Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 1.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

A story about love, separation, and having to say goodbye.

TRAILER

PITCH

It's the 22nd century. A female cyborg is called on a mandatory mission, forcing her to leave her greatest love. Both despondent from the separation, one departs on a life changing journey to a place which redefines imagination.

SYNOPSIS (with spoilers & why this is a story worth telling)

In a metropolis at the north pole on planet Earth, a female cyborg ("The Occupant") is called on a mandatory long term mission to travel along a space elevator through the Aurora Borealis to serve aboard Space Gate Auroras. Forced to leave her pregnant partner, another female cyborg ("The Loved One"), they say goodbye for an extended period. Two women, human or not, in love, are forced to separate and say goodbye for an extended period of time as one departs on a life changing journey to a place that redefines imagination.

POSTER

SPECIAL EXTENDED VERTICAL POSTER WILL HAVE FULL LIST OF SUPPORTERS AND BACKERS

OVERVIEW

Auroras is a seven minute long science fiction short film with an overarching feature storyline. The short was originally written in 2010 and is comprised of a basic storyline executed in an complex technological way. Development has been extremely slow because the film is primarily made by one independent filmmaker, Niles Heckman, with limited resources. It's been a very slow but steady side project, and is nearing completion. Due to its limited budget combined with high quality computer graphics using only two computers, it's been over three years in production.

The film is a duel production venture between Heckman's AURORA-LAB, a small independent film collective based out of Los Angeles (named after this project) and Marauder Film, a San Francisco  production company founded by Bastiaan Koch. 

Science fiction is not about the future, it's about the present. Marriage equality and equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, has come a long way in recent years but still has a long way to go. The film has a feminine theme and an unconventional storyline that would likely not be risked in a large budget Hollywood film. Set in a technologically advanced future, the overarching feature storyline is an embrace of the divine feminine over male dominance.

INSPIRATION

The story is heavily inspired by naval officers Marissa Gaeta & Citlalic Snell's gay kiss after Gatea returned from extended service.
The story is heavily inspired by naval officers Marissa Gaeta & Citlalic Snell's gay kiss after Gatea returned from extended service.
Occupant kissing Loved One as she is about to depart on the space elevator. (The elevator tower base structure behind splits them in frame. Symbolic of their separation).
Occupant kissing Loved One as she is about to depart on the space elevator. (The elevator tower base structure behind splits them in frame. Symbolic of their separation).

INFLUENCES + DEVELOPMENT

The project has a Japanese theme and influence. From a visual standpoint, the film is live action and would ideally be classified as "live action anime." Primarily influenced by the work of Japanese Anime director Makoto Shinkai, whose style of detailed art direction, extensive textured skies, bloomy optics, and very saturated colors give a stunning aesthetic.

ANIME STYLE REFERENCE

The aurora borealis is one of the most exotic and beautiful atmospheric phenomena. In eastern culture, a child conceived under the Aurora is often times thought to be extremely good luck. This ties in with the film's storyline and is the primary visual theme throughout the film.

PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE

FUNDING

This is an opportunity to get involved in a project which is very dear to us. Due to the professional quality of the production, we feel that we could raise funds privately, but with potential creative compromise and would prefer to democratize the project with a crowd sourcing solution allowing for anyone interested to become part of our small team.

The film is approximately 75% complete. Computation time for rendering high end computer graphics is very intensive.  We are raising a modest amount to help us greatly increase our render resources, streamline post production, and recoup some existing expenditures. Any additional funds raised over the goal will go directly to expanding the script for a feature length film.

*Work in progress contact sheet. (White shots are still to be fully rendered).
*Work in progress contact sheet. (White shots are still to be fully rendered).

PRIMARY CREW

PRE-PRODUCTION CHARACTER DESIGN:

PRODUCTION : (shoot was done with a 3-person crew in the filmmaker's living room)

POST-PRODUCTION WORKS IN PROGRESS:

launch catwalk
launch catwalk
background city
background city
Womb Pod docking at space elevator base (early geometry)
Womb Pod docking at space elevator base (early geometry)
"Womb Pod"
"Womb Pod"
elevator spreads wings for supersonic launch
elevator spreads wings for supersonic launch
early previsualization of elevator at end of walkway
early previsualization of elevator at end of walkway
Final gemoegtry of elevator at end of walkway
Final gemoegtry of elevator at end of walkway
later previsualization of elevator in flight
later previsualization of elevator in flight
elevator engaging flaps for slow down
elevator engaging flaps for slow down


POST-PRODUCTION (MOSTLY) FINAL SHOTS SELECTS:

Occupant suiting up in front of alarm hologram
Occupant suiting up in front of alarm hologram
Womb Pod docking at space elevator base
Womb Pod docking at space elevator base
Occupant walking along elevator launch catwalk
Occupant walking along elevator launch catwalk
Elevator catwalk looking down to elevator reactor
Elevator catwalk looking down to elevator reactor
Elevator through mesosphere
Elevator through mesosphere
latest progress of additional shots
latest progress of additional shots

REFERENCE STYLE SHEET FOR FEATURE STORYLINE


OTHER WORKS BY THE FILMMAKER

*Previous film - Supervised:

Filmmaker's various other independent work - https://vimeo.com/channels/327362

FIlmmaker's podcast - http://www.nilesheckman.com/podcast/

Filmmaker chatting with Liftport Group founder Michael Laine on the podcast about science fiction, space elevators, and crowd sourcing.

