Project Discovery is a feature length science fiction space epic that tells the story of a group of scientists and engineers uniting people all over the world in a common effort: taking humanity to space. The year is 2060, much of the world is caught up in unrest. Focused more on solving the problems we have on our home planet, people have given up on the notion of travel to the stars. Then, a multicultural group of scientists and engineers is able to captivate the world once again with a daunting plan: launching humanity's first faster-than-light spacecraft: The IV-202 Explorer.
When Russia launched Sputnik in 1957, and then later put the first man into space in 1961, the world was stunned by the possibilities of travel to the stars. However, this was not a sign of human progress to people of the time, it was a sign of nationalistic pride and a space race that the United States could not allow the Russians to win. The people of the United States banded together to beat the Russians to the moon in 1969. The space race was won, and collectively people began to lose interest in human travel to the stars.
In 2042, NASA was finally ready to put people on Mars. The mission was called the Icarus Initiative; the spacecraft was an experimental ship designated Icarus IV. Due to a fatal flaw with the ship, the mission ended in tragedy, and the lives of all six Icarus IV crew members were lost. The failed mission ultimately caused NASA to cease operations. By 2060, a unified global space organization exists called the Earth Space Agency. Merging government space interests with the private sector. Space travel has been limited to unmanned probes and missions involving deep space telescopes and expensive thrill rides into orbit.
With funding waning, the Earth Space Agency (ESA) launches a plan to reinvigorate space flight, utilizing technology invented in the 2040’s by former NASA scientist Deion Zapata. His work has largely gone un-touched and forgotten. “Project Discovery” and the new flight crew of the IV-202 Explorer will launch human astronauts to the distant Kepler region where an Earth-like planet is suspected to exist.
The ESA hopes the idea of exploration will start a new chapter in humanity’s quest for the stars. Not everyone on Earth agrees, however. Waiting for our Explorers in the Kepler system is a bizarre alien planet inhabited by people that call themselves the Seraketh.
As we move forward we will be providing continuous updates to our followers and donors including casting announcements, concept art, video blogs and behind the scenes videos!
The Official Trailer for our last project, the fan film: Horizon
The full film is also available for free via YouTube.
Horizon was a love letter to Star Trek filled with so much passion that creator Tommy Kraft not only wrote and directed the film, but also edited it, handmade all of the costumes, was the cinematographer, music composer, and main visual effects artist. The film was shot in his parents basement, and all on a budget of only $28,000, which was spent entirely on production costs. It was a tremendous personal journey that took over three years to complete...and now we're looking to take our next journey to new and exciting places. It is our goal to increase the size and scope of not only our storytelling abilities, but our team behind the camera as well, so we can make a fantastic science fiction feature film.
Over the years of working together, Tommy and Ryan have built a tremendous friendship and working relationship. When they first started working closely they realized how similar their filmmaking careers had been, even down to the fact that Ryan created and starred in his own Star Trek fan film in 1998 called Star Trek: Encarta. Project Discovery is a story co-written and developed by Tommy and Ryan.
Tommy has spent years mastering every facet of the craft of filmmaking, from writing to directing to cinematography to costume design and much more. He holds a degree in music. Tommy Kraft on IMDB.
Ryan has built his professional career in media and marketing management and broadcast television. He earned a degree in film, video and broadcasting from Full Sail University in 2004, and has been acting, directing and editing movies since 1998. Ryan Webber on IMDB.
SOUND AND MUSIC
We are incredibly proud of the work we've done in the areas of sound and music for Horizon. The score was written by creator Tommy Kraft and the sound design, mix, and master for the film was created by the wonderfully talented Michael Huang. This is the another thing we'd like to take to the next level for Project Discovery. We'd like to take the time to create a 5.1 surround sound mix as opposed to one stereo mix.
We'd like to increase the scope of our music. More instruments, sounds, and textures means more time in the composing room as well as more expensive instrument libraries that can sometimes costs hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars.
One of the things Horizon is most well-known for is its high quality visual effects. Creator Tommy Kraft was meticulous in his attention to detail, so much so that endless hours were spent hand-painting every hull panel on the main ship in the film. Entire ship models, virtual sets, and much more were created. These still images are just some examples of the quality of work we were capable of achieving for approximately $28,000. Imagine what we could do with $250,000!
One of the hardest parts of a film like this is that almost every scene is shot on a green screen sound stage, or in the case of Horizon...in a basement on a cloth green screen that was around 7 feet wide. Once you factor in the cost of construction workers, procuring a sound stage, and then paying rent for the many months needed to build and house the sets, and then paying rent for shooting time, it would literally cost millions of dollars just for sets.
The bottom line is this: physical sets to shoot your film on are great. Almost any director in Hollywood would tell you that on their big budget movie they always prefer to have a physical set to shoot on that will later have visual effects integrated into it. We don't have that luxury, and this makes for one of our greatest but most rewarding challenges: creating believable virtual sets and integrating them into green screen footage in a realistic manner.
