UPDATE: STRETCH GOAL ADDED!
Stretch Goal: $5,000 - A Custom Virtual Reality Walkthrough of THE WOO
With a week left in our kickstarter campaign and us already having made our initial funding goal (!!!!!!!) it's time to unveil our stretch goal: a unique, addition to the story in the form of an interactive walkthrough experience designed for VR compatible devices. So what exactly does that mean?
From the inception of this project, virtual reality has been a huge factor in both the plot of the film and in our everyday lives around us. Early on, I had the idea of creating an additional interactive story element to the film that could be experienced through users wearing actual VR headsets of their own to learn more about the characters and backstory of THE WOO. Now that we've made our initial funding goal for the film, it's time to make that dream a reality. With help from several contributors, artists, producers, and designers, we will create an experience (not unlike story driven games like Myst or Gone Home) where the user can virtually tour the Goodall Wooten's many hallways and facets, along with exploring characters' rooms to learn more about their motivations and pasts. Utilizing 360° cameras and head tracking, the final product will be a 10-15 minute experience that is both immersive and enlightening, a look into the film that cannot be achieved through any other method than virtual reality.
Anyone with a VR compatible device, like Google Carboard or Gear VR, will be able to experience THE WOO in virtual reality initially, and we're looking into making PC ports of the project as well for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This is a big undertaking and cannot be done without the support of the community, so please give what you can to make THE WOO VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE come to actual reality! If we can make it to $5,000 in a week's time, it will be attainable! Note: ALL backers will receive this reward if the goal is met.
Thank you for visiting the Kickstarter for THE WOO. This film has been a labor of love over several years, and the time has finally come for it to be finished once and for all. With that said, there are a few things we should go over. Firstly...
THE WOO is a single-location short film set in The Goodall Wooten dormitory in Austin, Texas. The film follows FELIX, a broken hearted pot dealer who has just gone through a rough breakup with DANI, the girl of his dreams. Numb and devoid of emotion, Felix becomes increasingly dependent on his VIRTUAL REALITY GOGGLES, which he custom made with Dani while they were together. With his goggles on, he and Dani can still be together. With his goggles on, he can escape THE WOO. What follows is a sobering glimpse into the life of someone who has yet to gain the ability to move on, an emotional and physical struggle with ones own isolation, and a slice of life that is at once both foreign and intensely recognizable.
Anyone who has ever been to the Goodall Wooten can attest to the fact that it is a special place. In a city that grows less weird by the day, with rampant population growth and big corporations slowly peeling away at its personality, the Goodall Wooten remains a strange oasis. But it's more than that. I moved into the Woo for a brief period in 2012 following a major change in my life. To me it felt like a safety blanket. This odd, dirty, ugly building had some kind of pull to it that I couldn't quite explain. I started to realize that it affected others in the same way. I made friends at the Woo that had lived there for 10, 15, 20 years. These were people that had maybe been students at some point, long ago. What was keeping them there? I had to find out.
THE WOO is really about the character of the building itself as much as it is about Felix and his story. It seems to have a will of its own, only letting people leave when it's convenient for it to, and turning those inside it against one another at its own whim. The events that take place in THE WOO are inspired by real events, and the characters are based on real people. In some instances, real Woo residents (Woovians?) were used in the movie. I wanted to, as accurately as I could, realize the place on film so as many people as possible could witness its bizarre and ominous power.
This film could not have been made without the tremendous efforts of its incredible cast and crew that put it countless hours into production and prep.
- WYATT TALL - FELIX: Our main character Felix is portrayed brilliantly by Wyatt Tall. Wyatt is a local programmer and games designer who also just happens to be a standup comedian and improv performer. Once I met Wyatt it was clear to me that he was Felix, and what he brought to the performance of the character cannot be overstated.
- BLOOM DAVIS - DANI: Bloom Davis plays Dani, the estranged ex-girlfriend of Felix. Bloom is a wonderful actor whose credits include film, television, webseries, and stage, along with also being involved in comedy around Austin. I had worked with her before and I could imagine no one else in the role. The part was essentially written for her.
- DAVID HOWE - WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: David (that's me!) has been acting and directing for years. My previous film, UNIPSYCHO: A Documentary was part of the first annual Google+ film festival and played at Cinema East and several other local screenings. I perform weekly at The New Movement Theater in Austin and also play the character of Leland in THE WOO.
