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A filmmaking quest of swords, sorcery and camper vans exploring the curious pastime of LARP! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on January 5, 2013.

A filmmaking quest of swords, sorcery and camper vans exploring the curious pastime of LARP!

Cosmic Joke
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Cosmic Joke

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About this project

The Film - What is Treasure Trapped

Depending on your exposure to this intriguing pastime, you probably have two questions. What is LARP? And why are you making a documentary about it?

For the uninitiated, LARP (live action role play) can be seen as an extension of the fantasy gaming world of Dungeons and Dragons, but this time it’s for real! You may be thinking it’s those beardy guys you’ve seen hitting each other with swords, or maybe the teenagers in the woods playing real-life Lord of the Rings; you would be right, but it’s also much more. Did you know of those people who recreated a Jane Austen novel and spiced it up with aliens or the folk over in Scandinavia who role-played being stuck in a lift for six hours? These may seem like extreme examples, but that’s just how varied LARP can be. 

We couldn't believe we'd never heard of LARP before! It probably took us all of one minute to decide to fill a van with cameras, head out into the big scary world and start finding out as much as we could. It’s in the wake of our exploration into this world that we’ve found the real beating heart of LARP. It is the community of people who follow and support their hobby and we want you to meet these people and see why they are so passionate about what they do at the weekend.

So what is Treasure Trapped? Treasure Trapped is the documentary film that chronicles our journey into the LARP community. It's our adventure into the adventures of every day people, the history of their hobby and everything in between! 

How you can help

If we've been out and about exploring LARP all this time then why are we asking for help? It's a good question!

We've already filmed a lot of Treasure Trapped. Like any good documentary though our adventures have lead us to more and more people and the scope of the film we COULD make has grown and grown. So we're looking for that last tiny little bit of support to help us finish the film in a deserving fashion. Your incredibly kind donations can help us round off our journey and present the truest account of LARP we can. Specifically we would like to achieve the following three goals:

Visit Østerskov Efterskole in Denmark - This is a school in Denmark that not only teaches through LARP but gets great results through LARP - challenging the common perceptions of the hobby and education itself. We've been invited to film at the school and would love to blow stereotypes of LARP wide open with this fascinating tale...but petrol costs money...and that's a lot of miles to drive!

Film at the birthplace of UK LARP - There's many a tale of where and how LARP started but an awful lot of people see Peckforton Castle in Cheshire as the breeding ground for the hobby. Our dream? To take original players back to the castle (now an upmarket wedding venue) to relive their memories. Unfortunately larking around a big castle needs insurance and grounds keeping costs.

Show how LARP is...for LARPERS! - What's the most difficult part of LARP to understand? How it must be in the minds and imaginations of the players. It's also the most difficult idea to film...but we're going to have a go! We'd like to open our film with a cinematic opening battle that captures the thrill of the game...but arming 100's of people and capturing a dragon can be pricey! 

We feel these three things will help us do the hobby justice and round off what has been a life changing journey in a fitting fashion...and we're almost there! We've been given filmmaking gear, clothing, transport, catering, accommodation - so much from so many kind people. We now just need that tiny bit extra to take us to the finish line.

If you haven't got the spare pounds to help us on our way you can still help in other ways. We're not all about money but we are all about community. We love to hear from people who can help spread the word about our journey or offer help in some other way. We love it even more though when people have a story they can tell us or a way in which we can help them in return. We've formed so many great relationships over the course of filming so get in touch and lets form another!

Who we are

Cosmic Joke are a filmmaking partnership who've been together since 2010. Director Alex Taylor has been working in films for a number of years whilst Cosmic Joke have been churning out award winning music videos and online treats! Partners Michael Surman and Nick Peel complete the Treasure Trapped trio whilst an army of in house production staff and industry freelancers bulk out the team. We could make up a statistic like us having "Over 10,000 years of filmmaking experience" between us...but you get the idea!

Cosmic Joke was born out of a commitment to provide students and media hopefuls with invaluable access to work experience. Several such members of Cosmic Joke have been able to get their foot on the filmmaking career ladder from working on Treasure Trapped. Your kind help can make this a bigger film and a far more rewarding experience for our work experience interns.   

The extended Treasure Trapped family sees corporate sponsorship from Wicked Camper Vans and Frozen Flag as well as working partnerships with Lindisfarne Mead, Profound Decisions, Wasteland, Labyrinth and many many more! 

More information about Cosmic Joke and Treasure Trapped can be found at www.cosmicjoke.co.uk or followed on twitter @cosmicjokeuk and @treasuretrapped 

Risks and challenges

Whilst the success of Treasure Trapped is by no means guaranteed we've already been accepted for a UK film festival based on our progress so far. We've also had interest in a screening in America as well as a distribution offer from a UK independent cinema chain. With your investment we feel the film has an even greater chance of commercial success.

This being a documentary, however, who knows what untold horrors lie in wait for us out on the road? We will be at the mercy of the weather whilst out shooting in the Danish winter...and will probably have a rough time of it in Cheshire too. Similarly, filming a huge, open air battle sequence is no easy feat with the potential for a lot of obstacles. We will need to secure talented actors, the interest of the LARP community as extras and hoards of weapons and armour. Then there's the logistics of the shoot itself, organising (literally!) armies of people out in whatever weather is thrown at us, and there's the safety and working conditions of all our crew and equipment.

With all this considered though we are confident we can handle any obstacles we encounter trying to complete our quest, especially with the support of your kind donations! From the months of filming we've already completed we've become dab hands at tackling last minute challenges when they rear their ugly heads. Similarly all our equipment, crew, transport and permissions are secured pending the money raised from this campaign.

