$1,387
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
13
backers
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 17 2015
$1,387
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
13
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 17 2015

About

What's SPECTRUM about?

We follow a man who figures out the undiscovered laws of our universe hidden in lightning and supernatural weather. He eventually realizes that these occurrences can be controlled and harnessed.

SPECTRUM is a narrative short film that will be rooted in real-life science that pertains to lightning and the visible spectrum of light.

We have a longer version of the script for SPECTRUM that will blend in educational and documentary-style elements. With enough funding we can turn this short into a Giant Screen feature film (40-50 min = Giant Screen feature), but we will talk more about "Stretch Goals" later.

The visible spectrum of light is so small that if you had a 2,000 mile roll of film, just 1 frame would represent the visible spectrum to the human eye. Our main character can see a wider spectrum where he uncovers hidden laws in physics.
The visible spectrum of light is so small that if you had a 2,000 mile roll of film, just 1 frame would represent the visible spectrum to the human eye. Our main character can see a wider spectrum where he uncovers hidden laws in physics.
Think of this as a "modern day" retelling of Ben Franklin's kite experiment. By flying that kite into a thunderstorm, we hoped to learn more about the true nature of electricity.
Think of this as a "modern day" retelling of Ben Franklin's kite experiment. By flying that kite into a thunderstorm, we hoped to learn more about the true nature of electricity.

Instead of using a kite, our main character uses modern techniques that scientists are using to understand and control the weather. Here are a couple of examples:

Triggered Lightning

Small rockets are fired with trailing spools of copper wire into thunderstorms. This method allows for the scientific research of lightning to occur under a more controlled and predictable manner. It's also pretty darn cinematic!!!
Small rockets are fired with trailing spools of copper wire into thunderstorms. This method allows for the scientific research of lightning to occur under a more controlled and predictable manner. It's also pretty darn cinematic!!!

 Cloud Seeding

Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification mainly used to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls. In our story, a salt compound and metal shavings are dropped into storm cells to make lightning strikes more abundant and more powerful.
Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification mainly used to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls. In our story, a salt compound and metal shavings are dropped into storm cells to make lightning strikes more abundant and more powerful.

Why a film about WEATHER?

Certain subjects and topics call for a grander stage.

The sights and sounds that come with a huge thunderstorm create a "larger than life" experience that is relatable to many people.

We want the audience to feel like they are in the storm while they watch. What better way to accomplish this than to have the film projected onto a massive 70 foot screen for the IMAX® and Giant Screen theater.

We plan to use many classical VFX techniques to create our supernatural weather.  The goal is to capture as much as as we can "in-camera" and use CGI to enhance the already existing practical effects. 

Concept still of "Ball Lightning" (forced perspective and long exposure)
Concept still of "Ball Lightning" (forced perspective and long exposure)
The opening of our film features a beautiful fly-through of a forming storm cell. This is how we want to shoot it!
The opening of our film features a beautiful fly-through of a forming storm cell. This is how we want to shoot it!

I love stories based in fantasy, but once I started researching lightning, I quickly realized the story would be need to be shaped around existing scientific accounts and theories.

"Fact is stranger than fiction." Especially when it comes to lightning.

The Mystery of Lightning

Were you guys aware that scientists still don't definitively know what actually causes lightning?

The essential secret as to how it begins inside a storm and what creates that initial spark remains a mystery. 

"Ball Lightning" Phenomenon

Ball lightning is an unexplained electrical phenomenon where luminous spherical objects varying in size up to several meters form in the atmosphere. It is usually associated with lightning strikes, but lasts much longer than the flash of a lightning bolt.
Ball lightning is an unexplained electrical phenomenon where luminous spherical objects varying in size up to several meters form in the atmosphere. It is usually associated with lightning strikes, but lasts much longer than the flash of a lightning bolt.

Given inconsistencies and lack of reliable data, the true nature of "ball lightning" is still unknown.

Scientists can at least agree that "ball lightning" is plasma.  It's the most common form of matter in the universe.

