The Artemis Protocol: A New Type of Female Action Movie
The Artemis Protocol: A New Type of Female Action Movie
Help us develop a thrilling movie and change the way women in action movies are perceived - in front of and behind the camera
Help us develop a thrilling movie and change the way women in action movies are perceived - in front of and behind the camera Read more
The Artemis Protocol is a meaningful, gritty thriller about a group of influential women who run a rogue organisation, using highly-trained female agents to sort out global issues that governments won’t touch. Moving from militia camps in West Africa to the slums of Eastern Europe, the movie takes on human trafficking from the perspective of women who intend to make a real difference.
Women are rarely leads in action films, and behind the camera, women direct fewer than 7% of movies in the world. When it comes to action movies, that percentage drops even further.
We need your help to create a thrilling movie and change the way women in action movies are perceived - in front of and behind the camera!
WHO ARE WE?
Enlightenment Productions have a track record of creating multi-award winning movies, focused on strong female protagonists. We have produced every movie we’ve set out to make and have released three feature films and a documentary. All of them have been distributed globally and between them have won 35 international awards to date. Please find out more about us and our films below or on our website www.enlightenment-productions.com
WHY DO WE NEED YOUR HELP?
The Artemis Protocol is an ambitious movie that wants to break new ground in the way women are perceived and in the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding a rogue agency, while staying firmly within the exciting, high stakes structure of a traditional action movie. At this budget level, we will need film industry investment to make the movie happen. And obtaining that investment requires a high degree of ‘development’.
This means creating the early materials and concepts that help financiers, agents, distributors and cast to visualize the movie and its value in the marketplace. The first steps in ‘development’ are:
1. Writing a brilliantly plotted script with complex characters you want to spend time with
2. Creating a ‘sizzle reel’ or early trailer for the film to give financiers a sense of the tone and plot
The good news is, we’ve already completed both of these, on our own time and with our own money. But we need your help with the next stages of development.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE SPENT?
Shamim discussed three main areas in the video. Here they are, with more detail on costings and a few extra development requirements that spin out from these:
1. Action concept development - working with action (2nd unit) cameramen, stunt co-ordinators, and visual effects teams to develop the action sequences, visual effects, and create short sequences to show how we intend to create excellent action on a reasonable budget. Costs of hiring these teams for 3 weeks development work: £18,000
2. Creating the storyboard art, concept art, set design and costume visuals. Having these highly visual elements in place helps financiers and cast get a sense of the scope and ambition of the project and helps hugely in getting their buy in. Costs of time for 2 weeks development work from top level production designer, costume designer, concept artist and storyboard artist: £15,000
3. Casting – at this budget level, an exceptional level of A list cast is essential and will also bring these complex and diverse characters to life on screen. We need to work with top level casting directors to access actresses at this level. Casting director retainer plus costs associated with cast meetings/travel: £8,000
These three core elements provide all the key requirements that industry financiers need to prove the potential of any movie. There are also a number of legal and line production elements that need to be completed for the above to go forward and here are our estimates for these, based on previous experience:
4. Breakdown of the script and preparation of a line by line daily schedule by a first AD: £2000
5. Preliminary location scouting to confirm best overall locations to create value and tax credits: £2500
6. Legal costs including proper option and ownership agreements, negotiating agreements for financiers, production costs, key crew contracts, initial deal memos for cast attachments: £5000
The Artemis Protocol has to stand up against films like Bond, Bourne and Mission Impossible but with a small fraction of that budget. And it will. But we need your help to prove it can be done with an independent mindset, and with a cast and key crew of women. Please pledge and share our appeal with your friends and family to help us make this the best it can possibly be and prove that this type of film really does have an audience.
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM THE WRITER/DIRECTOR
Hi, I’m Shamim Sarif, the writer/director of The Artemis Protocol and it’s based on my upcoming novel, and as with my previous novels, I have already written the screenplay and will direct the film. The film will be produced by Hanan Kattan, my wife and long time partner in Enlightenment Productions.
As a team, we have a track record. We have directed and produced three previous feature films. The first, I Can’t Think Straight, won 11 awards and became something of a cult hit, with over 80 million YouTube hits just on the trailer and fan videos. Our second movie, The World Unseen, was selected to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win 23 awards.
Our latest film, Despite the Falling Snow, releases in cinemas across the UK this April and stars Rebecca Ferguson, who was a huge hit in last summer’s Mission Impossible 5, as well as Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Sam Reid (Belle).
