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Set in the beautiful world of Steampunk, Gwendolyn Carrioncrow must solve a crime, not only for her client but to save herself.
48 backers pledged £1,223 to help bring this project to life.

About

A Murder of Crows: Steampunk Crime Drama Web Series Pilot project video thumbnail
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Who Are We?

We are Pickup Films, a third year crew currently studying Film & TV Production at York St. John University. We have already run a successful kickstarter campaign for our previous film; Project Venture. So we're back for more. We were overwhelmed by the support we received the first time round, and there is no group of charitable film loving people we would rather come to for help, which is exactly what we need.

The Pickup Films Logo
The Pickup Films Logo

Meet The Crew

  • Director - Brittany Holmes
  • Producer - Charlotte Groves
  • Director of Photography - Michael Cornell
  • Sound Designer - Anna Clarey
  • Production Designer - Ceri Roberts
  • Editor - Adam Coggin
For more information about the crew including pictures of everyone involved, visit our website:

www.pickupfilms.co.uk or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/pickupfilms

What's Steampunk?

Steampunk is a concept based on the Victorian era. The concept relies on the idea that there was no industrial revolution as we know it today, and as such all of the technology in the world relies on the power of steam. We have decided to work within the world of steampunk primarily because of... if we're honest... HOW AWESOME IT IS! Steampunk is a consistently and undeniably beautiful concept, drawing on elements of period styling, science fiction and of course fantasy in all its forms. It lends itself perfectly, in our opinion, to the genre of crime drama because of the pedigree that the Victorian period has in the genre with stories such as Sherlock Holmes. On top of that, the steampunk twist adds a kind of modernity and general coolness that we love, and we hope the audience will love too.

An Example of a Steampunk Setting
An Example of a Steampunk Setting

The Story

Gwendolyn Carrioncrow is something of a consulting detective. Choosing to work in the shadows for thrills and adventure, she is well-trusted and well-respected amongst both criminals and the authorities. When she is called to a case by two men, Mattlock Scarran and Warren Harker, who have found one of their clients dead by the river and with a bloody knife, she is challenged with the prospect of working with one of them as her partner. When a mistake is made at the crime scene Gwendolyn is cut by the knife which turns out to be poisoned. After a word with one of Gwendolyn's trusted advisors she realises that she must find the murderer not only for her client, but to save herself. Worse than that, she must learn to trust Mattlock if she stands any chance of making it through the investigation with her life.

Characters

Sketches of Gwendolyn & Mattlock
Sketches of Gwendolyn & Mattlock

Gwendolyn Carrioncrow 

Gwendolyn seeks excitement and adventure and achieves this by acting as a consultant detective, getting thrills from working in the shadows with mysteries that are deeper and darker than those handled by the authorities. Gwendolyn is well respected among criminals and is often called to assist in solving murders or to locate their stolen treasures. Gwendolyn is strong, financially capable and self-contained, finding it hard to let people into her world through fear of being betrayed.

Mattlock Scallan 

Mattlock, or Matt as he prefers to be called, is a dealer of interesting objects and provides a lot of business for a lot of people, provided the pay is good. Matt also prefers to work in the shadows as his work is often considered 'unconventional'. Seldom seen without his signature hat and gloves, Matt attempts to blend in to his environment and through his witty, cheeky and flirty persona, he tries to be good at heart, although if he has to do something illegal to benefit himself, so be it.

Warren Harker 

Warren is something of a 'dodgy dealer' and often works closely with Matt to complete less-than-legal deals. But unlike Matt, Warren has done very little in his life to amount to anything. Resultantly Warren has to rely on his sneaky and sly persona to get what he wants and is not afraid to betray people to do so.

Where is your money going?

Production Design

Because our interpretation of Steampunk is rooted mainly in a Victorian aesthetic, and the locations we have access to mean that our work will all work upwards from a Victorian base, it is the details and nuances of our production design that will separate the world of A Murder of Crows from other period crime dramas. Aspects such as eccentric costume, the addition of special effects, and adding extra props into locations should help to ground us in the quirkiness that makes steampunk so interesting. This means that a lot of time, effort and money will go into the production design department, headed by our very own Ceri Roberts. Your money will go towards fantastical props and costumes, most of which will be hand made by us, and will also make sure we secure appropriate locations, and can hire performers whose look and style will match the world they will come to inhabit.

Locations

Our primary location and the one we are most excited about, is the Victorian street within the York Castle Museum. It is a fully furnished and kitted out location, set up with realistic daytime lighting and the Victorian backdrop any steampunk lover would kill to obtain. We are very fortunate that the street is set up for film crews, and that the museum is open to us working within it, but this fantastic location does come at a cost. We are currently in negotiations, but we are fortunate in that there are no travel costs on our part, meaning that a greater portion of the budget can go towards securing this game changer of a location.

