On The Shoulders of Giants to compete with the biggest Hollywood blockbusters
Yorkshire based film-maker Kenneth Barker smiles wryly at the mention of ‘micro-budget film production.’ “The battleground has shifted,” says Barker, a writer, producer, director and graduate of the Northern School of Film and Television in Leeds. “It has never really been about how fancy your camera is or what format you shoot in, the audience doesn’t care! They just want to watch a story that captivates them. Create your movie with what you have, the skill is in being able to craft that story. I believe the new benchmark for independent film is in the ‘nano-budget’ range of £0-50k.” True to his word Barker has recently completed and premiered On The Shoulders Of Giants (OTSOG), a retro sci-fi feature length film, which ambitiously mixes live-action with over 700 special effects shots, 800 sound effects and a bespoke Theremin based musical score on a budget just short of £3,500 cash. Sponsorships and various collaborators working voluntarily made the production achievable.
OTSOG was partially inspired by the 1956 genre classic Forbidden Planet and shot over five weeks during summer 2010. But it took Barker and his team of visual effects wizards and sound design gurus another two years to complete the ambitious project.
The movie stars a host of upcoming professional actors making the jump from smaller TV and stage roles to film. Principal cast members Sarah Wood, Warwick St John and Adam Lee typify this route. Landing a significant role, even in a low-budget movie provides actors with excellent showreel material to promote their own careers.
Barker said: “I am still bowled over by the talent and dedication displayed by the actors.
“They had to bring their “A” game when I asked them to imagine standing on the surface of a barren planet millions of light years from Earth, or when they were walking through the interior of a vast alien supercomputer.”
A team of special effects artists created everything from exotic planets, to robots, to ferocious alien monsters which were all added during the editing process.
“There is currently no other movie like this from a UK based independent producer, especially at this budget level,” said Barker. “Its makes the movie unique; the level of production value for the money available.”
“On The Shoulders Of Giants demonstrates what can be achieved with inexpensive high quality cameras and powerful but cheap graphics software. Being able to tell a story that truly engages with its audience, on top of all the fancy footwork of special effects, really brings a movie to life. I feel proud in achieving this with ‘Giants based on the positive feedback I’m receiving.”
Barker now plans to establish an independent film studio right in the heart of Yorkshire. “The talent and technology are here. Movie tax breaks for investors are more attractive than ever. Imagine if we become the British Pixar or Dreamworks! It’s a prospect too irresistible to ignore.”
Plot: The crew aboard Starship Andromeda test its experimental Einstein-Rosen (ER) bridge drive: vessels equipped with ER drives will be able to traverse interstellar distances in hours. Following a successful ER test, the Andromeda’s maiden voyage is secretly reassigned to a rescue mission for Starship Leviathan, which disappeared fifteen years earlier whilst piloted by the genius who designed the first version of the ER drive. But soon after locating the missing Leviathan, tragedy strikes and the mission goes disastrously awry…
On The Shoulders of Giants is also using the latest film distribution technology by being launched on the Dynamo-player platform, which makes it accessible to viewers on any computer simply by following a link. Barker has also entered OTSOG to several international Film Festivals.
Notes to editors
Link to watch On The Shoulders Of Giants is http://www.dynamoplayer.com/dplayer/embed?token=bxxzbnkew5ewmi
Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/On-The-Shoulders-of-Giants/383469958384829
OTSOG on Twitter @otsogmovie. Full synopsis and stills are available upon request.
For more information contact: Kenneth Barker email:
0113 2650881 (this number not for publishing).