Freelancers The Series is set in a world of magic and mercenaries, wizards and warriors, dungeons and ... dragons. Inspired by classic literature and modern games, there are no prophecies, no sagas and no one is saving the world - just flawed characters with extraordinary abilities trying to make a living. Even the powerful can be comedic while the lowest-level rogue can be as evil as the day is long. Welcome to Freelancers, where every day is legendary!
Season One Synopsis
Two mercenaries stumble across a thief who has stolen a mysterious artifact from a powerful sorcerer. The trio quickly find themselves on the run from, well ... just about everyone. Eager to turn her in for an extravagant reward, Nick the Bold (swashbuckling warrior) and Ivan Strang [sic] (constantly mind-expanding wizard), fend off their rival bounty hunters in order to keep Caitlin Marcks (rapier-wielding cat burglar) alive long enough to be able to collect on their “prize”. Of course, Caitlin has her own opinions about that particular plan. Complicating matters, Nick may be falling for his prisoner while Ivan may be falling (again) for his nemesis, the ex-girlfriend sorceress Kristian the Shadowbinder. Nothing comes easy in the world of adventure, especially paying the bills!
Ignatius "Fish" Fischer, writer/director, 16 year veteran of the film and television industry, started out in special effects, fabricating miniatures for movies like Titanic, Dante's Peak, The Fifth Element and Species II. He has written and co-produced two independent features, the sci-fi horror The Men Who Fell and the award-winning dark fairy tale Lisl And The Lorlok (his directorial debut). Over the last couple years he's directed over 40 cinematic book trailers where he learned the very specific art of creating worlds on shoestring budgets. He's directed two television pilots, music videos and various web commercial spots in addition to directing photography and operating camera on a number of independent productions, ad campaigns, web series and reality television shows. His love of the fantasy genre has long been precluded by the notion that he needed a certain amount of money to tell a certain kind of story, and while that is in effect very true, he finally decided to not care - decided, in fact, to leap off a giant cliff without a parachute and take as many talented people with him as possible - which turned out to be the best thing he could have done.
Brian Dillon, producer, has worked in independent film for over a decade, writing, producing, assistant directing and directing a multitude of projects from art house short films to web and television commercial spots including AuthorHive, Infinitrade and Hollywood Pitch. He joined Witness Pictures in 2006, writing and producing the award-winning Lisl and the Lorlok with Fish as well as co-writing and producing the entire Witness Pictures book trailer catalog. In 2009, he produced his own feature film, Thursday’s Lovers.
Bradley Greenwell, co-producer/editor, has shot and edited six seasons of the award-winning, nationally-syndicated PBS children’s show Curiosity Quest, for which he has received four Telly Awards. A filmmaker in his own right, Bradley has produced, shot and edited multiple short films, including the International 3rd Place winner of the 2010 48-Hour Film Festival, Rationed, which screened at the Cannes Independent Film Festival. He also shot and edited Diary of Anne Frank of the Dead, which was awarded Best Short at the 2008 Dragon Con Independent Film Festival. An avid surfer, he currently works as a video producer for SurfNicaWaves, an environmentally-conscious organization working with the Nicaraguan Tourism Alliance Board "to change the world's perspective of Nicaragua and put it on the map as a top surfing destination."
Derek Nickell, co-producer/visual effects supervisor, has been producing television and motion pictures for the last ten years. Derek is currently the Executive in Charge of Production at Andromeda Studios and has produced New Media, Commercial, Film and Live Productions for companies like Audi, The Grammys, Gucci, Disney, Kraft, Almay, Revlon and Moto Guzzi.
Ivan Borntrager is a gifted photographer, writer and musician as well as an award-winning thespian. (He also hates the term "thespian.") He's starred in numerous Shakespeare Festival productions at the prestigious Ramona Bowl as well as a slew of productions at MSJC. His film work consists of a stack of Witness Pictures projects, including his award-winning (and disturbing) portrayal of the titular character's father in Lisl And The Lorlok. His highly versatile skills as an actor, ability to improv and willingness to do just about anything has so endeared him to the director that Fish will go out of his way to create projects just to work with him.
Caitlin Geier is a Florida native living and working in Los Angeles, California. A classically-trained dancer, Caitlin spent most of her youth competing, traveling, performing and assisting some of the top choreographers in the country. Her love of dance brought her to the theatre, and after getting her feet wet in high school performances and Orlando Civic Theatre productions, Caitlin went on to study acting at the University of Miami where she became known for her talent, work ethic, consistency and range. She earned a BFA in Acting and the Emile Gould Outstanding Performance Award. Since then, she has been cast in an array of both independent and commercial projects, her favorite being Freelancers. She is currently repped by McDonald/Selznick Associates and Lewis and Beal Talent for theatrical and commercial projects respectively.
