HeavenQuest is based on the original work of John Bunyan and his 1678 allegorical masterpiece, The Pilgrim’s Progress. The movie will be directed by Matt Bilen, written and produced by Darren Wilson and the team at WP Films. It will be a highly stylistic, fantastical, and beautiful story with themes of hope, sacrifice, and ultimately salvation.
Like Bunyan’s original work, HeavenQuest will feature exotic creatures, eccentric characters and beautiful locations as the story follows a man desperate to escape his dark past and the impending doom that will befall him. He undertakes a dangerous journey filled with peril in hope of finding his freedom. Although reimagined, you’ll still find yourself overlooking the city of Destruction, caught in the Slough of Despond, escaping the caverns of Mt. Sinai, and traveling to the Wicket Gate in this epic retelling.
The 300-year-old book that inspired the likes of C.S. Lewis will become an all-new ambitious, heart-warming, action-packed, and inspiring film as it reaches the big screen in 2016.
“WP Films has an ambitious, groundbreaking vision for HEAVENQUEST. This project will break all kinds of molds — recasting a celebrated story in fresh light that is both compelling and exciting. HEAVENQUEST will reach new audiences for the Kingdom, people who would not otherwise experience the truth of the Gospel on the big screen."
- Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer
You were disappointed with Exodus. You were upset with Noah. As Hollywood has tried to make films about faith-filled stories, they have too often forgotten that faith also needs to be a part of the story itself. Our goal with this film is to change things. We want to make the Christian film you’ve always wanted to see--one that is exciting, entertaining, with high production values, but that doesn’t shy away from faith, struggle, and redemption.
For years now, people have been asking us when we are going to make a feature film that isn’t a documentary. Well, the time is now. While we will continue to make God-honoring documentaries, we have always had a heart for narrative film, and are excited to begin that journey with one of the most iconic and beloved stories in literary history.Since this is such a momentous occasion for us as a company, we want to make sure that we bring you, our wonderful fans, friends, and audience, along with us. We want to give you unprecedented access to our creative process, artistic decisions, and production. You’ll meet our cast and crew, get sneak peeks into various scenes, and witness the magic of movie-making both when the cameras roll, and when all the footage is shot. It’s important to us that you not just be a passive contributor to this film, but an active participant as well.
As we began to look at doing this story, we delved into some of the reasons other Christian films with lower budgets didn’t fare so well, and we’ve built both a story and a style that will allow us the kind of flexibility that you need to be able to make a movie with more limited resources. While $1.2 million may sound like a lot, it is a low-budget amount in the world of narrative feature films. So we’ve made the tough decision to make HeavenQuest only about the beginning of the overall journey.
The focus, obviously, will be on the main character, Christian. As with any adaptation, we have had to change certain elements and reshape others, but we have tried hard to stay true to the core story and message of the book. One of the trickier aspects to deal with was the fact that the original story is a blatant allegory (where everything has a very literal and obvious meaning), whereas modern audiences are not used to this kind of storytelling. To that end, we’ve kept some of the core allegorical elements of the characters (Christian, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Mr. Legality, etc…) but we’ve set the action in a more realistic world--albeit a fantastical one.Matt Bilen came to us with a very singular, fascinating vision for this film, and it was one that appealed to us artistically, but also was very pragmatic in its approach. The film will have a visceral, stylistic, and realistic feel. Our experience making documentaries has taught us many techniques in creating a hand-held “you are there” approach, and we will use lighting and negative space in creative ways to create various moods, but also to avoid expensive details in the background. Matt has done great work in gathering a first rate team together, from award-winning special effects artists to amazingly talented post-production personnel. We are working hard to make this not only a powerful film, but one that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
While we will continue to sell the film itself after the end of the campaign, all other rewards within this campaign are UNIQUE and will not be available anywhere else. And of course, if you just wish to pledge without getting a reward, there is no obligation. If you pledge at ANY level, you will unlock the possibility of earning additional rewards by simply sharing about the campaign!
This is how you will get your All Access Pass to our entire process. Starting in pre-production meetings and planning, moving into the production process on set and on location and into the final stages of post-production as we complete all the bells and whistles. Most of these will be in real time and will be coming to you on a regular basis! There might even be a few opportunities for you to ask questions or give your input!
You will receive an exclusive invitation to the Digital Premiere of HeavenQuest before the film is released. We’ll be releasing the film early to our Backers so you get the first look at the project before anyone else. We’ll also have a Live Q&A with the Director, Producers and a few other special guests
Not only will you receive a Limited Edition HD Digital Download (including a personal thank you and bonus features) you’ll also get an exclusive invitation to our Digital Premiere! We’ll be releasing the film early to our Backers so you get the first look at the project before anyone else. We’ll also have a Live Q&A with the Director, Producers and a few other special guests.
You will get a Limited Edition, with Kickstarter-Backer-Only artwork, DVD with bonus content as well as a copy of the HD Digital Download. This also includes an invitation to the Digital Premiere - a pre-release look at the film, exclusively for backers, and a Live Q&A with the Director, Producers and a few other special guests.
