Turn to 400 - The Fighting Fantasy documentary film
Turn to 400 - The Fighting Fantasy documentary film
Fighting Fantasy was born 30 years ago, Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson started a role playing phenomenon. This film tells their story.
Fighting Fantasy was born 30 years ago, Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson started a role playing phenomenon. This film tells their story. Read more
About this project
GET THIS USB KEY key WITH ALL REWARDS £25 and above!
A limited edition framed print of Russ Nicholson's Warlock as above, signed by Russ and authors Ian and Steve!
In 1982, Ian and Steve finally saw their first Fighting Fantasy book hit the shelves. Warlock of Firetop Mountain sold out in record time.
Before too long the publisher was asking for more titles and soon after that Ian and Steve’s books topped the best sellers charts. The series propelled them to become overnight celebrities in Britain and went on to sell over 16 million copies worldwide. It was translated into more than 20 languages.
Along the way, Steve and Ian lived in a van on the streets of London, battled adversity with the bank managers, got by on a dribble of money and worked out of an office/shop/mail order room the size of a bread-bin. Neither ever stopped being friends and both are avid gamers to this day – this is the story of two men whose dreams paid off.
We're going to create a 60 minute documentary which details Steve and Ian's background, the early days of Games Workshop and the decisions which they made. You'll see a group of people dedicated to games, and see how the Fighting Fantasy phenomenon took off and how for many of the people involved it was something so much more than just another series of books. We'll see what happened to the artists involved in FF, and how Steve and Ian themselves went on to do so much more in the same field. We'll touch on Lara Croft, Lionhead, Sorcery, Eidos and so much more...
Fighting Fantasy has a number of famous fans who we hope to speak to: Dara Ó Briain, Charlie Higson, Michael Acton Smith, Alex Garland to name a few.
The Fighting Fantasy game-book was the Gameboy of its day, the DS of its day, the ipod touch of its day…
We are in this ‘all or nothing’ – it would be a great shame if we couldn’t meet our goal and get this story told. We worked the numbers up for an hour long documentary for TV and the budget would have been around £100k, we really have pulled in a lot to get the budget down to this amount.
We can however, exceed the goal, and if we do we’d like to go even further - visit the birthplace of D&D and meet some of the people that got Steve and Ian so excited back in the ‘70s. We’d also like to try to bring out a limited edition Blu-Ray of the film. At present we’re only planning a limited DVD release and HD digital download; despite filming in beautiful broadcast spec full HD. In exceeding the target we would also be able to employ some 'toys' on the shoots, and possibly take Ian and Steve to more places to re-live their journey!
We, as fans, wanted to make a television documentary to commemorate the anniversary of the series, Ian was about to celebrate the 30th anniversary by releasing a new book, we wanted to be in on that…
As well as celebrating the series' 30th anniversary, we want to tell the story of the birth of Games Workshop and how Fighting Fantasy spread globally. In fact, we have some of this in the can, having speculatively filmed several interviews and events with Ian and Steve. This gave us enough to put together the taster/teaser that you may have already seen on YouTube. We also have some behind the scenes shots concerning the naming and release of Ian's new Fighting Fantasy book 'Blood of the Zombies.'
With this story as an idea for TV, we fought the same prejudice against the fantasy genre that Ian and Steve initially encountered. Like them we wouldn't let it lie. Kickstarter now allows UK projects, so we've prepared ourselves and joined in and together we can get this film made and the story out there.
Your money will go to pay for additional filming, transport and accommodation while filming, equipment hire, graphics and voice overs. While we can call in a lot of favours, this kind of thing is still not cheap, particularly when it comes to using original music and archive footage - I think everyone wants to be reminded of Ian's hairstyle when he was on the BBC's Saturday morning kids TV show 'Saturday Superstore' - and see how he handled himself when under fire from veteran broadcaster John Craven for Fighting Fantasy 'not being proper books.'
Are you a Game-book fanatic?