- GIDEON DE VILLIERS - DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY/PRODUCER: Gideon and I have been collaborating for a while (he shot UNIPSYCHO), but Gideon is also a prodigious cinematographer in his own right. His work includes Lace Crater, which was recently accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival, and is currently working on several different documentary projects all over the world. He currently lives in New York City with his dog Chip.
- JUSTIN HOWE - AC/COLORIST: My brother Justin is one of the hardest working, most talented people I know and THE WOO marks our first (and undoubtedly not our last) collaboration together. He is a director and cinematographer living in Chicago. He also performs in a doom funk band called Gramps the Vamp, who have their own kickstarter running in a couple weeks. His film work has been featured at many festivals, including Cannes in France.
- SCHUYLER HUPP - SOUND RECORDIST/MIXER: I met Schuyler working on another film I was directing, and we immediately hit it off. A very talented sound engineer, he understands the power of the ability of sound to help tell a story. If The Woo is a main character in the film, the sound is its voice. Schuyler is also a photographer and artist and has been living in Austin since long before I got here.
- SAMUEL GREEN - COMPOSER: Sam Green is a very dear friend whose musical sensibilities fit so well with THE WOO that it's almost scary. As a musician, he performs as Hempwig, a fuzzy drone act that is gaining lots of momentum around town. Together with Schuyler's sound design, the score for THE WOO is essential to telling the story and giving life to the building. The script was written with Sam's musical compositions in mind.
- NATE BELL - SET DESIGNER/PROP MASTER: Nate provided his home as a set as well as inspiration for the main character Felix. He created the virtual reality headsets used in the film. When he's not fixing something in the Woo he works as a web designer and digital artist. His unique vision played such a huge part in the film that it certainly wouldn't exist without him. Always open to collaboration he can be reached at email@example.com.
All pledges received for this film will go directly to helping make THE WOO a reality. The shooting budget came entirely from the pockets of the dedicated crew who helped produce it. Funds will help to recoup some of those expenses. In addition, funding will cover equipment rental and operations fees and post-production costs such as digital compositing/effects and a professional color grade. Funds will also go to providing payment for the cast and crew, who put in countless hours of their own time to help make this little film come to life. Finally, the rest of the money raised will be put toward promotion and festival submission fees. Any surplus money raised will go to funding the next project by MONOLITH FIJI PRODUCTIONS, currently titled Everything is Bad and Nothing's Good.
In addition to helping support independent film, your contribution garners a bevy of rewards tiers that you can see to the right. Along with access to the film starting at the 5 dollar level, rewards include the original soundtrack by Sam Green, featuring extended versions of the themes used in both the movie and the teaser/kickstarter video. Samples of that can be heard here:
Other rewards include an original hand-drawn and screen-printed poster and T-Shirt created by Payton Lower, a local Austin artist and close personal friend. Payton's unique style and sensibilities fit perfectly with the film. While the poster is still being created, his work-in-progress is below. The final design is expected in the coming week, but in the meantime, peruse his site and purchase a print!
The $100 and $250 tiers include a personal visit to The Goodall Wooten itself, with the first being a screening of THE WOO in the lounge of The Woo, and the second being a VIP tea ceremony hosted by Nate Bell in Felix's room from the movie. These one-of-a-kind experiences include a meet and greet with the cast and crew. The final tiers grant you producer credits on the film, and a special thanks from the director.
Thank you for visiting our kickstarter page, and considering backing THE WOO! With the finished film, we hope to have something that affects many people, with a focus on the emerging technology of Virtual Reality along with exploring themes of love lost and moving on. This has been a deeply personal project for me for many years, and seeing it so close to coming to fruition is one of the single most exciting experiences of my life. Thanks again for your time.
Risks and challenges
Any project has potential risks and challenges. THE WOO is no different. After the project is successfully funded, much time will be put into the post-production of the film, including editing and digital fine-tuning. Funding will help this process go smoothly but it's still a challenge in its own right.
Everyone working on this film is also a professional in their own regard and has limited time and energy to put into projects, but we all feel confident that the release date of July is a realistic and achievable goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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