Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 1, 2012.

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A Science Fiction Short Film made by Science Fiction fans for Science Fiction fans.

*Updated! Please check the update posts for pictures of some of the incentives up for grabs!

About the Film

Strange Thing is a science fiction short film which I am making for science fiction fans and fans of 1980's sci-fi films in particular. 

The film follows Kris and Jake, a newlywed couple who wake up to find a door has mysteriously appeared in their living room. Once the door is discovered, they must decide to either open the door or leave it closed and go on with their lives. On top of the science fiction element, Strange Thing is about the point in a relationship where you discover a new side to your significant other and what it means to process that change. 

Kris and Jake are science fiction fans, trekkies and simply pop culture geeks in general. The concept is to showcase this sort of couple and put them in their own science fiction story and see how they react.

We wanted to treat this film just like a drama, avoid cheesy catch phrases and one liners in favor of true to life dialogue. We asked ourselves, what would you really say if a door just appeared behind your bookshelf? We crafted the script in this manner trying to avoid dialogue for the sake of dialogue. The same approach was taken for all the effects in the film. While there are a lot of VFX elements we did as many of the effects in camera as we could, in order to make the world and story as convincing as possible.

The goal for this short is to reach science fiction film festivals and to ultimately to be used as a tool to raise the budget for the feature version of the film. What you will see in the short is roughly the first 10mins of the feature script, I am looking to show the world what I can do in this short in order to justify the production of Strange Thing the feature.

Cast

Hali Lula Hudson - Kris
Hali Lula Hudson - Kris

Hali Lula Hudson is an LA actress who has appeared in multiple Indie Features, Web Series and Short Films. Some of her credits include Funny or Die's the "The Douche" with Dylan McDurmott, Fox's American Dad, supporting roles in "The Myth of the American Sleepover" and "Scary or Die." Hali's strengths in horror and comedy made her the perfect fit for the role of Kris.

David O'Donnell - Jake
David O'Donnell - Jake

David O'Donnell is an Australian TV and Film actor who has recently brought his talents to LA. David, being a trained boxer and surfer, was able to let his natural physical strength run underneath his charming and subtle performance, creating a character that is likeable and strong.

Crew

Alrik Bursell - Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
Alrik Bursell - Director/Producer/Writer/Editor

Alrik is a Berkeley native with over 10 years of video and film production experience, working on feature films, network tv and local commercial sets. In between set jobs, Alrik kept a steady flow of corporate, documentary and life style projects churning, honing his craft in shooting, editing and simply telling a story. Strange Thing is Alrik's first professionally produced and directed narrative film.

Jason Joseffer - Director of Photography
Jason Joseffer - Director of Photography

Jason Joseffer brings over 15 years of experience behind the camera, having shot multiple features films, short films and countless commercials and corporate videos. Jason works with a keen technical eye, making sure the shot list presented is going to visually tell the story without missing any important beats. Jason was a key asset in performing the many moving shots in the film and he was always ready with a suggestion in order to get the most dynamic shot in each setup.

Matt Stouppe - Gaffer
Matt Stouppe - Gaffer

Local SF Bay Area Gaffer Matt Stouppe brought out all the toys for our project. With years of lighting and grip experience, Matt put together an all star G/E crew to handle the many complicated lighting set ups and technical moves that Strange Thing required. Matt lit day for night and night for day with ease, perfectly simulating the look of a bright sunny morning while it poured down rain outside.

Jeska Lapin - Art Director
Jeska Lapin - Art Director

Jeska has been working in film, from Set Dressing to Props to Production Design, for the past 15 years. Growing up with a skilled carpenter as a father and a baker and artist for a mother, she was lucky enough to get the best of both worlds: precision and creativity. In her work, Jeska loves telling stories, thinking outside the box and creating the details that make you want to look twice. Jeska took on the difficult task of taking the world created on the page and she successfully put it on screen, expertly crafting just the right look for the mysterious doorway that enters Kris and Jake's life.

