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This is a film about a prince trying to live up to his father's wishes in a land far from his home during the Dark Ages. Blood ensues.
This is a film about a prince trying to live up to his father's wishes in a land far from his home during the Dark Ages. Blood ensues.
56 backers pledged £9,001 to help bring this project to life.

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SKARNEN: Dark Ages, Dramatic, Fantasy Short Film on Skye project video thumbnail
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Just arrived - BRAND NEW REWARDS!

FANTASY THEMED PHOTOSHOOTS FOR YOU!

Photograph by Tim Archibald.
Photograph by Tim Archibald.

We are offering fantasy-themed photoshoots just for you with a makeup artist, a professional photographer and a stunning location.

Check out the rewards- starting at £180 you'll get a unique photo session, 3 edited photos and a download link for all the photos from the session.

For £220 we'll give you a special fantasy-themed costume of your choosing.

 Thanks for supporting us!

Sometime in the Dark Ages, a band of men traverse an empty wilderness, looking for a cure...

Edrig, a young prince, leads his men on a pilgrimage to find a cure for a mysterious sickness that is sweeping through their homeland. They carry with them the body of Edrig’s father, the King, unable to bury him so far from his home. 

Concept Art of Edrig by Tim Archibald
Concept Art of Edrig by Tim Archibald

 As the men travel further into the desolate landscape, Edrig begins seeing visions, and the line between vision and reality becomes blurred. The men grow disenchanted and superstitious about Edrig's leadership. 

Concept Art by Tim Archibald
Concept Art by Tim Archibald

The combination of tensions creates a boiler room situation that erupts in violence and betrayal as one by one the men come to embrace that their pilgrimage is a lost cause. 

Some pointy things to foreshadow stuff.
Some pointy things to foreshadow stuff.

Darkness. Swords. Ancient Celts. Blood. Crazy visions. Angst. Beautiful landscapes. Probably rain. Definitely mud. 

Welcome to SKARNEN. 

Isle of Skye. Photograph by Tim Archibald
Isle of Skye. Photograph by Tim Archibald

But, like, y tho? 

I was inspired by epic fantasy books and films from childhood: the quest of Lord of the Rings, the grandiosity of the world-building in Game of Thrones. I wanted to make something like that - a world / galaxy that seems far, far away, but still filled with flawed humans. 

That is why this is a film set sometime in the Dark Ages in a mysterious land and it has fantasy elements, but ultimately it's about a son trying to live up to his father's wishes.

Ah, yes, ye olde father/son conflict. It's a good one. 

Luke and Vader. Simba and Mufasa. Hamlet and Ghost. 

Edrig is driven by his need to live up to his deceased father, who to him is both King and parent. The pressure of expectation breeds anxiety and delusion in him.

We think the need to fulfill a parent's last wish, or to make a parent proud, is a universal experience. 

Additionally, this is a film about being driven to madness by a singular goal or desire. Edrig is on a single track mind to achieve something that he can't quite see, but believes in. This holistic belief, to the point of isolating himself from everyone, is a tragic arc that we think the viewer will slide into and be transported by. 

Lastly, this is a quest story. Just like The Odyssey. King Arthur. Lord of the Rings. The journey is one of the most important themes in storytelling. We're tapping into that universality. 

Some Tolkien creations questing. © WingNut Films, The Saul Zaentz Company & New Line Cinema.
Some Tolkien creations questing. © WingNut Films, The Saul Zaentz Company & New Line Cinema.

We hope to create an experience that is both beautiful and tragic and transports the viewer to another time and place. 

I am a photographer. And a Director of Photography. I tend to find the genesis of most of my writing comes from imagery.

Beach Front. 35mm film. Photograph by Tim Archibald
Beach Front. 35mm film. Photograph by Tim Archibald

The image of a group of men trekking across a desolate and brutal landscape, whilst carrying a dead body, was such a strong picture in my mind that I knew I needed to write a film around it. 

Writer / Director Tim Archibald
Writer / Director Tim Archibald

 Finding an emotional core, and an emotional language to sit at the heart of this took longer, and evolved through the writing process.

Set against the immovable monolithic scenery, the unravelling characters will seem stuck in a boiler room of conflicting motivations and a lack of good options. 

An important element of the story is landscape as character.  

We want it to feel like the characters are in danger of being subsumed by their surroundings. 

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye. Such mood. Photo by Tim Archibald
The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye. Such mood. Photo by Tim Archibald

 The landscape needed to be unearthly. Magnificent and threatening. Brutal and gorgeous. 

