A girl investigates strange sounds & encounters an unusual creature! A short modern fantasy with Stop Motion Effects! Seeking completion funds. #echoShortFilm

ECHO - A Short Film

Photo - sparks flying, as Paul cuts hole In wall during studio construction

ECHO is a short, live-action, contemporary fantasy film, about a young girl, who hears strange noises when playing in the garden. She decides to investigate & what she discovers is an unusual creature with unknown intentions. The film introduces a hugely talented young actress, and the creature will be created with state-of-the-art stop-motion animation!

I'm Producing ECHO to mark the start of what's certain to be an exciting and thrilling journey in Filmmaking & Visual Effects here at vortex42studios; my new Film & Effects Facilities in Denmark. The film is ready for Post-Production, and this campaign is to secure Completion Funds to get the film ready for Festival Submissions.

ECHO - We need a £2000 Completion Fund!


ECHO is being Produced and Directed by myself, Paul J. McConnochie. I am a Scottiish filmmaker, based in Denmark, where for the past four months, I have been building Film and Visual Effects Studios on a converted farm...

  • In September 2003, I started my production company, Vortex42.
  • My goal has always been to eventually build dedicated Film & Effects Studios.
  • Building on my skills & resources, for close to a decade, that goal is becoming reality.
  • On 2nd January, 2013, I began converting a farm in Denmark, into vortex42studios.
  • These studios contain all facilities required to create great films for many years to come.
  • As the Studios near completion, I decided to create ECHO to mark the occasion.


On the morning of 31st March, 2013 (easter sunday), I awoke with a little burst of inspiration. Throughout that single day, I wrote, developed, shot and edited ECHO to a rough cut... That was a very busy day - And a very fulfilling one - Very much thanks to the smalll, dedicated cast and crew who helped me.

  • ECHO is now at a locked cut, ready for Scoring, Foley and Creature Effects.
  • However, funds for its completion had to be pushed into the final stages of the Studio build.
  • So, I don't have the funds available, to let me focus entirely on completing ECHO.
  • I'd aimed to submit ECHO to the Deep Fried Film Festival, Scotland (Deadline : May 24th).
  • So, to help make the Festival deadline, I've decided to ask you for Contributions.
  • We need your help to raise a Completion Fund of £2000 as quickly as possible!
  • This will pay for Materials, Foley, Creature Effects & a Score by Composer, Brett McCoy!

ECHO - What We Need

This film means a great deal to myself, and the small cast/crew who made it possible. We want to be certain it gets exactly the treatment it deserves in Post-Production. Everything from the Sound & Score to the Creature Effects, have to be just right. On a personal note, I especially want to ensure the stop motion creature effects, are second to none. I want this film to show a credible practical alternative to the usual "CG" approach seen in fantasy films today.

The funds I had set aside to achieve this, for the film, have had to be spent on the final stages of building vortex42studios. So, I must come to you to seek contributions towards a Completion Fund. The upper level we require is around £2000. However, this is a flexible campaign, and whatever amount we can achieve in the relatively short campaign period of twelve days, will be of enormous benefit to the Production. As well as contributing yourself, it is our hope that you will encourage your friends and family to do the same.

ECHO - We need a £2000 Completion Fund!


This is a very short term campaign. We are only running it for 12 Days. This is mainly because we would like to complete the film, if at all possible, in time for an upcoming Festival deadline on 24th May. To this end, we would ask if you could do everything you can to help the project, including shouting about it from the rooftops. The completion fund itself, will facilitate the following...

  • Creature : Time to focus on animating & compositing ECHO's Creature, without distractions.
  • Score : To pay Brett McCoy for the wonderful Musical Score he has agreed to create.
  • Materials : Many items, inc. Clay, Alginate, Armatures, Foam Latex Kits, Paints and more.
  • Foley : Some sound studio gear for quality foley recording, inc. Effects & EQ Units.
  • Festivals : I require Submission Funds for various festivals.
  • Perks : Some of the perks available to contributors have material and postage costs.

