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"Unearth" is about the terrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.
"Unearth" is about the terrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.
"Unearth" is about the terrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.
257 backers pledged $22,620 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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UNEARTH: A Feature-length Horror film

$22,620

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Be wary what you reap, when your land is sown with secrets.

At the center of our gothic horror story are two neighboring farm families, the Dinges and the Lomacks, whose relationships are put to the test when one of them chooses to lease their land, and have it drilled for natural gas.

In the midst of this growing tension something long dormant deep beneath the surface is released and things start to go in expected directions fast. 

First, it’s the water. Then, it’s their health. And when one of them disappears in the night, the families must join together or descend into chaos, though it may already be too late.

I spent my entire youth on farms and in the woods of Pennsylvania and learned the importance of the land and our relationship to our environment. After viewing the effects of industry on my beautiful state in documentaries like "Gasland" and "Triple Divide", and evidence regarding years of cover-up regarding water contamination caused by fracking, I was inspired to write this story. 

Writer/Director, John C. Lyons. Photo by Emma Giering.
Writer/Director, John C. Lyons. Photo by Emma Giering.

Equal parts docu-drama and eco-horror, "Unearth" is about the terrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what the next generation reaps from our actions. 

To support the regional filmmaking community and give the story an authentic feel, my producing partner and wife, Dorota Swies, and I plan to shoot "Unearth" in northwestern Pennsylvania near the very towns where I grew up. Areas faced with the difficult decisions and hardships presented in this story every day.

-John C. Lyons, Writer/Director "Unearth"

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Jennifer Hooper, star of “Schism” and “There Are No Goodbyes” and an award-winning filmmaker herself, has been cast in one of the film’s lead roles, "Heather Lomack". 

After her parents divorced, Heather (to be played by Hooper) put her own life on hold to take care of her younger sister Kim's newborn baby while she returns to grade school.

Ruth Thoma Andrews ("Kathryn Dinges")
Ruth Thoma Andrews ("Kathryn Dinges")

Ruth Thoma Andrews, has landed the role of Kathryn Dinges. Andrews is a stage and film veteran who’s appeared in over 50 plays in the past 30 years. She also played a supporting role in the feature film "Schism". 

When a gas company approaches with the opportunity for great wealth, the Lomacks consider the proposition, with much protest from Kathryn Dinges (to be played by Andrews). Though her farm is struggling, she understands mankind's important relationship with the environment and the risks involved. 

*Several lead roles in "Unearth" have yet to be cast. Well-developed characters and a strong female-lead cast have always been this project's priority. Scripts are being sent to our top choices and we will take great care in the casting process. With a successful Kickstarter campaign we do not anticipate having any problems finding qualified and experienced actors to fill these roles. This is another facet of the production where your support shows public interest which will help in attracting the talent we want. 

John C. Lyons has written, directed and produced two feature films and two short documentaries under Lyons Den Productions. His features "Schism" and "There Are No Goodbyes" have screened in festivals across the globe and have received numerous award recognition including Best Narrative Feature (Spirit Quest Film Festival), Best Actor and Best Screenplay Awards (Director’s Chair Film Festival) and Purple Heart Filmmaker Award (Zero Film Festival - Los Angeles). 

Dorota Swies is the co-owner of Lyons Den Productions and has served as producer, director of photography and co-editor on our last two films. She has a Masters degree of Fine Arts in New Media and a strong eye as both a photographer and designer.

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“Monster” Mark Kosobucki, a graduate of the Douglas Education Center for Special Makeup FX and Sculpting, will serve as the film’s Special FX Coordinator and Poster Designer. He will be designing all of the posters for this film including the ones available in our reward tiers.

Andi Wondersound
(also known as Andy Flatley) of Wondersound Industries, who has scored each of Lyons Den Productions films, will return to paint music to image. A talented illustrator in his own right, he designed the poster and props for our last feature, "There Are No Goodbyes". 

Courtney Lang
, has a Masters degree of Fine Arts from Chatham and built many of the props used in our last feature, "There Are No Goodbyes". She is returning to Pennsylvania help us construct an underground drilling and water contamination model and others props as well as create the hand-bound scripts and aged, hand-drawn maps available in our reward tiers. 

*Several key crew positions are still needed for this production. With a successful Kickstarter campaign we will hire experienced crew to fill these roles. In particular, we hope to fill these roles with as many Pennsylvania-based talent as possible.

To say your support at this stage is important is an understatement. Your pledges during this campaign are crucial to getting "Unearth" off-the-ground and into production. For your efforts you will be handsomely rewarded. 

