About this project
Ghost Source Zero- The Film Serial!
UPDATE #9: REFER YOUR FRIENDS! WINNER GETS TO PICK THEIR REWARD TIER. read more here
UPDATE #1: HUGE UPDATE! EPISODE 1 IS LIVE!!
What's the story about?
The Artificial Intelligence Revolution is happening, and America is watching it on their Living Wall flat screens and Genius Phones. Homeland Security’s Cyber Crime Division is the only thing trying to stop the ‘bots and ‘borgs from taking over. The unit is so underfunded they have to allow a reality show crew to film them just to meet payroll. And what the cameras capture will stun the world.
Here's a taste of what we've filmed so far:
What we've done so far
For the past year and half, we've been working on the script, shooting experimental films, forming alliances, and designing props.
SCRIPT - The script started as a 110 page screenplay for a full feature film. We've since restructured it into a series of 12 episodes (5-10 mins each). The episode format is how Larry structures the GI Joe comic series and makes a lot of sense for different reasons- it helps us get our story out faster, it lets us try new things and pivot organically, and it makes more financial sense have shorter development cycles. When all episodes are completed and are played back-to-back, it'll be a full feature film!
FILMING - We've shot a bunch of experimental films to hone our storytelling approach and refine the visual style. It was through this technique that we organically arrived at a mix of traditional narrative structure and reality tv style shooting. Some footage will never see the light of day, but A LOT of it will! It's the stuff we're showing in the videos on this page! and also… see next paragraph..
THE PILOT - We were so excited about our most recently completed short film, which we named, "Protocol Deviation," that we showed it to The Machinima Network. They were so impressed that they picked up our first episode! WATCH IT NOW!
WEAPONS & PROPS - THE SPECIALISTS LTD, is the East Coast leader in prop weapon rentals, and has expanded now into the full-service prop fabrication business. Mark has done part-time consulting for them for the past 6 years, and they have offered their entire portfolio of props and services to our production! This is a huge cost savings to Ghost Source Zero! Super cool thing: Larry will design futuristic guns, The Specialists will 3-D print the design as casings to be wrapped around real, blank-firing rifles!
STUNT TEAM - THE FEARLESS HYENAS is a team of stunt professionals who met and formed their group on the set of The Last Airbender where they were all cast. Founder Jae Greene and team have worked with Mark in his past projects including Operation: Red Retrieval and Ghost Source Zero work. This is another partnership that helps us keep costs down while boosting production value. These guys are top notch.. and they're also all huge Larry Hama fans! (They all fought over who got to be Snake Eyes in the fan film!)
Our next steps of filming really depend on how much money we are able to raise through this Kickstarter.
Why we need your help
What do we have? So we've got Larry, our seasoned storyteller with 40+ years of experience, and a brilliant character and concept designer. Mark owns all his own camera equipment and software for the visual effects. Via partnerships, our stunt team comes at a deep discount, and our prop rental and custom prop fabrication is virtually free.
We have SO MUCH of the important stuff, but we just need that chance to pull it all together with your help!
So where will your money go? Your backing will help support the "connective tissue" of this film production. Many things can be borrowed or sourced from partnerships. Other things can't or shouldn't. Your pre-order money will fund:
- production coordination
- audio engineering
- YOUR MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS MAKING THIS FILM - AND OUR DREAMS - COME TRUE!!
More About Us
- best known as a writer and editor for Marvel Comics in the 80s, where he wrote the comic book series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the Hasbro toy line
- worked on Spiderman, Avengers, Wolverine, Batman, The Punisher, Conan
- creator of the character, Bucky O'Hare.
- a storyboard artist, a script doctor, novelist, concept artist, actor, and musician
Director Mark Cheng
- an award winning independent filmmaker
- Cornell Film School alumni
- MBA in High Tech Growth
- the Director of Product Development at Nickelodeon Games (who helped his department win an Emmy last year!)
