About this project
FINAL WEEK UPDATE - THIS JUST ADDED!
IF WE CAN REACH THE $60K GOAL, EVERYONE WHO HAS PLEDGED AT THE $35 LEVEL AND HIGHER WILL RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY SET OF TWO 5" X 7" MINI LOBBY CARDS FROM "THE NARRATIVE OF VICTOR KARLOCH" AND "THE MILL AT CALDER'S END".
GIFT REWARD UPDATE
ALL GIFT REWARDS AT $35 AND ABOVE INCLUDE THE DIGITAL DOWNLOADS OF BOTH FILMS ! I apologize for the confusion. Both digital downloads of THE MILL AT CALDER'S END and THE NARRATIVE OF VICTOR KARLOCH will be included with gift packages starting at $35.
NEW GIFT REWARD
THIS GORGEOUS ARCHIVAL PRINT OF "THE MILL AT CALDER'S END" BY EISNER AWARD WINNING COMIC BOOK ARTIST DAVID PETERSEN (MOUSE GUARD). THIS PRINT IS AVAILABLE AS A STAND ALONE REWARD (NO DOWNLOADS INCLUDED) FOR $32.
AVAILABLE FOR $32 (AS A STAND ALONE CONTRIBUTION).
NOTE: PREVIOUS BACKERS CAN ADD THIS AMOUNT ON TO THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO RECEIVE THIS GIFT! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMBINE THE PRINT WITH ANY OF THE OTHER REWARDS, IT MUST BE ADDED TO THE EXISTING PACKAGES (i.e. BOTH DOWNLOADS $25 + PRINT $32 = $57, or THE $35 PACKAGE OF KARLOCH DVD, AND DOWNLOADS OF KARLOCH AND CALDER'S END + $32 ARCHIVAL PRINT = $67,and so on.) PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD THE PRINT TO YOUR GIFT PACKAGE!
JUST ADDED: A GIFT REWARD AT THE $150 LEVEL
BIG THANKS TO ALL OF THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE MILL AT CALDER'S END!!! We reached the initial goal of $32,000 in only six days!!! My heartfelt thanks to all of my friends (old and new) who are helping to bring this haunted puppet film to life!
I am now setting a new "stretch" goal of $50K . With this new budget , THE MILL AT CALDER'S END will become an even more extraordinary work of puppetry art. The additional funds will allow for more intricate in-camera effects, more detailed puppets, higher quality cameras and lenses, and an enhanced sound mix.
In the next few weeks, I will be revealing additional new GIFT REWARDS! Thank you again and please let others know of this project!
The Mill at Calder's End is a gothic ghost story in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft that will be told with 30 inch tall bunraku puppets and old fashioned in-camera special effects.Featuring the voices of Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,X-Men:First Class) and horror legend Barbara Steele (Black Sunday,The Pit and the Pendulum) , this film celebrates two of my great loves: the art of puppetry and gothic horror.
From my experience working as a special effects artist in Hollywood for over twenty years and now collaborating with some of the most talented creature effects artists,concept artists, and puppeteers in the industry, The Mill at Calder's End will be unlike any puppet film you have ever seen before.
A FEW EARLY REVIEWS
"BREATHTAKING...AN INNOVATIVE AND ENGAGING USE OF PUPPETRY..." -Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings)
"CREEPY...FILLED WITH SOME REALLY COOL HORROR IMAGES... I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS..." -Rick Baker, Special Make-Up Effects Artist, Winner of Seven Academy Awards
"HAUNTING AND ATMOSPHERIC...IT IS VERY RARE THESE DAYS THAT YOU SEE AN ORIGINAL STORYTELLING FORMAT, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT SUITS THE SUBJECT MATTER SO WELL..." -Mike Mignola, Creator of HELLBOY, Contributing Artist for "The Mill at Calder's End"
THE TRAILER TO MY FIRST VICTORIAN GHOST STORY PUPPET FILM, THE AWARD-WINNING SHORT, "THE NARRATIVE OF VICTOR KARLOCH":
The Mill at Calder's End is a passion project that is heavily influenced by the classic Hammer horror films of the 1960s and the films of Mario Bava (most notably, his gothic masterpiece Black Sunday). I have also always had a great love of puppetry and traditional in-camera special effects. The work of Jim Henson (The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and his Storyteller television series) is a great inspiration to me and I am hoping to bring his sense of wonderment and artistry to The Mill at Calder's End.
In 2012, I was honored to work with Heather Henson (Jim's youngest daughter) on my first film. Heather produced The Narrative of Victor Karloch as one of the short films for her Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Series and was a guiding force in helping me create the haunted world of Victor Karloch.