---
PRESS

Twitch Film - http://twitchfilm.com/2014/01/crowdfund-this-scifi-short-auroras.html

Stash Magazine for teaser - http://www.stashmedia.tv/?p=18826

Stash Magazine for Kickstarter - http://www.stashmedia.tv/?p=18920

MITNG - http://mitng.org/2014/01/06/science-fiction-short-auroras-host-some-stunning-visuals-and-features-a-very-unique-storyline/

Gorilla Film Magazine - http://gorillafilmmagazine.com/2014/01/08/help-kickstart-niles-heckmans-sci-fi-romance-short-film-auroras/

Kicking it Forward - http://kickingitforward.org

E Wall Streeter - http://ewallstreeter.com/crowdfund-this-scifi-short-auroras-3097/#

Gemhorn - http://www.gemhorn.com/web/index.php/incg-shorts/item/454-auroras

Kicktraq - http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/nilesheckman/auroras/

Slice of Sci Fi - http://www.sliceofscifi.com/2014/01/15/auroras-a-stunning-independent-short-film-coming-soon/

Space Elevator blog - http://www.spaceelevatorblog.com/?p=1595

IndieWire - http://www.indiewire.com/article/project-of-the-day-auroras

Digital Visual Effects and Film Tribune - http://philipkochfilm.blogspot.com/2014/01/auroras-short-film-kickstarter.html

Rukkle - http://rukkle.com/gay-news/auroras-film-kickstarter/

Huffington Post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/auroras-niles-heckman_n_4659961.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Aside from some audio work, the film needs finished post-production imagery. Top of the line computer graphics in feature live action and animated films typically costs $1,000,000 per minute and is done by dozens or hundreds of incredibly talented artists rendering on thousands of machines. This film will have a comparable quality level of imagery and is primarily created by one person on two computers.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
89
Backers
$12,656
pledged of $10,000 goal
0
seconds to go
Fb_profile_picture.medium

See full bio

  • Pledge $2 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Much appreciation. Or, if you simply just Tweet this Kickstarter (include @jnheckman) and I'll happily follow you as well.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    UPDATED REWARD - "Special Thanks" credit on a extended vertical length version of the poster online. All the higher reward backers will also be included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    "Special Thanks" in online credits

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    UPDATED REWARD - "Special Thanks" in online credits + custom high resolution desktop wallpaper. All the higher reward backers will also be included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    17 backers

    "Special Thanks" in online credits + in final film credits

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    14 backers

    "Special Thanks" in online credits + in final film credits + on IMDB

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    13 backers

    "Benefactor" in online credits + in final film credits + on IMDB + 1920x1080 HD download of final film

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    "Associate Producer" in online credits + in final film credits + on IMDB + 1920x1080 HD download of final film + immediate early preview of work in progress film

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    "Co-Producer" in online credits + in final film credits + on IMDB + 1920x1080 HD download of final film + immediate early preview of work in progress film + Invitation(s) to potential film festivals

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    "Executive Producer" in online credits + in final film credits + on IMDB + on poster + your production company logo on poster (if desired) + 1920x1080 HD download of final film + immediate early preview of work in progress film + Invitation(s) to potential film festivals + print of final poster (smaller print probably around 11x17, not full size theatre)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    "Producer" in online credits (with a link to your site or your company site if desired) + in final film credits + on IMDB + on poster + your production company logo on poster (if desired) + 1920x1080 HD download of final film + immediate early preview of work in progress film + Vimeo appearance (final film linked to your Vimeo profile) + Invitation(s) to potential film festivals + framed print of final poster (smaller print probably around 11x17, not full size theatre) + podcast appearance if interested

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $3,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    "Producer" & "Executive Producer" as first billing in final film credits + online credits (with a link to your site or your company site if desired) + on IMDB + on poster + your production company logo on poster (if desired) + 1920x1080 HD download of final film + immediate early preview of work in progress film + Vimeo appearance (final film linked to your Vimeo profile) + Invitation(s) to potential film festivals + framed print of final poster (smaller print probably around 11x17, not full size theatre) + podcast appearance if interested + a physical 3D print of the space elevator.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)