Comic-Con International Film Festival will feature Kyle Roberts' teenage superhero indie film "The Posthuman Project," a one of the few to get a full-length showing.
The Posthuman Project describes what would happen if graduating senior Denny Burke and four friends suddenly "receive a genetic boost beyond anything they’d ever imagined." Is the boost a boon, or a curse? And does Denny reject the offer to stay a human, or keep them and "graduate from the human race"?
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Recently, Los Angeles Times' Jevon Phillips sat down with Kyle Roberts, who pulled multiple roles on the project-including director-to discuss the film's journey to the Comic-Con International Film Festival this weekend.
In The Posthuman Project, Roberts combines a 1980s icon with a visionary director to create the superhero world the audience sees. "John Hughes is my all-time favorite director, so from the very beginning I wanted to make a teen film that felt very real, but also kind of had the “flare” if you will of J.J. Abrams… and do that on a micro budget. "
Posthuman's fully crowd sourced through benefit concerts and dinners, Indiegogo campaigns, and small events along the way. "We spent a year fundraising, writing and pre-production, doing everything we can to raise money."
No Marvel, Universal, or Lionsgate funding for this team of creators.
He wanted to make sure the completed film was true to the vision. Pretty admirable to not follow a guaranteed investor’s bank account. After all, who knows if the backer might be a little too involved in the project's completion? Remaining truly independent eliminated unwanted entanglements.
"We knew people believed in us and wanted to see this film come to life."
According to "Comic-Con 2014: Kyle Roberts brings ‘Posthuman Project’ to San Diego," submissions are global with projects from Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Russia, and South Korea vying for a chance to showcase their hardwork. And that's just a few represented nations.
So what made Roberts's apply? Turns out, it was kind of a fluke. Wendy Parker, a producer, sent a link for a deadline only two weeks away. So the crew, sound guys, and score composers all "worked together and got it done in time to submit to the festival."
Everyone willingly worked for a fraction of usual salary-a common predicament for the indie project.
And Roberts understood the importance in creating a quality feature on a very small, limited budget. He wasn't willing to sacrifice things like score, which is vital in connecting audience and character. Create the best work possible on limited finances, basically.
Kyle Roberts owns Reckless Abandonment Pictures, a small independent motion picture company, where the idea is "produce creative and innovative moving pictures one frame at a time." He understands the business of putting films into the general audience, finding a story people want to see.
Meanwhile "production itself only took 26 days spread out over four months."
Shooting was primary done in Oklahoma with focusing on places like Quartz Mountain Resort, Lake Thunderbird, Yukon High School, and OKC Rocktown. In the end each location offered a different view into the characters’ world without stepping into the pages of a comic book.
However, the special effects took ten months. Just a little difference in production speed there. And that huge difference of time? Well, when you have "than 530 shots that needed some type of VFX work," time gets eaten up quickly.
And the film has won a few accolades already at Oklahoma City's deadCENTER Film Festival. In an interview with Kerry Dixon for the SDCC Unofficial Blog, Roberts said the film "won top honors of Best Oklahoma Film, and were the only film in the festival to receive a standing ovation."
Not bad for a film that he describes as the "Breakfast Club meets X-Men." Might want to add a bit of ITV's Misfits and Whedon's Buffy in there, too. Not a bad post-adolsecnet genre pedigree at all.
"Director Kyle Roberts Discusses ‘The Posthuman Project’ Comic-Con Debut" also points out the number of festivals are limited since this is a full-length feature, not a short film.
For the indie studio owner, the experience in Oklahoma was a treasured moment. "To sit in a sold out theatre for my feature film debut was truly a surreal experience."
So what does Roberts hope to get out of the SDCC festival? Simply to "have fun and see what tiny splash we can make at the daddy of all cons." Who knows what this small indie film will inspire, and that's the point, really.
"I hope the film will inspire young filmmakers in that you don’t need a bloated Hollywood budget to make something great." It's not about getting an Avengers budget for a superhero film. It's about something more.
It's about believing in what you've accomplished, knowing the quality of work and effort is there, and to understand it's not about achieving greatness. The best part of presenting at the festival is all about inspiration. That can mean what you put out, but also what you take in.
"Like a lot of indie films there was an insane amount of creative passion that you have to have to do something this nuts."
That's a kind of energy to feed the creative mind in so many ways. And describes the overall San Diego Comic Con experience pretty well, too.
Attendees can see The Posthuman Project on Saturday, July 26, at 11:35 AM in the Marriott.