Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Update on the Steampunk Series Pilot and Film Nickel Children

I received some fascinating correspondence from the director, Kevin Eslinger, who apparently is very much a part of our community as are many of those helping him with the film. That explains why it has received such overwhelmingly positive praise from our Steampunk community. so many commercial pieces try to capitalize on whatever is popular to raise ratings without making any effort to understand the culture they portray or the mindset of those they are representing for good or ill. He seems to actually get it! What helps me to believe that is that this fiction is not just good story telling, but intended to make a positive impact on the real world in a truly significant way. See below:

Director Kevin Eslinger:  "As with much of steampunk and it's lavish style and settings (typically European), I have always wondered what other parts of the world were experiencing with this similar style and technology.
The important aspect of bringing in my personal interest in steampunk to the film, is to address it as a serious subculture, as well as blend in modern social issues around this aesthetic. In many aspects, the goggles are always seen as a staple to steampunk, as an accessory to many airship captains. However, in our world, within the dust bowl Kansas, its people experience these dust storms frequently giving the goggles a general purpose. While, our film leans a little more on western aspects, expect much more additional steampunk styles blended into our alternate history that we are developing.

The film touches on child exploitation and human trafficking which continues to be a problem today. By wrapping the issue into a sci-fi story, it brings the problem into a more thought provoking element, assembled within fictional narrative.

Below are some excerpts from our upcoming press release :
This short film is the pilot to an upcoming web series, in which we will follow Captain Anastasia as she journeys across the rugged frontier looking for a child that will be the key in ending the civil war in America as she seeks to regain her crew and her airship, The Zephyr.

The film was shot in five days on a shoe-string budget using the latest canon 5D MarkII cameras. Writer and director Kevin Eslinger assembled a professional, and passionate, cast and crew that were dedicated to putting together the ambitious project. Costumer designer, Aria Durso, assembled many of the pieces along with many fantastic hand-crafted items donated and/or lent to the production from the amazing help and support from several members of the Steampunk community. Keith Stacey composed the raw western score with haunting tonehammer accents to heighten the action throughout the film. Professional stunt choreographer Ian Quinn (24, Heroes, The Cleaner) brought believability to the action sequences. Justin Eslinger assembled the footage and developed the incredible Visual FX to create the painterly environments. An amazingly talented cast with newcomers Easton McCuiston as Jack, and Jeremy Snowden as The Sheriff. As well as acting veteran Amanda Bailey (Make-out with Violence, Inside Music Row), brought an intensity that we will see throughout the series.

Nickel Children has a web presence on over twenty web communities and at least nine different countries with nearly 1,000 fans on Facebook. The teaser trailer has over 12,000 hits on YouTube and has been in the top ten most popular movie trailers on Hulu on three separate occasions. It has been accepted into eight film festivals so far and has won BEST FILM at its first film screening in Nashville and BEST SCIENCE FICTION at the ValleyCon36/Fargo Fantastic Film Festival. Other film festivals include : Dragon*CON 2010 in Atlanta, Chicago Horror Film Festival, Tri-Cities International Fan Film Festival in Richland, WA, Renovation - 69th Science Fiction Convention in Reno, NV, and internationally with the Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival in Belfast, Ireland, and Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby UK.

Along with the series, we are also working on two unrelated steampunk projects to be announced at the first of the year!

Thanks Ramon!
We greatly appreciate it!
Keep up the good work!"

Talk to you soon
Take care
Kevin Eslinger
PH 812.798.7222 (Official Email)

As for actually reviewing the film, I pointed out to him that it is useless for me to review reviews of something I have not actually seen, so he arranged to permit a private screening of the full film, but apologized saying he cannot make it more publicly available until after it completes the full film festival circuit.  Otherwise many of the festivals would decline to show the film and that would definitely be a bad thing for all of us.  Be patient.  I'll watch it, write a quick initial response without actually posting it (I never post gut reactions right away for professional reasons) sleep on it to properly digest it, then post the finished review in a couple of days.  As they intend to make a series out of it, you don't need to worry about them eventually mass releasing the film in some form or other.  It will certainly happen, but we don't have a date or release format yet available.  

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