Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A government in turmoil. A Prime Minister vanishes. A conspiracy exposed. Starring John Noble (Lord of The Rings, Fringe).
1967, the height of the Red Scare.  Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt is embroiled in a power struggle after discovering his spymaster illegally  investigated and exposed Red sympathisers imbedded within Holt's administration.
1967, the height of the Red Scare.  Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt is embroiled in a power struggle after discovering his spymaster illegally  investigated and exposed Red sympathisers imbedded within Holt's administration.
201 backers pledged AU$ 65,054 to help bring this project to life.

About

HOLT - A Cold War political thriller project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

HOLT - A Cold War political thriller

AU$ 65,054

201

This is not a documentary, it’s a live-action espionage short film made in the spirit of films like 'The Conversation','Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy', and 'Day of the Jackal'. 

SYNOPSIS

1967, the Cold War. 

In the days preceding the mysterious disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, paranoia has engulfed the conservative government.

Whilst Holt struggles to suppress Red hysteria from within; Charles Spry, Australia’s chief spymaster, leads a communist witch-hunt promoting it.

When Holt becomes the unwitting target of Spry's investigations, this paranoid landscape turns espionage battleground, and Holt must get his hands dirty to retain power. 

Holt's fate, and the course of Australian political history, is in the balance. 
   

Astonishingly, this is all based on new evidence.

A year ago I received an anonymous package containing a can of 35MM film marked in Russian cyrillic writing.

Intrigued, I telecined the film and I discovered footage showing a very alive Harold Holt in Russia, months after he was presumed dead. 

No matter where I searched, the identity of the deliverer of this reel eluded me—I came to simply call him ‘The Defector’. 

When that lead went cold, I realised this wasn't a mystery I could tackle alone, and there was a great story here, so...  

Inspired by this new evidence, we're crafting a compelling espionage short film about what we think could have happened to Harold Holt.  

Intrigued? Watch the trailer.

 Click each graphic for IMDB and website information:

John Noble (Fringe, Lord of the Rings)
John Noble (Fringe, Lord of the Rings)
Russell Boyd (Master and Commander, The Way Back, Picnic at Hanging Rock)
Russell Boyd (Master and Commander, The Way Back, Picnic at Hanging Rock)
Scott Mannion (The Kickstarter project: Anima)
Scott Mannion (The Kickstarter project: Anima)
Antonia Barnard, Nick Cole, Simon de Bruyn (Last Ride, The Quiet American, Restoration)
Antonia Barnard, Nick Cole, Simon de Bruyn (Last Ride, The Quiet American, Restoration)
 
George Liddle (Dark City, Daybreakers)
George Liddle (Dark City, Daybreakers)
Matt Villa (The Great Gatsby, The Water Diviner, Predestination)
Matt Villa (The Great Gatsby, The Water Diviner, Predestination)
Marc Ashton (Lord of the Rings, Boy, Pitch Black)
Marc Ashton (Lord of the Rings, Boy, Pitch Black)
Wayne Pashley (The Great Gatsby, Daybreakers, Happy Feet)
Wayne Pashley (The Great Gatsby, Daybreakers, Happy Feet)
James Brouwer (Star Wars, Iron Man, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe)
James Brouwer (Star Wars, Iron Man, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe)
Benjamin Speed (52 Tuesdays)
Benjamin Speed (52 Tuesdays)

 For full crew list and trailer credits, click here.

Check out some of our rewards (Pledge tier breakdowns below):

Using evidence gathered thus far, we’re also creating...

(Art by James Brouwer, written By Scott Mannion). Who is the ‘The Defector’? What is his role in world espionage history? How did he acquire the film reel?

Experience the next chapter of this mystery through a stand alone espionage graphic novel. Check the pledge tiers below to see if you are eligible.

Click on the pledge tiers to pre-order:

                    

This page, and the trailer, may look polished, but we’re not some large production company. 

All of this work has been done on love from ourselves and our collaborators, and I spent every cent I had on the trailer. We can go no further without your help. Join us.

How will your contribution be spent?

Our budget will go directly toward what you see on the screen.

  • PRODUCTION: Equipment costs and location arrangements. Plus all the costs accredited to art department, design, sound, camera, catering, production and lighting. These costs are large, especially for a period film.
  • POST PRODUCTION: Editing, Sound Design / Mixing, Title Design and (minimal) VFX. Video Grade. Distribution.
  • PERKS: We appreciate your support and don't want to leave you empty-handed. We've created some fun incentives for our investors that will only be available through this campaign. 
 

What happens if we exceed our $65,000 goal?

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $65,000 for this project. 

  • 1. If we exceed our goal, we'll use that finance to release an extended version of the HOLT short.
  • 2. The content and intrigue of the augmented reality soviet gold hunt (see below for information about this) will broaden. 
  • 3. If we exceed our goal further, funds will allow us to start developing a ‘Holt’ feature film.

But first things first—Let's meet our initial goal.

Can we do it?

In 2011, I directed the award winning short film ‘Anima’ which was also crowd-funded using Kickstarter.

Although completely different in tone and style, it shows what is possible with a small budget. .

We want to connect with our audience by bringing the journey directly to you.  I can’t solve the mystery alone.

Help grow this project and enjoy the puzzle along the way.

Kickstarter is a funding platform dedicated to making creative projects possible with direct support. When you back our project, you’re saying that you want this story out there.

Here’s how it works: 

  • We set a funding goal. Our supporters make pledges. 
  • If we reach our goal, your pledge will be processed by Kickstarter and we can start filming.
  • If we don’t reach our goal, our supporters will NOT be charged for their pledge—It’s all or nothing. For example our target is $65,000.  If we reach $55,000, we get nothing. 

