Leda, a 3D Feature Film
The tale of love and madness behind the Greek myth Leda and the Swan.
Leda, a 3D Feature Film
The tale of love and madness behind the Greek myth Leda and the Swan.
Parting Words (of sorts):
We unfortunately didn't achieve our initial goal on Kickstarter, but all is not lost! To preserve your pledge (as well as the cool rewards), please head over here and pledge one last time. With Kickstarter, it's all or nothing, so if filmmakers don't achieve their goal, contributors don't get charged, and so filmmakers and projects don't get any money. To keep your pledge alive, you will need to head to our new crowdfunding campaign and donate to make the contribution stick. All of the same rewards in the same tiers will remain and it's a shorter campaign so we'll need you to do it in the next few days. Head here or our website and keep your pledge alive! We appreciate all the interest, support, and sharing in LEDA, and cannot wait to get back into production with your help.
Hello, my name is Samuel, I am a filmmaker from Maryland passionate about the artistic potential of cinema.
For several years I have been reshaping my life in order to cut expenses and create the necessary opportunities to create my first feature film: a 3D, black and white, classically inspired yet experimental, tragic thriller called Leda.
It has been a struggle every step of the way, but with a mixture of funds from the Producer and myself, we have finally started production! Now I need your help to get us the rest of the way and bring this vision to life.
Leda's divine encounter with Zeus in the guise of a swan has been depicted by thousands of artists from the Greek and Italian Renaissance to modern day interpretations.
Originally, the myth told the story of Leda and her coital experience with Zeus that led to the beginning of modern history (the Trojan War) by giving birth to Helen of Troy, Clymenaestra, Castor, and Pollux. Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Salvador Dali have created priceless works on the subject and William Butler Yeats' poem on the subject is considered a classic example of literary modernism. With such attention, this myth has become a cultural icon in art and finally comes to life on the big screen for the first time with this project.
Inspired by the famous myth, Leda is a tragic tale that explores universal concepts of love and our struggles between the spiritual and the tangible.
Leda and her Husband wed with a fairytale-like ceremony, but once the divine swan lures Leda into an adulterous and somewhat holy affair - guilt, jealousy, and fear begin to shatter their dream into nightmare.
Influenced directly by techniques of masters throughout the history of cinema, Leda is a return to the time when film was young and experimental, when craftsmen strived to discover new ways of expression and cinematic experience. It will dance between the dreamscapes of Surrealism and the sharp visuals of Neo-Realism, referencing the styles of directors such as Murnau, Dreyer, Bunuel, and Cocteau.
This project relies heavily on visuals, subtext, and immersive audio soundscapes. 3D will help to enhance the viewer’s immersive experience, using a depth arc that follows that of the characters and pacing of the story. Too often is 3D seen and used as simple spectacle rather than an intentional storytelling tool. As each character loses touch with reality (and each other) the world around them will visually fall away in depth, providing the audience with a visual sense of the evolving emotional distance between Leda and her Husband.
We are extremely excited to be working with Stereographer Vince Toto (Dredd 3D) as a consultant on Leda and hope to raise the remaining funds necessary to bring him on set as our full fledged stereographer. When joining the project, Vince expressed his enthusiasm in working on a project that digs more creatively into the world of virtual depth than many of the Hollywood projects he has helmed.
To create an all-immersive experience, the talented gentlemen of Studio Unknown (Exists, Pingpong Summer) are are also excited to lend their post-production sound design and mixing expertise. Just imagine feeling like you're in a field with the characters, rain falling all around you.
For three years we have been working on development and pre-production of our feature film; building our script and shotlist, experimenting in 3D, sourcing props, making costumes, and filling out the rest of the team.
We have already started principal photography and currently have 20% 'in the can!' We can't wait to continue working in the awesome locations we've lined up with our a dream-team cast & crew. Our remaining production is scheduled in blocks throughout September, November, and December, with a finished piece planned for early spring of 2017.
We are all set to bring it home, the only element that is holding us back is the money!
The Budget- Movies are daggone expensive to make! We've gotten this far, a mixture of out-of-pocket savings, in-kind trade for access to top of the line RED Digital Cinema cameras and other gear, an initial indiegogo campaign for preproduction, and a grant for winning Best Teaser in Celtx's Seeds Program! This has all helped immensely, but the little things add up quickly and even at a 'no-budget' level relative to the industry it's still taking quite a lot of green paper to get this thing done right.
Where the money goes:
- Locations- We have beautiful mansions and gardens located in and around Baltimore, MD that will be our stage. The film is set in a timeless era that resembles the late 1800's/early 1900's. The locations have graciously provided us with package rates in order to help support the arts.
- The Crew- A collection of talented friends and acquainted professionals, our crew has been awesome in volunteering their expertise and free time in excitement for working on a passion project with more room for craft than most of their regular union gigs. We want to reward these awesome people with base day-rates.
- Special Effects- I am a big fan of practical, in-camera special effects over computer generated imagery. Such effects work will be used to a large extent to embody the magical and mysterious elements of the story. A mixture of costuming, make-up, and props are currently being conceptualized by our effects team.
- Costuming/Set Decoration- In order to match the world of the story, costumes and props have been sourced and developed.
- Food- First rule on set, feed people! We plan to keep this affordable by hiring a Craft Service member of the crew to make us some good grub.
The film has a small, intimate cast of characters that focuses primarily on the relationship between Leda and her Husband.
