In a new series of articles, I’m going to take a look at those independent film makers hoping to make it to the big time. So in the suitably titled, ‘Making It Big’, we’ll be promoting these new exciting independent projects that would usually pass you by. Here we will celebrate & promote people who are actively trying to fulfill their dreams by creating something unique and special, without the support of Hollywood.
They’ll be links at the bottom of each article stating how you can help whether through donations, social networking or just watching their promo. If you enjoy these articles, please share the love, and if you are an independent film maker wanting your project to earn some nice free press, get in contact with me on Twitter.
Our first Making It Big project to promote is Last Generation to Die – a philosophical, futuristic sci-fi thriller with brains as well as brawn.
The short film set in the near future when science first begins to stop aging. The story itself is centred on a daughter who tries to save her father from natural death through her employers, Aperion Life. The film aims to provoke questions about what future technologies mean to humanity and subsequently what life itself could mean without a given end.
In the current film market, sci-fi is definitely the ‘in thing’ with viewers desperate for cognitive yet still exciting entries into the genre. Considering the likes of the mid-hit Oblivion and the rather disappointing Elysium, now more than ever there is need for clever sci-fi films to deliver in terms of action and story.
However, when hearing about sci-fi projects that attempt to be philosophical as well as action packed, my eyes tend to roll as it usually means the filmmakers will sacrifice one for the other. Take a look at the latest Total Recall, Len Wiseman claimed that there was plenty of deep sub-plot (some of which admittedly will be in the Extended Cut) yet when watching the final product, it was a bland, vanilla remake into an already highly crowded genre.
So I asked director Tim Maupin, what made this project so unique? He replied “I think what makes our project unique in the science fiction world is that it is really mostly a drama with a pretty universal story that will be made possible by future technology…It is less fiction and more science – really more of an ‘indie’ science fiction film with a subtle and realistic future”.
So far, so good. When reading the Kickstarter page, there seems to be clear attempts to echo the style of Terrence Malick and potentially Alfonso Cuaron. Considering the buzz about the latter’s latest project Gravity and his earlier dystopian work of Children of Men, this can only be a good thing.
But who are these people? Director Maupin is a Chicago based, award-winning film maker who has directed 6 short films that have played well at several festivals. Cody Stokes, the DoP, has worked alongside Maupin several times before, boasting a back catalogue of work for Nike and BMW.
Here are some examples of their combined work:
In fact, many of the crew has worked before but they are still looking for a few new faces in the art department/production design. Therefore, if there are any talented people looking to jump on board this exciting project, please get in touch with them via their Kickstarter page.
With the film set to shoot primarily in Chicago with the potential to film out in St. Louis, as well as the fact that Maupin is a VFX artist too, the visuals on this film should be superb.
The project has already reached its initial goal of $9,000 but the team is now looking to expand and reach $25,000. Maupin adds “The amount of positive response we’ve gotten about this project has far exceeded what I initially imagined. I started out thinking of a very small film that I would be pulling a lot of favors to make, but now it’s gained enough interest that we want to scale it up a bit and in fact, we feel the story and concept deserve that.”
The team here have put a great deal of thought and preparation into the project with one of the most extensive, and well thought out Kickstarter pages I’ve seen in a long time. The storyboards (shown below) suggest to me a hint of 80s sci-fi through hints of James Cameron’s Aliens with some Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop added in for good measure. Although the aesthetics will be greatly modernized, the feeling generated from these primary images is very promising.
Apart from expanding the potential of the project, the added funds will help boost the production as a whole in terms of general costs and to allow the crew to get a fee for their efforts. As their page states, “Many people will be putting a lot of time and energy into this project without being paid their normal rates because they believe in the project, so I want to make sure every dime goes into creating an amazing film that everyone is proud of.”
These guys have a clear, well though-out vision and the success in their Kickstarter page highlights that I’m not the only one who thinks this. Making a small-budget sci-fi film is always difficult due to the added special effects, production design and the need to ensure complete audience acceptance that we are truly watching a futuristic world.
I can’t wait to see how the final product turns out, but I’ll allow you to make your own mind up. Check out their trailer below and decide for yourself. If you do like what you see, head over to their Kickstarter page before Monday October 7 and pledge an extra dollar or two to support The Last Generation to Die.