ECHO - What You Get

If you lend us your support, by contributing to ECHO's Completion Fund, then you have access to some really great Perks... First and foremost of these, is The Warm Fuzzies!

The Warm Fuzzies is that internal glow of positivity you feel when you help someone in a meaningful way. Every contribution level for the ECHO campaign, will release a dose of Warm Fuzzies Experience Points, fuelled by our gratitude for your support! And, the great thing about The Warm Fuzzies (and all of our perks), is that they STACK...

For example : If you opt to contribute at the £50 tier, you will accumulate of all The Warm Fuzzies from the £5, £12, £25 & £50 tiers ALL AT ONCE! The higher your contribution, the more warm and fuzzy you will feel, knowing you have done something helpful for someone else, in a truly meaningful way!

And, of course, as well as accumulating warm and fuzzy feelings, you will also accumulate PERKS! All the perks on this campaign are accumulative; They STACK! So, the higher your contribution, the more great stuff you unlock!

All perks are available internationally! All downloadables are Digital-Rights-Management-Free (DRM-FREE), so you have freedom to make backup copies. Where appropriate, Postage and Packaging costs are included in the contribution. And, the physical perks will each be provided with a signed letter confirming authenticity.


I've tried to make the perks as easy to understand as possible. If you do have any queries about them, please do not hesitate to ask in the Comments section. Now, let's take a look...


As well as feeling warm and fuzzy inside, everyone who contributes £5 or more, will be sent a real-life, totally unique, warmFuzzy finger-puppet, hand-crafted for vortex42studios by Ceri "Woolly Monster" Watling! So, get your contributions in!



<p><strong>£5 : FEEL THE WARM FUZZIES!</strong></p><p>Every Contributor Gets a Dose of The Warm Fuzzies! The warm fuzzies is that feeling you get when you've done something truly good. That internal feeling of positivity and energy where you know you've made a real impact and done something that will contribute to a better society!</p><p>Each perk tier releases a dose of warm fuzzies, and the great thing about warm fuzzies, is that they STACK! The higher the tier you contribute for, the more and more warm fuzzies you will feel!</p><p>+10 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£12 : UNLOCK FILM - <em>BRONZE EDITION!</em></strong></p><p>The Previous Reward Tier PLUS...</p><p>At this perk tier, you get an exclusive 1080P HD DRM-FREE Download of ECHO, the finished film.</p><p>+10 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£25 : UNLOCK FILM - <em>SILVER EDITION!</em></strong></p><p>The Previous Reward Tier PLUS...</p><p>At this perk tier, you get an exclusive 1080P HD DRM-FREE Download of ECHO, the finished film.</p><p>+10 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£50 : UNLOCK FILM - <em>GOLD EDITION!</em></strong></p><p>All Previous Reward Tiers PLUS...</p><p>You get a 1080P HD DRM-FREE Download of ALL of the video Production Diaries. You can watch them on the go, on your TV or home Cinema.</p><p>You get a 1080P HD DRM-FREE Download of a PERSONALISED THANKYOU VIDEO from Paul J. McConnochie (that's me), the film's Producer/Director/Animator. This video will contain exclusive behind the scenes content that Contributors to previous Tiers will not have access to! Priveleged Information about the Production Process.</p><p>+10 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£100 : BE AN ASSISTANT PRODUCER!</strong></p><p>All Previous Reward Tiers PLUS...</p><p>Assistant Producer Credit!</p><p>A Framed Limited-Edition, Numbered, Signed & Optionally Personalised Art Print of the Creature from ECHO! Comes with signed letter confirming authenticity!</p><p>+100 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£200 : BE AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER!</strong></p><p>All Previous Reward Tiers PLUS...</p>
<p>Upgrade from Assistant Producer Credit to Associate Producer Credit!</p>
<p>An Exclusive, Numbered, Unique & Highly Detailed 15cm Sculpture of the Creature from ECHO! Only a small number will be created, and each will have an entirely individual pose, making yours totally unique! Comes with signed letter confirming authenticity!</p>
<p>+200 warmFuzzies XP!</p>
<p><strong>£400 : BE OUR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER!</strong></p><p>All Previous Reward Tiers PLUS...</p>
<p>Upgrade from Assistant Producer Credit to Associate Producer Credit!</p>
<p>An Exclusive, Numbered, Unique & Highly Detailed 15cm Sculpture of the Creature from <strong>ECHO</strong>! Only a small number will be created, and each will have an entirely individual pose, making yours totally unique! Comes with signed letter confirming authenticity!</p>
<p>+400 warmFuzzies XP!</p>

