Helsing is a short film (ranging from about 20-30 minutes), produced and directed by ARTofWAR Pictures. Viewers may be familiar with the original motion picture, Van Helsing, following the story of the titled character as he hunts down Dracula. In the shortened version we have created, Helsing's screenwriter (Will Hirsch) alongside our creator and director (Ryan Johnston), have taken certain elements of Van Helsing and his story and have fabricated a world that retells the story of the vampire hunter in an entirely new, intriguing light. Both Will and Ryan are currently working on a full length feature script, using this shortened version to give people a taste of what the feature length story could bring with the right budget and the right resources.
Within this new version, Van Helsing is introduced as a younger gentleman, immortal in the curse he was given when he was bit by a vampire and lived. His drive to hunt Dracula stems from his never-ending desire to avenge his love of whom Dracula massacred decades earlier. In this, audiences also meet new characters such as Luke—a young idolizing priest who is sent by the church to join Helsing in his conquest, serving as not only a sidekick in a “Starsky and Hutch”-fused duo, but also as a lovable comedic relief that gives depth and dynamic to the already intensive storyline. In the realm of vampires, the cast and crew of Helsing have incorporated new faces such as the leading antagonist, Moria, who is Dracula’s right-hand woman. Within the shortened script as well as the feature-length script, audiences are able to embark on a journey, diving deeper into the history of vampires as they exist in this world, fusing a Western style with an underlying “steam punk” appeal that is directly represented through not only the dialogue, but also the visual appeal in this film.
Most Kickstarter pages you come across list out exactly what the desired budget tends to, with anything from craft services, to location costs, to special effect, and so forth. However, in funding Helsing, you're not just donating to help us build our sets, put the right SFX makeup in our hands, and feed our crew; you are donating to help the benefit of the independent filmmakers of not only Arizona, but all over the country; you are donating to a film that will give you faith in the fear of vampires as they exist through the film medium; you are donating to support filmmakers who are capable of leaving their mark in this world someday with the right support and the right opportunities to get there. All we're asking for is $5,000 so that we may focus on telling the story and telling it right. And Helsing is a story that must be told.
I'll admit it: you've got my attention. What if I want to know more about HELSING?
Independent filmmaking takes passion and patience, with the ability to risk failure. With Helsing, the risk in recreating a story with a familiar character is high, especially considering the amount of work it will take to create a new vision of vampires that is unlike anything before--but that's exactly why we're doing it. No, we're not talking about the femininity of the Edward Cullen-type vampire, but instead, the bloodthirsty, corpse-infecting, animalistic creatures that audiences have yet to experience in their full potential; the ones that, with appropriate funding, are exactly what ARTofWAR is dying to deliver through Helsing.
Our primary goal (also being one of our most challenging goals) is making sure that we present a theme and style that will do justice to the story that our team has been collaborating on for months. We want to provide adequate sets for our audience in order to create this world within the confinement of 30 minutes and $5,000. Seeing as we have decided to create this shortened version, it seems as though we must work twice as hard to make sure that we can incorporate all of the elements we have fabricated to not only show you the accurate era, but allow you to see inside the parallel, alternate universe that Van Helsing and these morbid monsters inhabit. As much as we go out of our way to eliminate costs through equipment, locations, and craft services, any savvy filmmaker knows that not everything can be free in the pursuit of movie making, and for that, we have and will continue to hit road blocks with finances and sacrifices that we must overcome for the greater good of telling this story right.
Without the $5,000 we would be funding our project on a smaller-scaled budget, using money straight out of our own pockets. The question isn't whether or not to make this film; it is instead, how well we are able to create it with the resources at our disposal. With the $5,000 goal met or exceeded, we increase production value to skyrocketed levels.
We are set to begin filming in mid-July, already eagerly building the set in studio from the floor up. As with anything, we foresee challenges with the construction process, as well as scheduling conflicts in completing everything to its highest quality in appropriate timing.
By keeping in mind how much of a risk we're taking by putting so much faith in Helsing, we have simultaneously adapted a growing appreciation of its potential that continues to carry us through this unreal, unforgettable experience.
You will receive an exclusive invite to the premiere of the film with the cast and crew as well as Van Helsing's pocket watch. You will also receive a custom DVD jacket and poster signed by the cast and crew.
You will receive an exclusive invite to the premiere of the film with the cast and crew as well as a custom piece of Van Helsing's wardrobe. In addition to this, you will receive a custom DVD jacket and poster signed by the cast and crew.
You will be considered an Executive Producer of HELSING, as well as get an exclusive invitation to the premiere of the film. On top of that, you'll receive a poster, a DVD with exclusive jacket art, and the headdress and bone chest plate of our own character Moria.