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$6,325 pledged of $150,000 goal
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$6,325 pledged of $150,000 goal
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About this project

Familiar (Noun): an animal, as a cat, that embodies a supernatural spirit and aids a witch in performing magic.

China Mieville has been called the greatest writer of not only the weird, the fantastical, but of his generation. He mixes high-literary themes with fabulous cities and creatures pulled from a wondrous imagination. Winner of the Aurthur C. Clake award, the Hugo, the Nebula and the British Fantasy award, China has mastered his craft.

And now that vision is being brought to film....

Mythos is proud to introduce Familiar, a film adaptation of China's story by the same name, pulled from his Looking for Jake collection of acclaimed stories.

The Story

Using parts of his own body, a man summons a creature from beyond: The Familiar. But it is not what he expects. It is an abomination. Sickened and unable to destroy it, he casts it into a canal in the midst of the city.

But all is not finished for the creature. Freeing itself, it learns from the machines, animals and people that it encounters, growing both in flesh and by adding pieces of hardware it finds in the alleys and abandoned buildings it explores. It adapts, evolving in both lethality and its ability to comprehend. Soon however, it realizes it is not alone..there are others of its kind and they are territorial. More, its creator comes searching for it, in desperate need to finish a contract that could cost him his very soul...

Help us bring both China's vision and the Familiar to life!

Practical Effects

The Familiar was never meant to be shot with digital effects. It must be brought to life with real tools, real parts. It must live. It must breathe! With the help of Kevon Ward (contestant on SyFy's Face Off) and Brett Nienburg (designer on the acclaimed film, The Frame), it will indeed. Each component will be hand crafted with love and rendered using the latest in animatronics and puppetry. 

The Cost

Practical effects are not cheap. To breathe life into the creations encountered in this film, we cannot cut corners nor rely on the easy way out. Your help will allow us to get what we need to do such a wonderful story justice, to pay homage to China Mieville's vision and to turn the Familiar into something you just might encounter the next time you take a turn down the wrong alley...

The Cast and Crew

Joshua Gates, Director, Writer and Producer
Joshua Gates, Director, Writer and Producer

 Joshua Gates is a veteran of the Marine Corps who has now turned his imagination to filmmaking. He is the writer/director of People of the Book and Until Dawn. Teaming with China Mieville, Joshua is bringing the story Familiar to life on screen. 

Matthew Plumb, Producer
Matthew Plumb, Producer

I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien, I'm am a Englishman in Denver. I am a graduate of the Colorado Film School. My emphasis was writing and producing. I Interned at FUTURISTIC FILMS in Denver and have experience on commercials, reality TV and Narrative films. I have directed and produced student films and also independent projects. I am currently doing production design for 1 web-series and writing and producing 2 others for a new online network. Writing is my passion and as a producer I thrive on the balance of creativity and budget. I am a voice actor and have been able to enjoy and experience many different parts of production through this. I am excited and enthused to be a part of Familiar and am thrilled to be working with Josh again.   

China Mieville, Writer
China Mieville, Writer

 China is the award-winning and best-selling writer of books like Perdido Street Station, The City and The City and Railsea. He resides in London. 

Kevon Ward, Effects Designer
Kevon Ward, Effects Designer

Kevon was a recent contestant on SyFy's Face Off. A veteran of several award winning films, Kevon will breathe life into the practical effects used on the film.

Brett Nienburg, Art Designer
Brett Nienburg, Art Designer

Brett has worked on films such as the acclaimed The Frame. Using his abilities to find a piece of material of any type and on short notice, Brett is the heart of the film, creating the concept art for the Familiar and designing the sets used during filming. 

Van Wampler, Cinematographer
Van Wampler, Cinematographer
Parker Rice, Lead Camera
Parker Rice, Lead Camera
Oner Asir, The Familiar
Oner Asir, The Familiar

Oner has played a number of character roles. In 1986 he was a cast member in Sesame Street; In 2006, Oner took to the stage playing Angel at the Pepsi Center in the production of The Devil Went Down to Georgia. He has also appeared in several print ads, including parts for Adaptive Negotiations, Tipping Point Solutions and a documentary for Cross Cultural Cues. In 2013, Oner landed his first lead role in the short film “People Of The Book”, playing a taxi driver in the midst of a personal crisis. Familiar is his second leading role.

Matthew Block, The Witch
Matthew Block, The Witch

Matthew Louis Block (Matt Block) is an American Film and Television Actor and Model. He was born in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.  His mother is of French, Cherokee Native American, Black, and Arabic decent. His father is of Irish and English decent.  Block holds his Masters of Arts - Acting for Screen from the Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London), his Postgraduate Diploma - Acting for Film from the New York Film Academy, and his Bachelor of Arts - Performing Arts Acting and Directing for Theatre from Colorado State University.  He is an actor known for The Gospel According to Stephenson (2015), Until Dawn (2014), Terminal Legacy (2012), and Grace (2012).  He has acted across three continents, including 19 countries, 26 U.S. states, and lived in Edinburgh, London, New York, and Denver.  