The Mill at Calder's End is a gothic tale that will be told with the traditional Japanese theater puppetry technique known as bunraku. Each puppet figure is controlled by three (or more) puppeteers dressed in black and hidden behind each character. It is my goal to make a film that celebrates practical effects and therefore there will be almost no computer generated imagery in the final film. In my first film, The Narrative of Victor Karloch, I utilized several silent film era camera techniques, such as a shot of a miniature ship on a stormswept ocean (which, in fact, was made up of painted flowing garbage bags). I plan to continue to use many more of these techniques to give a hand crafted look to The Mill at Calder's End.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Kevin McTurk | Director
A professional creature effects artist, cinematographer, model maker, and puppeteer, Kevin McTurk has been working in the effects industry for over 20 years. In 1992 he began his career in special make-up effects at Stan Winston Studios, working on Batman Returns, Interview with a Vampire, and the Jurassic Park films. He has worked for many effects companies over the years, including the Jim Henson Creature Shop, Amalgamated Dynamics, Spectral Motion, New Deal Studio, and Weta Workshop in New Zealand. The Mill at Calder's End is Kevin's second ghost story puppet film, following his award-winning 2012 short film, The Narrative of Victor Karloch.
Ryan Murphy | Screenwriter
After graduating from the USC School of Cinema and Television, Ryan C. Murphy had the honor of working as a Creative Executive for Stan Winston and serving as Associate Producer on "The Deaths of Ian Stone." Ryan is currently co-writing "Archetype" with Guy Busick for producer John Davis and Director Aaron Sims.
Wyatt Garfield | Director of Photography
A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Film Production, Wyatt Garfield directed the Sundance Film Festival award-winning short film The Execution of Solomon Harris in 2007. Wyatt is an extremely accomplished cinematographer and served as gaffer (chief lighting technician) on the critically acclaimed film, Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Jason Flemyng | Actor, Voice of "Nicholas Grimshaw"
English actor Jason Flemyng is known for his roles in the films X Men: First Class, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Snatch, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
Barbara Steele | Actress, Voice of "The Witch of Calder's End"
Barbara Steele is the beautiful star of the Italian horror masterpiece Black Sunday (1960) and also appeared in Roger Corman's Pit and the Pendulum and Federico Fellini's 8 1/2.
Piotr Walczuk | Voice Actor
Piotr Walczuk is an incredible voice actor and impressionist known for his work with "MAD" on Cartoon Network, the video games World of Warcraft, Darksiders II and Red Faction and the celebrity impersonator on the upcoming TV show "Last Laugh" on TBS.
Mike Mignola | Contributing Concept Artist
Mike Mignola is an Eisner Award winning comic book artist and writer who created the comic book series Hellboy for Dark Horse Comics.He also worked as a concept illustrator on Bram Stoker's Dracula, Blade 2, Hellboy, and Hellboy 2:The Golden Army.
Mitch Devane | Puppet Sculptor
Mitch Devane is one of Hollywood's top sculptors who has contributed his artistry to many films including Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Ring, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, among others.
Arjen Tuiten | Puppet Sculptor
Accomplished Dutch sculptor and make-up artist, Arjen Tuiten has worked for Stan Winston Studio / Legacy Effects, DDT, and most recently, Rick Baker's Cinovation Studio (for the upcoming film Maleficent). One of his greatest make-up contributions is the Pale Man character in Pan's Labyrinth.
Dave Elsey | Puppet Sculptor
Oscar Winning Makeup Artist Dave Elsey (The Wolfman, 2010) has created many memorable creatures and characters using make up and animatronics for the last twenty-four years. His film credits include Star Wars:Episode III Revenge of the Sith (Oscar nomination), Where the Wild Things Are, Alien 3, and many others.
Ryk Fortuna | Puppet and Creature Sculptor
Ryk is an extremely talented sculptor, mold maker, and creature effects artist and his film credits include King Kong, District 9, The Wolfman, and The Hobbit.
Tim Gore | Puppet and Prop Painter
Master painter Tim Gore has over twenty five years of experience in the make-up effects industry and has worked on many iconic films over the years including The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2, Hellboy, Lady in the Water, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army .
Guy Davis | Contributing Concept Artist
Guy Davis is an Eisner Award winning comic book artist known for his creator-owned series The Marquis and his illustration work in various Hellboy related comic books,including B.P.R.D. Guy has also contributed concept art for the the Guillermo del Toro films Pacific Rim and Pinocchio.
Spectral Motion | Associate Producer, Creature Design Consultants
Mike Elizalde’s Spectral Motion is one of Hollywood’s premiere creature-effects shops, making monsters for films such as Hellboy, Hellboy 2:The Golden Army, and Pacific Rim.
Ron Binion | Puppeteer
Ron Binion is a highly skilled bunraku puppeteer and puppet builder who has worked with the Jim Henson Company on many Muppet films and television specials.
Eli Presser | Puppeteer
Extraordinary marionette puppeteer and creature suit performer, Eli Presser is a CalArts graduate in Puppetry Arts. He can be seen in the hit web series DRONE, where he plays the character Dr0ne 237.
Frank Langley IV | Puppeteer
Frank Langley IV is a multi-talented artist who's been working in puppetry, costumes, art direction, prop fabrication and character performance for the past 25 years. He is most noted for his work on Team America, Spiderman 2 (the Doctor Octopus tentacles), and the upcoming features Milo and Hell Baby.