Nicholas Givanio studied business and theater arts while playing football in Sacramento and San Diego. He is an extreme sports nut and trains in mixed martial arts and parkour. He has starred in music videos, commercials, opera and stage, modeling/runways and television projects like Entourage, Luck and other network series. Currently he is hard at work on his first writing and producing project, the short film Johnny Games. He keeps himself centered by surfing, playing guitar, composing music and writing lyrics.
Dave Holden, musician/composer, was born in Surrey, England and grew up around the world, including England, New Jersey, Illinois and Nairobi, Kenya. He studied film composition at The Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in Film Scoring. Over the last several years he has had opportunities to work with some of the film industry's most successful composers, directors, and actors. In 2006, he was hired at Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, where he worked on a wide array of movies, television shows and video games, including Transformers, Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes 2, Army of Two, Command and Conquer 3 and the Emmy award-winning Showtime original series The Tudors. In 2007, Dave moved to composer James Newton Howard's JNH Studios, working on the films I Am Legend, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Great Debaters, The Dark Knight, and Salt. Dave set out on his own in 2008, keeping his studio, Dave Holden Music, across the street from Warner Brothers, in Burbank, CA, where he's scored more than a few independent feature films including Autopilot, The Way of Snow, The Removed, Embers of the Sky, Roller Dreams, Sustaining Life, After Dark, Grey Sheep, Cruel Will, Love or Whatever, Alien Hunger, and Hero of the Day. Most recently, he worked as a music arranger for the television miniseries A Secret State, starring Gabriel Byrne.
Jason Wilson, associate producer, is a fighter. A "live steel" competitor. He and his band of merry psychotics gather every week to try to kill each other with "blunted" swords, maces, morning stars, warhammers and axes. They wear chainmail and steel plate armor. Sometimes they light their weapons on fire. Live Steel Combat is a growing trend, similar to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), as evidenced by the Battle of the Nations European Historical Medieval Battle world ranking system. Jason and his crew (in particular Melanie Morales and William Becking) have starred in Freelancers and provided a significant number of costumes as well as stunt work.
Dana Winchell, costumer, is a fashion designer based in Riverside CA. She has worked in the wardrobe department of independent feature films and loves historical and steampunk clothing, dying her own fabrics and enjoys creating one-of-a-kind knitted pieces. She is currently designing her own clothing line and does costume and wardrobe work whenever she can.
Debradawn Shockey, wardrobe designer, is known for her over-the-top, spectacular costume peices. She has been able to blend her two greatest loves - acting and costuming - for Freelancers, which presented her with the rare opportunity to contribute both on and off camera. Since graduating from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Debradawn has become a veteran of the stage as well as film and television. Recently portraying both the title role of Ramona and the vivacious Margarita in the longest running outdoor play in America, "The Ramona Outdoor Play", Debradawn has won numerous Inland Theatre League Awards for excellence in acting and costume design.
$4500 This is our minimum goal, which accounts for both the 10% Kickstarter/Amazon payment fees and our estimate of reward fulfillment costs. We have stretch goals in mind if it looks like our contributions will grow beyond this minimum but we're really just intent on finishing up the final two episodes, the audio mix, foley work and the final score for Season One. The production value for the show is much higher than this dollar amount - almost everyone is either working for free or for a day rate so far below minimum wage, they are essentially working for gas and food. Of course you look at a figure like $4500 and wonder how that can possibly equate to "free" labor, but this cost is really covering only meals, gas (it's expensive to bring 20 people out to the woods two hours away from most civilization), practical considerations such as permits, costumes and equipment rentals. Yes, we do eat better on set than Little Ceasar's pizza, but here's free advice - if you've got a cast and crew working for free, you'd better feed 'em right as mutiny is a painful way to go, especially on our set where almost everyone has access to (albeit dull) weapons!
Since we made our primary goal (THANK YOU to everyone who pledged!), we have two stretch goals in mind - if we reach:
$5000 We will shoot an additional scene to extend our cliffhanger ending, featuring the three lead characters and employing a camera helicopter for a truly epic final shot!
$6000 We will hold a theatrical screening in Los Angeles that will be free for anyone to attend and everyone can meet the cast and crew (and we can meet our fans)! This will serve as a nice bit of promotion for the show as well, which always helps!
