Category: Crowdsourced Projects

Bring a funny, dark “Gentle Werewolf” to life

A. Quinton — Nov. 4th 2015

Here’s a web series pilot that I’d really like to see make its Kickstarter goal for a few reasons, not the least of which is that the main character seems to be… me.

Gentle Werewolf is a comedy series about life in your late 20s and early 30s when you are feeling lost and uncertain about what your future holds. You reassess your career goals, your life goals, your personal grooming goals and you pretty much obsess over every thought that runs through your head, forgetting to allow your brain time to breathe. Now, throw in becoming a werewolf, and things get really, really messy. Welcome to Tom’s life, and that of his nearest and dearest friends who struggle with the idea that he may actually be a werewolf.

Okay, so I’m in my mid-30’s and I may not actually be a werewolf, but the rest of that stuff? I guarantee I’ll stop writing this post at least twice* to worry about one of those things.

It’s refreshing to hear about a werewolf film/video project that’s leaning on comic and character beats. I particularly like director Ally Zonsius‘s vision:

Gentle Werewolf is a dry buddy comedy with a touch of romance, drama, and werewolf transformation. I was flying to Seattle when I first read the script myself, and I laughed aloud, which doesn’t happen often. My overall approach for Gentle Werewolf is to celebrate the humor and find unique ways to keep it relatable, with characters just like people you may know. In our present, everyday world, Tom’s transformation to become a werewolf fits awkwardly, and I want that to show. Sam Esmail’s film Comet and TV show Mr Robot serve as visual inspiration – both have wonderfully uncomfortable ways to compose a frame to suit the discomfort happening on screen. Tonally, Silicon Valley and Catastrophe set a good par for Gentle Werewolf and they, along with The Last Man on Earth, match the style of humor I am going for – part real, part ridiculous and a little dark too. We have a fantastic cast on board that will bring this group of friends to life with a camaraderie, and well-written, witty dialogue. Gentle Werewolf was written to become a guilty pleasure for all. We appreciate your support.

I enjoy (or have in my must-watch queue) every show mentioned, and as demonstrated in the pitch video, they’re not just called out for the sake of positive association. Catastrophe tone and Mr. Robot shot framing? That alone gets my pledge, werewolf angle or not!

This project has been carefully considered for at least a year or two, and given the concept and the impressive experience of everyone involved in the campaign, this looks like it would be a fantastic series. I’d like them to make their goal (at least!) and be able to make Gentle Werewolf the way it ought to be made. Check it out on Twitter and Facebook, and do consider chipping in a few bucks.

*it was three times

Deluxe Werewolf 20th Shattered Dreams

A. Quinton — Oct. 28th 2015

Here’s an already-successful Kickstarter campaign for Shattered Dreams, a lavishly-illustrated book for players of Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition looking to bolster their storytelling with canonically accurate history.

W20 Shattered Dreams presents an in-depth look at the pre-history of the Werewolves and the Changing Breeds, both the threats that drove them to war and the War of Rage itself. The book showcases many time periods and many ways in which the War could start, so that players and Storytellers can make prehistory their own.

Writes Amanda “Hyena” Johnson, who submitted this item:

It’s about the various Wars of Rage, so a lot of fighting between the werewolves and the other various shapeshifters (From the Ice Age upwards to the modern era). The art by Ron Specer and Brain LeBlanc is great too and pretty violent.

Also, they are running a campaign where you can post various things to unlock achievements. From posting images of your werewolf tattoos, W20 fanart, or selfies with wolves, mass etc. in the Kickstarter comments.

I’m there to post playlists everyday.

Those playlists are great! Hint: search the comments for “Hyena”. If you’re looking to expand your W:TA library, this looks like a wonderful addition.

Terrify your neighbours & restrain your dog with werewolf “MuzzleMasks”

A. Quinton — Oct. 27th 2015

This Indiegogo campaign launched yesterday, with a target of $45,000 USD and a goal of making your mild-mannered (but rowdy enough that he or she needs a muzzle) dog look like an unhinged lycanthropic killing machine.