Adeline Thery stars as Leda. Adeline is a Paris-born, Barcelona-trained, Brooklyn-based actress, model, dancer and musician. Her recent credits include several Feature Films, including Suicide or Lulu and Me in a World Made for Two & Are We Not Cats, a slew of Short Films, Commercials, and Music Videos.
Playing The Husband is Todd Mazzie. Todd is an actor, designer, and artist accredited for his roles on The History Chanel's The World World Wars, HBO's Veep, AMC's TURN, The National Geographic's American Genius, and FOX's Bones. Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Set Design from the University of Pittsburgh. He hopes his passion encourages others to go after their dreams and fill their lives with happiness and purpose.
We've got a talented crew eager to bring such an artistically ambitious project to life on a limited budget.
Samuel Tressler IV - Co-Writer/Director
Sam has dedicated his professional life to Independent Cinema as well as other arts. In his hometown of Frederick Sam has helped create Area 31 Creative Studios, a venue that provides artists with gallery, studio, and screening space, as well as high end equipment with the goal of motivating more individuals to practice their passions. He is on the Advisory board of Stevenson University's Film and Moving Image department and hosts monthly screenings of independent first-run features.
Clark Kline - Producer
Clark Kline is director/founder of 72 Film Fest, a 72 hour movie contest now in it's eleventh year. A novelist, screenwriter and CIO of Wonder Book, Clark has played a variety of roles behind the camera on three feature film productions and dozens of shorts.
Wesley Pastorfield - Artist/Co-writer
Wesley Pastorfield is an artist who was born and raised on Maryland's scenic Eastern Shore. With a past focused in fine art, this is Pastorfield's first dip into the film medium, one that he hopes to see used more as an artistic visual storytelling media.
Nick Midwig - Cinematography
Nick Midwig has filmed in over 30 countries and all 7 continents, including Paraguay, Mexico, Russia, Malaysia, China, Vanuatu, and beyond. He filmed extensively for the documentary series “Belief” for Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Productions but has also worked on several television series for The National Geographic Channel such as 'Mars' and "Breakthrough'. Nick acted as a cinematographer on the critically acclaimed 2013 documentary “12 O’Clock Boys” about a notorious Baltimore street bike group that premiered at SXSW and HotDocs and HBO's new true crime documentary 'Slenderman' premiering this November. He has also directed and filmed branded commercial content for clients such as the New York Times, Subaru, The Weather Channel, Red Cross, Nike, Hilton Hotels, Chrysler, Sony, and more. In addition to his gifted eye for cinematography, Nick brings extensive experience in advanced filming technology to every project through the use of aerial photography, camera stabilization devices, high-speed cameras, and virtual virtual reality.
Grey Adkins - Gaffer
Grey "just like the color" Adkins is first and foremost a regionally ranked champion at brewing pour-over coffee. He hails from Frederick, Maryland but screwing up at TJ high school found him in an amphibious ready group invasion force for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2001, whoops! He emerged years later from the oceans and deserts of the world with a newfound love of reading to escape his reality, and a GI Bill to cash in at Towson University. Now armed with a highly, -highly-, lucrative degree in film and an amazingly understanding wife he set out to make a living in prosperous 2009 as a technician on film and television sets. He just bought a home in Poolesville, and finally feels as if he understands Homer Simpson on a deeper level. His favorite HMI lens is a stipple. His spirit animal is a dumbo rat. Favorite movie: Raising Arizona, of course. This is Grey's first feature as a gaffer, but he's a regular major productions in the DC area such as: House of Cards, VEEP, Jackie, Inside the NFL, and many more.
Vince Toto - Stereography Consultant (Dredd 3D, Predator 2)
Spencer Grundler - AC (Call Girl of Cthulhu)
Aaron Sickman - Key Grip (Boundary)
Stephanie Yee - Set Decorator
Stephanie Hyder - Costumer/Designer
As a Maryland Ensemble Theater (MET) Company Member, past shows exhibiting costume design work include the MET's The Elephant Man, Materialize, Cat in the Hat, Frankenstein and Oedipus Rox; as well as Picasso at the Lapin Agile at McDaniel College. Past film work includes costume design for Flying Dog Brewery promotional videos. Other projects range from maintaining an Etsy Shoppe (Unicorn Nature), selling fashion merchandise and artwork at local vendor events, playing wardrobe stylist for Emily Gude Photography, and creating wedding accessories and attire.
Quitterie Mallick - Costume Designer
The project will be produced entirely in Maryland, with locations in/around Baltimore and Frederick.
Throughout the campaign we will be bringing you more details about all the fine folks fighting to make Leda a reality.
Risks and challenges
As with any film project there are difficulties throughout the process. We realize that such a unique project has inherent risks, in fact many people within the industry give me strange looks when I describe my project.
The first challenge is completion! We have all of the necessary tools for both production and post-production. After that it is getting it in front of an audience. We will first enter the film festival circuit in 2017, followed by the film market.
We have developed a plan that is focused on independent distributors that are able to work intimately with a project on its release. This will allow a film to start with a small release domestically, giving it time to attract an audience through word of mouth and critical reviews, expanding as we build awareness in the audience. Leda is a well known myth especially in Europe, and we believe Europe and other international territories will seek out and screen our unique film.
Beyond theatrical release, the current breaking trend of VR is very exciting for stereo 3D projects because soon many people will have a headset in their home on which they can view 3D films.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (42 days)