Crowdfunding Friday: Megafoot, Ishtar and airships

Feature Ryan Lambie
28 Mar 2014 - 06:12

It's another selection of crowdfunding goodness, this week including a cybernetic sasquatch and a documentary about Ishtar...

Having devoted the last edition of Crowdfunding Friday to a revival of a classic game from the 80s (that would be Chaos), we're back to our usual format this week.

We've chosen four worthy projects from the ocean of campaigns on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, which this week includes a documentary about the once infamous 80s comedy, Ishtar, a top-down 2D action RPG, and a potentially brilliant comic book about a war between giant airships.

First, though, here's a brief look at a promising horror project about a cybernetic sasquatch...

Project: Megafoot

What could possibly be more powerful and terrifying than a Bigfoot, sasquatch or yeti? Why, a cybernetically  enhanced Bigfoot, that's what. This is the concept behind Justin Martell's Project: Megafoot, which sees the US military create an ill-advised hairy Terminator.

It's a quintessentially 80s, B-movie idea, and that's why we like it so much. Project: Megafoot could make the perfect companion piece to 1995's Project: Metalbeast, which starred Kane Hodder as a gigantic werewolf given bullet-proof skin by the military. Naturally enough, the creature went on a bloody rampage, and we're expecting something similar to happen in Project: Megafoot.

Martell and his team are looking for $35,000 to create a 10-minute short, showcasing the practical effects they'll be using to bring Megafoot to life. This, in turn, will be used to get investors interested in backing a feature film.

Waiting For Ishtar

"If all the people who hate Ishtar had seen it," writer and director Elaine May said of her critically-panned 1987 film, "I would be a rich woman today".

May's comedy, about a pair of hapless lounge singers who travel to Morocco and end up in the midst of a guerrilla war, it was one of those films that became infamous in the Hollywood press for its cost overruns. Ultimately costing around $55m to make, reviews commonly centred around its expense rather than its merits as a movie - not unlike 2011's John Carter or last year's The Lone Ranger, perhaps.

Attitudes have changed towards Ishtar in the years since, however, which is where filmmakers John Mitchell and Jonathan Crombie come in. Their project, Waiting For Ishtar, looks at the growing cult following behind this once commonly mocked movie, and will feature interviews with critics and fans, as well as some of the cast and crew - these include Charles Grodin and Carole Kane, and eminent songwriter Paul Williams.

Mitchell and Crombie already have the interviews in the can, so the modest $16,500 they're looking for will cover post-production costs such as editing, music and colour correction. As the duo state themselves on their IndieGoGo page, Waiting For Ishtar could be an entertaining exploration not only of a box office flop and its subsequent cult status, but also about mainstream filmmaking and how negative pre-release publicity can damage a movie before anyone's even seen it.

Dragon Fin Soup

It's worth watching the pitch video above just for the glimpses of dozens of classic videogames, still in their original boxes - it's retro game heaven. Appropriately, Dragon Fin Soup is itself shot through with a 90s air - its developers, the Grimm Bros, describe it as a SNES-style RPG, with an overhead viewpoint and fast-paced gameplay. The graphics, however, are properly modern, with smooth animation and lots of colour.

With elements of strategy and dungeon crawler elements. The amount of work the developers have already put into the game has already paid off - with the game already at an impressive level of completion, Dragon Fin Soup's already passed its $24,000 goal with two weeks to go. It's not hard to see why, either; there are some great monster designs in there, and the central character - a boozy Red Riding Hood with a penchant for extreme fantasy violence - looks like a fun one.

Skies Of Fire

In just a few weeks, Hayao Miyazaki's final film, The Wind Rises, appears in UK cinemas. It's the culmination of a truly great artist and animator's career, which has long featured a love of flight at its core. There's a hint of Miyazaki's intricate style and love of air machines in Skies Of Fire, a magnificent-looking comic book about a war between nations and their huge diesel-powered airships.

The artists behind Skies Of Fire already have a rich steampunk world all mapped out, and the artwork on their Kickstarter page shows you just how stunning the finished pages will look. Full of intricate design, colour and movement, they really are something to behold. A pledge of $15 will net you a printed copy of Skies Of Fire issue one, which, if the series really takes off in the future, could prove to be a worthy investment.

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