THE POLYBIUS CONSPIRACY
THE POLYBIUS CONSPIRACY
We're raising funds to complete a film about the urban legend Polybius. Help solve gaming's most bizarre mystery.
We're raising funds to complete a film about the urban legend Polybius. Help solve gaming's most bizarre mystery. Read more
About this project
Polybius was an arcade game that was said to have briefly appeared in several arcades around the Portland, Oregon area during the early 1980s. People who claim to have played the game--or, in most cases, know someone who knows someone who did--say that the machine caused a number of side effects ranging from anxiety and depression to night terrors, suicide, and even sudden death. Some believe Polybius was a product of the CIA's controversial MK-Ultra program, an experiment in mind control targeting youth. Others believe it may have had extraterrestrial origins. And though the game's mysteries are vast--theories range from men in black to imported Nazi science, to a recalled Tempest prototype--no one has ever been able to confirm the cabinet's existence. Many agree it was nothing more than a hoax, perpetrated on internet forums...but even these claims lead to strange and sinister findings.
Loaded with a couple of cameras and a few dollars, over the past year we've been interviewing arcade owners, game designers, journalists, enthusiasts, and tour guides to name just a few. They've not only helped us explore whether or not Polybius was real, but also shined a light on the numerous truths, gray areas, false memories, tales, and hoaxes from the golden era of arcade games.
Influenced by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, and Rodney Ascher, we plan to dive into the chronology, testimonials, and psychology of the legend; an intersection where urban mythology and dark secrets meet the arcade scene. Was the game real? Was it fake? What was its purpose? And why, as avid fans of both gaming and urban legends, does finding the truth even matter to us in the first place?
We just lost a significant financial backer, so we've decided to crowdsource the remaining funds to complete the project. We want to make a film that is not only entertaining, but smart, nuanced, provocative, mysterious, and--above all--one that does the Polybius legend and its many fans justice.
WHO WE ARE
After a tenure at Miramax/Dimension Films, TODD LUOTO became Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival from 2007-2011. A writer/director/producer himself, Luoto’s work has played at the Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, and AFI Film Festivals, among others. Having served as a film juror worldwide (SXSW, Tudou, Krakow International, Outfest, etc) and once a former writing partner of noted sci-fi scribe Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Total Recall), Luoto joined Fox Digital Studio in 2012 where he has been producing low-budget features and pilots for the digital space.
JON FRECHETTE studied film production at Chapman University, where he was the recipient of the Cinetech Most Promising Filmmaker award. His work has been featured at film festivals such Cinevegas, Silver Lake, and Tribeca.
DYLAN REIFF is a writer/performer and event producer based out of Portland, OR. He is the co-founder of Kickstand Comedy Space and is best known for building Immersive Experiences and Living Theater Events like the cult classic “The Future Shock” and the Stanley Film Festival’s Immersive Horror Game. He is a lifelong gamer, lover of the 8-bit revival, and currently plays pinball competitively around PDX.
Your contribution will help with crew expenses, equipment, insurance, travel, post-production, and licensing clips and photos. We thank you for joining the team, and look forward to sharing this strange and unique arcade adventure with you!
Press start to begin....
Our $100K goal reflects the minimum amount of backing we need to be able to complete the project. As is typical with many Kickstarter campaigns, exceeding our goal will help immensely in a myriad of ways, all of which will be reflected in the final product. Quite simply, more money will help us make a better movie.
We'd like to further motivate our community of backers with the stretch goals posted below, available to anyone who contributes to our campaign, regardless of the reward tier. We thank you very much for your support!
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is a beast, but we've assembled a capable team that will be able to deliver the very best movie possible. The biggest challenge and risk from you, the backer's standpoint, is whether or not we'll be able to finish the film and deliver the rewards we've promised. Assuming we are able to raise the required funds, we should have no issue delivering these to you. Worst case scenarios include delays due to scheduling, which in turn could postpone the fulfillment of these rewards, but we promise to keep you posted along the way!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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