Anything over $6000 will go towards preproduction on Season Two, which will finish out the story line set up in Season One and bring some truly epic entertainment to your screens, with bigger visual fx, mind-numbing stunts and incredible sets (and of course our main characters and their predicaments)!!
Most of our rewards are Kickstarter Supporter Exclusive, meaning these exact items are unique to Kickstarter backers only. Exceptions are the Glacier Park EP and the DVD and Blu-Ray items. Refer to the sidebar for full descriptions of each reward category/items.
$5 - special thanks on the Freelancers website and a digital download of Freelancers composer Dave Holden's brand new Glacier Park EP!
$25 - Season One on DVD.
$50 - Season One on Blu-Ray.
$75 - 12x18 parchment paper print of the wanted poster featured in Episodes 2 and 4 signed by the cast and crew.
$150 (25 available) - Limited edition 12x18 metallic color process print of a branded production still from the show, selected by you from our gallery and signed by the director and featured cast member!
$150 (25 available) - Limited edition, custom-sized black American Apparel t-shirt (crew or v-neck, men or women's) with the Freelancers logo on the front, the web site and Kickstarter slogan ("I ate the berry!") on the back! This shirt will not be available to the public.
$250 - Schedule a 30 minute Skype session with your choice of the director, editor, vfx supervisor or producer - ask them anything you want that's related to any aspect of production.
$500 (1 available) - meet with the director and producers in Los Angeles, Hemet or Temecula and we'll tell you "How Not To Produce A Web Series"! We'll buy you dinner and you can ask us any production questions you want and we'll try to impart what little wisdom we have on producing a narrative film project.
$500 (5 available) - get special access to the Freelancers Closed Group on Facebook where the director posts tons of updates, clips, behind the scenes information and other fun items exclusively for the cast and crew of the show.
$600 (4 available) - the director will fabricate for you a custom fantasy hand crossbow similar to the one he created for Quill in the show. Each one of these (non-firing) props are hand crafted and display-worthy.
$1,000 - be credited as an Associate Producer on the show. You and a guest are invited to attend any screenings of the show and the wrap party for Season One where you can meet the cast and crew. (Travel expenses not included.)
$1,500 (1 available) - select any character's weapon from the show and we'll engrave it with the Freelancers typeface logo and ship it to you!
$2,000 - come onboard as a Co-Producer, get your own title card in the credits with either your name or company logo! You and a guest are invited to attend any screenings of the show and the wrap party for Season One where you can meet the cast and crew. (Travel expenses not included.)
$2,000 (1 available) - Walk-on death scene in Season Two (no speaking lines). Get yourself to our filming location (TBD) and we'll dress you up and you can be killed on-screen by the character of your choice!
$2,000 (1 available) - Walk-on role in Season Two with one speaking line. Get yourself to our filming location (TBD) and we'll dress you up and feature you in one scene of the show!
$4,000 - Become an Executive Producer, receive your own title card at the head of the end credits with your name or company logo. Open door invitation to drop by and observe during any aspect of production or post-production for Season One or Season Two (travel not included).
Season One of Freelancers basically sets up the story that will conclude in Season Two. S2 will be much larger in both scope and production design. All the characters will be seen through to the story's end, we'll be introduced to a couple of new characters and of course there will be a springboard into Season Three built into the massive climax of Season Two. Fish and his cast and crew will be looking for a much larger budget for Season Two in order to fully realize his crazy plans for the Freelancers' story and to bring you, the audience, a cinematic experience not quite like any other. We can't tell you exactly what's in store for S2 (as that would be no fun), but we can give you three small tidbits - gypsies, dungeons and an epic masquerade ball!
Risks and challenges
While we face all the usual risks and hardships endured by any microbudget production intent on biting off more than it can chew (there's nothing like challenging one's self in order to test one's mettle), we currently have enough content to close out Season One "as-is" if absolutely necessary- this, however, would result in a very weak ending and leave more back-story for Season Two and is not something we're really willing to do and we'll fight tooth-and-nail to avoid that at all costs.
In regards to backer fulfillment, we will be using Amazon's CreateSpace for DVD fulfillment and Reel Picture for Blu-Ray fulfillment, SmugMug for limited edition prints and ooshirts.com for American Apparel t-shirts. All other custom rewards will be completed by our hard-working production crew, which if you need evidence of their dedication and sweat, look no further than the production value of the show itself!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)