"Unearth" Posters by Mark Kosobucki
"Unearth" Posters by Mark Kosobucki

At this time we are anticipating a late-2017 release of the film to our Kickstarter backers via Region-free Blu-ray, DVD and HD Download. The DVD will come with a behind-the-scenes featurette. Aside from a quality jump in both HD video and sound, the Blu-ray edition will also add deleted/extended scenes, outtakes, interviews and more. The DVDs for "Schism" and "Unearth" also include several behind-the-scenes features.

We're excited for those who enter pledges of $250 and up as you will  be a valuable member of our production team. Those choosing a package with a digital copy of the script will receive it before we start filming and I look forward to our Skype conversations both before and after production. We plan to use Periscope through Twitter to broadcast both our public and private on-site video reports. Please "follow" us (@LyonsDenProd) and while you're at it "like" us on Facebook too (UnearthMovie).

To those considering our top three, limited-availability tiers ($1000, $2500 and $5000) I can truly say you deserve the red carpet treatment and we most definitely will deliver and welcome you into our filmmaking family. You're the real deal and your belief in our team and smart horror concept will get your name listed alongside ours. Our premieres and wrap parties are always a blast. We look forward to receiving your feedback throughout the production. We'll be making a movie together and there's nothing more exciting than that.

We really want to up our game for "Unearth", compensate our hardworking cast and crew and try to attract some name talent and producers to improve the overall quality of the finished film and increase its distribution options.

We’ve already proven we can produce feature films on a small scale with minimal crew and no money. Think of what we can do together if we meet or exceed our Kickstarter goal.

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform. What this means is if we do not reach our $15,000 minimum goal by the deadline then we won't receive any of your pledges. 

We want to thank you support team for all their hard work through this process:

Chuck Palahniuk, author
Chuck Palahniuk, author

Chuck Palahniuk (author "Fight Club"): Chuck was a big fan of our feature film "Schism" and when we reached out to him early in our writing process he had this to say: "I wonder if fracking will generate horror stories the way nuclear testing gave us giant spiders, ants. Pesticides gave us the shrinking man. Find your metaphor, and you have a classic." His words continue to motivate us on this project.

Mercyhurst University's Quickstarter Program: Kristan Wheaton and his team's expertise have been invaluable in guiding us through the Kickstarter process. The long days and late hours wouldn't have been nearly as focused without their experience.

Lavery Brewing Company: These young entrepreneurs of Pennsylvania know the meaning of the word partnership and we look forward to our ongoing endeavors together.

“Monster” Mark Kosobucki: With only a script, and little else tangible to share about our project, Mark stepped up to design posters and meet with Jennifer Hooper to do a camera make-up test which have been extremely helpful in conveying the planned tone and look of the film.

Slaughter Film Podcast Interview

EdinboroNow Interview with writer/Director, John C. Lyons

DreadCentral Feature

Erie Reader Feature

Risks and challenges

We have every intention to begin production in the spring of 2016; however, we also seek to make the best film possible and delays may occur because of contract negotiations, scheduling and locations logistics that can arise when filming on location. This isn't our first rodeo though and we thrive on the challenges faced on a film set.

