ByAaron Kelly, writer at
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Aaron Kelly

Of the many movie projects on Kickstarter, few are as epic and ambitious as Harmion. We caught up with the UK based filmmakers to find out more.

Tell us a bit about who you are and the project you're embarking on.

Myself (Adam Harvey, Co-Writer/Producer) and Co-Writer/Director Richard Swingle met around 8 years ago, ironically when Rich was making his short film 'The Harmion Tale' on which 'Harmion' is based! Rich was just finishing film school in Wales and I was working as a music composer for TV, and becoming increasingly interested in producing films. Since then we've both worked in Film & TV and have been developing a few projects together, one of which was 'Harmion'.

We always felt 'Harmion' was a great story and one that could be told in the context of a feature film. We were inspired by the landscapes around Wales and our experience of working there, as well as the mythology and stories in Welsh culture. We want to take the most exciting and otherwordly elements of the fantasy and adventure genres, but combine them with the character-driven emphasis you find in a lot of independent film, to hopefully tell a compelling and exciting story.

What made you take your project to Kickstarter?

Kickstarter and the whole crowdfunding movement is an exciting development for independent filmmakers. We had faith in Harmion as a powerful and worthwhile story, but we also realised we needed to prove we could make it and that there was an audience who would respond to it.

Raising development financing through Kickstarter could provide a solution to both those things, because it enables us to show the trailer and introduce the project to a lot of people internationally and gain feedback and support, and it also enables us to finish off the development process of the film properly and put it in a position where we can fully finance it and make it as we intended it to be made.

Can you talk a bit about the movies/shows that inspired your movie, within the Fantasy genre or otherwise?

There were the obvious influences like, for example, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Pan's Labyrinth and Willow (which, incidentally, was also part shot in Wales!). We also drew inspiration from films like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator; character driven films set against exciting and unique historical or fantastical backdrops. Even films like Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now and Moon have had an influence; films about flawed and lost characters on their own personal quests.

Talk us through the process once you get the KS funding.

One of the biggest problems independent films face is that they don't have the resources to develop their films properly, and the story or production values suffer as a result. The Kickstarter funding will be used primarily to end development and get us ready for production; bringing a reputable Line Producer on board to develop a credible budget and schedule with us, attaching key cast and crew and then having the resources to take that creative and business package to Sales Agents and Distributors and find the right home for the project. We can then seek the remainder of the production financing with confidence, knowing we have a solid story, a solid business plan and the right team to bring the project to life the way we intended.

Often small, independent films are under-developed and the compromises hurt the project. Kickstarter offers us the unique chance to finish off the work we've already done and make sure the film is ready for the big screen.

Are you excited for the future of cinema? Where do you see it going online?

Cinema has reached a really exciting crossroads, with digital and online technology a big part of that. Small indie producers used to inevitably struggle to finance and produce ambitious projects, even if the stories were worth telling and resonated with audiences. VOD and the new business models involving streaming and purchasing movies online, not to mention crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, have opened the door for producers to connect directly with audiences, bring them on board earlier and finance their films in more creative and uncompromising ways. This could rejuvenate the industry and help exciting new voices produce their films the way they want to make them.

Finally, which upcoming movies are you most excited about?

I enjoyed Star Trek so looking forward to Star Trek Into Darkness! I'm also curious about Man of Steel, Kick-Ass 2, Pacific Rim and The Wolverine! There's also a lot of interesting smaller films I'm very excited about, including Upstream Color, Maps to the Stars and Only God Forgives. As usual there's too many to list for 2013, so hopefully it will be a good year!

[Make sure you check out Harmion on Kickstarter and drop them a dollar or twenty if you'd like to see it get made!]


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