Hi there, my name is Richard Reynolds, and regular readers of Fanboy Confidential will probably have read quite a few of my articles which go live almost every Monday. If you’ve done the cyber version of tuning in to get your regular fix of film/comic related articleage I’m afraid you may be sorely disappointed, as this week Maurice has allowed me the space to indulge in shameless self-promotion.
I co-head a UK based independent filmmaking group called Waking Dream Studios, and as a team, myself and my production partner, Jordan Morris, have decided it’s high time that we step up our game, so for our forthcoming feature, The House On Abbott’s Ridge, will *shock-horror* be generating a modest budget.
As you may already have surmised, we’ll be doing this by launching a Kickstarter campaign, that, all going well, will show all those Zach Braff-Veronica Mars-Rob Liefeld-Alan Moore-David Fincher type professionals that us small guys can still successfully use Kickstarter for its original intension.
But we can’t do it alone, no indeed, we’ll literally need as much help as we can get, and that’s where all of you come in, either to supply pledges or spread word of the campaign as far and wide as you can. But I don’t ask you to do this on faith alone, allow me to indulge you with a little information about us as a filmmaking group and the project itself.
Waking Dream Studios, as it is today, started life about seven years ago, when Jordan, as my co-worker, got wind that I was a huge cinema fan, and asked if I’d like to help him make films, which I did, and so we took the bull by the horns and started making shorts with regularity and gusto.
Neither of us had film school training, but Jordan had enough kit to get us started, we both had a keen eye for economical storytelling and between us enough technical, artistic and organisational skills to take care of pretty much any challenge that we faced. We were also blessed enough to be surrounded by talented and kind people that were good enough to lend us their time and advice wherever we needed it, with some, like our good friends Adam White (ace cinematographer and consultant) and John Jeacock (Mr Music himself), becoming integral parts of Team Waking Dream.
Those initial shorts were predominantly for contests and were as good a crash-course in filmmaking as any film school could have provided. Several of these shorts were screened in cinemas, which made us proud, especially as they were made with virtually no budget, but we reach our crescendo when we made three shorts in a day for a twenty-four hour film challenge that require only one entry, suffice to say that all the entries made the final shortlist with one taking second place.
With this we grew enough confidence to embark on our first feature film, a sweet little twenty-something comedy/drama called Gabriel Small; but being that we all worked full time, and for very little money, we had to shoot on weekends with a budget of just £500. An exhausting four month planning period culminated in us completing the shoot in just three intensive weekends, followed by several more months of gruelling post-production, but the film was finished and as a testament to all the efforts put in by everyone involved it received four awards on the British film festival circuit, including best young director and best debut feature.
Here we were naive enough to think that all this work and kudos would be enough to secure funding from our local funding body to embark on a second feature, but after several YEARS worth of ‘meetings’ with the now defunct EM Media, we decided to just get back on the horse and start making shorts again, but this time with a very specific intent to embark on much more ambitious projects that would teach us something new, be it in the realms of FX, narrative styles or even the kind of actors that we worked with, but each pushed us out of our comfort zone.
By this point we had accrued much more kit, and though still working with little or no budget, the films were taking a much more slick, professional look, and to our mind easily stood toe to toe with many of the budgeted shorts that we were seeing. All these shorts can be seen on our Vimeo page, I recommend Evening Exorcise and Henchmen.
And so we come to now, and we’ve reached a point where we want to step up our game again, but alas we’ve pretty much exhausted all the avenues that don’t include money, the use of which we genuinely believe will bring our work up to the standard required for wide distribution. The upside is that we’re so NOT used to having money that we really don’t need that much of it, relatively speaking of course, and have planned a feature that should actually work better with the odd rough edge.
So what is this feature that we want you kind people to help us pay for? What is The House On Abbot’s Ridge?
Well, the story of Abbott’s Ridge centres around a group of Most Haunted style ghost hunters, who, for reasons of their own, have decided to reveal the various tricks of their trade by documenting their debunking of one of Britain’s most notorious hunted houses, but, inevitably, things go murderously wrong, but is this through supernatural means or something much more close to home? Paranoia and mistrust abound!
Think The Shinning mashed up with A Tale Of Two Sisters and The Last Exorcism and your kind of on the right track.
I don’t won’t to steal too much thunder away from our campaign page, so I suggest you rush directly over there to get more details and find out exactly how we plan on spending the money, oh yeah, and there’s also the little matter of a cool mock-trailer that we’ve put together to hint at the flavour of the film as well as some very excellent pledge incentives (If i tell you that a ride in a 1981 DeLorean, framed original comic-page art and various free commission-work were on the cards, would you be interested?)
So, if you are in a generous mood, follow the link and donate to some hard workers that will truly appreciate and use said money sparingly and wisely, also, or alternatively for those short on cash in these economically difficult times, we’d really appreciate if you’d promote our Kickstarter campaign on you preferred social media site, as exposure is paramount to a successful Kickstarter.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for taking an interest in Waking Dream Studios Kickstarter. Let’s make Abbott’s Ridge a success story.
Thanks and all the best.