Sunday 15 December 2013

Back from the Void

Hello, it's been a while.

Over the past eight months there would have appeared to have been nothing happening in the Voidships universe, in fact that's not the case. In the depths the furnaces have been running white hot and the steam-powered engines have been pumping out power.

The first new Voidships product rolled off the production line a couple of weeks ago:

I'll be talking more about Voidships content in the coming weeks, and providing lots more of it over the next few months, including free stuff.

To make sure you don't miss out make sure you join the mailing list at

Saturday 2 March 2013

Screaming pitch

I have been remiss. I have been so focused on the KickStarter campaign we're running to shoot and produce our steampunk webseries that I have completely failed to mention it here.

So here we are, sitting at just over £2K, barely 3% of the target made, and we have just a few days to go.

We haven't been idle - Liz, our Publicist, has been promoting to all sorts of online locations - some of you will have heard about us through that work. There's been Twitter, of course, and Facebook.

Chris (the Director), Chris (the Composer) and I were interviewed only yesterday for a Steampunk music podcast. All these things help to get our name out to the target market. But it's tough going.

So what's a Producer to do?

If we don't succeed through crowdfunding it means we have to do it through independent financing and that means we lose some control, we may have to compromise with the final product and we don't want to do that.

We could give up now, say Thanks for your support, and we'll be back or we could play The Game.

If you backed our project so you want to see it happen, if you're reading this you have an interest in seeing it happen. So we have The Game.

The Game works like this:

Today (and each day remaining) you find 1 new person to back this project (friends, family, whoever). It doesn't matter how much they back us for, could be £1 could be £1000 - it really doesn't matter because there is an average and that's fine.

And every day every that new person (in addition to you) finds one other person to back us.

That's it. And in a few days we will reach the target.

Because once the numbers start to mount up it automatically pulls in interest from elsewhere: success breeds success and people flocking to the site because the coverage will be awesome and people will  just back it because. And it will be because you played the Game.

We won't be resting on our laurels. We'll still be pushing and getting people in to help.

But remember this is just a game, it's supposed to be fun, so let's enjoy it. Here's what you do:

Make sure you've backed us, then create a list of 12 people you know who might back us, get in touch, tell them about this crazy game we're playing and get them to come to the site  and get them to back us.

Everybody likes playing games and this is one where everybody can win!

Thursday 24 January 2013

Winter on the Web

I've been very quiet for the past few months. This calm of quiet is down to the fact that I have been paddling like mad on getting our webseries WINTER into production.

Except it's not called WINTER any more, it's now: THE LAZARUS MACHINE.

We have some awesome news on the casting, and all will be revealed presently as we launch into our KickStarter campaign in just over a week.

Watch this space.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Crunching time

We have set a date for shooting the full series of Winter, it's entirely possible we won't shoot exactly then but it's like writing a story, you need to have a place you're aiming for.

You know what's it's like when you're with a bunch of people trying to decide whether you're going to the pub, or going for an Indian, or what you want to watch at the pictures? You try to be all democratic about it, let everyone have their say.

You know how it wastes a huge amount of time and you end up not doing anything, or just the thing you always do?

You remember how rubbish that is?

But if someone just decides and does it, things work out so much better. Okay, maybe one person doesn't like Indian. Well that's unfortunate but at least people get to eat before they're gnawing at each other's limbs or going nuts from hypoglycemia.

Producing's like that. You can be all accommodating and nice, trying to find a date that satisfies everyone. And you never will. You have to put your foot down with a firm hand and say "Fish and Chips".

It's not a democracy.

Thing is this: we (Director Chris and I) had our hearts set on a specific pair of actors for two of the roles. One of them has readily agreed to appear. The agreeable actor has spoken to the other actor about it (they are personal friends), and he is not disinterested. But the other's agent is being ... uncommunicative. I get it, the other actor is currently a big name, appears in one of the biggest films of 2012. And we're nobody.

So I've been hanging on, and hanging on, and hanging on. Is it two or three months now? I'm not even sure.

But there are others who would suit, some with bigger names, so the time has come to say "Well if his agent comes back with a yes before anyone else then that's great but we're shooting next summer and this part needs to be filled."

So let's look at the alternatives. And I am.

Thursday 31 May 2012

It's not real!

I'm going to be a bit naughty here but I'm not apologising.

Our filming of Scene 8 of Winter, a few weeks ago now (how time flies) has been getting the CGI treatment and you know how they do those split screen thingies showing the very same shot before and after? Well I'm not doing that.

But I am going to give the feel of it by showing you two shots, a before and an after, just not cleverly cut together and probably not the same bit. It's naughty because this is not the finished CGI but I'm just so excited.

So here's a photo from the studio, you can see our two actors behind all the equipment in the brightly lit greenscreen area:

And now here's a similar shot, early version, with the CGI in place:

And I think that's pretty cool.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

That was interesting

Two days ago we shot Scene 8 of WINTER. Why just scene 8?

A couple of reasons: we needed to test out the whole green-screen production process; and we needed a promotional snapshot to look for more funding.

Scene 8 has several factors to its benefit: it features two of the three main characters, it's their first meeting, provides some background food for thought, some mystery, and it features major CGI work.

The CGI involves the night-time set on a Victorian street, rain, moving steampunk elements and live action incorporated into it. It's a perfect introduction to both the story and our ability to achieve the effects required.

Chris, the Director, is frantically editing in order to deliver the scene to the CGI chap who will integrate the set and moving graphics into the scene.

And the finished product goes to Cannes. Which is where your funding comes in.

To help us finish the whole thing and deliver.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Shooting Schedule

I have been very busy the last few weeks.

One of the things that made me busy was a meeting we had on April 7th. When I say "we" I mean myself and the director, Chris. We met with our co-producer Tricia.

There are three types of producer in the world: The ones who say they are producers but never actually do anything; the ones who put packages together (money, directors, actors) but don't do the nitty-gritty of production; and producers who do the nitty-gritty of organising a production to make it happen.

You see it was a few months ago that I decided that unless I got my act together and started making WINTER happen, it wasn't going to (this is no criticism of Chris, by the way, he has an extremely demanding day job). It had been two years, and while the script had been developing nicely nothing else was happening.

Tricia is a type 2 producer. And at the meeting she mentioned that if we had something we could show - an actual produced scene with all the trimmings - then when she was at the Cannes Film Festival in May she'd be in a position to promote WINTER to major investors. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, she said, but you need something to shoot with.

We had been planning a test shoot on May 6th anyway but this put a whole new light on it. And, to mix metaphors, lit a fire under us.

If there's a way in which Chris and I are similar, we both respond very positively to external deadlines. And this deadline was a killer: create a complete scene 8, with computer graphics, of very good quality and deliver it by 15th May. Seven weeks.

With Chris working an 80 hour week and me changing contracts. I imagine most people would consider it impossible, but it isn't.

As of this moment: we have cast the male actor required (the female was already cast); we have a modern, fully equipped, green screen study booked for 3 days - at no cost. We have crew in place, the composer is ready to go and, fingers crossed, the computer graphics will be produced by a professional company for a fraction of the usual cost. And we're halfway through.

The only issue is money, as certain things must be paid for. To that end we started up a crowd-funding project on IndieGoGo. We are hitting our marks and we will succeed but it would help, seriously, with back-up pennies.

So help out project: and choose from our excellent perks.