter is a web series that takes place five years after H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath".
The series follows weird fiction writer Randolph Carter, who has forgotten the lessons learned from his adventures and now continues his work as an unpopular author. His only profitable series is the Kadath Cycle, a series of books documenting his time in the Dreamlands and sold as fiction.
Disinterested in the world around him and unable to return to the Dreamlands, Carter finds himself willingly falling into trouble after discovering a strange cult and possibly a grand, cosmic conspiracy. Seeking meaning in life, Carter attempts to solve this mystery with the help of his publicist Laura and old friends Joel Manton and Harley Warren.
The series takes place in the modern day and explores various themes, including nihilism, living as an artist, and the deceptive power of nostalgia. By expanding on these ideas and applying them to a mix of loyal Lovecraft adaptations and original stories, Dream Cycle will provide entertainment specifically for those with an interest in Lovecraft, his contemporaries, and the weird fiction genre.
Amongst the stories being adapted are "The Statement of Randolph Carter", "The Terrible Old Man", "The Rats in the Walls", and a mystery two-part adaptation of one of Lovecraft's most famous stories. Beyond season one, there is hope to explore both famous Lovecraft stories ("The Shadow Over Innsmouth") and more obscure works ("The Temple"). If the series reaches its intended three season length, it will culminate in "The Silver Key".
Who We Are
NERDS! Well, yeah, that... but also film, TV, and theatre professionals. Besides the guys listed below, we have a lot of actors and crew lined up and ready for production. These guys and gals range from stage hands at the Performing Arts Center to independent artists and long term crew members on various high profile TV series and films.
Michael Keene (hey, that guy in the video!) will produce and star in Dream Cycle. He also wrote the pilot episode. Previously he has worked as the writers assistant on the pilot for Reckless and in various crew capacities on several films. Last year he completed his first short film, I Love My Cactus, which he wrote, produced, and starred in. He also worked with Matthew F. Perry on After Exodus, for which he provided camera and audio equipment, shot a large portion of the footage, and acted in a small role. He also has appeared in numerous Charleston stage productions, most notably in "The Importance of Being Earnest", in which he starred as Jack Worthing.
Adrian Westendorff will produce Dream Cycle alongside Michael, and possibly direct an episode of the series. He's an incredibly busy man and the very definition of a professional. He's worked on such TV shows as Eastbound & Down, Army Wives and Reckless, while also working as an editor for commercial projects and producing his own content.
Matthew F. Perry, director of the pilot, is a short film director who recently completed his largest project to date, After Exodus. Here's the trailer for that project:
Why We Need You
The fact of the matter is that producing a high quality narrative series is an expensive endeavor. However, the big advantage we have is the fan base surrounding Lovecraft and the stories we're adapting.
The funds acquired through this Kickstarter will go toward:
- Professional actors who can bring these tales of cosmic horror to life.
- A professional crew that can keep the budget low and the quality high.
- A small arsenal of equipment, including basic lighting (Arri) and camera stabilization.
- Rental costs.
- Location fees.
- A selection of notable weird fiction writers to develop our scripts and given the show a standard of quality from the get-go.
- Original score costs.
- Props and practical makeup effects.
What You Can Do To Help
While the majority of our needs are based around actually producing the show, there are numerous ways you can aid in this massive endeavor.
- Show your indescribable love by pledging a donation.
- Share this Kickstarter and our Facebook page with your friends.
- Send us your opinions—in writing or on video—about what you'd like to see in a Lovecraftian TV show. If we get enough opinions, we'd like to respond with a video of our own.
- Are you an artist? Writer? Musician? We don't just need financial donations! If you think you could be of service, we would love to hear from you. Whether it be songs to play over the end credits, artwork to display within the show, or pitches from weird writers, we'll consider it all. This is a community endeavor, so let's bring that weird community together.
Believe it or not, we've got some long term goals. Initial funds past $15,000 will be dispersed among the most expensive factors, i.e. renting equipment, visual effects, stunts, and post-production. However, if everything goes according to plan, these stretch goals will come into play.
$30,000 - We will go ahead and produce the second episode, "The Statement of Randolph Carter". While it will be a tight budget, we envision the episode being fairly low key, and consider this goal to be realistic.
$50,000 - We will produce the third episode, which also happens to be the most set and creature-intensive of the season. It's also the end of a three-episode mini-arc.
$65,000 - The fourth episode will be produced.
$75,000 - The fifth episode will be produced.
$100,000 - The sixth episode will be produced, completely ignoring what that not-an-accountant said in the video up top.
$150,000 - That's right, an increase of $50,000. Why? It's kinda necessary when you want to shoot an epic two-part finale in Providence, RI. That's right: we're going to adapt one of Lovecraft's best stories (you can probably guess which one) and set it in his beautiful home town.
