About this project
Starspawn is the new feature film from Australian writer/director Travis Bain of Sapphire Pictures.
Starspawn is a science-fiction/horror thriller aimed at a worldwide cinema and home video release in 2017/2018. It will run approximately 100 minutes.
We're going to approach making Starspawn in two stages:
(1) We'll shoot an excerpt from the main feature that will stand alone as a self-contained short film/proof-of-concept, and then:
(2) We'll use this excerpt short film to go after more funding to make the entire 100-minute feature-length movie.
TV current affairs journalist Jo Danforth travels to the Outback with her camera crew to interview a group of survivalists who are preparing for some kind of apocalypse, only to uncover evidence that ancient aliens who once ruled the planet are planning to return to reclaim what was once theirs ...
Starspawn is inspired by the legend of the Min Min lights, strange, moving ghost lights that have been seen in the Outback for generations.
The film is also inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, a prolific horror writer in the early 20th century. Today Lovecraft has a huge global following, and his stories have influenced pop culture phenomena like the Alien films, authors like Stephen King, and comic book series like Hellboy.
But you don't have to be familiar with Lovecraft's work to enjoy Starspawn. If you like science-fiction, a good mystery, or just a good scare, Starspawn is for you. There will be aliens. And twists. And chases. And double-crosses. And more aliens. It’s going to be one hell of a ride. And you can help us make it happen.
What we're asking for
The total budget we're aiming for the entire feature is $100,000 or more, but right now, in this campaign, we're asking for $30,000 to get us underway.
We'll use this $30,000 to shoot part of the main feature as a proof-of-concept. This excerpt will run about ten minutes and be a self-contained short film in its own right, which we'll use to source investment for the remaining $70,000 needed to make the full-length feature. We'll also submit the proof-of-concept short to film festivals worldwide to build early buzz for the main attraction: the full-length feature version of Starspawn.
The $30,000 will be used for things like:
- Visual effects test shots, to prove to any doubters that we can produce impressive FX without spending millions.
- Alien costumes and puppets hand-crafted by our creature creator Timmo Walters (see below).
- A detailed budget breakdown and production schedule.
- Location scouting in north-western Queensland.
- Casting actors.
- Some camera gear to augment the equipment we already own (e.g. special lenses and so forth).
- Props and costumes.
If we don't hit our $30,000 target, you don't get charged. You only pay your pledge amount if we reach our goal ... so let's work together to reach it (and hopefully exceed it).
Our game plan
You've no doubt heard the old saying "You've got to spend money to make money." That applies here. Once we've got the ball rolling and have some cool footage to show off, we’ll source the rest of the film's budget from:
● Private investors.
● Government film grants.
● A second crowdfunding campaign.
● Pre-sales to international distributors.
Who we are
We’re Sapphire Pictures, an independent production company based in Cairns, North Queensland, Australia, headed by award-winning filmmaker Travis Bain, who recently made the low-budget monster movie Throwback. Here's the trailer:
And the poster:
Throwback has screened at eleven international film festivals and it's now being released on DVD and Blu-ray around the world to reviews like these:
"A rousing good yarn and very entertaining. For a mad monster movie, it's played fairly seriously and works well for it ... a little gem." - Fleapitcinema.uk.
"Throwback is a fun creature feature" - Infernalcinema.com.
"Throwback is an adventure/monster B-movie that is chock full of charm." - HorrorCultFilms.co.uk.
"Everything you need in a good Bigfoot film." - Horrorhound Magazine.
"Impressed the hell out of me ... what Throwback accomplishes is nothing less than extraordinary." - Fakeshemp.net.
"Throwback is highly recommended for fans of the Bigfoot subgenre, and independent cinema in general." - LaptopZombie.co.uk.
"Exceptional ... you are literally on the edge of your seat throughout and it announces Travis Bain as one of Australia’s most promising directors." - SubcultureEntertainment.com.
"This is a damn good monster movie" - The Fifth Dimension blog.
People who have seen Throwback have said the same thing over and over: "Imagine what these guys would be capable of if they had a bigger budget." We couldn't agree more! We're ready to step up to the next level ... will you help us get there?
But back to Starspawn ... and where we are with the project
The Starspawn script is ready, the storyboards and concept art are underway, and we’re considering some stunning Outback locations.
On top of that, we've already got some awesome people on board.
Vernon Wells from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Commando and our previous feature Throwback has signed on to play a major role in Starspawn. He'll be Randolph Sutton, an alcoholic farmer with a large collection of guns and a healthy dislike for inter-dimensional abominations.
(We also have a couple of other well-known actors circling the project, but it's too early to mention their names just yet!)
In the art department, we have two very talented conceptual artists, Malcolm Semmens and Timmo Walters, who are producing amazing designs for us.
And Timmo will be creating our practical alien puppets and costumes for us. (Yes, that's right, our creatures will be things you can touch, not just pixels. We love '70s and '80s John Carpenter films, so we want to use old-school practical creature effects for Starspawn rather than CGI.) Here are some examples of Timmo's previous work:
Our pitch to you ... and our promise
We love making films, we have the track record, and now we just need your support to make Starspawn a reality. So help us Kickstart it! Check out the cool rewards we’re offering and decide how much you’d like to pledge. In return, we promise to work hard, be creative and do our utmost to make an extraordinary film. We want you to be a part of our journey as we step up to the next level of the film industry and make our dreams - and H.P. Lovecraft's nightmares - come true.
Risks and challenges
Making movies is a risky business. We're not going to sugar-coat that. We've all heard the stories about troubled movie productions. Unexpected things happen, problems arise, and plans can sometimes go awry. Whenever you get a group of people together to work on a film, you're at the mercy of things like bad weather, illness, equipment breakdowns, unexpected expenses and any number of other speedbumps.
However, we're confident that we can deal with whatever the forces of chaos throw at us. Why? Because we've done this before. Sapphire Pictures' two previous features Scratched and Throwback have been delivered on meagre budgets, been screened at film festivals, and collected awards and praise. We're not amateur film students fumbling our way along, we're professional filmmakers with solid CVs, and we know the importance of preparation and organization, so that when problems do arise, we're ready to tackle them with ingenuity and Plans B, C and sometimes D!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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