Icarus is a live action thesis film currently in pre-production being realized by a team of students from Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Our goal with this film is to challenge ourselves narratively, technically, and artistically but above all else, to tell a story that makes the audience think, feel, and reflect.
We are not striving to cover an entire lifetime or galactic saga, just merely a single day in the life of Mars colonist Chris Riley. When the colony's comm satellite is damaged, Emilia Riley, Chris' mother, embarks on a seemingly harmless repair excursion. A shuttle malfunction cuts connectivity to the ground and Chris makes the knee jerk decision to go after her. Icarus is a story about a young mans struggle to cope with failure and overcoming the death of a loved one, within the vacuum of outer space.
Chris Riley – Male, 25
A fledgling electrical engineer, Chris devotes his time to making sure the Mars colony’s systems run smoothly. The son of two astronauts, Chris was the youngest crewmember on the colonization mission. He is confident in his tech skills, but he is afraid to venture far out of his area of expertise. A bit of a loose cannon, Chris struggles with impulsivity and recklessness. Chris is extremely close to his mother, Emilia, and his best friend Kevin, a robotic companion he grew up with. He enjoys life on Mars but absolutely detests the destructive nature of the Martian dust.
Kevin (Chris Riley's Robotic Companion):
Emilia Riley – Female, 55
By far the most experienced crewmember in the colony, Emilia once served as a commander during the space shuttle era. She feels most at ease while on space walks and other zero-g activities. After her husband died early in Chris’ childhood, she took time off to assume full responsibility for raising him, but as soon as he was old enough, she resumed her work with NASA. Emilia is fearless and tends to put the needs of others before her own.
Jim Douglas – Male, 30
Selected personally by Emilia, Jim runs mission control for all colony space missions. An excellent flight controller, the Australian keeps the colony sane with his jokes and laid-back demeanor. Only serious when the situation demands it, Jim strives to make a name for himself within the ranks of space exploration and helps keep Chris in line when his mother is away.
Tom grew up in Bend, Oregon where he found his passion for storytelling before moving to southern California to pursue film. He is entering his senior year at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media arts emphasizing in directing and visual effects production. Tom is currently a 2015 Student Academy Award finalist for his animated short, Hum and has spent the last four years directing narrative shorts, animation, and the feature length documentary The Rise of Enduro.
Michelle Evans is a producer from San Francisco, California. Having spent most of her formative years growing up in Tokyo, Japan, she was able to immerse herself in a culture unlike her own. She found that her experiences being removed from her native environment gave her a better perspective of what was happening inside. Growing up making sketch comedy short films for family and friends, she found herself immediately drawn to telling stories. In 2012, she moved back to California to pursue her filmmaking aspirations, and has worked on various short films. She is currently in her senior year at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts with a BFA in Creative Producing.
Nico Aguilar grew up in Mexico City where he was introduced to the art of photography by Flor Garduño. He is now studying cinematography at Chapman University and is entering his fourth year. This year he was awarded the first place Kodak International Cinematography Student Scholarship Award and is currently a finalist for the American Society of Cinematographers Heritage Award.
Gerry Vazquez is a senior Film Production major emphasizing in Sound Design at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts of Chapman University. He will be serving as Location Sound Supervisor and will be in charge of all aspects of Post-Production Sound for Icarus. Gerry was born and raised in California, and has had over six years of analog and digital audio experience. Now a seasoned post-production sound designer for film, Gerry has edited the soundtrack for ten short films. One of his latest films, Prism, was a semifinalist in the 2015 Student Academy Awards. He is an official Avid Pro Tools certified operator, and is a student member of both the Cinema Audio Society and the Audio Engineering Society.
After spending three years at a NASA lab at Ames Research Center as a member of Team 254 Robotics and spending much of his free time coding, Andrew left the Silicon Valley in pursuit of a degree in Screenwriting at Chapman University. Currently a senior, Andrew can be found working on scripts or running production sound on set. Andrew worked alongside Tom as a story consultant on Hum and a sound designer on The Rise of Enduro and Harley.
Cole Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He voyaged all the way across the Pacific to learn how to skillfully craft films at Chapman University. When he is not cutting a film he is out enjoying mother nature. He loves spending time outdoors to make up for all the time he spends hiding in a dark room in front of his computer.
The Visual Effects required for Icarus are by far the most technically challenging aspect of the film. We have years of experience regarding CGI implementation and are ready to tackle these obstacles. Below are some examples of our past VFX work:
Hum (2015 Student Academy Award Finalist):
Harley (Vimeo Staff Pick):
The VFX required to execute this film correctly span the entire spectrum, from basic matte paintings to full computer generated outer space sequences. We will be building hard surface and soft body assets, running physics simulations, rigging and animating bipedal characters and rendering to match reality.
Our primary VFX pipeline will consist of 3DS Max, VRay, and Nuke. Icarus will push us to develop new techniques and construct an efficient workflow to finish the project as smoothly as possible.
There are thousands of moving parts that stand between us and a completed film and we are ready to conquer every single one of them, but we need your help. We are raising a little over half of our budget here on Kickstarter and have crafted the budget to make the film as affordable as possible while not severely sacrificing production value. Below you can see a rough breakdown of our production budget and how the money will be allocated:
Risks and challenges
There are many risks involved in this project and to us that is one of the primary reasons we are so passionate about making it happen.
We would love for you to be a part of the Icarus family and bring this project to life, we can't wait to get out there and start shooting in October. Thank you for taking the time to look over our project!
Visit our website www.icarus2016.com for more information and updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)