There will be problems on the road to completion, there always are, especially with this project being at the mercy of the real and uncontrollable world out there. Frodo didn't have the easiest time getting the one ring to Mordor but he succeeded and we can see ourselves doing the same!

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    2 backers

    *HOBBIT PLEDGE* “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
    Thank you! Every penny counts and you're helping us make Treasure Trapped a reality! A special THANK YOU E-MAIL is coming your way along with access to our Treasure Trapped merch store to buy other perk items!

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    35 backers

    *GNOME PLEDGE* "The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife...Yet hope remains while the Company is true." You've really made a difference! Welcome to the Treasure Trapped family! Now you get your PHOTO ON OUR MOSAIC POSTER to celebrate your involvement and a SPECIAL THANKS IN THE FILMS CREDITS! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    15 backers

    *GOBLIN PLEDGE* "It is the quality of one's convictions that determines success, not the number of followers." Such kindness! Word will spread of your good deed as we give you a SOCIAL NETWORK SHOUT OUT of your choice! Bask in the glory of your kindness with EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO BLOGS, PHOTOS AND UPDATES! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    11 backers

    *DWARF PLEDGE* "Nobody tosses a Dwarf!" You've just brought us so much closer to finishing Treasure Trapped! When we do finish you'll be amongst the first people out there to receive a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FINISHED FILM! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    9 backers

    *ELF PLEDGE* "The board is set, the pieces are moving." You've helped put us on the road to Denmark and finishing our film! We'll be thinking of you whilst we're out there and send you a hand written THANK YOU POSTCARD from out on the road! Not to mention a STICKER AND BADGE PACK! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    7 backers

    *NIGHT ELF PLEDGE* "Oh, that's not bad for a pointy-eared elvish princeling." Your service to Treasure Trapped is astounding! Remember how much of a difference you made with a copy of the OFFICIAL MOSAIC POSTER featuring YOUR PHOTO! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    4 backers

    *ORC PLEDGE* "The Age of Men is over. The time of the orc has come." Our personal thanks! We'll SIGN your OFFICIAL MOSAIC POSTER featuring YOUR PHOTO as will our CAST. We'll also send you an exclusive T-SHIRT before anyone else can get anywhere near em! (+ all rewards so far!)

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    *TROLL PLEDGE* "We come to it, at last. The great battle of our time." You're so much more than a fundraiser! You're a part of Treasure Trapped! Get yourself clad in Armour and be AN EXTRA IN OUR CINEMATIC OPENING BATTLE! A whole day of filming a Hollywood battle scene lies in wait for you! (+ all other rewards up to £25)

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    *GIANT PLEDGE* "Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny." You're so much more than a fundraiser! You're a part of Treasure Trapped! Come and spend a HANDS ON DAY BEHIND THE SCENES on the shoot of our cinematic opening battle! A must for film fans! (+ all other rewards up to £25)

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    3 backers All gone!

    *KRAKEN PLEDGE* "Well, lad, whatever luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night." You're so much more than a fundraiser! You're a part of Treasure Trapped! Let our motion graphic wizards TURN YOU INTO AN ANIMATED CHARACTER IN THE FINISHED FILM! Just like the studio wizardry that transformed Alex & Mike in our fundraising video! (+ all other rewards up to £25)

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    3 backers All gone!

    *BARBARIAN PLEDGE* "A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day." You're so much more than a fundraiser! You're the next hero of fantasy cinema! Climb aboard your steed for a FEATURED ROLE IN OUR CINEMATIC OPENING BATTLE + IMDB CREDIT for your performance. (+ all other rewards up to £60)

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    *KING OF MEN PLEDGE* "May your wisdom grace us until the stars rain down from the heavens." Thank you so much! We'd like to make a big deal of how much you've helped us! Have a VIP VISIT to the set of our CINEMATIC OPENING BATTLE. Get to see all the behind the scenes magic, chat with our director and stars and be treated like the king or queen you are! (+ all other rewards up to £60)

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    1 backer All gone!

    *BAND OF WARRIORS PLEDGE* "Certain Death. Small chance of success...What are we waiting for?" Run an awesome LARP system!? Now's your chance to show the world! Alex and Mike will TAKE PART IN YOUR LARP SYSTEM for the end of our film! And your system will receive all the publicity it deserves! (+ all other rewards up to £60) EU ONLY

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    *HIGH MAGE PLEDGE* "You have so much to enjoy and to be had and to do. Your part in the story will go on." You've made our dreams come true! Now come and share in the success you're responsible for! 2 x TICKETS TO THE FILM FESTIVAL PREMIERE OF TREASURE TRAPPED plus drinks, dinner and partying with the cast and crew! (+ all other rewards up to £60)

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    *DRAGON PLEDGE* "Soon Master Elf, you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the Dwarves" Let us raise a flagon of Meade to your kindness...literally! 2 x TICKETS TO A SPECIAL INVITE ONLY MEDIEVAL FEAST SCREENING OF TREASURE TRAPPED! Expect a castle full of food, drink and entertainment galore! (+ all other rewards up to £60)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    *WIZARD PLEDGE* "My friends...you bow to no one" WE bow down to YOUR greatness! Your kindness knows no bounds! We are eternally grateful! You're now an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER with IMDB CREDIT, EVERY OTHER REWARD and ANYTHING YOU WANT! You're a producer after all (full incorporation into Treasure Trapped and access all areas)

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Funding period

- (30 days)