- director of the GI Joe fan film, Operation: Red Retrieval (made for $2,500 with nearly half a million views so far!)
- a visual effects artist
- co-founded of Planet Nerd Rage Productions with partner, Joe Barbagallo
- WATCH HIS ACTION REEL BELOW!
Mark: "I met Larry after sending him a copy of Operation: Red Retrieval. We met over lunch and talked comic books, action movies, sci-fi, and filmmaking. We really hit it off. The dude's really cool! He brings 40+ years of experience in storytelling and his character/armor/weapons design is mind-blowing!"
Larry: "Mark and his crew bring a lot of passion and integrity to their projects. Their execution is great. I admire their micro-budget approach to filmmaking and how much production value they can squeeze from their budgets. I think I can help it along!"
There are more ways to help!
If you've already backed us or want to help in other ways, help us spread the word about this campaign!
We're also looking for visual effects artists. Reach out to us at: Mark AT planetnerdrage.com
And if that doesn't convince you, here's our favorite Cat Action photo!
Risks and challenges
As with any film project, unexpected expenses pop up. We have already budgeted some wiggle room to take care of the surprise expenses that always arise during the filmmaking process.
Mark's experience in making micro-budget films and management education from his M.B.A. give him the tools the project needs to scale effectively and efficiently.
In addition, his work experience at Nickelodeon has given him years of experience focusing teams of creative, intelligent professionals on executing a single creative vision- exactly what a film production is!
Again, we already covered most of the big expenses (camera & audio equipment, as well as all of the post-production technology), so those are several challenges already taken care of!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Great question! Your fan club can become a producer of this Larry Hama production!
You can pool your group's individual members' pledges, and we'll list your group name! Imagine that: "a Larry Hama film.. brought to you by The Cobra Syndicate" !!!!!!
Can gifts be shared? Like if I win a lunch with Mark Cheng and Larry Hama...can I bring my girlfriend/best friend/my dad who loves GI Joe?
Absolutely! Bring a friend and bring your favorite collectible that you want signed! You're going to need someone to hold the camera for you when we pose for photos, right??
You're going to get an unopened 3 1/4" action figure! We don't know exactly which figure up front (sorry!) but they won't be from the movie franchise!
Larry is a straight shooter! He is invaluable in his experience in storytelling, character development and dialogue! He's humble in his opinions, very humble and will remind you often that what he says isn't gospel. The less geeked out to behave around him the better though! Once I asked him if Snake Eyes sends Scarlett text messages when they're apart or if he just waits until he sees her and uses sign language...
My department won the Emmy for our Nickelodeon app for iPad and iPhone! Specifically, it was in the category of User Experience and Interactive Design! Games are a big portion of the app experience. As Director of Product Development for Games, I was one of the primary stakeholders and contributors to that section! Game on!!!!!
It's a broad term that describes a growing approach to filmmaking that reduces a lot of clutter from the filmmaking process and refocuses attention and energy to what is in front of the camera. For example, instead of having a big expensive camera set up that needs 6 people to operate, we'll just have a single DSLR camera that the director holds in his hand or operates on a tripod. Any additional money will be spent on renting a good lens! Another example is instead of having very specific roles on set - like a person who just moves lights - we'll have generalists on set that can do multiple roles! Here's a good overview: http://www.filmslatemagazine.com/filmmaking/micro-budget-filmmaking-stretch-every-dollar
Absolutely! The backer-only goodies in the $20 reward tier will include behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes! We love outtake reels especially those at the end of Jackie Chan movies where they show the stunts being done!!
Some of the noteworthy ones are: Dusk 'til Dawn Film Fest, Action on Film International Festival, The Indie Gathering, DragonCon, ShockerFest, Big Bang Film Festival, Sweet Onion Festival, Indie Fest. Awards include Best Director, Best Sci-fi Film, and Best Visual Effects!! We've also screened at comic book conventions! Our latest was Eternal Con!
Message us! Let's work something out!!
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