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My name is Colin Havey and I’m directing The Hunter’s Head. I've been living in Los Angeles for almost three years, and after working on various different projects in the film world, from a feature film, to DP on an award-winning documentary, to numerous shorts, web and music videos, I'm ready to take the next step: directing this incredibly compelling short film.
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HOW IT CAME ABOUT
I was sitting on the beach last summer reading a book, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, by Ben Loory, and one story really stuck in my mind. I read it again and realized that this was the story I was looking for — the tale I would bring to life on the big screen.
Working with Ben Loory's agent, I acquired the rights and started pre-production. I developed a script and got in touch with the accomplished and talented VFX artist Jess Marley, who created the beautiful storyboards that really bring the story to life. The next step was preparing a budget to properly realize the dark and mysterious world in The Hunter's Head. Nothing short of creating a film that will hold up visually and technically with the movies that we all love to watch in theaters is my goal.
Hunter’s Head takes place in a distant time in a far-away village deep in a forest. One day a hunter comes back carrying a severed human head. The villagers are afraid of the hunter and they don't dare to go near his hut...
...Except for one boy.
The boy slowly approaches the severed head on the stake. When he gets close the head opens it's eyes! It's a woman and she's confused. They sit and talk and laugh and become friends. As the hunter keeps bringing more severed heads, they all come alive and talk with the boy.
Eventually, the boy is soon faced with a decision that will change his life forever.
Although peculiar and macabre, the story is full of life. It's a world fit for a dream...or a nightmare. And it describes an archetypal, ancient world that still lives deep in our subconscious.
My favorite types of films are those that leave the viewer FEELING something after they watch. If we can accomplish that with Hunter's Head, it will be a success. Of course, passion alone will not make a movie—we need your help!
WHAT WE NEED AND WHAT YOU GET
A significant amount of preproduction work has already been done, including location scouting, script writing, tech research and storyboarding, which I have paid for out of pocket. Since the story involves severed human heads that actually talk, you can imagine a significant amount of special FX will be needed for the filming and post production. I pitched the idea to a leading visual effects company in Los Angeles and they quoted me $250,000! As much I would love to have such a budget, I think that with key people dedicated to making Hunter’s Head a reality, we can bring it in for a lot less. I’ve learned that indie filmmaking is all about problem solving and persuading great people to work for the passion of it. I think with $20,000, a dedicated cast and crew, and your fervent support, we can make this film happen.
For every contribution you'll recieve some really cool perks and prizes! Check out what you can get on the right side of the page.
I want this short film to look and feel like a feature you would see in a movie theater. In order to do that I need to pay for equipment, locations, actors, and crew. Some key people will be working for pizza and beer, so there’s that expense! Here are some of the things your investment will make possible:
- Equipment - I've made some fantastic contacts during my time in LA, many of whom have cameras, lenses, grip, and lighting equipment that I can use for cheap. I'm very ambitious about some of the shots I want, including some aerials and stabilized shots that will require renting things like a crane, a steadicam, and perhaps a mini helicopter.
- Location - I'll be shooting the film at various locations deep in the Redwood Forest in northern California. I want the film to have a dark forest aesthetic and the redwoods will be perfect. These locations require permits and insurance, which of course cost money.
- Cast and Crew - In order to find the perfect cast we'll need to audition and hire actors. We'll need a camera team, grips, gaffers, sound technicians, and a production crew to make things go as smoothly and professionally as possible on set.
- Production Design - This is a critical part of the film. I want to capture the place I went to in my imagination when reading the story so I will need to hire an experienced production designer to create this mystical village.
- Props and Costumes - Along with production design, to give this film the look and feel of a forgotten time, we'll need to have the right props and costume design.
- Makeup and Special FX - This will be hugely important, as I want to create prosthetic heads that look and feel as real as possible. We will hire a special FX sculptor to create "busts" based on my actors’ heads. The actors will be shot sitting on makeshift greenscreen chairs so that we can digitally alter the shots in post to make our actors appear as if they have no body and their heads are stuck on stakes.
- Transportation/Lodging – The redwoods are a 12 hour drive from LA so we’ll need to make sure we get all our crew and equipment from here to there. (We’ll be hiring locally as well.)
- Food Some of the crew may be working for free, but they will still need lunch/coffee/snacks while on set. It's the least I can do to thank them for their contributions and hard work.)
- Post-production and FX - One of the most important parts of the film will be making the severed heads appear real. This will require specialized FX post-production in the editing process with a specialized graphics artist experienced with greenscreen.
- Music licensing and composition - We’ll need to pay both for original composition and/or licensing fees to use other artists’ music.
- Film Festival Submission Fees - If there is anything left over from our budget, I will use it to help pay fees for submissions to film festivals around the world. If Hunter’s Head is as good as I know it can be, then festival funding will be forthcoming.
If you like Game of Thrones, you're going to love this film. Hunter’s Head is the culmination of my last six years of professional training and learning how to make movies. I plan to do this for the rest of my life. This is the beginning of that journey and the only way I can think to do it is with the help of my friends, family, colleagues, and anyone who likes the idea! This is your opportunity to become a film producer!
Hopefully this film will play at film festivals around the country and the world and open up new opportunities to continue making new films and working with great new talent. And I'll never forget the people who got me started.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Even if you can't afford much, $10 or $20 is an amazing way to help. No matter what, please help me by forwarding this to your friends and family. You might think your parents or siblings (or rich uncle) won't be interested but maybe they're bored and want to make movies! Send this to em! Who knows, maybe you'll start an illustrious career for someone as a film producer!
If you’re in the northern Calif. area this summer (or want to make a road trip), then consider working with us on the film. We will need PAs, craft services, drivers and others to keep the production moving. Contact me if you are in a position to help!