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Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Necroslinger - Indie filmmaker has shot at $1M CineCoup prize

You know something, some people just don't play fair. I'm not saying that people cynically flatter me with praise & kind words about my blog just to get my attention. I'm sure (or at least hope) that the positive comments are mostly sincere, particularly when they come from people I know. You see, this week I received a request on behalf of an old friend of the Fifth Dimension, the wonderfully named King-Pin Lei, asking me if I'd be prepared to help publicise his latest film project and its involvement in a rather unique Canadian film programme. 

Before I could spend a moment to think about this request he then went on to shower me & my blog with praise using words like 'respected', 'popular'........ damn it, I was hooked again. However, the world that I live in is not quite the superficial one I always make it out to be, I do have occasionally have standards.......be quiet...yes, I really do. For a start I already knew King-Pin from a rather fine previous Sci-Fi concept, The Never Man, that he first sent my way a year or so ago. I also know that he isn't one for faint praise, so of course he was being sincere. However, far more importantly, I was fascinated and a just little excited by both the concept of his latest work The Necroslinger, and the competition he was entering his work into.

Before I talk about the film programme, I think it's fitting that I pass on to you a little of what I know so far about King-Pin's proposed movie.

"A Necroslinger is a master sorcerer trained in the way of the Gunsmith Arcana  - the science of ballistics merged with the art of magic.

The Necroslinger is a Western/horror/fantasy set in a post‐apocalyptic future where magic and monsters return to a world devastated by past world wars. Only a fraction of humanity exists, living as people did in the Old West of the 1800s. 

This is the story of a mysterious Necroslinger who stumbles upon a teenage girl and her little brother and becomes their unwilling guardian when they are pursued by the Dead. What the Necroslinger doesn’t know is the secret the children carry – a secret that even the Dead fear.

The story intensifies when another entity pursues the children – something that has not walked the Earth for a very long time and lurks just beyond the shadows and the dark, whispering out to the children.

Running out spells and aided by the fierce Sister Magdelene from the Order of the Blind Magi, the Necroslinger must uncover the heartbreaking truth about the children – before time runs out."

I must admit, as I've previously mentioned, the concept of The Necroslinger pretty much grabbed my attention straight away. Not only does it have some very tasty elements of an unflinching and seemingly inspired mix of familiar genres; A post-apocalyptic ravaged world, the Western, horror and fantasy hybrid that hopefully will take this movie hybrid in a fresh new direction. If that wasn't enough, then there is also an enticing dose of Steampunk for the lovers (such as myself) of that particular sub-genre in the appearance of the Necroslinger himself. I'm sincerely hoping that this will be replicated in various other aspects of the movie once it sees the light of day.

To see for yourself I suggest that you have a look at the 60-second concept pitch trailer – which was filmed and produced in two weeks – online at http://www.cinecoup.com/necroslinger.


So that's the synopsis of the proposed film. What about the actual film programme that it has been entered into?

The Necroslinger is one of 74 Canadian film projects competing for $1 million in production financing in the CineCoup Film Accelerator – a unique program that gives indie filmmakers an opportunity to pitch their ideas to the public and make their film a reality.

Lei is asking the public to support The Necroslinger by signing up on the CineCoup website (http://www.cinecoup.com/necroslinger) as a fan, and casting votes. Fans can sign up NOW, and the first round of voting (Top 60) begins April 6, 2015. Fans can also rate concept trailers and ‘follow’ this fabulous project.

Film making teams in CineCoup Film Accelerator develop and market their film ideas over a 12-week period through weekly missions and with audience feedback. Teams advance in the program through several rounds of public voting. The winner is determined by CineCoup, and receives up to $1 million to make their film, as well as a national film release through Cineplex.


So here's how you guys can participate: (it costs nothing!)

Register with CineCoup and sign in to vote for a project;

• Cast your votes during the three voting windows (Top 60, Top 30 and Top 15); and

• Use social media to spread the word about The Necroslinger
The Facebook page can be found at (https://www.facebook.com/necroslinger?ref=hl

You can also find the film on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/Necroslinger) – don’t forget to use the social media hashtag #necroslinger for this project.


It all sounds very good so far doesn't it? A great concept for a film and also a chance for us, the general public type people, to help the movie become reality.......and it doesn't need to cost us a penny..........What's that you say? You want even more information about the man with perhaps the finest name around? Well all righty then, because not only do I have a mini-bio of the writer/director, I also had the chance this week to ask King-Pin Lei himself some legendary Fifth Dimension piercing questions.......