Pretty much the same as above, but with a Limited Edition, Kickstarter-Backer-Only cover, Blu-Ray/DVD combo with bonus content as well as a copy of the HD Digital Download. This also includes an invitation to the Digital Premiere - a pre-release look at the film, exclusively for backers, and a Live Q&A with the Director, Producers and a few other special guests.
This will be a special Limited Edition Production Photo Diary (delivered digitally and in print) that will give you an in depth look at the production process. We’ll be compiling stories and photos from set from both cast and crew so you’ll get some unique perspectives on the project. It will be a great conversation starter and addition to your coffee table! We will only be printing these for the campaign so you won’t be able to buy this anywhere else. Ever.
For this campaign we have the very unique opportunity to have an Official HeavenQuest Artisan, Gary Wilson (aka Darren’s dad). One of his specialties are his mugs, in fact we love them so much most of us have a few of them in our cabinets at home! He has created a beautiful mug design for our campaign and we are very excited to be able to offer a limited amount of these to our backers. Each one will follow the same design idea but will be unique in it’s own right, so no two will be the same!
Who doesn’t love a great action figure!? Well we do, and we think this is a great reward for anyone. We are working with a company to create bobblehead figures that will match the characters from our films, which will be genuinely awesome! There will be a selection of seven different characters you can choose from like our main character Christian, the Dark King, a Pursuer, or even the Man of Light. You’ll get to choose one of the characters to display on your mantle, add to your collection or even use to teach your children the importance of sharing.
We will find the most pivotal moments from the film, whether they be emotional or artistic, and let you choose your favorite! Each high definition image will be printed on a 9x12 canvas and mounted for your viewing pleasure. With a project like this, which will be using imagery as almost another character of the story, these images will be stunning and a great addition to any wall they might call home.
Have a project that’s been stirring in your heart? Well this is the tier for you. You’ll get an hour of one-on-one time to talk about your project and get advice and encouragement on moving forward. You’ll speak with the Director of HeavenQuest, Matt Bilen, Director/Producer of WP Films, Darren Wilson and CEO of WP Films, Braden Heckman. These three men have years of filmmaking and marketing experience that they’ll be sharing with you! Please have a project already in mind that you are wanting to discuss.
We’ll be hosting a special invitation-only premiere of the film in Greenville, SC upon its release and we want you to be there! This will be a grand event that you do not want to miss. We’ll have Director Matt Bilen, Producer Darren Wilson, our entire WP Films crew and maybe even a few special guests for this very first premiere showing of the film. We’ll also have some Live Q&A time with Director Matt Bilen so you can get the scoop on the whole process from him! One pledge is worth one invitation for exactly one person to this special occasion. No travel expenses included.
We will be doing a great job of getting you an inside look at the set through our updates but if you are wanting a more in depth look and a first hand experience, this is your tier. You’ll be invited to an exclusive, 4 hour tour of the HeavenQuest set in Chicago, IL to see how it is all coming together. Meet the cast and crew and spend some time asking questions and getting some exclusive looks at what they are working on. We might even have you film a little something. One pledge is worth one person getting one tour. No travel expenses included.
Our Official HeavenQuest Artisan, Gary Wilson, will also be creating a very limited number of wall sculptures (roughly 3 ft x 3 ft in size). We have a few of these hanging in our office that Gary created for us and we are honored that he would offer to create these for our campaign! Even though all of these pieces will represent HeavenQuest in some way, each one will be completely unique in and of itself.
In a film like this Visual Effects are absolutely essential to pulling everything together. In order to complete all the Visual Effects we need, we will need sell out this tier. With every pledge you will know exactly where your money went in producing this film as each dollar will go directly to creating stunning Visual Effects. You will get your name in the credits as well as canvas printed still of the effects shot you helped bring to life!
Ever wanted to be in a movie!? Well here’s your chance! You will be cast in a walk-on role in the film and will get a special day on set with the cast and crew. There are already roles that we know are going to be perfect for this and you’ll get the entire experience of being an on-set actor. Hair, makeup, costumes, the works! You’ll get to be a part of building a scene from start to finish and see how other actors prepare and deliver on camera. Because you are in the film you’ll also get your name in the credits! One pledge is worth one acting role for exactly one person to participate in. No travel expenses included.
As it says, this is the ULTIMATE. PRODUCING. EXPERIENCE. To start off you’ll be receiving your Limited Edition copy of the film, the production diary, a handcrafted mug, a custom action figure and your choice of a 9x12 photo on canvas. Next, you will receive a Co-Producer credit (to appear on the HeavenQuest poster, DVD covers, end credits, and other awesome places) as well as an official credit on IMDB. You will of course need to visit the set to make sure we’re doing our job as a producer, so we’ll fly you out, all expenses paid, to hang out on set with us for a day and see how we are doing. Once the film is finished we’ll fly you out, again all expenses paid, to be a part of the official Premiere of the film in Greenville, SC. One pledge is worth one invitation to this Once-In-A-Lifetime opportunity.