$160,000 and Beyond - We have a lot of plans, but right now our goal is just to get the pilot and, theoretically, the season finished. If we pass the $160,000 mark, then most of it will go into making a better show. We'll hire better-trained actors, more experienced crew, and hire on the best writers small sums of cash can buy. Anything left over will be recycled into season two.
About The Rewards
While most of the rewards are self-explanatory, here are few more details:
All Funders: If you include a link to your Facebook page, we will like it from the Arkham Edge Facebook page. Every dollar counts, so it's really the least we can do.
$10 - Michael Keene, in character as Randolph Carter, will read off all of the listed names, with some morbid commentary, in a special video. Or series of videos, as the case most certainly will be.
$18 - Michael will draw each donor who sends in their picture as a cartoon cat. Below is an example, wherein he drew several members of the Breaking Bad cast:
$50 - The T-shirt is not yet designed. We're still going through possible artists, but we should have that all squared away before the end of this campaign.
$250 - Ditto on the poster. We want something painted, like an old school Hollywood movie poster.
$5,000 - The happy dance is exactly what it sounds like. Randolph Carter is essentially an avatar for Lovecraft, so imagine Lovecraft being forced to dance (happily) while cursing your name.
$10,000 - We plan on holding two premieres for the episode, one in Charleston (where most of season one will be filmed) and the other in Providence (where the finale and, in theory, season two will be filmed). If you live in a major west coast city (Portland, L.A., etc.), we may be able to travel to you at the time of screenings in those areas.
Also, in the video we mention that there's a "faux documentary". That is still something we are going to do, but rather than make it a reward we decided to just put it up for everyone to see once it's done.
Want to keep up with us?
Main Page: Arkham Edge
Twitter: @ArkhamEdge and @MichaelKeene
Facebook: Arkham Edge
Continue the discussion at the Crowd Funding Forum
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If we receive funding, then at the very least we will be able to produce the pilot episode of Dream Cycle. While some delays may occur, it will get done by March 2014.
After the pilot (or series) is complete, we'll be shopping it around various distributors. If no distributor will have it, then we'll go our own route and sell the episodes ourselves (through iTunes, Amazon, Roku Channels, etc.). However, out of the distributors we plan to send the pilot to, we don't see all of them declining.
The major hurdle will be getting past the pilot. There are a few options, all of which are detailed in our stretch goals. If we reach $160,000, then we can comfortably aim for a full season. The central requirement is that we finish the first season's story set up in our pilot.
If the only thing we can fund is the pilot and for whatever reason the series is not a viable option, then we'll release the pilot as a self-contained 45 - 60 minute short film.
In the end, this is a passion project. If we can only afford to hire department heads and then populate those departments with interns, and only hire local theatre actors, then that will just have to be the way it is. No matter what, this will be finished, so long as this initial amount of $15,000 is raised.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. For your penance you shall receive a feeling of indescribable dread... and your name at the dank, dark bottom of our "Thank You" page.Estimated delivery:
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THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLPH CARTER. "Randolph Carter" will read the names of every funder out of an ancient tome, and your web presence or charity will be etched into the Arkham Edge website's "Thank You" page.Estimated delivery:
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THE CATS OF ULTHAR. A high-res digital download of the pilot shall be yours, and with it creator Michael Keene will draw you as a cat. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
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THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN. High quality digital download of the soundtrack and a personalized letter from the creative team. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
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THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE. You will also bear a mysterious "Dream Cycle Funder" T-shirt, adorned with indescribable colors. Also: downloads of the shooting scripts as they are released, with annotations made during production. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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IN THE VAULT. A special edition copy of the pilot episode DVD shall lay before you, containing an exclusive lobby card. Plus, a special thanks in the pilot credits! Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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PICKMAN'S MODEL. A limited edition series poster signed by the creative team to adorn your wall of horrors, plus high res downloads of every produced season one episode as they are released. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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THE SILVER KEY. Receive the title of "producer" upon the credits of the pilot, and with it receive original concept art/storyboards from production. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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CALL OF CTHULHU. Receive a special edition of Cthulhu Chick's complete works of H.P. Lovecraft, containing exclusive concept art, script pages, and essays, signed by none other than Cthulhu Chick and "Randolph Carter". You will also receive a one-on-one Skype interview with Ask Lovecraft's Leeman Kessler! Includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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THE OTHER GODS. You have scaled the mountain, and while the gods are long gone, we present you with something far less maddening: executive producer credit on the pilot, a video of Randolph Carter doing a happy dance while cursing your vile name, a prop/costume from the show, and a special VIP invite to the premiere. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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THE DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH. Sit down with the creative team for lunch in either Providence, RI or Charleston, SC. While there, pitch your own terrifying project culled from the annals of weird fiction. We'll provide a meal and one night in a top notch hotel... you provide the wide-eyed terror. Additionally, we will include your favorite charity in the end credits of every episode of the first season. Includes previous rewards.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
- (30 days)