Also, if we surpass our make-or-break funding goal, everyone involved can reap the rewards of increased casting power, better equipment, a larger supporting crew and more studio time for post-production. All of which would mean a better film in the end. As we take this journey together, we'll always communicate regularly here to each of our contributors.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU:
    We'll give you a Social Media shout out and you will receive ongoing Behind-the-scenes project updates via Kickstarter.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    UNEARTH DIGITAL:
    HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of UNEARTH + Social Media shout out + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    TWO DIGITAL MOVIES:
    HD Digital Download of UNEARTH
    + HD Digital Download of our first feature film SCHISM
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    UNEARTH AUTOGRAPHED DVD:
    Limited Edition Region-free UNEARTH DVD with Behind the Scenes featurette AUTOGRAPHED by the Director
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SUPER SUPPORTER:
    Your name will be listed in the film's END CREDITS under "Kickstarter Backers"
    + Limited Edition Region-free BLU-RAY or DVD of UNEARTH AUTOGRAPHED by the DIRECTOR
    + MP3 Download of the UNEARTH SCORE by composer Andi Wondersound
    + HD Download of UNEARTH
    + HD Download of our feature film SCHISM
    + Glossy UNEARTH Mini-Poster with Personalized Thank you
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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    67 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    HARVESTER'S BOUNTY:
    You will receive an INVITATION and TWO TICKETS to attend our NW PENNSYLVANIA PREMIERE and get a PHOTO WITH CAST & CREW in attendance
    + Limited Edition Region-free BLU-RAY or DVD of UNEARTH AUTOGRAPHED by CAST & CREW members
    + 11"x17" AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our Special FX coordinator and Graphic Designer, Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + MP3 Download of the UNEARTH SCORE by composer Andi Wondersound
    + Your name will be listed in the film's END CREDITS under "Kickstarter Backers"
    + HD Download of UNEARTH
    + HD Download of our first two feature films SCHISM and THERE ARE NO GOODBYES
    + Glossy UNEARTH Mini-Poster with Personalized Thank you
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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    28 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    NAME THE LANDMAN:
    You get to name the LANDMAN character in the film (no humorous names) whose name will be spoken, listed in the credits and also shown on a business card
    + You and a friend are invited to attend our NW PENNSYLVANIA PREMIERE and get a PHOTO WITH CAST & CREW in attendance
    + Limited Edition Region-free BLU-RAY or DVD of UNEARTH AUTOGRAPHED by CAST & CREW members
    + 11"x17" AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our Special FX coordinator and Graphic Designer, Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + MP3 Download of the UNEARTH SCORE by composer Andi Wondersound
    + Your name will be listed in the film's END CREDITS under "Kickstarter Backers"
    + HD Download of UNEARTH
    + HD Download of our first two feature films SCHISM and THERE ARE NO GOODBYES
    + Glossy UNEARTH Mini-Poster with Personalized Thank you
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE VOICE OF JILL:
    Your voice will be recorded as the voice of JILL, George's ex-wife, with 2-3 lines over the phone in the film (Women 30-60 years old only) with END CREDITS cast listing and IMDb listing
    + INVITATION for 2 to attend our NW Pennsylvania Premiere and get a PHOTO WITH CAST & CREW in attendance
    + Limited Edition Region-free BLU-RAY or DVD of UNEARTH AUTOGRAPHED by CAST & CREW members
    + 11"x17" AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our Special FX coordinator and Graphic Designer, Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + MP3 Download of the UNEARTH SCORE by composer Andi Wondersound
    + Your name will be listed in the film's END CREDITS under "Kickstarter Backers"
    + HD Download of UNEARTH
    + HD Download of our first two feature films SCHISM and THERE ARE NO GOODBYES
    + Glossy UNEARTH Mini-Poster with Personalized Thank you
    + Behind-the-scenes updates via Kickstarter
    + Our Thanks via social media!

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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE INNER CIRCLE:
    We appreciate your enthusiasm for our film and you'll be rewarded handsomely.

    To start, you'll receive a digital PDF version of the UNEARTH Script.
    + 30 minute SKYPE conversation with the DIRECTOR to talk films and ask questions about UNEARTH before we begin production
    + INVITATION for 2 to attend our NW Pennsylvania PREMIERE PRE-PARTY and the Premiere itself
    + PRIVATE Interactive Periscope live video updates via @LyonsDenProd on Twitter
    + Send us a DIGITAL FAMILY PHOTO we'll frame and hang it in one of the homes and include it in at least one scene
    + Everything listed at the $100 HARVESTER'S BOUNTY level (Autographed UNEARTH Blu-ray or DVD, Kickstarter Backers end credits listing, 11x17 autographed poster, film score MP3, 3 feature films for HD download and more!)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
    You want to be more directly involved in the production and we welcome you with open arms.

    For your feedback and support you will be listed as an "Associate Producer" in UNEARTH End Credits, Official Website, Facebook page and IMDb page
    + You will be able to view the ASSEMBLY CUT (the film's first complete cut!) of the film and provide your Feedback via Skype to DIRECTOR
    + Digital PDF version of the UNEARTH Script
    + 27"x41" UPGRADE to the Theatrical-sized AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our make-up effects artist Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + 30 minute Skype conversation with the Director to talk films and ask questions about UNEARTH before we begin production
    + Send us a DIGITAL FAMILY PHOTO we'll frame and hang it in one of the homes and include it in at least one scene
    + PRIVATE video updates throughout production
    + INVITATION for 6 to attend our NW Pennsylvania Premiere and Pre-Party
    + Everything listed at the $100 HARVESTER'S BOUNTY level (Autographed UNEARTH Blu-ray or DVD, Kickstarter Backers end credits listing, 11x17 autographed poster, film score MP3, 3 feature films for HD download and more!)

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    9 backers
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  11. Select this reward

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

    COME AND DINE ON DINO WINE:
    INVITATION for you and a friend to spend an entire day behind the scenes with us in NW Pennsylvania and be featured VOCAL EXTRAS, on-camera, in the Town Hall meeting scene.

    In this scene the gas company will be presenting to the town's residents. You will be playing homeowners (21+ years old only). We'll give you the shoot date a month in advance. Note: transportation & accommodations not included.