An ULTIMATE. ACTING. EXPERIENCE. You’ll of course be receiving your Limited Edition copy of the film, the production diary, a handcrafted mug, a custom action figure and your choice of a 9x12 photo on canvas. You will also be cast in the movie and you will get a real line on camera! On your all expenses paid trip to the set in Chicago, IL you’ll get the works...hair, makeup, costume and of course direction from our esteemed Director, Matt Bilen. Since you will be on set all day you will get to have a great experience with our cast and crew and there will be some time to ask questions and get some inside scoop on the film. Your name will be listed in the credits and we’ll also frame and sign the page of the script with your line and include a still shot of you in the film. Once the film is out you will definitely need to be there for your debut so we’ll bring you out, all expenses paid, for the World Premiere in Greenville, SC! One pledge is worth one invitation to this Once-In-A-Lifetime WP Films acting experience.
This last one is for the fans! The ULTIMATE. FAN. EXPERIENCE. You will be receiving your Limited Edition copy of the film, the production diary, a handcrafted mug, a custom action figure and your choice of a 9x12 photo on canvas. On top of that we will bring you, and one guest, out for an all expenses paid, exclusive and intimate fan experience in Greenville, SC in the Fall of 2015. You’ll spend the day with Matt Bilen, Darren Wilson and the WP Films team and get a behind the scenes look at the editing of HeavenQuest. There will also be some time to get some sneak peeks at future projects we have on the docket and get the scoop at how we roll at WP Films. You may even get Darren to tell you some of his crazy God stories!
The team for HeavenQuest will be gradually built in the coming months and we will be sure to update you on any additions that sign on throughout the campaign.
Matt Bilen - Director
- Matt has been a part of the WP Films team since Darren first started making Finger of God, accompanying him on some of the shoots for that breakthrough film. Since then, he has been a part of every movie WP Films has released in a wide variety of capacities. He has made a number of short films over the years, and we are excited to partner with him on this, his first feature film. If there is one thing Matt has proven to us over the years, it’s that he is a fountain of creativity and vision.
Darren Wilson - Producer/Screenwriter
- HeavenQuest will be the first feature film created by WP Films that is not directed by Darren, but he will be heavily involved in the creation/production of the movie. Best known for his popular documentaries Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, and Holy Ghost, Darren wrote the screenplay for HeavenQuest and will help oversee the entire production from start to finish.
Pledging to the campaign is just the start of your journey! To get more involved with this campaign over the next 30 days and even get access to additional rewards we’ve got something exciting for you! We are introducing Backer Achievements that, with your help, can extend our reach, unlock bonus rewards and help us achieve our Kickstarter Goal.
16 Achievements: One Bonus Scene Released to Everyone!!!! (Requires Behind the Quest Tier or higher)
22 Achievements: Custom Limited Edition HeavenQuest Themed Box (Requires Disciple Tier or higher)
Note: Post links in comments tab of your photos, videos, drawings etc.
The first answer is: make a pledge! Even if you can only pledge $10, we urge you to get involved. Even a small pledge helps get us that much closer to our goal while also allowing you extraordinary access to what is going on behind the scenes.
Secondly, let everyone (friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, your mailman...all of them) know about the campaign and the movie! In order to reach our goal we have really got to reach out into our communities and spheres of influence to get the word out there. You can post on Twitter, Facebook, and even email this Kickstarter link to those who need to know about the project. Even if you don’t think you know that many people, every person you tell about HeavenQuest is a wonderful blessing to us.Saving the best for last...prayer. This is a huge endeavor and in many ways we are walking into the unknown and branching out into a completely different process. We are asking for your prayers as we embark on this journey for wisdom, discernment and an entire spiritual covering over this entire film from finding crew members, casting roles, finishing effects and ultimately presenting this film to the world.
Risks and challenges
With every film project we take on there are of course risks and challenges throughout the process. The most intricate challenge is completion and delivery of the film. While we believe our past projects and Kickstarter campaigns show that we WILL in fact complete and release this film, sometimes factors beyond our control come into play that may cause unforeseen delays. While it is our sincere desire and goal to have this film finished and ready to send out by Late Summer 2016, at this point we cannot GUARANTEE this date. However, because you will be so connected with the project and our timeline you will be the first to know about any changes and will receive constant updates on the schedule and progress we are making.
As we walk through this process, please remember that this first narrative film is a new venture for WP Films. It is a larger scale project, in almost every aspect, than things we have done in the past, meaning there is no short supply of things that could go wrong. From bad weather on location shoots, technical issues in filming or post-production, schedule delays due to talent or professionals, the list could go on and on. That’s why, as a team, we will be doing our very best throughout the entire process to steward this project with the same professionalism, wisdom, and love that we have taken with any of our other films.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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