Our feature film VIVARIUM is an ENVIRONMENTAL SCI-FI THRILLER. In a dystopian future, all plant life on Earth has been wiped out due to biochemical warfare. The only way to experience nature is in Vivarium, a perfect virtual reality of pristine Earth, as it once was. It's a near-hopeless future where the ghost of Mother Nature's gifts have been twisted, corporatized into a luxury.
The film explores the dynamics of humans in a world devoid of sunlight, fresh air, and the beauty of a flower. And more importantly it reveals how far heroes will go to get it all back.
The story follows Aemon Winter, an aging bounty hunter old enough to remember real wilderness from his younger days, who must use his antiquated skills to track a dangerous hacker through this digital playground. As he hunts, he uncovers a dark secret that the corporate owners of Vivarium will do anything to hide, which could change the course of human history.
If you enjoy sneak previews, Click to read the first few pages of the script -
We are making VIVARIUM, first of all, because we hold dear to our hearts the environmental themes within.
Though we're making a serious sci-fi thriller, sometimes humor gets to the heart of matters the best, so here's a fun illustration of what a world without plants would be like (and somehow, in the future, British narrators are still all the vogue):
Kinda terrifying, right? So there's reason #1.
And reason #2 is just as important: like all movie-goers, we crave the next TRULY GREAT story that will keep us on the edge of our seats. And when one does come along, we cheer, sigh, cry, laugh, and applaud as loud as anyone.
But it seems big budget Hollywood rarely provides us with the magical alchemy of nuanced characters living an unconventional story. We believe that given a chance, audiences will choose the films that both entertain AND make them think. And if the big studios aren't going to give us that satisfaction, let's do it the grassroots way, here on Kickstarter, asking for your backing to make a film that can be both thrilling and thought-provoking.
Speaking of thought provoking check out the digital roots in this artwork commissioned from the great Mike Klay (Powerslide Design Co):
There are two main sections to the film: 1) the dark dystopian Blade Runner-esque city and 2) the pristine digital wilderness of Vivarium. For the former, we've secured several expensive locations which would normally cost the totality of the budget. Instead, we're getting them for free because the location owners love our projects (and/or us). We also plan to take a little trip to NY in order to guerilla some great underground sequences that'll read all future-like.
For the "inside Vivarium" sequences, we'll be shooting in the natural beauty that Southern California has to offer. Away from the city, people, noise and expensive filming permits with little to no set dressing required. One of our friends has graciously agreed to let us use his sprawling 800 acre Mojave Desert property as one of our set-piece locations. ALL the production value, at almost no cost.
In the Mojave desert, summers are searingly hot until late September, and in the winter, the nights are unforgivingly cold. So principal photography is slated for October 2012, in that perfect middle ground. Post production will begin in November and go through to the beginning of 2013 when we will submit VIVARIUM to the festival circuit.
It's a new technological age for guerrilla filmmakers. We've learned how to take the assets we have and make a shot look expensive. We get great satisfaction out of stretching that term "movie magic" to it's extremes.
See that proof-of-concept for VIVARIUM? That was three filmmakers, actors, and DSLR cameras. Imagine that concept empowered by a real budget, and most importantly, a small crew of dedicated creatives.
Here a few of the ways we'll multiply every dollar we raise:
- We keep our DIY spirit. Building our own gear means we know how to fix it in the field with nothing more than a swiss-army knife and chewing gum.
- We keep it small. Small crews. Small cameras. Small footprint. Comes from our guerilla roots, and we like it that way.
- We keep locations free. Thanks to our years in the location scouting world, we now get our crews into stunning locations for free.
- We keep it in the family. Our crew is our creative family and nothing enhances creativity more than great synergy.
- We keep in touch. With two USC film school grads on the team, we have a contact or two at our fingertips who are doing pretty cool things in the business. Who said film school wouldn't help?
- We keep it real (and write our own scripts). Maybe we don't need to see that armada of gold plated hovercrafts getting blown up. It might be more interesting to watch our hero react to it as the explosions light up his face and his emotions overcome him (okay, we don't actually have gold-plated hovercrafts in VIVARIUM at all - they were cut in draft 2 - but as writers/filmmakers, we have the power to do that!).
- We keep it honest. Every dollar goes to critical resources, and everyone involved believes in telling this story to the best of our collective ability.
