EXCLUSIVE: Shelby Oaks has become the most-funded horror film project on Kickstarter just a few weeks into its campaign.
The feature, written and to be directed by YouTube film critic/filmmaker Chris Stuckmann, is based on a recent Internet mystery about a group of missing paranormal investigators.
The project has raced to $650,000 from 6,700 backers on the crowdfunding platform after starting its online campaign three weeks ago.
The film will chart the story of the fictional mid-2000s U.S. investigative team called The Paranormal Paranoids. Multiple found-footage videos surfaced online last year that prompted horror and ARG (alternate-reality game) fans to speculate about the veracity of the case and the whereabouts of the investigators. One video appeared to show the abduction of one of the group, known as Riley.
Aaron B. Koontz of Austin-based Paper Street Pictures is producing the film, which will be combination of documentary, found footage and traditional film footage styles. Influences include Lake Mungo, The Blair Witch Project and tales of obsession such as Zodiac.
The pic is due to begin production in May in Cleveland. Producers Cameron Burns and Ashleigh Snead join Koontz, whose credits include Scare Package and The Pale Door. According to the producers, Paper Street will also be bringing equity to the financing of the project.
AMP International is handling world sales and launched the project in the market last summer. Critic and shorts filmmaker Stuckmann, who has two million YouTube subscribers, signed with Gotham Group last year and has multiple horror scripts in the works.
“Every dollar we are raising is going onto the screen,” said Koontz. “This is an ambitious script and day by day our scope and opportunities to help realize Chris’ vision become more and more tangible all because of this campaign. We knew we had something special, but this outpour of support has been absolutely humbling and so amazing to see.”
Added Koontz, who plans to interact with and involve those who have pledged money to the project: “I’m really excited to pull the curtain back and show the ups and downs of how an indie film really gets made. This isn’t a raise funds and then we leave everyone behind to go make it. We want to create a community that can come along with us on the journey.”
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