I’m all for supporting fan projects to do with China Miéville’s works, and this one looks pretty cool. Mythos Films and director Joshua Gates are adapting China’s short story “Familiar” into a short film, and have turned to Kickstarter to get funding for their practical effects. Here’s the link to the project’s Kickstarter page.
I’m very much in favour of the recent movement to bring back practical effects in a big way (see, for instance, the crowd-funded horror film Harbinger Down, as well as the myriad practical effects going into the new Star Wars film). It’s getting to be a rare art-form these days, but there’s just something about well-made practical effects that shine over CGI. You just need to compare John Carpenter’s incredible The Thing to its recent, forgettable CGI prequel to see what I mean.
The director of this short film feels the same way:
The Familiar was never meant to be shot with digital effects. It must be brought to life with real tools, real parts. It must live. It must breathe! […] Each component will be hand crafted with love and rendered using the latest in animatronics and puppetry.
That’s awesome. “Familiar” is a gross, body-horror-esque dark fantasy story, and this approach to film-making is going to serve it well.
So far on the campaign page there’s a creepy trailer, which captures the tone of the original story, as well as some concept art. I’m sure there will be more updates as the campaign goes on. It ends on November 16, and I wish them all the best with the fundraising!