ECHO - The Impact

The Post Production Crew for ECHO is currently myself (Paul J. McConnochie - creating the Creature Effects, and Compositing them into the live action film), and Brett McCoy, who will be composing the Score. If the campaign makes enough money, I will be able to bring in one or two other people, such as a Foley expert. If the campaign does not make enough money for that, it's no problem, as between Brett and myself, there is plenty of sound engineering experience, and we can put together a really good 5.1 Surround Foley track ourselves.

Brett and I have known each other for several years, and worked together on another project. We share a love of Monster Movies, Science Fiction, Ray Harryhausen Films, Music, and more.

Here is a little bio about each of us...

ECHO - Photo of PaulECHO - Photo of PaulECHO - Photo of Paul

Paul J. McConnochie

Proprietor : Vortex42Studios

Role : Producer / Director / Animator

Credits : The Loft (2006) / A Darkening Sky (2007)

Paul was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His Father was a professional portrait Photographer, and his Mother was a Photography Enthusiast. The first film he was involved in making was at age 10, when his School class created an animation based on the Indian Myth of Ramayana. He never looked back. Having studied Music Technology, Animation & Computing between 1996-2002, Paul started his own media production company called "Vortex42" in September 2003.

Since then, he has worked on a wide range of projects including websites, corporate promos, computer games and providing special effects for short films and recently a hollywood feature film called Sinbad : The Fifth Voyage. In the past six years, Paul has produced several short films, including The Loft (2006), and A Darkening Sky (2007). He has a couple of other films nearing completion, but they have been placed on hold while he was tackling a major undertaking...

His unerring goal has been to build his own film and effects studios, so that he would have the resources to put larger scale projects into action. Paul has been working tirelessly since he started Vortex42, to reach that milestone. Seizing an opportunity, two years ago, Paul and his Wife, moved from Scotland to Denmark, and set about finding a suitable property in which to base the studios. A year ago, they bought a small farm, and for the past four months construction of the Studios has taken place. In a couple of weeks, the studios will be entirely complete and ready to use just in time to let ECHO be the first film made at vortex42studios... A new chapter is beginning!

The short film ECHO, is being created to mark that occasion.

ECHO - Photo of BrettECHO - Photo of BrettECHO - Photo of Brett

Brett W. McCoy

Proprietor : Electric Minstrel Media

Role : Composer

Credits : Judder (2008) / Helping Hands (2011)

Brett W. McCoy is a composer and guitarist living and working in the suburbs of Washington, DC. He has been studying music since 1981, and spent several years in formal guitar lessons, with a focus on jazz and classical styles. Subsequent to that, Brett studied many different musical styles, including Medieval & Renaissance, Middle Eastern, jazz, blues, folk, progressive rock, heavy metal and orchestral/symphonic styles. He received a Master Certification in Orchestration for Film and TV from Berklee Music in 2011, studying, among others, under film composer Ben Newhouse, Emmy award winning pianist Brad Hatfield and jazz saxophonist Dan Moretti.

Brett is a co-founder of the DC Society of Art Rock, and Secretary of the Composers' Society of Montgomery County. He is also an ASCAP member. In 2006, he played lead guitar in Revel Moon, on their eponymous album. And, in 2009, released "Death Waits Dreaming" with Alhazred.