Jane Jackson, The Client
Jane Jackson, The Client

Jane is a Storyteller and teacher who most recently has been working with Feet on the Earth, a nature based experiencial school in Boulder, CO that teaches survival skills and  attitudes about the importance of our planet.
 She is also currently developing a curriculum to bring health and
balance to women in the work world.
Along with these things, she maintains a private healing practice using
plant spirits.

Risks and challenges

Any film using practical effects sets itself out to run into problems. Necessarily, practical effects rely on costs, not only to fabricate those effects but also to adapt them to real environments and to repair them when they break. The higher funding allows us to not only pre-plan for those obstacles, but like the Familiar, helps us adapt to them when they are encountered.

There is also the very real human element. Fabrication of the creatures in this film takes time and like anyone in their field, the creators behind Familiar have to stay busy to eat. Your funding helps us to keep them going, keeping the crew on for whatever may arise and allowing their full focus on such a large task.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Have your name featured in the official Familiar booklet that documents the making of the film and on the Mythos website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Same as $10, plus digital download of film.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Same as $20, plus digital copy of film poster signed by China Mieville, Riley Rossmo and the cast/crew.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Same as the $35 reward, but earn yourself a crew t-shirt!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Blu-Ray or DVD (Region Free) of film, digital download of film and digital copy of signed film poster.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The same as $100, but you get a custom-designed Blu-Ray/DVD case with accompanying concept art and informational booklet that includes a signed copy of the film script by director Joshua Gates.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    At $200, you get everything in the $150 package, but also score a limited edition print of the film poster signed by China Mieville, Riley Rossmo and the cast/crew.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Same as the $150 level, with a custom art print of the Witch and Familiar or Witch and Alpha Familiar signed by Riley Rossmo and film soundtrack.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    $300 gets you the $250 level and includes a signed comic book illustrated by Riley Rossmo from one of his award-winning series such as Proof, Marvel's Dark Wolverine or Cowboy, Ninja Viking.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Same as $250 but includes name in the credits of the film and invitation to the premiere after party in Denver, Colorado (lodging and travel not provided).

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    You get everything that comes with $500, but also a day with the crew, including a tour of the effects creation studio with Kevon Ward and Brett Nienburg and breakfast beforehand with the cast and crew. Invitation to the premiere after-party in Denver, Colorado (lodging and travel not included).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Blu-Ray/DVD with booklets, signed physical copy of the film poster and a custom built 12 inch tall maquette-action figure of the Stage 4 Familiar or Alpha Familiar (your choice). Two tickets to the premiere and invitation to the pre and after party. Lodging and travel not provided.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Same as $1000 with the addition of the original, signed art piece by Riley Rossmo (1 of 2). Includes two tickets to the film premiere, dinner with the cast/crew beforehand and access to the after-party.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Same as $750 level and a helicopter ride over Denver during the filming of aerial shots. Open access to the set and a signed, personalized note from China Mieville and Joshua Gates. Includes dinner before the premiere with the cast and crew and two tickets to the premiere (lodging and travel not included).

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Own a piece of the film! This reward gives you one of the Familiar models used in the film (stages 1 through 3, first come), access to the set and control over your model during filming of a scene. Includes a custom designed developer log, original storyboards of your model signed by Kevon Ward, custom Blu-Ray/DVD with accompanying booklet, dinner before the premiere and two tickets to the premiere itself.

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    Pledge $9,000 or more About $9,000

    The business package! Have your company shown in the film and a scene filmed on your company premises. Includes special access to the premiere and Blu-rays/DVD's of the film for you and your employees.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Imagine owning the full-sized suit worn by Oner Asir portraying the stage 4 Familiar. This suit includes moveable and adaptable pieces including night-vision goggles and a workable flat-screen television (how about a plugging in a blu-ray player to watch your copy of the film), all mounted on a custom stand for display. You'll also get associate producer credits, a private film screening for you and ten friends with dinner beforehand and four tickets to the film premiere. You'll get a custom note from the cast/crew and China Mieville, plus the original storyboards with the scenes using your model!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The big daddy, the Alpha Familiar...standing at eight feet tall, delivered to your door on custom mounting. This guy has a crane built into one shoulder and a hand made of human skulls. Fully moveable and able to be displayed to your liking, this is the creme' de la creme' of practical effects, built to watch over you at night. You'll also get associate producer credits, a private screening with you and your friends of choice (dinner beforehand!) and six tickets to the film premiere. You'll get the shooting script used on the film signed by the cast and crew, the original storyboards of the Alpha in action and six tickets to the film premiere with seating next to the cast and crew.

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Funding period

- (30 days)