"Ball lightning is either known physics that we have to put together in ways we haven't thought of or it's a totally new phenomenon that will lead us into new technology and/or new physics."  Dr. Graham Hubler (Nuclear Physicist)

Other Rare Forms of Lightning 

Many of these occurances only happen after the most powerful lightning strikes.  The term "superbolt"  are bolts of lightning around a hundred times brighter than normal. On Earth, one in a million lightning strikes is a superbolt.
Many of these occurances only happen after the most powerful lightning strikes. The term "superbolt" are bolts of lightning around a hundred times brighter than normal. On Earth, one in a million lightning strikes is a superbolt.

Our story will be rooted in Science and Research

With all the mysteries that surround unexplainable weather, we are structuring this story to be based on scientific research and theories. Every fantastical thing you see in this film will be inspired by some form of recorded science or actual weather occurrence.

Christopher Nolan brought in acclaimed astrophysicist Kip Thorne to keep the elements of Interstellar grounded in science.

We are taking a similar approach and we plan to bring in Duke Professor Dr. Steven Cummer as our adviser on things weather-related.

To be viewed in IMAX® theaters?

We think and dream big and have a very large scope for this film.

How BIG?

The story and screenplay for Spectrum were developed to serve as a story that would be best suited to be viewed in IMAX® and Giant Screen theaters.

Sound crazy?  Perhaps, but it's not as far-fetched as it may seem.

Luckily, my friend and fellow filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren has been working on his very own independently produced Giant Screen film called In Saturn's Rings

He's been laboring for the past 7 years to get this film made and it will hit theaters this fall.  After going through all the technical problems and the steep learning-curve Stephen has had to overcome, we will have a key technical adviser throughout the production process that will be vital for us to pull off this most ambitious feat.

The Giant Screen Dream

This campaign is bigger than just a single film.

We want to create a series of videos to serve as a template for filmmakers who may want to try and get their films seen on these Giant Screens.

Many people think this is impossible, but it's not. There just needs to be a guide that can help highlight production elements that need to be taken into account when venturing down the path of Giant Screen Cinema.

Here is a glimpse of the kind of topics we will cover.

  • Cinematography for the Giant Screen
  • Camera tests & additional gear for the Giant Screen
  • The culture of Giant Screen cinema
  • Giant Screen vs. IMAX® (technical specs)
  • Sound editing & mixing workflow
  • Evolution of projectors
  • Preparing for new technology 
  • Video Compression & High Frame rates
  • Shooting Resolution vs. Projection Resolution
  • DCP mastering

And this is a path few indie filmmakers have been down, hopefully we can help change that. 

The Giant Screen shouldn't be reserved for Hollywood-funded films. We want to empower other filmmakers by showing them the steps to getting their film up on these large screens.
The Giant Screen shouldn't be reserved for Hollywood-funded films. We want to empower other filmmakers by showing them the steps to getting their film up on these large screens.

We have been making DIY videos for the past 3 years and have the utmost confidence that we can make well-produced and well-informed videos on the Giant Screen production process.

Want to see some REWARDS ?

Where is the money going?

If you are curious about what your pledges will be funding, here is a list:

  • 4K camera rental (~$2,000 per week)
  • Sound equipment rental (multi-track recorder and high-end shotgun mic)
  • Steadi-Cam rental (shaky footage won't work on the Giant Screen)
  • "Triggered Lightning" equipment (we will be firing rockets into storms)
  • We will need to dig a giant hole in the field and put in a stone well.  Deep enough for us to be able to film inside well looking upwards
  • Plane rental for opening sequence of a forming supercell and cloud seeding sequence
  • Our main character has a shed out in the woods that will essentially be his "mad scientist" laboratory. We will need to show him creating plasma and manipulating light. We will need an assortment of optical and electric devices like Tesla Coils & Van de Graaff generators
  • Giant fan rentals to simulate the wind of a giant storm

Stretch Goals

The $25,000 will cover principle photography, but we want to make you aware of our stretch goals to fully fund the production.