The game-book “Arcana Agency” has joined us in a cross-promotion. “Arcana Agency” is a paranormal investigation game-book using third person rather than second. They’ve even got a downloadable sample online right now. With this cross promotion, if you pledge to both projects you’ll get extra special rewards from BOTH projects! – To participate pledge a minimum of $40 to “Arcana Agency” and a minimum of £25 to “Turn to 400” – From us you will then receive a set of five tt400 postcards on top of your existing pledge rewards! For Arcana’s cross promotion reward see their project page. You will not see this on your promotion page, but once the projects are over we’ll collate backer information and we’ll organise the rewards accordingly. We’ll ship the extra goodies along with your existing rewards! – If you like the sound of this and have already pledged but below the required minimum, remember you can always log in to Kickstarter, hit “Manage your pledge” and make changes accordingly. – please note, both projects must be a success for us to offer the bonus rewards.
Risks and challenges
The Kickstarter money will cover the filming and logistics and also cover a master editor to ‘finish’ the film, but we’ll be blocking out most of the film ourselves (editing the basic building blocks and getting the structure in place). The money will also cover archive licensing costs and music licensing although some of the research associated with this may take some time – its one thing to have Ian’s VHS off-air copy of the BBC programme “Saturday Superstore” – its quite another thing to identify that and to correctly licence it for a download-to-own DVD/Film.
Finishing the film will depend somewhat on our ability to ‘crew up’ in time – Mark is our camera op and is committed to the film, but due to the low budget he also can’t turn down too many ‘day-job’ paying gigs, so there may be some flexibility we have to work around. Once we know the money is safe we can, however, book a master editor such as the one who we used to edit the promo, ready to finish the film.
The fact that Christmas will come soon after our Kickstarter deadline could also hold various filming up, some contributors could be difficult to get hold of, or completely unavailable for a period. This time of year can also hold up shoots because of the weather – Planning to take Ian and Steve back to the site of their first Games Workshop office and shop 'could' be magical in the snow, but might not work in a force ten gale!
For the bulk of the editing we’re using our kit during down-time between other projects and this is also how we plan to create the graphics content for the film and the building/maintaining of the film’s website. We will also be marketing it in our spare time. We are able to do a lot of things ‘in-house’ because we are set up to make documentary films and have access to some nifty equipment. As we are passionate about this project, the passion will drive us to complete the various aspects.
Our experience prepares us well to surmount challenges like the weather and the logistics of shooting to make the film, but the Kickstarter element is new to us. Organising the rewards and setting up digital distribution; although apparently straightforward; are also new to us, for instance, there may be a period of working out what the best service is for online distribution, depending on the volume of response to our various rewards.
Some of our rewards rely on the spare time of Ian and Steve and so organising the lunch, although with their full cooperation, could be logistically taxing as we’d like to have flexibility for those taking part. While we’d plan to do these soon after meeting our goal, we may have to spend some time finding a ‘best-fit’ date that suits people. Even some of the lower end rewards which feature Steve/Ian signing DVDs etc could be delayed depending on their schedules.
Distribution also presents a challenge at this stage, while we are comfortable that we could organise a hosting and download package ourselves, it might make more sense to go with an established distribution company. Some of the rewards we will have to organise based upon take-up, so if 10,000 people opt for a digital download and all want it on the day of the release we’ll have to employ a professional service such as Vimeo professional, Distrify or VHX to distribute the data. If more people are interested in copies of the DVD I’ll be burning the midnight oil packing these up and getting them to those people as soon as possible after we’ve finished making the film. (although we’re offering a download link to the DVD people too)
Finally, the biggest challenge of all: If we don’t hit the target we don’t get the money, no money means there will be no film. Hopefully you can see how great this project is and will get involved, and when you do we’d hope you’re just as passionate about getting other people involved too, as that’s how we’ll crack it. Remember – its not just a phrase, if you fund this, you ARE the hero!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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