Lei’s previous work in film has earned him several awards and nominations, including The Night of the Living Film Festival’s Audience Award for Best Sci-Fi Film (2010), Best Screenplay (2010) and Best Debut Director (2010) for his gripping thriller Killing Schrodinger’s Cats.

He also advanced to the Top 20 of the 2013 CineCoup Film Accelerator program with his concept for the sci-fi thriller The Never Man, an eerie and haunting space exploration film.



Q) To begin with, tell us about some of your influences, both in print & film.

For print, definitely the works of H.P. Lovecraft (for his themes of cosmic dread and the insignificance of human beings compared to the enormity of the universe), William Hope Hodgeson (for showing the horrors lurking just beneath the surface of unimaginably deep oceans), Stephen King (for making his characters totally relatable to everyone so that their screams of horror are our screams as well), Ray Bradbury (for showing us our possible futures through darkly coloured lenses) and Richard Matheson (for showing me that horror can exist in the house next door or the next street over).

In film, the horror classics such as FrankensteinThe Mummy & DraculaThe Haunting of Hill HouseHellraiserChronosPan's Labrynth and Dark City; and then the westerns such as The Wild BunchThe Man with No Name Trilogy with Clint Eastwood, Tombstone (a highly underrated movie).


Q) So what came first, the name of Necroslinger or the plot?

The plot came first. It actually started its life as a novel I began writing a couple years ago, which grew into a sprawling epic that I'm still writing. I hope to finish it one day soon.


Q) The look of The Necroslinger is pure Steampunk and looks great! How did the look evolve?

Well, it's still evolving! I'm a big fan of the Steampunk aesthetic and it seems to go very well with not only westerns, but also horror. It grew out of my idea of what would come after the collapse of the modern world, after the time of machines and technology has been forgotten, but with trace elements continuing to exist as shadows of the past, re-purposed to suit the return of magic. But it's not just for an aesthetic look, there are functional reasons for it in the story.


Q) The story seems to mix a number of genres; Western, Scifi, horror and steampunk. Did you set out from the outset to create this Genre mash? 

Yes. Western-Horror has not been well represented in movies, which is funny because they have been popular in video games and television shows like The Walking Dead. As the story of The Necroslinger evolved, I realised that post-apocalyptic and fantasy elements worked very well in the mix which in turn lead me to fold in elements of Steampunk.


Q) what influences were there for you in the concept of this story?

There's a little bit of the Doctor Strange comics, the classic Mummy movies, and a bit of The Good the Bad and The Ugly. As a kid I also loved comic books like Jonah Hex, which gave me my first taste of the Supernatural Western, and The Unknown Soldier which blended war stories with elements of the weird and supernatural.


Q) For those of us outside Canada, tell us how the Cinecoup competition works?

CineCoup is a Film Accelerator that aims to supercharge the development of local Canadian feature films. They call for Canadian filmmakers and film making teams to enter by creating a short one-minute movie trailer that can either be a 'concept' trailer, or a full-fledged movie trailer, if the team has the time and resources to produce it in time for the application process. Then, through a rigorous 12-week competitive development process, each team completes weekly missions from CineCoup and vies for public support in the form of trailer and missions ratings, and votes when each of the three voting windows are open to the public.

On top of this, CineCoup judges are taking the mission content into account to give their own votes. That way, this competition does not turn into just a popularity contest. In the end, the CineCoup panel of judges and one 'superfan' decide who wins the $1-million in production funding.

Q) So you win and get the funding. What will this enable you to do in regard to The Necroslinger?

Make the movie of course, but with a proper budget! 

On top of this, there will be a nation-wide release of the film in theatres in Canada, followed by an international release. They did this with the first year's winner, Wolfcop.


Q) Of course, the intention is to win......but would you consider a crowdfunding campaign for the film if you weren't successful in the competition?

Definitely. I would definitely consider crowdfunding if we do not win the funding.


Q) Are there plans for any spin-off projects for The Necroslinger, such as Graphic Novel etc?

Well, considering that I've been working on the novel for the past two years, the novel release would be first, then definitely a graphic novel. We've already had a chorus of people tell us that this would make an awesome graphic novel or comic book series.


Q) What future projects lie in store for the King-Pin?

Many things! I'm still working to get my science fiction film The Never Man made (it made it to the Top 20 cut in the 2013 CineCoup Film Accelerator!) and I have other feature films and TV concepts brewing. But that's for a later story...


I would like to offer my thanks to King-Pin's team for providing the opportunity to talk to them and share their exciting project. All it needs now is for you and me to do what we can to ensure that they win the competition, get the money and bring The Necroslinger to the big screen!

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