$30,000 mark - Professional sound design mix and additional color grading

$40,000 mark - IMAX® certification (~$1,000 per minute)

$50,000 mark - Additional 2 weeks of camera & equipment rentals to travel to Midwest and get a vast array of storm footage to add to the visceral experience

$100,00 mark - Turn SPECTRUM into a 40-minute IMAX® feature film. We have another version of script that has documentary elements that would be blended into the narrative short.  Some sequences would be a flashback to Ben Franklin's kite experiment and Tesla working with his coils. We would also travel to various locations to meet the real life people that experiment with "triggered lightning" and "cloud seeding".

I also explain in further detail about "Stretch Goals" in the video below:

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And just remind me, who are you again?

My name is Joey Shanks and I like to create my films and effects "in-camera".

"The Master of DIY filmmaking."  NoFilmSchool

"The great auteur Michael Bay may have budgets for effects in the millions but I think he's been beat by ordinary food objects." Kickstarter

I got that last awesome quote from our 1st Kickstarter campaign back in  2012 for Sci-Fly.

PBS Digital Studios saw our campaign for Sci-Fly and contacted us about creating a web series that showed how we create the visual effects for our films.

Thus, SHANKS FX was born and we've been pushing the limits of "in-camera" effects ever since.

We were the 2015 Webby Award Winner for "Best DIY" video/series

Check out are show reels from the past 2 years below:

2014 Show Reel

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2015 Show Reel

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This has been the longest break we've ever taken from not making a film as all of our energy has been put into the SHANKS FX web series.

We now have the perfect topic and concept that will showcase the practical techniques we've been experimenting with and perfecting over the past 3 years.

Supernatural weather is the topic, the Giant Screen is the stage, and we are ready to get started!!!

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge we face is to raise enough funds to get our film IMAX® and Giant Screen certified.

The $25,000 we are asking for covers the costs of principle photography.

Certain costs for getting IMAX® certification, proper surround sound audio mix, and color grading are all things that will be stretch goals.

The good thing is that even if we come to certain steps in the filmmaking process that we don't have sufficient funds to complete, we will still address it and make other filmmakers aware of hurdles that they will have to go through in order to achieve the same dream.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name listed as a supporter on the SPECTRUM website.

    IF YOU DECIDE TO DONATE MORE, YOU WILL GET EVERYTHING UNDERNEATH YOUR "REWARD LEVEL" ALONG WITH YOUR SPECIFIC REWARD.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We will be sending you a set of 3 SPECTRUM postcards that will feature our supernatural weather. Plus a digital download of the film for your computer or mobile device.

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Password protected link to watch in-depth behind the scenes videos of the production process. You will be able to view much more than the general public!!!

    Also included will be a free ticket to see the premiere at the Marbles Kids Museum IMAX® theater in Raleigh, NC.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You will receive an 11"x17" movie poster of SPECTRUM (we will have 3 to choose from and you can pick the one you like the best).

    Blu-Ray / DVD of film

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    (Pick one) "Giant Bubble Kit" to make the "celestial portals" to be seen in the film, "Cloud Tank Kit" so you can make your very own apocalyptic clouds, or 30-minute phone consult with Joey Shanks.

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

    Your name will also appear in the end credits.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your name will appear in credits for SPECTRUM.

    You will also get all 3 movie posters from the film.

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SPECTRUM Concept Art book that will look great on your coffee table!!!

    Your name will appear in the end titles where no other names will accompany yours.

    Also framed & signed SPECTRUM poster.

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    I will submit to the most established film festival in your area. If accepted, you will have the opportunity to present it to your local community. If you have multiple festivals that you would like me to submit to, we can always chat about that later down the road.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    All 3 SPECTRUM posters framed and signed.

    International backers contact me to help with the cost to mail.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Executive Producer credit in the film and we will worship the ground you walk on until the end of time!!!

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    We will have SPECTRUM play at your local Giant Screen theater!!!

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Funding period

- (30 days)