The original werewolf MuzzleMasks are designed and hand-made in Moscow, Russia. They are crafted from the finest materials and designed for the maximum comfort of your pet. These MuzzleMasks come in 5 sizes, designed to fit any dog from a Poodle to a Great Dane. MuzzleMasks provide plenty of room for your pet to open their jaw and are created for your dog to make the ultimate bad boy or vicious girl statement!

The makers of the MuzzleMask are raising funds to mass produce these and distribute them in the United States. You can get one of these masks for a pledge of $35 USD. My dachshund turns into a literal trash disposal if left unsupervised, so he could probably use a muzzle, but this one is likely to get me a letter from our strata, sternly-worded and containing the phrase “traumatized children at the playground”.


A. Quinton — Oct. 14th 2015

Back in August, me and some pals put out a little magazine called WEREWOLVES VERSUS: THE 1990s, and it was so fun that we’re doing it again! Issue two, WEREWOLVES VERSUS: ROMANCE comes out in early 2016, and this time I’m opening submissions to anyone who has a good idea.

“But”, I hear you asking, “what kind of ideas are appropriate for a magazine that’s basically just a digest of werewolf mashups?” That’s a very good question, and here is your answer:

…take the idea of a werewolf, and the idea of romance, and whatever (PG-13) messed up thing comes out of combining the two is what we wanna see.

I’m not looking for a bunch of conventional romance stories (or comics, or poems) where one or both partners are lycanthropes. I want to see first dates ruined by overzealous monster hunters on patrol, pickup artists ground into hamburger for trying to neg the wrong person, and polyamorous triads trying to work out pack dynamics.

Got an idea? Good: here’s how to pitch it, and what you’ll get if your idea is accepted:

If you would like to contribute, put your idea for a contribution into this pitch form before October 24th.

WV02 will be accepting 15 contributors, each of whom will receive a percentage of all sales of this issue, plus a physical copy. For full details on contributor terms, payments and licensing/rights, go here.

Like issue 1, WEREWOLVES VERSUS: ROMANCE will be a pay-what-you-want download from Gumroad, with the possibility of a limited physical print run. Come be a part of it!

Side effects may also include murder fugues

A. Quinton — Sep. 14th 2015

Want to start the week with a “hell yes, people are making cool stuff” boost of energy? Check out the latest promo video for Hair of the Dog, the crowdfunding-in-progress werewolf/addiction feature film by Michael Butts, Scott Crain and Will Cassidy. It’s called “Side Effects”, and was “inspired by all the cheesy medical commercials that list all those crazy side effects.”

Every time I see a promo piece from this crew, I’m impressed by the production quality and the tone of the humour they’re extracting from the material. For a deeper look at the concept, read this interview Michael and I did back in June.

They’re looking to raise another $7,300 so they can get this thing shot, so if you have a few bucks laying around, consider chipping in instead of buying that tenth pumpkin spice latte of the month (typed while drinking my second of the month).

Other were-creatures get their due in upcoming “Were-” anthology

A. Quinton — Aug. 27th 2015

Were- is one half of an already-funded Kickstarter campaign by Joshua Palmatier’s anthology press Zombies Need Brains. The other half, Alien Artifacts, has a clear subject, but as its weird punctuation implies, Were- has a catch. It’s a were-creature anthology with only one rule: no werewolves allowed.

We’ve all read hundreds of stories about werewolves . . . but what about the less famous of the were-clans—the werelions, wereducks, and wereferns? These underrepresented families need to come out of the dark, full moon or not! From light and humorous to dark and serious, this anthology will explore other varieties of were-creatures and tell their stories. No werewolves allowed! Edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, it will contain approximately 14 stories with an average length of 6000 words each. The anthology will include short stories by: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Phyllis Ames, Patricia Bray, David B. Coe, Faith Hunter, Gini Koch, Seanan McGuire, and Jean Marie Ward. All other slots aside from the named authors will be filled by the open call for submissions following the successful completion of the Kickstarter.