There was only one place that would do it justice.

Mood galore on the Isle of Skye. Photograph by Emily Marquet
Mood galore on the Isle of Skye. Photograph by Emily Marquet
Fairy Pools of Skye. Photograph by Tim Archibald
Fairy Pools of Skye. Photograph by Tim Archibald

 The Isle of Skye in Scotland has been inspiring artists for centuries. We're adding ourselves to the mix and are committed to filming there.

We want to utilise the expansive, isolating and brutal vistas to convey a lot of the atmosphere of the film, to portray the state of anxiety and rising tension that Edrig and his men feel, trapped in a hostile environment far from home.

Just like Middle Earth, or Westeros, Skye has a badass old-looking clans map as well. © Border Art 2018
Just like Middle Earth, or Westeros, Skye has a badass old-looking clans map as well. © Border Art 2018

 The Isle of Skye has been the backdrop to a lot of films and TV, including Prometheus, Highlander, 47 Ronin, Macbeth and many more. More relevant to us, it has been recently pegged as the location for the Game of Thrones prequel. 

It is important that the characters look authentic to their backgrounds. 

The costumes and the make-up need to sell the image that these are men who have travelled far and lived hard. Everything needs to feel worn and look like it has history. 

Concept Art of Pointy Things by Tim Archibald
Concept Art of Pointy Things by Tim Archibald

We have connected with experts in the field: historians, craftsmen, weapons and armoury experts and industry costume designers and makeup artists to create our world. 

Real Pointy Things!
Real Pointy Things!

Our makeup artist, Denise Donnelly, trained at Game of Thrones makeup artist Pamela Smyth's school The Makeup Dept. and is experienced with practical blood and wound effects.

More dope illustrations by Tim
More dope illustrations by Tim

Gill Horn, the costume designer of the film Valhalla Rising has graciously lent us her expertise and guided us through the pre-production process by sharing her artistry and process.

 This story demands real textures. We can't wait to construct these pieces and share them with the audience.

 To share our mood and tone, here are some influential films for us. 

Valhalla Rising inspired us photographically in its consistency of mood and tone. It also represents the time period and its depiction of the tension between the pagan word and the encroaching Christian one is relevant. It was also shot entirely in Scotland. 

"Valhalla Rising" dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009
"Valhalla Rising" dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009

We were thematically inspired by Werner Herzog's 1972 masterpiece Aguirre: the Wrath of God  in terms of characterization and setting as a character that swallows people whole. 

"Aguirre: The Wrath of God" dir. Werner Herzog, 1972
"Aguirre: The Wrath of God" dir. Werner Herzog, 1972

 Game of Thrones has inspired us by the completeness of the world. Design took a lot of hints from House Stark. We hope the North Will Remember. 

Robb Stark looking great in leather and fur. © HBO
Robb Stark looking great in leather and fur. © HBO

Enough artsy-fartsy talk.

Filmmaking is a very expensive venture. 

We're looking for some help to raise the necessary funds to make this film as badass as possible. The script, location and themes all demand an authenticity and gritty realness to them. 

We've got part of the budget covered already, but we need a help getting the rest of the way there. Your donation will be incredibly important to the creation of our film. 

We made a handy-dandy chart for you.
We made a handy-dandy chart for you.

We've got a pretty great team of professionals behind this.

Most of the team come from the MA Filmmaking program at the London Film School. That means that combined, we all have experience on basically every. single. role. on a film set. We know film sets inside and out. We're true craftsmen and women at what we do. 

Click here for IMDb page
Click here for IMDb page

 Tim's Showreel: 

Click here for IMDb page
Click here for IMDb page
                
Click here for IMDb page
Click here for IMDb page
Click on bio for IMDb page
Click on bio for IMDb page
                                                
  •  It is very important to us that we leave no trace on the beautiful Isle of Skye
  • Our crew motto will be light and fast! 
  • We are working on connecting with Skye locals to be on our crew.
  • We will not carry generators or other heavy equipment to disrupt the landscape

 What have we got to show for ourselves? 

  • The script of Skarnen has been in development for several months
  • We've done exhaustive location scouting on the Isle of Skye
  • We've connected with Scottish production companies 
  • We will be starting the casting process very shortly

 But what about you?!?!!?!

What are you even getting out of all of this? 

Worry not, dear reader! 

We have a ton of cool rewards to giveaway. Check 'em out. One of our favorites is the private YouTube channel with behind the scenes videos and DIY how-to filmmaking videos. We'll be updating it throughout the production.