Here's a little illustration of where we've allocated our budget:
LoneShark is a trio of storytellers and renaissance men who formed a band for the purpose of jamming in the greatest form of collaboration - FILMMAKING. We write together, produce together, and shoot together. Our realm of expertise is the tactical-action thriller. We study martial arts, train with law enforcement and military, spend weekends in the wilderness, and occasionally drive very fast and run from figures of authority (but never in that order).
We are represented by Madhouse Entertainment, and while one of our other scripts makes the rounds of studios and agents, we didn't want to rest on our laurels - we thought we should make the indie sci-fi thriller we've had up our sleeves for a while. Check out our fun site at lonesharkstudios.com.
We have a vision for our film, VIVARIUM, and we're seeking a resounding endorsement from the Kickstarter community.
Lend us your eyes and ears, and we will enchant your mind and bewitch your heart. In the most bad ass way possible.
Saving Earth as it Once Was - With sincerest thanks,
Kickstarter is an ALL OR NOTHING fundraising model, run through Amazon Payments. With your help, when we make our goal, we will get the entire budget to make VIVARIUM. However, if we don't make our goal, you are not charged a single cent.
You have nothing to lose - either an amazing film gets made and you get your rewards, or you get your pledge back. So please, if you believe in this project, pledge here and now, on the Kickstarter website - let's pass that magic goal!
Pretty darn cool. But seriously, given our own high standards for accuracy in the Action-Thriller genre, we know a lot of professional HOLLYWOOD TECHNICAL ADVISORS in the law enforcement community. We thought there could be no cooler prize for our contributors than to train SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH OUR ACTORS as they learn hand-to-hand techniques from Krav Maga and weapon techniques in a supervised and controlled setting. We believe in safety first, so these are PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS for our actors run by professional instructors with limited class size. Plus, LoneShark will be there to document it, so you can have slick photos and video to show off your day of learning. The courses for our actors will take place in Los Angeles, prior to principal photography in October 2012, and we will communicate the exact dates once our Kickstarter campaign concludes. Travel and lodging not included, but hugs and gratitude will be. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For our highest level contributors ($7,500), a lovely catered screening can and will be arranged in any major US or Canadian city. One of the members of LoneShark will fly to your city to introduce the film and be available for a Q&A afterward. Please contact us for any additional info, and we'll get a fantastic evening set up for you.
Mike Klay (aka Powerslide Designs) is a Seattle-based artist who has created gigposters for the likes of Bloc Party, Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie. Mike’s other muse is the Pacific Northwest which turns up time and time again as the backdrop for his beautiful art. He designed the stunning commemorative VIVARIUM poster for our film and a limited number of silk screened prints will be offered to both our $100 level donors and to co-executive producers and above (at the producer level, your names will be included on the poster).
This Massachusetts-based, celebrated screen-print artist whose posters, paintings, prints, and drawings often feature forest themes has created a Vivarium edition of one of his best works. The 20 limited edition prints for this Kickstarter campaign will be signed and numbered collectors items. They'll also be a beautiful addition to spice up a bare wall.
All film related rewards will be delivered in early 2013, after completion of the film. Other rewards (including the Tactical Action day) will be fulfilled as early as possible after completion of the Kickstarter campaign, so as early as September 2012.
At BLU-ROOT level, you get to have a Blu-Ray of the project. From SEEDLING and up, you will be able to choose between DVD or Blu-Ray depending on which you prefer. This selection will take place after the campaign concludes and we send you your questionnaire to choose your rewards.
SEED: For the cost of a movie ticket, everyone who contributes to Vivarium gets a DIGITAL HD DOWNLOAD of the film. You’ll also get THANKS IN THE CREDITS, and a VIVARIUM PDF certificate to commemorate a Vivarium tree planted in your name.
ROOT: For the traditionalists – a DVD OF THE FILM (w/ environmentally friendly DVD cases) AND a VIVARIUM PACKET OF LAVENDER SEEDS to give your local bees a safe haven. You also get a thank you in the credits and the Vivarium tree certificate, of course.
BLU-ROOT: For the futurists – a BLU-RAY OF THE FILM (w/ environmentally friendly case), and the digital HD download, and the Vivarium packet of lavender seeds. You also get a thank you in the credits and the Vivarium tree certificate, of course.
(FOR ALL TIERS HIGHER THAN BLU-ROOT: You can choose between DVD and BLU-RAY when the campaign succeeds!)
