Whether you loved or loathed Gareth Edwards’ latest Godzilla entry has put the giant lizard back in vogue. Whether it’s a fond look towards the classic Gojira (1954) or a hearty laugh at Roland Emmerich’s completely misguided 1998 Godzilla, he’s the talk of the town. Thanks to this, the fans feel they should get in on the action by taking it back to its roots through a man in a suit, and you’ll be soon reaching for your bank details when you read why. Welcome to Godzilla: Heritage.
With this entry of Making It Big, the feature’s title couldn’t be more appropriate. Godzilla: Heritage is a pure passion project made by fans, not for money or fame but to tell a story. Therefore in altogether different, and better,r way, the feature title is entirely inappropriate. These filmmakers are simply die-hard Godzilla fans. The adoration and heart felt adoration for Godzilla is clear throughout and immediately endears any drifting reader to engage.
Before we get swept up in a longing and undeniably charming love letter, surely they don’t have the rights? Indeed, they have no rights or any permissions to Godzilla or any other monsters from within the cannon. They are trademarks of Toho Company and the project is not endorsed by Toho, Legendary or any other studio as they drill away at Godzilla 2. This means that the film could never be broadcast in cinemas or on TV unless there’s a clear change in the status quo. With this overwhelming restriction, one would not question the filmmakers if their love waned. However, this has not assuaged them nor even interfered with preparations as this is simply a labour of love. They will not be making any profit off of this.
Any digital copy, blu-ray or any other rewards produced for backers can only be for their personal use and the film will not be released on the internet. With such pure, irreproachable intentions, the film deserve your attention solely on the basis of allowing film fans to come together, live out their dreams and support independent filmmaking for its finest quality; telling a good story.
The plot itself opens with Godzilla as the starting pistol for the rise of the destruction of the human race. Godzilla was just the first, with the nuclear age creating “Superfauna”, animals mutated through through man’s abuse of the power of the atom. Humanity unites throughout the following 60 years in a bit to defeat these evils foes and undo the errors of the past. Millions died, cities crumbled, community destroyed and society turned to dust. However after six decades of global efforts, humanity – at first glance – appears to have taken the upper hand.
In 2014, we meet our protagonist, journalist Jack Martin. Forever hidden under the shadow of his grandfather Steve Martin. His coverage of the initial incident in Tokyo, 1954 saw him immortalised in journalism history thanks to an impressive Pulitzer prize win. Jack’s never reached these heights and the wave of depression, failure and guilt consumes him nearly destroying his marraige and career. Jack decides to travel to a small pacific island with his life-long friend Mitch Lawrence, who now runs UWN’s old newspaper division. While the two wait to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for a new building, Godzilla suddenly reappears after nearly 30 years of absence. He hasn’t returned alone…
It’s a simplistic story but it smacks of love and affection. There’s no intention to win Oscars or grab box office dollars but deliver a final product true to the roots of the legend. The use of traditional man in a suit techniques and animatronics alongside extensive sets and detailed miniature work, similar to Japanese giant monster films will endear any film fan and it’s a project that one can easily be swept up in. However, this wasn’t the case first time around.
When scouring Kickstarter for the latest entry, I double-took upon reading this entry the Godzilla: Heritage once more. Sadly, their first push fell short of its original goal meaning they went away with nothing. However, as you can already imagine, the filmmakers were determined to deliver their film. The money still needs to be raised to achieved but wisely, they’ve opted to split their target into two separate Kickstarters. The self-titled Phase One aims to raise $10,000 to “get the ball rolling” on the project a.k.a the production can actually begin. Phase Two will occur much later down the line, mid-2015, to raise the rest of the funds they need to finish the project completely. There is the temptation to simply wait till then as you’ll have a far better idea of what the crew is capable of and what the final film is going to look like; however, this film needs your help and we can’t see good projects going to waste…twice.
As always, you should check their Kickstarter out here, and whilst you’re in the Godzilla mood, don’t forget to have a look at our Beginner’s Guide to Gojira! Oh and for extra good measure, here’s the Honest Trailer for Godzilla (1998) and remind yourself how lucky we are that Godzilla is finally back in vogue in the first place.