There are two reasons that I’m sharing a link to an explicitly werewolf-free anthology on my werewolf-centric site. First, my initial research shows that Joshua Palmatier knows what he’s doing. ZNB has already published two successful titles, and with his $10,000 goal exceeded and two weeks left to go, Were- and Alien Artifacts seem like sure things. Also, he’s the kind of Kickstarter person who backs more projects than he starts, which to me is the mark of a community-minded person who just wants to see cool shit get made.

Second: werewolves are great, but it’s possible to over-use them.

Before you take up your pitchforks and torches, ask yourself, how many stories, movies or comics have you seen where the werewolf antagonist could be substituted with any other monster without significantly altering the narrative? I can immediately think of three as I sit here on the train, and they’re all works I really enjoyed.

Despite my obvious bias, I don’t think a storyteller should necessarily pull the werewolf lever unless the plot could benefit from a uniquely (and not always traditional) lycanthropic aspect – a full moon, lupine features, an allergy to silver, veterinarians and buttoned-up shirts. As a stand-in for “generic monster”, the werewolf is just as capable as any other beast, but it’s nice to see other human-animal hybrids get some exposure. Bring on the were-rats!

Support Mai-Coh, “An Art-House Horror Feature Film”

A. Quinton — Aug. 20th 2015

Filmmaker Kei Pervaiz has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her upcoming art house/horror film Mai-Coh, about an “ancient Navajo curse” brought to life and a young woman who “craves blood and revenge”.

…this story is about a female descendent of a Navajo tribe who becomes unfortunate enough to come in to possession of a cursed Wolf Skin. Bonding with the Wolf Skin and conflicted between the evil it brings, we follow our main character’s journey to redeem her human spirit and hopefully, break the curse OR embrace it.

Pervaiz’s company, Bad Wolf Films, is “inspired by B-Movies, World Cinema, Surrealism and a fascination with dream psychology. Bad Wolf Films often include themes of “Nightmarish Visions, Death Rituals, Mirrors and The Self,”  some of which are evident in the teaser for Pervaiz’s previous film, Maya.

The campaign is looking to raise £5,000 in the next 20 days, and is offering the usual buffet of backer rewards. I really like the promotional art by Shannon Legler, and I’d definitely be into postcards or posters.

Vikings take a werewolf captive in “Blood Red Moon”

A. Quinton — Aug. 11th 2015

Blood Red Moon is a comic series written by Victor Wright and illustrated/coloured by Carlos Villas. The first issue – in which vikings try to turn a captive werewolf into a werewolf factory – is the subject of an already-successful Kickstarter campaign to cover printing costs.

Blood Red Moon is about a clan of Viking warriors who capture a werewolf and use him to turn their own people into savage beasts ready for all out war. Forcibly wed into the clan the monster has no alternative other than to obey and he does so – at first reluctantly, but soon he succumbs to the way of the beast realising he can benefit from the ordeal.

The campaign has already exceeded its£1,250 funding goal, but there’s still time before it ends on Thursday to contribute and get a copy, plus art postcards, an alternate cover, a t-shirt and more. Check it out!

Blood Red Moon page 7

“House of Monsters”, starring Christopher Lloyd, premieres July 28th

A. Quinton — Jul. 13th 2015

Last year, Dawn Brown raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter to produce the first two episodes of a web series based on the House of Monsters stop motion shorts she wrote and directed. The series July 28th on Vimeo, and it look fantastic.

Christopher LloydIn addition to elevated production quality – I mean seriously, check out these incredible puppets – these two episodes feature Christopher Lloyd as the voice of Dr. Gaulstone, “the patriarch of a dysfunctional monster family which includes werewolves, mummies, zombies, and vampires”. As if I needed another reason to watch these.

Both episodes will be available to rent for a combined CAD $2.49, or you can purchase them for CAD $5.00. That’s super cheap, you guys. Like, surprisingly cheap. I believe future episodes are planned, contingent upon the success of these two episodes, and the generation of some more funding. Frankly, I think the trailer alone should be enough to secure them another eight episodes.

For more updates and lots of behind the scenes photos, follow House of Monsters on Facebook and Twitter.

