Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Timo Vuorensola's Untitled Production

The 6th of November director Timo Vuorensola posted a link to some concept art on his Twitter account (@LeonBlank).

(Original link: http://i.imgur.com/XnWU7.jpg)

I've followed Timo's career for a while now, and by that I mainly mean his sci-fi comedy of this year, Iron Sky. After years of devoted following I finally got to see a press screening of Iron Sky (thanks to a journalist friend) a few days before its Norwegian premiere. It was everything I ever wanted it to be, it was visually stunning, it was genuinely funny and it even served me a moral I'd normally hate in a way I loved. I went to watch Iron Sky again on its premiere. And the day after. Needless to say, I liked Iron Sky.

After years of waiting for Iron Sky, its release built a void within me. I could fill that void briefly with rewatches, but it didn't make the fact that I no longer had a Timo film to look forward to any less true. I knew Timo would make more films, but nothing was set in stone yet. The void was however filled rather quickly. It was announced that Timo would direct the cinematic adaptation of the Norwegian graphic novel "I Killed Adolf Hitler". Many were excited about this, knowing that his recent film about nazis on the Moon certainly would help in creating a splendid nazi environment for the time-travelling, Hitler-killing, comic book adaptation. We waited for more, but no real new information on the subject was released. Then, all of a sudden, Timo started asking for help on the crowdsourcing site that he helped launch with Iron Sky, Wreckamovie.

July 10th Timo shared a new Wrekcamovie project he had launched, with the very catchy title "Timo Vuorensola's Untitled Production". It was described as a full-length feature film that was in development, but nothing more substantial.

I'm working on a film that's aimed to become my first studio film in USA. I can't tell basically anything about the film at this state, because it's not clear yet if I get to do it, but it's a story based on a graphic novel I'm hoping to direct (this is not to be confused with my other production I Killed Adolf Hitler).
Right now I'm about to shoot a promo for this to take with me to the States and to present the production to the studios, and there's a bit of help I need with it. 

He announces that it's a film based upon a graphic novel, but quickly sets the record straight about it not being "I Killed Adolf Hitler", it's something new. He also claims it will be a Hollywood film, people grew a bit wary over the mention of it being a studio film, but most decided to trust Timo. We believed he knew what he was doing, and if anything, he could inspire Hollywood. Iron Sky had obviously been a success, Hollywood knew that. They'd be stupid to make him do things totally differently.

Unfortunately I can't go into detail as to what the first task Timo opened on Wreckamovie was as I can no longer access it, but it was basically to create a language for an alien race of people of a lizard-like nature. Two tasks followed that I can give more information on - and more importantly links! -, the first is entitled "VOICE ACTOR: Lizard language! (Male/Female)"
You can read more in-depth about it in the link above, but the pure basic is that they wanted someone to read the lines in the lizard language previously created as a voice over. The task was opened August 21st, and closed September 1st.

The second task is called "VOICE ACTOR: Big badass (Male) (Fluent American English!)". This one obviously mattered more as it has a much more specific description than the lizard voice. It was very important that they got a completely US American accent, raspy and just over all badass. Timo gives the examples "Bruce from Die Hard, Vin from Pitch Black and Clint from everything".
They ended up not choosing anyone from Wreckamovie, and went with one found through an LA based sound studio. Timo however promised to return to Wrekcamovie with voice requests later if so needed, as many submissions were very good. They just didn't suit what Timo wanted.

Back to present day, the 13th of November, the official twitter account for Energia Productions (Troll VFX) had an automatic tweet from YouTube. A very simple one.

Judging by the name of the video, "jerry signal FINAL v2". Someone at the offices of Energia/Troll had apparently let a video upload on YouTube forgetting to alter its title to something less "technical" (and privacy setting judging by what happened next). By reflex I opened the video in a new tab, put it to HD and left it to buffer while I finished some other business.
When I finally got around to watching it I was amazed at what I saw, even though the graphics in the intro haven't been changed, it was apparent that the show had changed name from The Iron Sky Signal - which it has been called for years as it was meant to follow the news surrounding Iron Sky - to simply The Signal. Secondly Timo straight out said it wasn't about Iron Sky this time around, but rather about another project. Jeremiah Harm.

The promo talked about in his Wreckamovie project, which now turned out to be Jeremiah Harm, premiered a few days ago at a conference according to a tweet I found on twitter searching for news. WCOS2.0 - World Conference of Screenwriters.
Timo was there to talk about the crowdfunding/crowdsourcing aspect of Iron Sky, the portal Wreckamovie and the changing role of film festivals. The tweet itself was very by-the-way and informal, as if everyone knew about it.

(Original Spanish tweet)
(Google Translated tweet)

The promo that had premiered at WCOS2.0 was attached to the end of the latest The Signal episode. It's badass, it's beautiful, it's fantastical. The visuals are of supreme quality thanks to Samuli Torssonen's Troll VFX. Even this promo, with no budget, no promise of ever getting made, looks more wonderful than most of the stuff coming out of Hollywood. I know, right now, that I'll spend my next few years on this planet waiting just for this film. More so than any new Star Wars trilogy.

But, unfortunately, none of you can watch the promo just yet. As I mentioned the episode's privacy setting must've been set wrong, because when I tried to link my friends to it, the video was gone. I had foolishly closed the tab, and cannot watch it either until you guys can. So I can't go too much into detail about the actual content of the promo, I will neither say anything about what appears to be new information given by Timo in the episode, I don't want to give out any information that they don't want out, all presented here are things that are on the Internet for all for see. You just have to piece it together.
(A quick google search for "Jeremiah Harm" will show you the comic books it will adapt and the general universe the character inhabits.)

Hopefully you will all see the promo within a few days, it's already uploaded to YouTube, they just need to unprivatise it for all to view its glory. When ever they decide to open it again, I'll be there to see it all again.

I will write more about this project as it goes on, but for more continuous updates like their Facebook page, or visit the film's website, and of course follow Timo himself on twitter and Energia.


Turns out the promo was online all along at Blind Spot Pictures' official YouTube channel. Blind Spot Pictures was one of the companies producing Iron Sky and is back with Tero for Jermeiah Harm as well.

As you can see this is a badass, sci-fi story about a human bounty hunter who finally gets to go back home.
I'm a fan of the fact that they're actually trying to make alien languages and not just have everyone speak English (or Finnish - looking at you Star Wreck)

None of this is actual footage that will actually be used in the finished film. It was all filmed this fall in Finland on a budget of zero. Considering all of that, the finished film has the potential to be one of the most visually stunning films of which ever year it's released.

Update 2:
While doing all of this the whole thing has more or less gone live. I found that Blind Spot Pictures actually released the promo *just* now, I was lucky to find it. The official web site is now live with a new design and the promo at its centre. The Facebook page linked above is now officially official, they have a new twitter profile for the film and you need to make sure to subscribe to Blind Spot Pictures' YouTube account for updates. Can't dismiss that The Signal will move to that channel now.
For those of you who do Reddit, it also has an official Reddit thread.

The webpage, and the end of the promo, says they need 1,000,000 aliens. I would think, and hope, this is a reference to that this film will yet again be crowdsourced and we will all have opportunities to follow the production closely over the next few years and contribute where we can.

Update 3:
On inspection of news sites that has got official interviews Jeremiah Harm will indeed be crowdsourced in the same fashion as Iron Sky was. And if the poorly Google translated article is correct, the 1,000,000 aliens reference is apparently a cry to actually make 1,000,000 aliens for the film. If true, that is mighty ambitious. Troll VFX has certainly made big universes before, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning is almost nothing but CGI sets, but having a million characters is something quite else. Perhaps this is where the crowdsourcing will come in the most, having a million people make one character each is certainly less time consuming than having one person make one million characters. Still, an awful lot of work to go through.

Inspected news sites:

Update 4:
The Signal episode is now up, as predicted on Blind Spot Pictures' channel here.
Timo himself has also updated the blog.starwreck.com blog with the official announcement from the guys themselves, you can read it here.

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