A Crimson Man. A live-action sci-fi adventure about fathers & sons and the invisible injuries of war.
About this project
A CRIMSON MAN is a live action sci-fi short film from writer/director Mike Pappa.
What is A CRIMSON MAN?
A Phillip K. Dick inspired adventure seen through the gaze of a young boy, touching upon childlike wonder and curiosity, while exploring such themes as fathers & sons and PTSD — the invisible injuries of war.
Set in a war-torn land of man vs. machine, Wei, a young runaway boy in search of his father, must ally with an unstable war-robot named Red or be hunted down by his overseers.
Dropping in on Wei and Red’s escape from the pursuing human sentries, we follow this unlikely pairing as they trek up the coast. After discovering a dock, they must hide in a sea cave until the boat returns, in order to sneak off the island.
As time passes in the cave, Wei and Red learn more about one another.
At nightfall, they head for the dock only to discover a sentry bunker nestled on an above overlook. And its occupied! Together, Wei and Red must take out the bunker, sneak down to the dock and steal the boat — all while evading capture from the sentries.
Through this experience Wei witnesses the power and violence of Red, as well as the post effects of war that have defeated him.
Can they work together? Will they be able to thwart the sentries and escape off the island? Will Wei find his father and will Red overcome his trauma?
This short is part of a larger story and we are so excited to get it off the ground. Playing in the world of sci-fi allows us to showcase our love for the genre and bring together a team of talented friends and professionals, united by the passion to see this story come to life.
To create an awe-inspiring and convincing world populated by robots and humans, we will require both visual and practical effects. While visual effects/CGI can create amazing and wonderful images, there’s just no substitute for having a practical robot on set for our young actor to interact with and get better performances from.
We have set the bar high, drawing inspiration from the practical effects work in seminal films such as E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and THE THING.
A large portion of the funds raised will go into fabricating Red, a large robot puppet with animatronic features.
With a background in animation and as a big proponent of storyboarding, I intend to board the entire film. Then, cut the boards together into an animatic, laying down the correct timing and pace of the film, while including basic sound effects, dialogue recordings and scratch soundtrack. When creating a story with visual and practical effects, this type of planning is paramount.
We will continue to add talented and experienced professionals to our team, ranging from dedicated miniature builders, skilled painters, puppet fabricators to digital compositors and painters.
ONLY with your help will we be able to bring the vision of Red and the world of A CRIMSON MAN onto the screen.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
We are deep into pre-production on this film already, scheduling and budgeting to be as efficient as possible, stretching every dollar we raise. We are looking at a five day shoot: filming on a real beach, cliff, and foothill locations. We know where we are filming, the permits we need to file and the vendors we need to hire. What we need now is the passion and support from others to help us make this film a reality. Every single dollar we raise for this project is going into the film. We are paying our crew, we are building our sets and we are fabricating our robot. Principal photography for A CRIMSON MAN is planned for this fall in Los Angeles on a low budget utilizing the funds we raise here on Kickstarter.
Mike has worked with every one of these team member’s on different projects over the course of his career. He is so excited to have finally gathered them all under the same project, a truly awesome A team has been assembled.