    + END CREDITS and IMDB page cast listing for "Town Hall Extra"
    + Announcement of your participation on Social Media with Photos of you from the Set
    + "Associate Producer" in UNEARTH End Credits, Official Website, Facebook page and IMDb page
    + You both will be able to view the ASSEMBLY CUT (the film's first complete cut!) of the film and provide your Feedback via Skype to DIRECTOR
    + Two Digital PDFs of the UNEARTH Script
    + Two 27"x41" UPGRADES to the Theatrical-sized AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our make-up effects artist Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + One 30 minute Skype conversation with the Director to talk films and ask questions about UNEARTH before we begin production
    + Send us two DIGITAL FAMILY PHOTOS and we'll frame and hang them in one of the homes and include them in at least one scene
    + PRIVATE video updates for you both throughout production
    + INVITATION for 6 total to attend our NW Pennsylvania Premiere and Pre-Party
    + Everything listed at the $100 HARVESTER'S BOUNTY level for both of you (Autographed UNEARTH Blu-ray or DVD, Kickstarter Backers end credits listing, 11x17 autographed poster, film score MP3, 3 feature films for HD download and more!)

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    Limited 1 backer
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  12. Select this reward

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

    HAZMAT:
    Who wants to be in Unearth? You will be CAST in the film as one of two members of our HAZMAT TEAM (Must be 21+ years or older) appearing at a critical time in the story.

    Plus you'll speak one line and be killed on-screen by a lead actor on location in NW Pennsylvania!
    Note: Transportation and accommodations not included.

    + END CREDITS cast listing and IMDb listing as "Hazmat Man/Woman"
    + Announcement of your participation on Social Media with Photos of you from the Set
    + "Associate Producer" in UNEARTH End Credits, Official Website, Facebook page and IMDb page
    + You both will be able to view the ASSEMBLY CUT (the film's first complete cut!) of the film and provide your Feedback via Skype to DIRECTOR
    + Two Digital PDFs of the UNEARTH Script
    + Two 27"x41" UPGRADES to the Theatrical-sized AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our make-up effects artist Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + One 30 minute Skype conversation with the Director to talk films and ask questions about UNEARTH before we begin production
    + Send us two DIGITAL FAMILY PHOTOS and we'll frame and hang them in one of the homes and include them in at least one scene
    + PRIVATE video updates for you both throughout production
    + INVITATION for 6 total to attend our NW Pennsylvania Premiere and Pre-Party
    + Everything listed at the $100 HARVESTER'S BOUNTY level for both of you (Autographed UNEARTH Blu-ray or DVD, Kickstarter Backers end credits listing, 11x17 autographed poster, film score MP3, 3 feature films for HD download and more!)

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    Limited 1 backer
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  13. Select this reward

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

    PRODUCER:
    We thank you for seeing our vision for the film and wanting to be involved in the highest level possible. You will receive PRODUCER CREDIT in the Opening and End Credits, Official Website, on all BLU-RAY and DVD sleeves, Official Posters, Facebook and IMDb Pages.

    + INVITATION for you and 3 friends to our EXCLUSIVE CAST & CREW WRAP PARTY at Lavery Brewing Company in Erie, PA
    + INVITATION and TICKETS for 2 to our WORLD PREMIERE (Location TBD, transportation & accommodations not included)
    + INVITATION for 20 to attend our NW Pennsylvania Premiere and Pre-Party with one-night LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS (single room) for you and a guest with transportation to and from

    + Send us a DIGITAL HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK PHOTO of you and we'll include it, in closeup, in a scene
    + VIEW ASSEMBLY CUT and provide feedback to the DIRECTOR
    + View the FIRST DIRECTOR'S CUT WITH FILM SCORE and provide feedback to the DIRECTOR

    + HAND-DRAWN AGED MAP by artist Courtney Lang. An aerial view of the two properties. Approximately 10" square.
    + HAND BOUND SCRIPT by artist Courtney Lang AUTOGRAPHED by Director and Cast & Crew members

    + VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT from the Director of your involvement on Social Media
    + Digital PDF version of the UNEARTH Script
    + 27"x41" UPGRADE to the Theatrical-sized AUTOGRAPHED UNEARTH POSTER by our make-up effects artist Monster Mark Kosobucki
    + 30 minute Skype conversation with the Director to talk films and ask questions about UNEARTH before we begin production
    + Send us a DIGITAL FAMILY PHOTO we'll frame and hang it in one of the homes and include it in at least one scene
    + PRIVATE video updates throughout production

    + Everything listed at the $100 HARVESTER'S BOUNTY level (Autographed UNEARTH Blu-ray or DVD, Kickstarter Backers end credits listing, 11x17 autographed poster, film score MP3, 3 feature films for HD download and more!)

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)