Steampunk Picture Show (www.steampunkpictureshow.com) is a website that
will host a wide variety of Steampunk films.
Our first Steampunk film was made as part of the "48 Go Green
Challenge 2011, NYC" and was written, shot, and edited in just two
days. It was awarded "Best Directing" by their panel of
judges. Screenings are happening throughout the New York area.
Now we embark on our second film....a much more ambitious undertaking.
It’s a riveting story about a warrior monk -- inspired in parts by
Samurai and the Shaolin Monks -- sent from his abbey into the nearby metropolis
to investigate a spreading sickness. Along the way he fights off bandits,
recruits help from mayors and prisoners alike, and tracks the villain causing
the sickness to an exciting standoff. Action! Adventure!
But on a deeper level, it also discusses familial responsibility, new
methods vs. age old experience, and the ever changing world, constantly on the
brink of technological revolution. In other words, it serves as a
metaphor for the issues we are all dealing with in the here and now.
The goal is create a film that treats Steampunk with the respect it has
received in literature, which I have not yet seen in the world of cinema.
Many of the films which call themselves ‘Steampunk’ seem to be ABOUT Steampunk,
instead of being good stories set in a Steampunk world. Every single prop
and piece of wardrobe has a gear glued onto it.
In developing our material, we’ve looked to fiction that engaged
audiences with strong storytelling, without getting overly caught up in its own
fantastic worlds. Battlestar Galactica has been a touchstone.
We're also heavily influenced by Star Wars, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, The
Name of the Rose, Firefly, and LOST.
Our film is also unique in the Steampunk world in that it is not set in
some alternate Victorian England. Our time is never stated; our city is
one that never existed. We have *elements* of 1890s London...
mixed with elements of Feudal Japan....
with some aspects of the American West thrown in.... and just a touch of
Yet, it is none of these things.
Our hero moves through a world of past and future, art and technology,
science and faith, formalism and chaos.
We want our film to be one beloved by the Steampunk community, and in
fact we are receiving tremendous support by those in the NY/North East
scene. But we also want it to be one which attracts new members to this
movement. A film that, when people ask “What is Steampunk?,” can stand as
a prime example.
Reaching our base goal of $2500 would allow us to bring our cast and crew
to Massachusetts to shoot parts of the film at
This is a three day event in early May where the entire town of Waltham will be a
Steampunk convention. They expect over 7000 people, most of them in
steam-wardrobe. We have also been given permission to film in the world
famous watch factory, as well as the Charles River Museum of Industry. In
addition, we have been given permission to film at the famous ModVic ‘Steampunk
House’ in nearby Sharon,
Mass….a gorgeous Victorian home restored with a distinct Steampunk vibe
(www.ModVic.com). This is an ENORMOUS amount of production value we are
being given, and will help our film look like it was produced for 100x it’s
If we reach $6,000, we can increase the value of the film in several
ways. Firstly, we will be able to bring additional crew with us, and have
a full, dedicated 2nd unit. Secondly, we can upgrade our HD camera
package in a big way. Better lenses, more options, dolly track rental,
Steadicam rental, etc. Lastly, we can begin to compensate not only the
crew but the other people lending assistance. Propmakers lending us
select pieces from their collections. The museum and ModVic house.
Musicians contributing tracks.
If we are lucky enough to reach $10,000, we have another paradigm shift
in production. This will allow us to shoot the film on even better
equipment; perhaps a RED One 4k Digital Cinema Camera (and build the editing
infrastructure required to deal with the rich and detailed images). In a
film with such a complex, detailed, and beautiful world, this would be
incredible. We would also bring in another editorial assistant.
More of a budget also means more ability to create custom props,
wardrobe, and set design (as opposed to borrowing material or adapting to what
At the turn of the century, we stood at a time where
technology was art, and the inventors were artists. (I believe this to be
a big part of the Steampunk ethos.) There was an understanding (left over
from the world of old) that art fed the soul….that it could lift people out of
their normal lives. That it had value to society; worth. Those who
were capable became patrons of the arts. They were not looking for a
‘return on their investment.’ Nor were they looking for anything more than the
enjoyment of the work and the satisfaction of knowing that this piece of art
existed because of their help. It seems like we have lost that. I
ask you to become a patron of the arts. Give what you can – $5, $25,
$600, etc – and know that BECAUSE OF YOU, an entire cast and crew get to do
what they love and create a piece of art for all to enjoy. It won’t make
you rich. It’s not a good ‘business venture.’ But knowing that
you’re doing this good work might just brighten your day…. It will
definitely brighten ours.