Thank you everyone for the support! Please Follow Our Journey on Facebook:
In this steampunk fantasy adventure, a collapse imprisons three dwarven miners who must now work collectively to combat starvation, despair, and a mysterious creature.
Update - New Double Mug Rewards!
While finishing up at Ohio State in 2012, Chris and I (Zach) saw the first of three Hobbit films. Surprisingly enough, there was a showing at 3:30am. And we decided to go then, because, well, how ridiculous is that?!
Walking out of that theater, there was this epiphany moment-- we would concentrate our filmmaking efforts toward making a studio-quality fantasy film... but we weren't going to wait until we had millions.
Working for the better part of a year with studio-level costume designers, make up artists, and set designers, we started building a film that put every dollar we had on the screen. We couldn't build a properly epic mine on a soundstage, so we used a real one, taking advantage of the miles of rock and winding tunnels available in a Michigan copper mine. We wrote a script that took advantage of the real mine, designing setpieces for sweeping action bits and tense character drama. Rocks tumble from the ceiling, gunpowder explodes, and the mine itself becomes a character, hiding secrets in its shadows.
After over a year of work and tens of thousands of pre-production dollars, "The Dwarves of Demrel" was born.
The coolest part is... this is only the first film we have planned for the 'universe' we've created. You're not just investing in one film, but a new fantasy franchise.
The script is written. The characters and their costumes are set. The equipment needed to shoot is already assembled. We have the time. We've found the perfect mine to shoot in. All we need, is your help in bringing the mine to life.
This IS.... the #YearOfTheDwarf!
BRENN - Large, muscular, tattooed, and rugged, Brenn has been a miner all of his life and a pretty good one at that. Think of him as your veteran factory worker. Relying on alcohol/tobacco to deal with life's problems, he constantly sees himself as a "victim" to the fantastical "man", and because of which, cannot take responsibility for a myriad of terrible life decisions. All of which aide to his antagonistic nature and caustic views towards most things...
... As cynical as he is, Brenn is just as naive. He dislikes the arduous, monotony nature of mining but also feels it is honorable work-- especially in dwarven culture. These render the worker dwarf emotionally unstable and a bit of a loose canon. We come to find though, that all the aggression is just a mask to protect his benevolent, tender nature in what Brenn sees-- as a harsh world.
CALCAS - If there was a black sheep within the mining company, Calcas is it. As an ex-accountant with a questionable past and questionable loyalties; he is an enigmatic, cryptic figure. The pragmatic dwarf's intelligence and demeanor alienate him from the other dwarves initially. It isn't until the confinements of the mine and the stress of their force interaction. Calcas is the smallest of the three and the most aware...
... His insider relationship with the forewoman Drusso (a human) makes Brenn suspicious of Calcas' intentions, and rightfully so, as there is something that Calcas is not telling Brenn and Odryd about their joint fates. Oh! He is also secretly a spell casting cleric.
ODRYD - Married early with five kids, Odryd is a "family dwarf" by default. Although he floats from job to job (with mining being his latest) he is not as rough or as seasoned as one may think. He is impressionable and naive. However, Odyd is also probably the most charming due to his natural optimism...
... Empathetic, nice, and cautious, Odryd never necessarily does anything poorly, but he doesn't do anything particularly well either. He is the middle man linking Brenn and Calcas together... So much so that he eventually feels as though he is the odd man out.
There aren't many fantasy films being made, and we plan on this being the first of many films to remedy that.
Fantasy films are very difficult to produce. In order to create an immersive high fantasy world, a film needs elaborate sets, costumes, make up, and special effects.
By using the mine as our setting, we've been able to focus our resources on the costumes, make up, and set dressing, letting us tell an exciting, beautiful fantasy story without it costing an exorbitant amount.
We believe the most important element in the fantasy genre is escapism. The mine can give the film an epic, authentic space for our story to take place in. But it needs your help.
Set Design, additional armor/weapon designs and labor costs!
We need your help in transforming the mine into an epic dwarven kingdom.
We've self-financed everything to date and with four characters, we've been able to afford top-of-line costumes for each character, ordered through a professional costume shop in New Zealand.
We've taken great strides in ensuring that everything is authentic to the world so that the audience will remain completely immersed.
We've turned to you on Kickstarter to help us raise some much needed funds to finish dressing the location. Below is our progress thus far!
We can't suspend disbelief unless the mine looks convincingly dwarven. Your help is the last piece we need in order to do just that.
Set Design Construction.
Below are some samples of the concept art we have planned for the new, epic set designs.
The script calls for some key set pieces that are essential to the film's plot.
- Dwarven Pillars
- Dwarven Frames
- Dwarven Stone Tables
- A Giant, Steampunk, Electric Generator
- Steampunk, Circuit Breakers
- Dwarven Inscriptions
- Creature's Lair
- "The Pit" (The Capital's Garbage Site in the Mine)
- Styrofoam rocks (for rock collapse)
The labor portion of the pledges, will allow us to repurpose industrial equipment from salvage yards by employing local welders to forge custom, functional, steampunk machinery for the sets (as seen in the set design concept art above).
$35+ A DoD Pick Ax pin + a signed mini art print!
$50+ A DoD Pick Ax pin + a random character pin + 2 signed mini art prints!
$150+ The Demrel Mines Beer Mug + All six pins + 3 signed mini art prints including a secret pin featuring the creature that's hunting our heroes!
New Mug Tiers! Get the Demrel Mines beer mug when you pledge $40 or get it bundled with a signed copy of the movie and all the other art and pin perks when you pledge $85!
DOUBLE MUGS! You asked, we listened! If you already pledged $85 or more, add $25 to your pledge to receive a second mug! If you already pledged $40 or more, add $35 to your pledge to receive a second mug.
SECRET CLUB: As a backer, you are a valued citizen of the Dwarves of Demrel. All backers will receive exclusive access to our behind the scenes progress on the film. You'll get news and pictures before anyone else, exclusive test footage and blog posts on the film. Welcome to the Demrel family!
We're leaving up to your backers to decide between the for the final design!
Brenn - Happy Anderson
Calcas - Jarlath Conroy
Odryd - Ira Amyx
Drusso - Maria Almquist
Risks and challenges
As with any film, there are a number of things that can happen to hinder a project. The good thing for us is, we've ironed out most of the foreseeable delays because we've already shot in the mine for the teaser!
We hope that what we've provided thus far will give you confidence in supporting our dwarven cause!
Time - The mine is not an easy place to shoot in. Travel within takes a long while and safety is always a concern. Fortunately we've worked there before and have a strong sense of what we can accomplish in a days shoot!
Weather - As you can imagine, snowfall in the Michigan's Upper Peninsula is brutal. This is why we have decided to shoot in the fall. It allows us enough time to prepare properly for the production, while also keeping us out of the UP's harsher winter months.
Lighting - As with any mine, there is no light. We will be utilizing excellent low-light cameras, fast glass, natural flames and portable battery powered LED's to cost effectively strike our sets!
There are a number of other, smaller hiccups that we ran into with the teaser that we won't bore you with on here. However, please feel free to let us know if you have any other concerns, questions, or comments!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)