George Schminky - Special Effects/Creature Creation
George Schminky - Special Effects/Creature Creation

George specializes in bringing to life outstanding special makeup effects creations. George provides innovative expertise in beauty makeup, creature effects, character effects, casualties/gore effects, props and more. George created two creatures for Strange Thing, I don't want to spoil the film, so I won't say any more than that.

Tony Vella - Stunts
Tony Vella - Stunts

A trained Stunt man with over 20 years in the business, Tony was able to bring much needed believability to the crucial stunts in the short. Rather than making it up as we go, Tony brought all the necessary gear and experience in order for us to perform our stunts in a visually stunning and safe manner.

Why Kickstarter?

I have managed to do a whole lot using favors, donations, every penny in my bank account and a high credit limit, but I've reached the ceiling of what I can do alone. It was extremely important to me that I show you everything I could do on my own before I asked for your help, so you know that your donations are not going to be put to waste. 12k might feel like a lot for post production costs, but with the number of VFX shots we have and the quality of post facilities we are after, it is amount we need.

The funds I raise from this kickstarter will go into completing the following goals.

- Final payments to cast and crew for their hard work on the film.

- Recording the Original Score by Alexei Wajchman of Blind Willies.

- Sound Design and 5.1 Sound Mix of the film.

- Visual Effects.

- Color Correction at Colorflow in Berkeley CA.

- HD Cam Layoffs for Festivals.

- Festival Submission Costs.

- DVD/Poster/T-Shirt Duplication.

- Renting a theater for the Cast/Crew Screening.

- Paying for Permits/Insurance and other costs left over from the production.

- Additional funds raised over our goal will go into the budget for Strange Thing the feature, which I'm currently scripting.

We hope to use the best facilities for sound mixing, sound design, recording the score, VFX and color correction. We also hope to send the film to as many film festivals as possible. We've set our goal at the lowest amount needed in order to complete the above goals, the more we raise, the more festivals we'll be able to submit the film to and the nicer the post facilities will be. 

Don't forget, this film is part of a much larger production, so if we are lucky enough to reach our goal, all additional funds will go directly into the budget for the feature.

So please tell your friends, give what you can and thanks for looking at our project!

Special Thanks to the following people and companies for their contributions to this project, all of which were essential to the completion of this project.

Beth Bursell - Beth has been putting up with my work on this project for about three months now and she has consistently supported me at every single stage. 

David Collier/Studio B Films - A huge amount of the equipment came from Studio B Films where I work, without this massive contribution, Strange Thing would have not been possible. Big thanks to David Collier for this generous donation and for letting me take the time off needed to make the shoot happen.

Isaac Pingree - Amidst all his own work and personal projects Isaac freely gave up his time and energy to contribution to pre-production and then serve as my Assistant Director for the shoot, working with me hours before call and long after the crew had left. 

Stacey Ransom - Stacey put me in touch with all the SFX and SFX makeup folks involved in the film, there would be no practical effects otherwise.

DTC Grip and Electric - The guys and gals over at DTC really came through with a big deal on the lighting and grip equipment for the film.

Ranahan Production Services - Tim and his team offered up discounted rates on support gear for the shoot.

My entire Cast and Crew! - Every single person on my crew either donated their time or worked at a fraction of their normal rate, without such an amazing crew this film would not have happened.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are many risks in making any film, but ultimately the success of this short depends on getting our vision for the film out to audiences. There is always a danger that the vision for Strange Thing could be left on the cutting room floor, or in this case, on the shelf.

In the post stage we will be working on several key elements of the film and bringing in new people who will be hearing about the project for the first time. It is important that I ensure they have the full vision for the film in their minds when working on their part, be it sound design, score, visual effects, the color correction etc. In addition, this is the stage where I will have to make the crucial decision to either go back and shoot pickups or stick with the footage I have.

The result of all of this will determine how many people see the film and if it gets into the festivals we are targeting. Getting into film festivals is not by any means guaranteed and the true challenge is crafting a final cut that will resonate with science fiction fans and the independent film community in general.

