Hello. Please note that Christina Chapman is running this Kickstarter, however Georg Rockall-Schmidt (that's-a-me) wrote all this copy. Christina will be storyboarding Collaborator, and helping me produce it.
What's all this?
I'm asking for $27 500 to shoot and cut together a ninety minute, live-action, fiction film.
The film is called Collaborator. It follows Ana, a junior intelligence officer working as a specialist interrogator. Ana, and her colleagues, uses a combination of compliance gas, a semispherical lighting array, and emotional triggers, not to extract confession but information, mainly from domestic terrorists.
But Ana is trapped in a human intel unit falling apart. The deputy director has designs on the immediate leadership, and the director oscillates between total control and panic. The truth they all know but will not speak – a purge is coming. A purge where anything these people might have done, as intelligence officers or as citizens, could be used to remove them from their jobs, or society.
As Ana attempts to navigate the growing paranoia in the unit, she realises she is already an important part of it. But can she survive?
This video is the same as the banner video, it's just here again to confuse you. Also, a subtitled version is available on YouTube.
$27.5k doesn't seem enough for a movie
It's not. Most low-budget movies are at least $100k.
$27500 is the minimum amount I need to make Collaborator. I can save a lot of money by shooting and editing myself, keeping the project doable, and keeping principal photography to about two weeks – something I intend to achieve with a lot of preparation.
Most of the budget is to pay the actors and crew. It'll also pay for commercial / studio space where I can build the sets – and for the constructions of those sets.
I also own a fair amount of kit now, including the 4k camera I'll shoot this on. There's more camera equipment I need to buy, but that's not what the Kickstarter is for. I'll do that myself – it's something I'd buy anyway.
Commercial / Studio space for about 8 weeks (1000 sq ft max) – $3000
Set 1: Office, incl walls, carpet, false ceiling, lights, mirror, desk, chairs, dropboxes, dressing – $3000
Set 2: Interrogation room, curtain, wall of screens, desk, chairs, gas pump – $2500
Crew: Sound recordist, production assistant – $4000
Cast: Ana, Asher, Morely, Linnels, about a dozen secondary parts, additional non-speaking parts – $12500
Catering and Transportation – $1500
Insurance & Turkish Baths – $1000
I will cover Kickstarter's fee myself.
How ambitious is this?
It is ambitious. I essentially am trying to make a film that doesn't look cheap, on a smaller-than-usual-budget. But where's there's a will...
However, a good portion of Collaborator happens over two sets and the other scenes take place in locations that are attainable. There are no intricate set-pieces, special effects, or multi-cam stunts.
I honestly believe that nothing matters as much for a film as the script, and the early pre-production. Suspense, character development, and tone are things that are budget-irrelevant.
I want Collaborator to be visually potent, with lots of oppressive uses of colour and shadow, and I want to create an unsettling sound design, and of course I want organic and sincere performances from the actors, but none of that means anything if the script is half-baked. I've spent a lot of time developing the script throughout 2018. I believe in it.
Collaborator is ambitious, but it is achievable.
What if you get funded?
I'll get the storyboard finished and begin casting.
Once the storyboard is finished, I'll start looking for a space where I can build the set and rehearse and workshop the actors.
After casting, and once I have a dedicated space I'll start both building the sets and workshopping the actors.
Summer / Late Summer
Filming. I'm going to try and limit the need for ADR as much as possible, and will probably save some choice scenes and shots that don't require sound for a pick up day later.
Late Summer / Autumn
Pick ups, assembly editing, early sound design.
Autumn / Winter
Editing to completion.
I feel like I have a good understanding of the filmmaking process, but the distribution options for Collaborator will largely come down to the film that is produced. Although I have a clear vision of that, I think it would be wrong to plan for distribution too early – I'd rather worry about making it, and making it good, first.
I want to possibly enter Collaborator into a festival, or seek online distribution – and this means I can't offer backers a copy of the film.
I know that's a bit of a bummer, so I wanted to use the rewards to get people more involved.
Anyone who pledges $5 or more will get their name in the credits. I'll send an email at some point in the production asking for a name – I'll try my best to spell it right, but as someone whose name is Georg, I won't ask if you've spelt it right. Thanks Goff.
The $25 reward offers exclusive access to livestreams. There will be at least five. Backers at this level or higher will be emailed at least two weeks before a livestream with details, and again two hours before with a link.
Livestream 1 – About two or three weeks after raising money. I'll talk about the Kickstarter, ask questions from chat, and maybe talk to Christina for a segment about how we are storyboarding collaborator.
Livestream 2 - Late spring. I'll update you on casting, set building, and technical challenges.
Livestream 3 -Summer or late summer, shortly before shooting. I'll try and do this from one of the finished sets (maybe I'll be able to show both, depending on the set up).
Livestream 4 – Summer or late summer, shortly after shooting. I'll try and do this with the actress playing Ana. I might be able to show an unfinished clip or two.
Livestream 5 – Autumn. Once the assembly edit is finished I'll show more clips and talk about alterations. I'm not sure if I'll do this before or after the focus testing, or if I'll do a stream before and a sixth one after.
The $50 reward gives you access to the livestreams and also access to the test screening I plan to do in late 2019. It'll be a stream of a narratively complete, but unfinished version of Collaborator (there may be colouring issues, I probably won't be near a final audio mix), like the livestreams but with the film in its entirety. I'll talk before and maybe after. I'll split the focus testing into two separate streams, at separate times of day, to make sure everyone can see it.
All focus testers will also be emailed a form they can fill out about their view of the film – something I think could be very valuable in potentially tightening the edit, spotting continuity errors, or simply getting fresh perspective. Obviously I won't have the budget to redo everything, but I think testing will really help me gauge things, as I know that should Collaborator be funded, it's something I'll be very close to very quickly.
The $250 reward gets you all of the above plus physical things that I've scrawled my spidery signature on, thereby defacing them. Bizarre that you would want this.
I'm going to shoot Collaborator on a 4.6k camera, on RAW 3:1, specifically CinemaDNG. Its output will be 4k, at 2.35 aspect ratio with 5.1 surround sound.
Risks and challenges
This is ambitious. It's an attempt to be make a narrative film with a very small budget. I am entirely committed to this project, and there is no way a film won't be made, but the small scale of this project presents both opportunities and obstacles.
Things might go wrong. We might not get enough coverage. We might make unforced errors. I can't guarantee you'll like the end product, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't some delay at some phase of the project, but there will be a completed film at the end of this.
As an amateur, it would be wrong for me to promise a good film. Perhaps no one should promise that anyway. I can promise a film that I put my heart and soul into making.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)