Peter Abrahamson | Mechanical Designer
A skilled animatronic designer, Peter Abrahamson has been working in the film industry for over 20 years as a puppeteer, robot builder, and animatronics creator for such projects as Hellboy, MIB2, BattleBots, and the TV show Dinosaurs.
Jesse Gregg | Title Design
Jesse Gregg is an illustrator, designer and animator living in Portland, Oregon. He currently works for Laika Studios on stop-motion animated features.
Zoe Keating | Contributing Musician
Zoe Keating is an avant-garde cellist and one-woman orchestra. She uses cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting, and compelling music.
Meredith Yayanos | Contributing Musician
Violinist, vocalist,and thereminist Meredith Yayanos just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for her "haunted chamber music" project "The Parlour Trick". Her work has been featured on tracks with artists including Amanda Palmer, The Dresden Dolls, The Walkmen, and others.
Lustmord | Contributing Sound Design
Lustmord is a British electronic musician often credited for creating the dark ambient music genre. He has contributed to over 40 Hollywood film soundtracks as music and sound designer and occasionally as additional composer, most notably on The Crow and Underworld.
Eric Skodis | Sound Design and Foley
Eric Skodis created the intricate sound design for The Narrative of Victor Karloch. He has been a Studio and Touring Drummer and Vocalist in Los Angeles for over 30 years, performing and recording with such artists as Cheap Trick, Missing Persons, Glen Campbell & Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go's).
Brant S. Biles | Rerecording and Mixing Engineer
Brant S. Biles is an award winning mix engineer, whose film credits include work on The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy,The MGM James Bond Collection, and the Sound of Music rerelease, and music credits include mixing work for Bonnie Raitt, Paul McCartney, and numerous others.
THE DESIGN OF CALDER'S END
In 2012 my first puppet short film THE NARRATIVE OF VICTOR KARLOCH screened at over 30 festivals worldwide and won the 2012 'Best Animated Film' and 'Best Horror Short' at DragonCon Film Festival.
This short film will now be offered as a Kickstarter Reward (in DVD,Blu-ray,or digital download format) to help my fundraising campaign for THE MILL AT CALDER'S END.
The money raised through this Kickstarter campaign will be used to help pay for many of the hard costs associated with making this film, including materials for puppet and set construction, camera and lighting rentals, and studio rental space, among other costs. In short, your money will finance the supplies needed to bring this film to life!
USA TODAY - Cool Kickstarter: A Gothic Ghost Tale...with Puppets!
LA Weekly Blog - Inside the World of Puppet Filmmakers
Aint It Cool News - Check Out "The Mill at Calder's End"
Aint It Cool News - A preview of 'The Narrative of Victor Karloch"
COILHOUSE Magazine - A review of "The Narrative of Victor Karloch"
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
According to Kickstarter's help page (http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/backers#Pled), "Anyone, anywhere (with a major credit card) can pledge to Kickstarter projects."
If you live in a country where you, for whatever reason, cannot donate directly to Kickstarter the current best option is to buy a prepaid amazon cash card and use that for your donation. You must apparently add $1 more than the prize amount to make sure the donation goes through. This thread (thanks to Double Fine), offers the most comprehensive guide on how to do this.
We will ship internationally. Please see the details on each level for additional payment for international shipping.
Will the DVDs and Blu-rays be Region Free?
Yes, the DVD will be region-free, and the Blu-ray will be all-region, so they'll play anywhere in the world; however, the DVD will be NTSC only.
Risks and challenges
THE MILL AT CALDER'S END will definitely be a challenging filmmaking experience. Every frame of this film is essentially an effects shot. The "actors" of this film are the sculpted puppet characters that are controlled by three puppeteers dressed in black (or green screen) behind each puppet. Therefore, one of the single greatest challenges is how to film the puppets and hide the puppeteers from camera. There will definitely be a number of shots that will require "rotoscoping" ( digitally erasing puppeteers from the shot, frame by frame). In addition, every element of the puppet world - wardrobe, props, and sets - must be custom built for the film.
In terms of production scheduling, "Calder's End" should be completed within a 10 month time frame.The shooting schedule could possibly be delayed if puppeteers and/or technical crew members are unavailable on shoot days due to better paying jobs or out of town work and would therefore force us to reschedule. But the ultimate goal is to start shooting this summer and reach post production in the fall/early winter.
How will the Kickstarter money be spent?
Here is a short breakdown of the budget:
$8K to $10K - Puppet Construction,Costuming,Sets,and Props
$10K to $12K - Camera/Lighting/Stage Rental/ Crew
$10K - Post Production (Sound Mixing/Digital Compositing/Color Correction)
Once the Kickstarter goal of $32K is surpassed, a new "stretch goal" will be set. With additional funding, THE MILL AT CALDER'S END will become an even more extraordinary work of puppetry art. The new budget will allow for more intricate in-camera effects, higher quality cameras and lenses, and an enhanced sound mix.
THANK YOU in advance for supporting THE MILL AT CALDER'S END...
Your contributions will enable this project to take creative risks and deliver a vision that few have ever attempted!
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