FAQ

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    Director Alrik Bursell will send you a personalized thank you e-mail, you will get a thank you on the website and our ever lasting thanks and appreciation.

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    A digital download of the finished film and special thanks on the website.

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    One print of an original storyboard from the film, designed by local artist Jeff Schwinghammer.

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    Strange Thing DVD of the final short, complete with special features.

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    One signed copy of the Strange Thing Script.

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    One Strange Thing Tee Shirt designed by local artist Peter Williams (Size options and color options TBD).

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    2x Tickets to the Cast and Crew Screening in Oakland California and a copy of the Strange Thing DVD. (No travel included, you must get yourself to Oakland)

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    A selection from my unframed poster collection. I've got all kinds of different posters, everything from comic-con exclusive one sheets from Cloverfield, The Mist, Sweeny Todd and Star Trek to original one sheets (the double sided movie theater posters) from Black Snake Moan, Be Kind Rewind, Minority Report and more. I've also got a collection of mini posters from comic-con from Ironman, Grindhouse and more. (Let me know if there's one you want in particular, or I'll just send you a random selection, they are all awesome)

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    2x Tickets to the Cast and Crew Screening in Oakland California, a signed copy of the Strange Thing DVD, Strange Thing Poster and a Strange Thing Tee Shirt. (No travel included, you must get yourself to Oakland)

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    Pick a framed or wood mounted poster from my collection. Up for grabs are my framed original Sin City one sheet, my wood mounted Watchman comic-con exclusive one sheet, my wood mounted Sin City, Jessica Alba character poster, wood mounted Grindhouse mini one sheet and my wood mounted 300, Lena Headey character poster. These are one of a kind collectables from my personal collection, treat them well. (First come first serve, please indicate in a message which piece of art you are after.)

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    One Star Trek Robe as worn in the film, your choice of Kirk or Spock. Strange Thing Logo will be embroidered in the back of the robe. (Limited to 5)

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    I will be your writer for your own personal project. Have an idea for a short film? Need a speech written for an upcoming event? Want to write a book but you don't know where to start? No matter the project, I'll put it on paper. (Limited to a first draft with one revision, limited to a maximum of 25 pages)

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    Notice the wedding photos and other photo's of Kris and Jake around their apartment? I will spend a day working on any photo project of your choosing, getting married and need photos? Got a special event where a photographer would be handy? Simply want a family portrait or a portrait of yourself? Just let me know what you need and I've got you covered.

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    Want to learn how to shoot a film? I will spend a day showing you the basics of film production. Topics include, producing, lighting, camera and lenses, audio production and post production. Depending on what you want to know I will bring the proper tools (camera's, lights etc) so you can get the proper hands on experience. (Lessons will take place in the SF Bay Area)

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    I will edit together any video for you, just provide me the footage and I will turn it into a beautiful work of art. Need a video edited for your business, a music video for your band or your kids school recital? You name it and I'll cut it. (Limited to 25hrs of editing time)

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    Crew up! I'll work for three days on your film or video project in any of the following crew positions: Director, Assistant Director, DP, AC, Data Management or Sound Recording. I work locally in the SF Bay Area, but if my traveling fee's are paid for, I will happily work anywhere in the US. (Limited to three 10hr days)

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    Associate Producer credit on the film, 2x Tickets to the cast and crew screening, a signed copies of all the Strange Thing Schwag. (No travel included, you must get yourself to Oakland)

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    I will produce, shoot and edit any video project for you. Have an amazing idea that needs to be put on video? Need a commercial for your business? All equipment will be provided.(Limited to 25hrs of editing time, 2 days of producing and 2 days of shooting)

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    Executive Producer credit on the film and IMDB credit, 2x Tickets to the cast and crew screening and copies of all the Strange Thing schwag. (No travel included, you must get yourself to the SF Bay Area)

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    You will own the one of a kind Creature Arm designed for the film by Special Effects Artist George Schminky. The latex hand will come in a display case to live on your mantle forever. I've priced this very high for the sentimental value it holds, but if you put up the cash, it's yours.

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Funding period

- (30 days)