Our mission as Enlightenment Productions is to champion movies with strong female characters, and to make sure every cent possible goes up there on the screen. We have always taken the road less travelled in an industry that traditionally likes stories and writers and directors to conform to a ‘safe’ movie-making formula. As a result, we’ve retained an amazing degree of creative control and integrity on our previous films and that independent spirit is important to us and something we want to continue with The Artemis Protocol.
In The Artemis Protocol, we stay close to the themes that mean the most to us as a storyteller - finding out who you are in a world that often prefers you to conform; finding the courage to live with integrity when integrity might not be popular - these are the ideas we like to explore, and we’ve always worked with strong female lead characters and some incredibly good actresses.
But the Artemis Protocol is also different to my previous work. It’s an ambitious action movie. It deals with serious, contemporary issues. It moves from the militia camps of West Africa to the slums of Eastern Europe as our intrepid team of women work to break a human trafficking ring that is far worse than anything they could have expected. And it has a mainly female cast - six lead women - diverse, complex women of different ages. Women are rarely leads in action films, and behind the camera, women direct fewer than 6% of movies in the world. When it comes to action movies, that percentage drops to something minuscule.
For the cinematic scale we aspire to, we need to do this film at a substantial budget. Our aim is to achieve worldwide theatrical release. And that means we need an in depth period of development. We’ve previously always funded development of our films ourselves so why are we looking to you for help now? ‘Development’, just to clarify, comes just before pre-production. ‘Development’ is the long months, and sometimes a year or more when I write the script, then conceptualise the film and we get cast attached. For a project of this ambition, we need industry buy in. We are working tirelessly right now to raise the full budget, piece by piece, through a combination of pre-sales, tax credits and equity. But to maximise our ability to do that, we need you first. Kickstarter funds will help take this movie to the next level to get industry investment.
We are not looking for funding so I can write the script. I’ve already done that myself, without pay, and just for the sheer satisfaction of writing a story that I believe hasn’t been seen before and that a lot of people will enjoy watching. We’ve also funded our own ‘sizzle reel’ to give industry sales people the tone of the film. And as a donor above $10 you will get exclusive access to that reel.
Specifically we will be using funds raised in 3 main areas:
• To overcome industry perceptions and prove I’m a female director who can handle action. We’ll be bringing on board 2nd unit pros - those are the action unit cameramen, stunt co-ordinators and special effects people. They will work with me to conceptualise the action sequences in the film and ensure they have the kind of theatrical cinematic look that we expect from say, the Bourne movies. We will also get the visual effects (CGI) and special effects (guns and explosions) broken down, costed out and conceptualised.
• I will also work with a storyboard artist to outline the shots in all the key scenes, and a concept artist to begin the process of set design and costumes. Having these highly visual elements in place helps us to provide a visual tone that in turn helps immeasurably in securing the final production funds.
• Cast - we plan on attracting an A list cast; an exceptional group of women to play the young agents and the more established founders of Artemis. At this cast level, we need to work with high level casting agents to reach them through their agents and managers.
Last but not least, in order to raise money through pre sales and investment, it helps to show that there is an audience out there hungry to see this film. You can help do that by supporting this campaign. Any money raised over and above our Kickstarter budget will go towards the production budget and will only help us to continue to exert creative control and integrity.
We thought long and hard about opening the project to Kickstarter. We are an independent company - always have been - but we feel Kickstarter is all about maintaining artistic vision and independence and is the right community to help make this film happen. We’ve gotten this far through sheer hard work and determination. Imagine what we can do with your help and support! Artemis has to stand up against films like Bond and Mission Impossible but with a small fraction of that budget. And it will. But we need your help to prove it can be done with an independent mindset, and with a cast and key crew of women.
We can’t guarantee this movie will be made. That’s why we’ve created rewards that you can receive no matter what and everyone will get to see the movie if we do succeed. But I can tell you this: we’ve made every film we set out to make since we started Enlightenment Productions ten years ago. We only ever work on one feature film project at a time and we have made three features and a documentary. And with your help, The Artemis Protocol will be the next. So please, even if you aren't able to pledge, you can still help make this happen by tweeting it, liking it and telling everyone about it. Help us prove that there is an audience out there who want to see quality movies centred on memorable female characters. Thank you.
Risks and challenges
Every film has its own unique set of challenges and The Artemis Protocol is no different. But the producer and director behind this project have a wealth of experience, have always made movies on time and on budget - and we have the passion and desire to see this film get made.
One of our biggest challenges will be raising all the financing required to make this film a reality and this is where you all come in. Though we cannot guarantee if we hit our target that the film will definitely be made, we are very confident that by completing the crucial development stage with your help, that we will continue to take the project forward and secure the additional finance we need from within the industry.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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