WE NEED YOU
We're asking for approximately 9 times the amount of money that was spent to make our previous project, so you may be wondering...what exactly for? Why would would we need such a comparatively larger amount of money? The short answer is we want to be 9 times bigger and better than have been before.
The long answer? We want a bigger crew (we've previously had almost no crew), we would like a bigger and better green screen space for shooting (not the creator's parents basement!), we would like to shoot in a higher "Ultra HD" resolution to maximize image quality and sharpness, and last but not least, we would like to be able to bring aboard a team of experienced makeup and visual effects artists.
So, where is your money going? The money will first go to Kickstarter and Stripe, the company that processes payments. Stripe is a well-known and popular service that processes payments for many major tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, and of course Kickstarter. Approximately 10% of the total funds raised will go to the fees charged by Kickstarter and Stripe. From there, another 10% can be set aside for the rewards. Finally, there are invariably some pledges that will not come through; the average drop-out rate for pledges that don't get paid is approximately 5%. This means that at the end of the day, we see approximately 75% of the total money donated.
After that, where are we going to put that 75%?
1. Pre-production. These are costs associated with getting the beginning stages of the film off the ground, including writing the script, procuring studio space for eventual shooting, permits, costuming, props, storyboards, and other items.
2. Production. This is where all the fun is had, but fun is never cheap. The film will be shot in Los Angeles (as opposed to Michigan, where our previous films have been made). This will require cast and crew travel and lodging. We will also incur equipment expenses such as lighting, grip equipment, food and meals, sound equipment, film insurance and of course high end camera technology. All of this together, with makeup which is detailed below, is estimated to cost around $106,000.
3. Makeup. This needs it's own category because really being able to show interesting and original alien species requires tremendous makeup work by extremely talented artists. The prosthetics have to be meticulously sculpted and painted, let alone the time required every day of the shoot to apply the makeup. There's also a lot of money that simply goes into purchasing makeup supplies.
4. Post Production. This is invariably one of the most expensive parts of the process for any film. Look at the budget for any major production in Hollywood and you will see that visual effects are often one of the largest offenders for blockbuster films. We're trying to make a film on that level for a fraction of the cost. We're budgeting approximate $75,000 for the post production team, which also includes sound and music.
5. Sound mixing, musical score, and color correction. For this film we would like to go the extra mile and hire the right people for these jobs. These are highly skilled positions that require artists who have spent years mastering their craft, and that does not come cheap.
HOW IT WORKS
When you pledge to a Kickstarter you're doing just that: pledging. Your credit card will only be charged at the end of our donation process, on June 22nd, if we've reached our goal of $250,000 or more. If our goal is not reached then your card will not be charged and we will receive no funds.
In order to make this project happen we have to reach our goal of $250,000.
Here's the big question: why should you give your hard-earned money to our film? The simple answer is if you liked what we did previously and would like to see an original space epic with a positive and uplifting message for the future. Beyond that, you can take pride in knowing that you helped make this movie happen. Donate and get your name in the credits or just get the digital download and get your name on the website. Either way, you can help make this happen.
Each reward tier gives you only what that tier describes. For example, if you donated $50 to receive a copy of the film on Blu-ray, then you will not receive a soundtrack, patch, digital download or online "thank you."
Reward Stacking begins taking place at the $100 level and above. Once you've donated at least $100 you will receive in addition to that pledge a Blu-ray or a DVD, your choice. Additional rewards such as patches, digital downloads, and soundtrack CDs will still need to added separately until you've pledged at least $200.
Unfortunately, Kickstarter does not allow you to pledge twice, so if you would like to receive multiple rewards from various pledge tiers you have two options...
- When selecting a pledge level, you can give more money than what that pledge level is set at. For example, if you select the $50 dollar tier, you can manually enter a higher amount. If you would like to receive multiple pledge rewards, then select the tier that most interests you, add the additional cost of the other tiers you'd like, and then confirm your pledge. Send a message to the page noting which additional rewards you would like and we will make a note of it in our logs.
- The other option is to create a second Kickstarter account and pledge a second time with that account.
To send us a message, click the "Contact me" button at the top of the page:
Donors to Project Discovery will be able to receive various gifts in return for their generosity, including. Below are some examples of the gifts that donors to Horizon were able to receive.
Risks and challenges
With every film we undertake, it is our goal to raise the bar and take everything we learned from the last project we did and use it to make our next project even better. Horizon was an invaluable experience that we wouldn't trade for the world. We encountered on that project risks and challenges that were both expected and some that were unexpected, but no matter what happened, we pressed forward and created a highly acclaimed fan film. Whenever beginning a new project we always expect to hit a few bumps in the road; our knowledge and experience from Horizon and other projects will allow us to smoothly glide over those bumps.
We've proven that with a very small amount of money, and a team so small that it barely fits the definition of a team, we could make a great fan film. We overcame those odds and those challenges, and with your help there's no doubt that we can do it again.
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