Mike Pappa (Writer/Director)
Being the eldest child of a teacher and a Marine, Mike moved around a lot as a kid. Eventually he made his way to New York to study film & animation at the School of Visual Arts. Since then, he’s become an accomplished production designer, animator, storyboard artist and illustrator with over 15 years experience working in different aspects of filmmaking and video games. He has directed several music videos and a short film, Frankie, which has been screened in numerous international and national festivals. Mike Pappa website IMDB page
Jordan Lietz (Producer)
Jordan began his career in the public accounting field for one of the largest firms in the world, Ernst & Young. He spent three years working on high-profile public and private clients, as well as earning his CPA. It was at this point that Jordan decided to follow his passion for movies and narrative storytelling and made a leap into film. Jordan received his MFA in Producing from the American Film Institute, which is where he first met writer/director Mike Pappa. The two have worked on an assortment of projects together ranging from short and feature films, and commercial projects. Jordan has currently been working on commercials for the last 2 years and is excited to jump back into the narrative world with Mike on this film. IMDB page
Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi (Cinematographer)
Farhad was born and raised in New Delhi, India. A photography class at school introduced him to the magical world of telling stories with images. In 2012, he moved to Los Angeles as a Cinematography fellow at the American Film Institute, and now lives and works in LA. He has served as Director of Photography on a number of short and feature films including ‘PRISM’, ‘RENE’, ‘THE WILD, THE CHILD, AND THE MIRACLE’ & ‘THE LAST MARBLE’, gathering critical acclaim at festivals across the globe. Farhad believes in the affirmative power of the narrative film form, and through his work, strives to connect the personal with the universal. Farhad Cinematography Showreel
Shayar Bhansali (Editor)
Shayar is an editor with experience in narrative fiction and documentary content. He graduated from the American Film Institute where his thesis film, AGAINST NIGHT, was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 2015, and followed this up with ZOYA, a short film which recently won 3rd place at the Student Emmy Awards (2016). He has worked as an assistant editor for feature films in Mumbai and Los Angeles, having started with the Yash Raj Films produced MUJHSE FRAAANDSHIP KAROGE and recently completing work on KICKS and WILD OATS. Outside of his work with film, he has extensive experience with specialized web content, having supervised post-production and editing for The Big Indian Picture’s “Tete-a-Tete”, a highly regarded interview series produced by Oijo! and broadcast on NDTV Prime. A dreamer and foodie, he is serious about his search for powerful story telling but also for the perfectly baked butter croissant. SHAYAR BHANSALI
Brian Haimes (Animatronics)
Director/Animator Brian Haimes tinkers, invents and plays in any world he can create, which are many. Through his mastery of stop motion, traditional animation, puppets, mechanisms and after effects, Brian is able to bring his creations to life. His past clients include Sam Adams, Tumi, Mary Kay, History Channel, BBDO, Disney and the Jim Henson Company. Brian and Mike met at the School of Visual Arts and since then have remained great friends and have worked on an assortment of projects together ranging from short films to commercials.BRIAN HAIMES http://www.lair.tv/brian
Nitant Karnik (VFX Consultant/Compositor)
Nitant is a compositor and an artist, having worked at Weta Digital, Digital Domain 3.0, Sony Pictures Imageworks. His credits include The BFG, Pixels, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Her. He currently is Lead Compositor at Blur Studios. Nitant Karnik: Show Reel
Daniel Clarkson (Red)
Daniel is a two time Olivier nominated writer and performer. As well as an 18 month residence in the CBBC office for the BBC as their in house presenter, hosting their flag ship Children’s channel live 5 days a week, Daniel is renowned across the globe for his “Potted” stage shows, which he both writes and performs. With four shows under his belt (“Potted Potter,” “Potted Pirates,” “Potted Panto” and the latest “Potted Sherlock”) he has had unrivaled success in reducing classic and popular tales into mad cap hilarity. His shows, which have found success from both audience and critics alike, have had sell out seasons in both London’s West End and Broadway, as well as several successful international tours across the globe, going everywhere from North America to Hong Kong, from Australia to Ireland, and most recently having his work translated into Spanish and opening in Mexico City. Dan has also had regular appearances on Blue Peter, BBC’s the Slammer, Big Brothers Little Brother, and Richard and Judy, writing and performing his unique brand of reduced comedy. “On stage Mr. Clarkson channels a caffeinated Robin Williams” The New York Times 2012.
Special thanks to Ryan McDougal and Armando Macias for their contributions to the Kickstarter video.
Risks and challenges
No matter what the budget is, making films is always a challenge and A CRIMSON MAN will be no exception. Whether it’s being on location with a child actor or fabricating a large robot puppet that the aforementioned actor will interact with, the project is ambitious. But, that image is something I have envisioned for years now and we cannot wait to bring it to reality.
With in depth planning, design, storyboarding and relying on the team’s experience and skills, I am confident we will overcome these challenges.
Your donations will go directly towards funding the production and post-production stages of the film. We’ll need to create costumes and props, a robot puppet with animatronic features, build and dress sets as well as adding scope to the world in post.
We hold ourselves to a very demanding visual standard and want this film to look its absolute best.