House of Monsters

Q&A with “Hair of the Dog” filmmaker Michael Butts

A. Quinton — Jun. 26th 2015

In May I posted about Michael Butts’ fundraising efforts for his short film “I’m a Werewolf, but that’s OK!”. Today I’m happy to share with you a short Q&A with Michael, as well as some news about the film’s length (it’s getting longer) and title (it’s changing).

The questions and answers were done via email, and when he sent his answers back, Michael mentioned that the film’s title is now the simpler, punchier, alcoholism-alluding “Hair of the Dog”. He also plans to shoot the film as a feature, rather than a short, which is a good move for something so character-driven. “With everything that I want to put into the story,” he says, “I think it will be more beneficial not to rush and instead fully develop the characters.”

Planning and shooting a feature is a hell of a lot more work than shooting a short, but Michael hasn’t increased his $10,000 fundraising goal. As you’ll read below, this is a project driven by enthusiasm and a need to tell the story. I have a feeling any sacrifices necessary to turn “Hair of the Dog” into a feature will come at the expense of Michael’s time and energy, rather than the budget. That’s the kind of dedication I was talking about earlier this week with League of STEAM, and it makes me glad to see!

AQ: What’s a filmmaking achievement from your own career that you’re especially proud of?

MB: I’ve only been a filmmaker for a short time, but I’d have to say that producing and directing a music video for a local band ‘Sleep Nation’ would have to be the achievement I’m most proud of thus far. Overall, it was a blast to make and the band was beyond satisfied with the finished product. It’s always a good feeling when the client is pleased with your work and even more so when they’re eager to work with you again.

The great teaser trailers you’ve shared reveal a man dealing with the consequences of his, shall we say, unruly behaviour. At the risk of inviting spoilers, will the film spend any time showing this bad behaviour as it happens? (This is my long-winded way of asking “will we get to see the werewolf?”)

Absolutely! What’s a werewolf film without a werewolf, right?

What’s the one thing you’re most excited about in the production of this short film, other than completing it and getting it out in front of an audience?

The experience alone is exciting enough for me. Working with fun, professional people who enjoying doing what I love is what excites me most about this project or any project I’m apart of. Of course, making a film about a werewolf doesn’t hurt any.

Given the teaser trailers and the synopsis on the GoFundMe page, it’s tempting to make some assumptions about possible themes in the film – rebuilding bridges, making amends, and seeking acceptance and redemption, all while still harbouring the monster that made all that penance necessary. The werewolf is a great representation of those concepts, but did you choose to make a short film about a werewolf for additional (or completely different) reasons?

I wanted to make a film about a werewolf for a while now. I’m a huge fan of the classic monster, but I wanted to do something different, something original, something we haven’t really seen before. Make him relatable.  Also, I wanted addiction to play an integral part with telling this story. I thought what better way than to use the werewolf as the prime symbol of addiction and what it can do to the person and to their friends and family. One way or another, addiction affects us all. Not all addictions are as severe as others, but we all have them, whether it’s an addiction to shopping, drugs, alcohol, or even murder (I’m talking about you, Dexter Morgan).

GoFundMe supporters will get a digital copy, but what other plans do you have for getting the completed film in front of audiences?

My plan is to submit the film in to every possible film festival that I can.  Also hope to upload to VOD, Hulu, and Amazon, etc. I want everyone to be able to have an opportunity to watch my film, especially the ones who have a love for werewolves.

Facebook says you’re a fan of my arch-rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, who recently won the Stanley Cup. What if a mysterious stranger offered you a deal that would guarantee your film gets funded in exchange for Chicago having lost the Cup to Tampa Bay?

Oh man, now that’s a tough decision. Why would you ask that? I suppose in this situation, I’d probably take the deal if only for the simple reason that there will always be other hockey games next season, but only one opportunity for me to make this first film!

As a Vancouver Canucks fan, I’m used to consoling myself with the knowledge that there will be other hockey games next season. Thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer my questions!

If you couldn’t already tell, I have a good feeling about Hair of the Dog. Shooting starts in October, and I want Michael to have the budget he needs. Please do have a look at the newly edited promo at the top of this post (or here), and check out the GoFundMe campaign for news and more details.