SEEDLING: A COMMEMORATIVE VIVARIUM MINI POSTER designed by the fantastic Mike Klay, celebrating the total number of Vivarium supporters and trees planted. And don't forget, the DVD, the seeds, the HD download, special thanks, and a Vivarium tree certificate.
BLOOM: For the big fans – THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK digital download! And don't forget, the Mike Klay mini poster, the movie (HD download and DVD), the soundtrack, the seeds, special thanks, and a Vivarium tree certificate.
LOTUS (STAND ALONE TIER): A LIMITED EDITION DAN MCCARTHY CONTINUUM POSTER, the Vivarium edition, each signed and numbered by the artist (Edition of 20). And you still get the movie (HD download and DVD), the score, the seeds, special thanks, and a Vivarium tree certificate.
SEQUOIA (STAND ALONE TIER): Fan of Mr. Klay's stunning work? This is the tier for you! A LIMITED EDITION SILK-SCREEN OF THE VIVARIUM MIKE KLAY POSTER, signed and numbered by the artist (Edition of 100). And you still get the movie (HD download and DVD), the soundtrack, the seeds, special thanks, and a Vivarium tree certificate.
GARDEN: Welcome to the team! You're an IMDB CREDITED ASSOCIATE PRODUCER. PLUS, you'll get your very own VIVARIUM CANTEEN (like the ones we'll use on set). And you still get the Mike Klay mini poster, the HD download, the DVD (autographed), the soundtrack, the seeds and a Vivarium tree certificate.
FOREST: Add in TWO TICKETS TO THE LOS ANGELES PREMIERE (travel and lodging not included) where you can enjoy your Associate Producer status and we can thank you in person, PLUS a handsomely bound COPY OF THE SHOOTING SCREENPLAY, autographed and with exciting on-set notes and commentary! And of course the IMDB credit and all the rewards listed above (excluding the limited edition prints).
ECOSYSTEM: Come party with us and your fellow Associate Producers, cast and crew at the VIP AFTER PARTY, to be held in Los Angeles after the premiere (travel and lodging not included). And of course the IMDB credit and all the rewards listed above (excluding the limited edition prints).
BIOME: TACTICAL ASSOCIATE PRODUCER HALF-DAY! Ever wanted to TRAIN WITH HOLLYWOOD ACTORS preparing for an action film? This L.A. seminar taught by law-enforcement instructors and Hollywood TECHNICAL ADVISORS will have you training in Krav Maga (think Special Forces!) alongside our lead actors. And for bragging rights beyond your IMDB credit, you get Facebookable photos of you from the day (transportation and lodging not included). Check the FAQ for more details. You'll ALSO get our zazzy BEHIND-THE-SCENES COFFEE TABLE BOOK, filled with stunning photos and amusing anecdotes highlighting the making of the film. And of course all the rewards from the ECOSYSTEM tier.
BIOSPHERE: Become an IMDB credited CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER! Then, TRAIN ALONGSIDE OUR LEAD ACTORS for a FULL TACTICAL TRAINING DAY as they prepare for this demanding role. Join them for this L.A. tactical weapons technique seminar followed by Krav Maga, both taught by law-enforcement instructors and TECHNICAL ADVISORS. Plus, you get photos AND a personalized VIDEO of you kicking butt. Check the FAQ for more details. (Transportation and lodging not included). ALSO as a Co-EP, we welcome you to VISIT US ON SET FOR A DAY. And did we mention you get all of the rewards from the ECOSYSTEM tier (and the Behind-the-Scenes book) as well? Lastly, we'll throw in a PRODUCERS EDITION OF THE MIKE KLAY VIVARIUM POSTER, featuring the names of every co-executive and executive producer - INCLUDING YOURS!
EARTH: You really believe in us and our film, and we want to thank you for that – an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the film, and on IMDB. Plus – because we want to really show you our gratitude, this level includes EVERYTHING in the BIOSPHERE tier.
UNIVERSE: The works! You get EVERYTHING (the Executive Producer credit, the FULL tactical action day, visit us on set, behind-the-scenes photo book, the screenplay, the canteen, the poster, the music, the DVD, the HD download, the seeds, and a planted tree) AND – A PRIVATE SCREENING PARTY for you and your friends (anywhere in North America) with at least one member of LoneShark in attendance.