Get involved in production of community-made SF movie: Artemis Eternal

Jess Stover says:
200804291634.jpg I'm a filmmaker in Los Angeles at the helm of project ARTEMIS ('Artemis Eternal') a short, scifi-fantasy film currently in preproduction that is professionally-led, community-funded, cross-platform and supported by an audience of Wingmen who accept the challenge to create a better professional model for film production, distribution and exhibition. Here's a 2-minute clip.

You may have seen us on YouTube Film, main,' top 8, io9, and the Globe & Mail... The project is noted for its advanced presentation and packaging and the involvement of many high-profile crewmembers such as celebrated computer artist Greg Martin, who I collaborate with frequently from development to delivery.

We've had tremendous community support already, ranging from Fortune 500 companies like JetBlue (who altruistically has contributed free airfare) to independent craftsman like a renown master bowyer in Hungary to Wingmen who have been working directly with me on various parts of the project.

And, thanks to the Wingmen, everyone can access what we accomplish without a login or payment and we continue to deepen the content each week and add new ideas to the project map on the official site.

This is the best time to come into the project. We are completely prepared to shoot: Everything is booked and packaged and will happen quickly from this point forward. Budget-wise we're halfway there and are looking for the rest of our Wingmen to help us cross the finish line.

The story of the actual film is about questioning what society expects of you and what we accept as normal. Everything we're doing with the overall project fits and explores that theme. As BoingBoing readers ourselves, we're looking forward to sharing the project with other like-mindeds. We won't succeed without you.

Twitter the project & use it to coordinate: Link


  1. I just watched the youtube vid for this project. It’s so tiresome to watch a bunch of whiney non-professionals who have never ever made a real movie talk big about how Hollywood does it wrong and how they’re going to save the industry by delivering a groundbreaking way to make movies. These dotcom bubble rejects should claim to free Tibet and cure AIDS too while they’re at it.

  2. You know, I’d love to donate, but I’d also like to know what the story is. Or might be. Or something. Could we get just a little more of a hint than that it’s “about questioning what society expects of you and what we accept as normal”?

  3. What #1 said. Terrible promo video.

    So, the way to “beat Hollywood at its own game” is to get a bunch of corporate donations so you can make some shoe-gazing clap-trap of a movie, then claim it’s a new paradigm for movie making, funding and distribution? Pul-eeeze!

  4. These people are aware that there are already lots of good films not made via Hollywood, right?

  5. Yeah, the video is terrible – more flash than substance and not very well presented substance (poor lighting, guys!) and the website is difficult-to-navigate flash (didn’t work in Firefox, had to use IE). What do they want from the web community right now? It looks like just money. Well, before I give you money I sure as hell want to know more about your film than a nonsensical, stereotypical name and some waffle about “defying societies’ expectations.”

    Also, what is all this about “Wingmen” and the exhortation to “man up now” and “a hero is a sign of things becoming”? Whatever that last part even means, I will bet five dollars that the hero of this film is a man and the plot involves flight and blah blah blah MANLY RESPONSIBILITY blah blah fuckity blah blah groundbreaking my ass.

  6. Hahahaha! No, they a director and a gaffer and a best boy.

    Of COURSE, they need MONEY. Now, MAN UP with some hard green! Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of yakety pussies!


  7. They laughed at Truffaut and Godard when they were critics for Les Cahiers du Cinema in the 1950s.

    They laughed at Von Trier and his manifesto for Dogme95.

    I wish these guys the best of luck as they have realized that giving up control over content and its distribution is where the future is at.

  8. might I strongly warn them against any temptation to hybridize with Hollywood. This is an all or nothing affair. Compromise is death.

  9. Royalty has invoked Dogme. Might I point to the recent disaster where the solid talent of Suzanne Bier combined with Halle Berry’s and Del Toro’s most scintillating skills were all for nought?

  10. Carol Anne – listen to me. Do NOT go into the light. Stop where you are. Turn away from it. Don’t even look at it.

  11. Hicks/Takuan-
    Except this apparently is where the sun does shine!

    It seems they want donations in the amount of $1 or more in exchange for a credit. Mark Borchardt would be proud. Okay, so not much about the project is revealed, and it might be really crappy. How’s about a buck under the name Alan Smithee just to be on the safe side?

  12. If Shane Carruth can put together the fantastic Primer ( for $7,000, and Panic Struct Productions ( can put together a visually impressive star wars spin off for less than 10 Gs, why the heck does this project need $100,000 dollars.

    If this film is going to be so revolutionary, providing your potential investors with a honest treatment shouldn’t sour your box office receipts.

    The only reason to produce a short and release it at a film festivals is to get noticed and hopefully get a big studio to invest in your future projects.

    Also in her FAQ she says she’s not willing to go Creative Commons. If you want the community at large to pony up for your project you should at the very least reciprocate.

  13. why the heck does this project need $100,000 dollars

    My former roommate made a few short films while I was living with him. The budget was, on average $300 per film. For one of them I was location scout, script girl, set designer and whatever else needed to be done. That’s how independent filmmaking works. He didn’t have much trouble getting them into international film festivals and winning a few prizes.

  14. come on, not every movie can get away with cardboard and tinfoil time machines.

    expanding the funding base for motion picture production is a good thing. although I really feel the medium is dead, no matter who makes what. we need to move past making stories to making history.
    (or am I the only one that hears those drums. i think they keep getting louder…)

  15. But even films with multi-million dollar budgets have crappy special effects. You don’t really see good special effects until you get into blockbuster budgets. Script, acting, directing, editing are all cheap. They just require talent.