The Victorian Street
The Victorian Street

York is also awash with riverbanks and secluded rural areas, many of which are being considered for the initial scenes where the crime takes place. We have also found a fantastic, beautiful and dramatic setting for the final stand-off between Gwendolyn, Mattlock and the mastermind behind the crime.

An abandoned railway bridge (Final Scene?...)
An abandoned railway bridge (Final Scene?...)

Travel, Actors & Expenses

Any project has extraneous expenses. Some of them aren't as glamorous as Victorian streets, top hats & goggles, but they are equally important. We at Pickup Films pride ourselves on taking excellent care of our actors, both on and off the set. Be that providing refreshments or travel expenses, we make sure that even though the roles are unpaid, they do not go unappreciated. All of these aspects do add up though, and can take a sizeable chunk out of a films' budget. We know that without your help we wouldn't be able to supply our actors with the attention they deserve and for that, us and our cast, past and future, are grateful.

Keep in touch!

We are making a concerted effort to be exceptionally present in all forms of social media, whether you're a backer, a supporter or just interested in what we do, make sure you follow us and keep up to date with what we are up to. 

Check out our website: www.pickupfilms.co.uk

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/pickupfilms

Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/pickupfilmsuk

If you have anything else to say, please e-mail us at enquiries@pickupfilms.co.uk. We'd be happy to answer any questions and attempt to alleviate any concerns you may have.

Risks and challenges

Every film production has its pitfalls, the production process is rife with risks and challenges. These include everything from actors dropping out to cars breaking down. Dealing with these challenges is where being film students comes in handy, we are trained to be more than prepared for any eventuality that the process might throw up. More to the point our fantastic and talented production manager has drawn up and will continue to draw up extensive risk assessments and is going to try her best to keep us out of trouble.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.25

    Whether your quid goes towards a loaf of bread, tea bags or the renting of a location, we are more than grateful for your support. You will get a personal thank you in the credits of the episode.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    A more than helpful contribution. It's people like you that make our production tick. You'll get a sneaky peak behind the scenes when you receive your digital copy of the script and gain access to your high quality digital copy of the film.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $12

    Let's get physical! £10 is an excellent amount of money, just 100 of these and we're there! Because of this you get a physical copy of the script, and if you're lucky it might just be signed by the cast and crew.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    WOW! It appears you were feeling generous today, £20 is awesome and we are super grateful. We feel like you deserve a hard copy of the film in DVD form so you can enjoy the show at home on your big screen TV.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $37

    LEVEL UP! You're like super incredib-awesome. So you've gained yourself an upgrade. You also get a physical copy of the film, but yours comes in glorious high definition in the form of a Bluray!

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    Pledge £50 or more About $62

    Are you a true fan? When all this is over, and A Murder of Crows is all your friends are talking about, do you want to be the owner of a signed special edition Bluray? We thought you might, so that's exactly what you'll get for this amazingly helpful sum of money!

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    Pledge £100 or more About $125

    Wow.. we love you.. like you are literally one of the best people we have ever met! We can't wait to plaster your name all over everything! £100 gets you an executive producer credit. We only wish we could give you more... Ohh wait, we can! You also get one of those super special Blurays. (We hope that will suffice)

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    Pledge £150 or more About $187

    At this point, it's frankly getting ridiculous... I really have no idea what to say... What would you like? Can I get you a cup of tea?...

    In leu of our full time employment as your personal butler service, we would like to offer you all of the £100 rewards, plus a prop from the show, be that Gwendolyn's arm bracer or Mattlock's top hat, I'm sure something can be arranged.

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    Pledge £200 or more About $249

    Well butter my rump and call me toast, you are one of the single most generous souls to walk the earth. You're single handedly funding an entire fifth of our project, and I physically can't express how much that means. It goes without saying that you will receive all of the rewards from the £100 level, as well as a super special book, filled to the brim with original sketches, behind the scenes pictures, special notes of thanks from the entire crew, an annotated script and literally anything else we can think of. We would also be open to giving you Adam's left leg... If that is something you might be interested in. (Donation of Adam's leg is entirely at his discretion and we reserve the right to not give you his leg if he's gonna be a baby about it.)

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    Pledge £500 or more About $623

    Hey... erm... you may have mistyped... You're aware that £500 is half of our budget right... It's half... You do know? You're ok with that? REALLY?... WOW well ok then. You're incredible, the things we want to do for you might ring alarm bells on this site, so I will simply say that we are inventing an entirely new credit just for you, as the credits roll they will read
    (Insert your name here) - The Super-duper Executive Producer of Awesomeness, without whom this could never have been made and to whom we owe our entire lives.

    You will also receive the special bluray, the special book with even specialer thanks and you will get to choose from any prop or costume that you want. Whether that is Gwendolyn's dress, or even the infamous murder weapon.

    We will try our darnedest to make possible any worldly request you may have, within the bounds of legality. We hope this is acceptable to you sir/madam.

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Funding period

- (30 days)