We named our rewards after peaks in the intrepid Cuillin Mountain range on the Isle of Skye. We know, we're cute. We're going to be doing a lot of filming in the Cuillins. 

Cuillin Ridge © Copyright Ian Thomas
Cuillin Ridge © Copyright Ian Thomas

Soooo when can you expect your stuff? 

  • We are going into production in late October. 
  • We have a planned limited release in December 2018 in London, UK - we'll be shipping out rewards and merch after that. 
  • Then, our little Skarnen will take off on an international film festival trip and it'll be red carpet from then on out. We'll keep our community up-to-date on here.

We're already gaining some internet love! 

This will be us filming in Scotland in October! Monty Python and the Holy Grail cast. © Python (Monty) Pictures Limited
This will be us filming in Scotland in October! Monty Python and the Holy Grail cast. © Python (Monty) Pictures Limited

Risks and challenges

All filmmaking is risky. We're making it about 1,000% riskier by filming it entirely on an island in northern Scotland in late October. Hmm.

Weather is going to be a huge factor during filming - with wind, rain, and more rain being a guarantee. Part of our production funds are going towards smart weather gear and we're planning on spending it wisely by kitting ourself out in order to be safe and (sort of) comfortable during long days of filming outside in the Scottish highlands.

This film is also tricky because we need stunt coordinators, fight choreographers, special effects makeup and visual effects. All of these things take time and money.

Our production designer has set out to equip the team with the most experienced and generous of spirit who are willing to help us out for free. We're also consulting with Scottish-based production companies who have been very generous with their time and resources.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 7

    Belig

    A credit in our film and a shout out on social media

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Beinn Dearg Mhòr

    All of the above +
    A private video link to stream the film before its publicly released.

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 20

    Marsco

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    + Private video link to download 1080p film to keep when it is publicly released.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $27

    Glamaig

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    + A Personalised Thank-you video from cast & crew

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    Pledge £25 or more About $33

    Garbh-bheinn

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    + A Postcard sent from the set, signed by members of the crew

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    Pledge £30 or more About $39

    Sgùrr a' Mhadaidh

    All of the Above
    + Private access to the exclusive SKARNEN YouTube channel, including behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, DIY videos - a backstage pass into the making of SKARNEN

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    Sgùrr nan Eag

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    + Pretend like it's 1995 and receive a Director’s Mixtape CD - the original score and music that inspired the director throughout the process.

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    Blà Bheinn

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    +An original film poster signed by the cast and crew

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    Pledge £50 or more About $65

    Am Basteir

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    +A 'Special Thanks' credit on IMDB
    +A singular, one of a kind Polaroid from set

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    Sgùrr Dubh Mòr

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    + A signed, bound copy of the script

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    Pledge £75 or more About $98

    Sgùrr MhicChoinnich

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    +A printed selection of storyboards from the film

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    Pledge £80 or more About $106

    a 'gabhail mo dealbh

    A 1 hour portrait photo studio shoot with Tim Archibald. UK only.

    Includes:
    • A Download link to all of the photos in your session.
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    Bruach na Frìthe

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    + A sketch of one of the characters

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    Sgùrr nan Gillean

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    + A Print of one of Tim Archibald's photos from Skye

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    Sgùrr na Banachdaich

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    + A 20-photo magazine spread from behind the scenes and stills

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    Pledge £180 or more About $239

    Sgùrr a' Ghreadaidh

    A Fantasy-themed photoshoot just for you.

    This is a special reward for cosplayers, LARPers, Vikings, knights, faeries - anyone!

    We are offering you a photoshoot with a professional photographer and make-up artist.

    Bring your costume and we'll take your photo for you in a fantasy-themed photoshoot. You will receive 3 edited photos + the unedited photos from your session.

    Available for the UK only.

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    Pledge £220 or more About $292

    Gabh mo dhealbhan

    A fantasy-themed photoshoot just for you!

    The photoshoot includes:
    -A costume
    -A make up artist
    -Professional photographer
    -YOU!

    You can dress up in a fantasy outfit of your choosing and we'll take your picture. You'll receive 3 edited photos + a download link to all of them.

    Available only in the UK

    Includes:
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    Sgùrr Alasdair

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    Red Cuillins

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    + Meet and greet with the Director / Producer in London (airfare not included)
    + Invitation to screening

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    Black Cuillins

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    + Associate Producer Credit in the film. Your name/ company logo will be in the credits, IMDB, and our website.

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    Munro Master

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    + Executive Producer Credit in the film. Your name/ company logo will be in the credits, IMDB, and our website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)