  16. well, I’d be willing to pay more to see for instance that the script _isn’t_ cheap. talent must be rewarded and also given a chance to grow. it doesn’t necessarily work squeezed into volunteer hours around a day job. I suppose it’s really very easy to talk about how cheap a movie can be made (especially for the trust fund, daddy bought me a car and an apartment crowd), but I’m not cheap and it takes a good bit of cash to keep me running. Until that long lost trust fund catches up with me, money is like oxygen. story tellers don’t work for free and 2 years or more of scattered volunteer labor from people in the making of a 45 minute show with decent production values isn’t going to be enough. what’s the payout anyway from that? cool points? cool points don’t pay the rent.

  17. Most good filmmakers do it because they love doing it, not for the money. Until they fall under the baleful gaze of Hollywood and start making action films.

  18. You’re not an artist, are you? They work at video stores and sponge off off friends and relatives. cf. Quentin Tarantino

  19. right, so… My Best Friend’s Birthday was his last ‘good’ film then? because after that it was all hollywood action films (except for the ER and Motherhood TV episodes).

    “My Best Friend’s Birthday (1987) – It’s Mickey’s Birthday and his girlfriend just left him, so that’s when his friend Clarence shows him a birthday he’ll never forget.”

  20. He worked in a video store until he was able to get financing for a film that expressed his vision.

  21. so he was able to quit his day job thanks to Lawrence Bender and Harvey Keitel swooping down like angels. these Artemis Eternal folks are just working on a way to depend on two thousand small angels instead of two big ones. maybe they’ll get a distribution deal and this will open in a few hundred theaters even, who knows.

  22. I am all into Scifi and was hoping for more from Artemis Eternal, but they are asking money without telling anything about what the movie is going to be about. They just have a nice poster.

    If you want to get involved into making of independent movie making you should go and checkout

    These guys have made a scifi movie Star Wreck ( with nice effects basicly without any money. And now they are aiming higher.

  23. Well, I’ll give it an A for effort.

    But these days whenever I see a bunch of “We’re gonna tear down the walls” kids doing this, I fear I might be somewhat responsible:
    (That’s not commercial spam, I recommend that you grab it Pirate Bay instead, seeing as how the company somehow forgot to include the updates I slaved over for the third printing of the second edition).

    I’d almost feel guilty, if it weren’t for the fact that many other people are more responsible for inspiring this kind of stuff. It’s great when it works, but bores me now when it seems to have little to back it other than the the the imperiousness of youth.

    And I’d feel bad if I weren’t spreading the word, for free, that the future is not about the big screen, it’s not about one-to-many, it’s about one-to-few, using technology to go back in time to the story around the campfire in the cave. And moreover, THE FUTURE WILL BE ALL ABOUT SPOKEN AUDIO.

    Michael W. Dean
    cranky old man.

  24. I dunno. I’ve worked on an indi project and it was all about money. Sold the movie at Sundance to HBO. Never again. Ever. More power to this creative gang, but it’s all about the end product. So tell us about the product.

  25. Stover’s mentioning io9 led me to find the post on the subject; there’s a discussion between Stover and Annalee Newitz about whether or not to donate to a project where you don’t know what the movie is about. They don’t really make a distinction between having a plot summary (which might or might not include the ending) and the premise of the film; asking for money in the case of the former seems to me like one of those bottom-of-the-barrel carnival attractions where they’ll let you look at what’s under the sheet for $1.

    Another supporter of the film chimes in with this bon mot: “Take a chance. Skipp that moca-frap-whipped-cappa-overpriced coffee today and drop $5 Jess’ way instead.” Yeahhhh… heard that plenty of times during the recent public radio pledge drive; trying to guilt-trip me over my choice of caffeine delivery systems ain’t gonna cut it, sport.

  26. Halloween Jack, there are so many worthy causes to give one’s hard-earned money to. If I’m going to give money, it’s because I can judge some aspect of the organization I’m giving too. At least with NPR you know what you’ll be supporting. I would never ask for money for a movie project unless I had a treatment that people could read. A few concept storyboards, some basic sketches! You just can’t tell people you’ve got a great idea. Many of us have “great” ideas all the time. So what?

  27. Yeah, that’s what bothers me about this project too Jeff. All I’ve seen are a couple of nice desktops by Greg Martin. It’s beautiful work but that’s all there is. Everything seems to revolve her, any videos I’ve seen only feature her, all she ever really talks about on her ‘scrolls’ is herself (or else she is guilt tripping people into donating). I’ve seen this scam before.

  28. Good scifi is about ideas, not special effects. The indie scifi film “Primer” was made for just $7,000.

  29. @ #24 posted by Antinous:

    “But even films with multi-million dollar budgets have crappy special effects. You don’t really see good special effects until you get into blockbuster budgets.”

    I’m sorry, that’s balls. If the visual effects are good, you won’t notice them; you only notice the bad stuff. Plenty of sub-blockbuster budget films have good vfx. Plenty.

    And as for your second point: that “Script, acting, directing, editing are all cheap. They just require talent.” Getting these things right generally takes time. Time costs money. Talent also costs, unless you really luck out with someone at the start of their career.

  30. Talent also costs, unless you really luck out with someone at the start of their career.

    Well, that’s the point of true indy films. Of which 99% are absolutely awful.

    My point about effects was that money doesn’t make for great effects. There may be lower budget films with good effects, but their are plenty of high budget films with embarrassingly bad ones.

  31. #33 posted by toad , April 29, 2008 11:57 PM

    I am all into Scifi and was hoping for more from Artemis Eternal, but they are asking money without telling anything about what the movie is going to be about. They just have a nice poster.

    Ed Wood would be proud.

    But he had a better rant about “turning hollywood on its ear.” And he actually made films, they actually had stories, and people still watch them.

    Michael W. Dean

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