He has a wide range of experience and skills covering everything from Composition & Film Scoring, to Orchestrations, Arranging, Notation, Session Guitar, MIDI Sequencing and Recording, and Digital Audio Mixing.

Brett runs his studio, Electric Minstrel Media and from there has provided music for numerous short films and other projects. He's really looking forward to Composing the Score for ECHO.

ECHO - The Impact

ECHO is being produced for a number of reasons. And, if you contribute, you will be an integral part of bringing the goals for the project to reality. Take a look at the potential impact...


In building vortex42studios, I realised it would be important to have a project to launch them with...

  • By contributing towards the £2000 target for the Completion Fund for ECHO, you are helping a brand new Independent, creatively-minded, film studio get on it's feet.
  • ECHO will give the studio a track record from the day it officially opens, which will be hugely beneficial in attracting films to be made there.
  • Showing what can be done at vortex42studios, with this short special effects film, will lead to opportunities to make more and more exciting projects!
  • ECHO is the start of something big!


I love Creature Effects of all kinds. However, I am especially excited about practical creature effects made in Stop Motion Animation, such as those created by Master of the Art, Ray Harryhausen.

  • I think the film world is deluged with CG creature effects, and I think it's long past time to shake things up!
  • ECHO will feature state-of-the-art stop motion creature effects, composited into live-action hand-held shots. Other than a test shot I did with Ron Cole, and the short sequence I created as a demonstration for this campaign, this has never been seen before in films.
  • ECHO will represent a historic step forward in film effects technology, and will help stop motion creature effects, make their mark in Cinema once again.
  • You can help bring about that change, by joining me here and now, and helping complete ECHO!
  • ECHO is the start of something great.


While the Internet is a wonderful medium for showing films to people, Film Festivals are still hugely important venues for displaying projects, and making important connections with like minded filmmakers.

  • If you contribute to ECHO's completion fund, I will have the resources to submit the film to a great many festivals around the world. Hopefully including the Deep Fried Film Festival in Glasgow, whose deadline is May 24th.
  • These submissions would get the film in front of a huge number of eyes, and potentially the right kind of eyes, to help stir up the kind of excitement that leads to greater and greater projects.
  • ECHO is the start of something entertaining for all!


ECHO is an exciting project, which will serve as a beginning, and an opportunity. Potentially the first of many fantastic projects, that will make film-lovers the world over, sit up and take notice...

  • If we can work together to make this campaign a success, so that ECHO can be completed to the highest standard possible, then the film will pave the way for more and more creative and exciting projects.
  • And, I would like to invite you to join me because The completion of ECHO, will herald the start of an incredible journey, that you can be a part of from the very start!
  • If you find you like the experience of having contributed to, and followed ECHO's creation, benefiting from the truly unique perks that come with that, then I can tell you that there is a lot more where this came from. I have a slate of fantastic and exciting projects that we can make happen together once ECHO is complete.
  • ECHO is the start of something lasting!

ECHO - Other Ways to Help

As well as contributing what you can to the Completion Fund for ECHO, there are other things you can do, to help the campaign be a success...

  • Please use the Social Media Sharing Tools available here, to spread the word to everyone you can, about the campaign, throughout it's 10 day run.
  • Check back here every day for updates. There will be new videos, photos and written updates throughout the campaign - And, please share those with your friends & family.
  • If there are things you think it would be interesting for people to know about the project, please feel free to ask about them on the Comments section. I will be there to respond.
  • If you have suggestions for ways to increase the reach of the campaign, please do inform me as quickly as possible, and I will do all I can to make the most of your suggestions.
  • And, most importantly of all, please try and contribute if you can - Every little helps, and the flexible nature of this campaign means that even if we don't hit the £2000 target, the film will still benefit from whatever we do manage to raise.
Thankyou so much for reading - Let's make ECHO a success together!

Team on This Campaign: