Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have proven to be a huge boon for modestly budgeted projects with big ambitions. Aside from simply affording creative sorts a new model with which to put their stuff before the public, it’s also created an intriguing middle ground where fans and traditional media creators can collaborate to make cool things — hence a Veronica Mars movie arriving later this year, some seven years after the show was canceled. The Ghost Source Zero Kickstarter probably isn’t going to rake in millions, but it is a cool story of a genre vet teaming up with one of his die-hard fans to make something new.
Ghost Source Zero is an original science fiction/cyberpunk/action flick from Larry Hama — best known as the writer/artist for Marvel’s G.I. Joe comics during the ’80s — and Hama fan turned film director Mark Cheng. Hama saw one of Cheng’s previous projects, the G.I. Joe fan film Operation: Red Retrieval, and the two soon decided to collaborate on something new. That project became Ghost Source Zero, originally envisioned as a full-length feature film, but which has since been reconceived into a 12-episode series, each installment clocking in at 5-10 minutes long, which can then be viewed together as a traditional movie. Here’s the synopsis for the series:
The Artificial Intelligence Revolution is happening, and America is watching it on their Living Wall flat screens and Genius Phones. Homeland Security’s Cyber Crime Division is the only thing trying to stop the ‘bots and ‘borgs from taking over. The unit is so underfunded they have to allow a reality show crew to film them just to meet payroll. And what the cameras capture will stun the world.
If you’re interested in supporting Ghost Source Zero, the bad news is that you’ve only got three days left to back it. The good news is that it’s already reached its $65,000 goal, so any further pledges are just icing at this point. And, of course, your pledge will still make you eligible for all the usual crowdfunding goodies. As is typical, the lower tiers will get you copies of the film itself in varying formats — digital download for ten bucks, HD download and extras for $20 or more, Blu-ray for $40 or more, and so on.
Things get more fun beginning at the $65 level, which will net you a limited-run poster designed by Hama. $175 will put your mug in the film as a possible suspect from a “criminal database” (hi, mom!). $300 or more will get you tickets to the premiere and after party, and 500 bones will net you lunch with Hama and Cheng. And hey, if you’ve got five grand lying around, you’ll get a producer credit and a mound of other fun stuff.
You can find more details and pledge on the Kickstarter page, and you can watch the first episode of Ghost Source Zero below.