We must reach the target.

So whether your contribution is small or large, it doesn't matter. Every individual supporter matters. Every shared link matters.

Kickstarter has some great "share" options right under the video.

Join us, find the truth.

Your fellow conspirators:

Scott Mannion & the 'Holt' team.

  • 1. Make a pledge of any size. Be a part of rewriting Holt's history (you can change your donation amount any time before the campaign ends).
  • 2. If you like what you see, tell us about you. Contact us. We want to get to know our audience.
  • 3. Click here and you can lend your support in a really easy way on social media by joining our 'Thunderclap' social media campaigns. This will do all the work for you in sharing the project.
  • 4. After you support us, Kickstarter will give you the option to send a message out to your friends/followers on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The message will read of your donation and will include a link to our project page (please send these messages.  It only takes a second and will help us reach a critical mass).
  • 5. Find one other person to make a donation, even if it's just $5 dollars.

I sincerely appreciate it.

To compliment the short film, we're creating an augmented reality cryptic espionage puzzle with an app called Aurasma. 

Somewhere in Sydney we’re hiding a soviet gold coin (worth 1000 AUD), and a cache of all the evidence we've gathered.

Solve this puzzle first and the soviet gold is yours.

Click to download it here in readiness for the start of the hunt:


 

The first step starts only weeks after we launch. Stay vigilant, we could drop clues anywhere.

This experience is offered to all supporters of this live action film project, and will include content for international users.

We will be providing live updates during production with supporters gaining exclusive access to:

  • Production Artwork
  • Storyboards
  • Production and soviet hunt blogs
  • Interviews with Production staff 

AURASMA

Aurasma is an app that interacts with reality by scanning images and adding our virtual experience to reality through your smart phone’s camera. 

How will this be used? Check out this demo of Aurasma's power:

A full video showing a demo of Aurasma in action with our soviet hunt will launch in one week's time.

  • Once you pledge, click here to download the app in preparation for the start of the hunt (All you need is a smart phone or an iPad). 
  • You will use Aurasma to follow a series of clues and steps in a giant live labyrinthine puzzle. 
  • You will be able to interact with some of the rewards we are releasing when the project is finished.  
  • It’s not just Australia alone, it’s international—you’ll be able to interact online, and in person, with the content we are creating.

Risks and challenges

Creating a multi-platform story is a unique challenge. We are dedicated to bringing a new experience to the audience. We want to collaborate with you, and give you the content you want.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About $4

    [THE PLEDGE] = A digital download of ANIMA (Scott's last film) in full HD 1080p resolution + Backer behind the scenes video blog.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    39 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 13 or more About $12

    [THEFILM] = [THEPLEDGE] + A digital download of HOLT in full HD 1080p + augmented reality soviet hunt (see bottom of page for details)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    27 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About $22

    [DIGIFANPACK] = [THE FILM] + HD 1080P HOLT download + behind the scenes + directors commentary + PDF artwork + PDF Holt script + Soundtrack.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    30 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 40 or more About $36

    [FANPACK] = [THE FILM] + HD 1080P Blu-Ray or DVD of HOLT + behind the scenes + directors commentary + PDF artwork + PDF Holt script + Soundtrack + Holt soviet coin memento.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    35 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 60 or more About $53

    [FILMPACK] = [THEFILM] + video Masterclass QandA with OSCAR WINNING Cinematographer Russel Boyd and the creative team + PDF GRAPHIC NOVEL: 'The Defector' + A clue for the soviet hunt.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 140 or more About $124

    [DEFECTORPACK] = [FILMPACK] + A frame of film from 'the Defector's' soviet reel + Physical Holt graphic novel + Holt full size poster + soviet propaganda postcards + 2x Ticket to the private premiere in Sydney + A screen credit as a "Comrade" 2 clues for the soviet hunt + access to evidence cache (Transport & accom NOT INC.).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 250 or more About $222

    [FILMMAKER] = [FILMPACK] + our complete model and video seminar: "Marketing, Crowdfunding, filmmaking" - a guide to the process by the team of Holt + A ticket to the MASTERCLASS QandA event with RUSSEL BOYD and the creative team + online test screening to give feedback + 2x Ticket to the private premiere in Sydney + Your name as a Communist Sympathiser featured in the film. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $888

    [AP-PACK] = [any pack above] + You are a credited associate producer of Holt. Attend the test screenings in person; give feedback + 4Xtickets to the premiere and wrap party + Skype consultation with about your own project/script and story spitball session with director + A replica puzzle sphere - the key prop from the movie. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $888

    [ACTORPACK] = [AP-PACK] + Play a featured extra in the film. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $888

    [Camera-attachment] = [APPACK] + be our camera department attachment/intern for the duration of the shoot. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $888

    [Director's Attachment] = [APPACK] + be our director's attachment/intern for the duration of the shoot. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 4,000 or more About $3,553

    KEEPER OF MYSTERIES = [AP-PACK] + Scott writes a draft of a 5 min short film for you + In personconsultation with about your own project/script and story spitball session with director + A replica of the key prop from the movie, the puzzle sphere + You will be credited as 'Keeper of Mysteries' in the end titles + An extra in the film. (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 8,000 or more About $7,107

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER = [APPACK] +

    You are a credited EP of Holt. Visit the set during filming, hang out with the crew, and review cuts of the film as it progresses through post production.
    + 8Xtickets to the premiere in Sydney, 4Xwrap party.

    + We will come to you for ONE DAY and SHOOT A SHORT OBSERVATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM OF YOUR CHOICE within Australia

    + You receive an original prop of your choosing + your own private screening at the place of your choosing within Australia (Transport & accom NOT INC.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    AU$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)