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Producer, Steve Pratt, from Embricata Productions Discusses How He is Using the Recent Crowd Funding Web Sites to Help Finance His Off Beat Feature Film Comedy

Independent filmmaker Steve Pratt attempts to use the new internet based crowd funding sites to help complete his film Thunderlust (and the Middle Beast). The story of a heavy metal band that travels to the Middle East to shoot their music videos.

Brisbane, Australia, August 28, 2011 --( Funding Thunder

Steve Pratt, founder of Embricata Productions, is an Australian Independent Filmmaker currently completing post production on the low budget feature film titled, Thunderlust (and the Middle Beast), a 90 minute feature film; a mockumentary about a heavy metal band that travels to the Middle East to shoot their music videos.

Pratt states, “Unlike most films made in the West the lead character in this film is an Arab, and even more unconventionally, is not portrayed as a fundamentalist or goofy sidekick. He actually plays the part of the director who is faced with the task of redefining the band’s image.”

Pratt has uploaded details of the project and an early trailer to the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, in the hope that he will raise post production donations.

“Crowd Funding is a relatively new concept,” claims Pratt “and it is proving to be a useful avenue for independent creators from various fields.”

Pratt intends to use his funds to bring on some extra professional polish to post production, which includes mixing the songs within the film.

“Some might call Thunderlust a contemporary Spinal Tap,” he points out “and while it does parody some aspects of the modern music industry, specifically the ironic importance of image, it also covers some very different and sometimes controversial narrative territory. Finding finance for films is always hard, particularly for films with some confronting ideas. The attitudes of: the Bush Government, hard line Zionists, and fundamentalist Muslims provide some perfectly absurd springboards in an off-beat comedy that deals with image in general, and how it effects our behavior. Already this not-so-conventional film’s website is banned in Dubai. Major production companies are justifiably risk-averse due to the extreme costs of conventional filmmaking. Consequently producers usually invest in projects that are predictable and already tested. As a result we have a fair amount of banality in the film industry, albeit extremely well crafted banality. Independent projects like those on crowd-funding sites arguably provide some refreshing diversity in creative industry. It’s an exciting time for independent filmmakers with HD cameras and software being so affordable. Even no-budget productions need some finance though. Thunderlust was produced on $60,000.00. This essentially funded some equipment, but mostly went towards rent and food, thus availing me the time to work on it full time for the first year and a half. It’s a paltry amount of course compared to the average Hollywood blockbuster budget of $200,000,000.00.”

It all began in 2007 when Pratt travelled to Jordan to commence a new job as Head of Film at SAE Amman, Jordan’s first film school that taught Diploma and Degree programs. Pratt states that the genesis of the film occurred over dinner with friends who were all fellow musicians. “We joked about forming a glam-metal band (aka cock-rock) and playing some shows in Jordan where we were all based at the time. This effeminate genre of music seemed like such funny paradox in the Middle East. By dinner’s end we had even come up with the most important kick-starter, the name of the band, Thunderlust. The following day though, after the beers had worn off, our lead singer became a bit shy of the whole idea. He warmed however to my new suggestion of doing a mockumentary film about the fictitious band. And so I started work on the concept. It would mean using inexperienced actors. The musicians themselves would play their own characters, which would be based on some of their own character traits. This would hopefully mean that they wouldn’t have to push too far out of their range during performance. Things would be tweaked and exaggerated though for the sake of a more dynamic story.”

Six months later, Pratt finished his one-year contract as Head of Film but remained in Jordan and concentrated solely on writing and producing the film and it’s soundtrack. It was a scary moment of truth he claims. “It was time to either fully commit or forget the whole thing.”

Despite what Pratt refers to as endless hurdles and setbacks, he completed the shooting phase in February 2010. He is now back in Brisbane with about half the editing work completed. He concludes “It’s now a matter of balancing casual work to survive, which still gives me some time to edit the film. The funds I raise will go towards employing post production and audio specialists, so we can add some essential polish. If people would like to donate a small sum or purchase a copy of the DVD in advance they can go to the following link below.”

Pratt also adds that DVD’s will be available on the production website, mid to late 2012:

Contact Information
Thunderlust Productions
Steve Pratt

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