Mike Le Han Is Back And Looking To Crowdfund The Time Travel Short, Breaker

breaker1One of the most buzzed-about British shorts in recent years was Mike Le Han‘s Mrs. Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room, a rather stylish little fantasy picture.

Now Le Han is back and looking to “elevate” the production of his follow-up sci-fi short Breaker with a crowdfunding boost.

Once you find out that Breaker is a time travel picture the title’s similarity to Looper really jumps out. It makes sense though, as they’re like the end results of opposite thought processes, really: Looper refers to time loops in that film’s story, Breaker refers to breaking down the chain of cause and effect.

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Here’s Le Han’s blurb:

Breaker is set 2000 years in the future; Earth now resembles that of Mars mainly due to humanity draining the planet of its precious resources. Society now live in vast futuristic pods to survive and the world is run by one global government.

This government creates TRP, the ripple project and build a race of beings called Breakers who are part human and part robotic that have the ability to time travel. The objective is to send these beings back in time to eradicate or collect people who have had a hand in Earth’s demise. The hope is to affect history changing the future, replenishing the planet back into a more habitable place, hence The Ripple Effect.

So far cast is Marshall Bell, who played Kuato in the original Total Recall; the crew includes Shane Daly as cinematographer, Lorne Balfe as composer and Paul Gerrard as concept artist. You can see some of Gerrard’s work throughout this post.

I asked Le Han a few questions about his campaign, and about the film he’s trying to make. Here’s some of what he had to tell me.

After researching the best funding platform I decided to go with FundAnything.com because they are the only crowd funding platform that actively promote your campaign. they don’t just let you use their site to raise money then  take their 9%, they promote you, back you and support you in many ways. Also it’s a brand new platform with Donald Trump attached as an investor who also, once a month, looks at the new campaigns and chooses three to invest in. Let’s hope he chooses Breaker.

My last short film Mrs Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room was done on a tiny budget for the scale of the project. Fantasy and Scifi are both the most expensive genres to make, but also have the highest viewing figures, but the film still needed funds to make it. Luckily I managed to raise the relevant monies to make that project through savings, friends, family and an investor.

This time round, the project is much bigger and way more adventurous and needs more funds to make it. From practical to scale props and set builds, extensive visual effects and having elements like the special time travel suit our protagonist wears costs a lot of money, but having formed relationships in the industry I have managed to secure all these for far less than it would usually cost a tentpole pic.

Breaker is based on a feature concept I am developing, and being a huge fan of this genre I have always wanted to make science fiction films. This is a project that I believe will really push the boundaries of short film making and the objective is to rival that of tentpole pictures. Not only will the film visually look stunning shooting on the RED Epic and anamorphic lenses, it’ll also be full of action, drama and tension with some awesome vfx heavy scenes.

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With all projects I undertake, I think about what would an audience want to see, what is going to get them engaged, or what is the commercial viability of a project. Sure, I have to be excited about a story, but fundamentally, I’m not the audience and they’re the ones who will be watching. So Breaker is something I believe has viable commercial  potential and, if executed right, will generate a large number of viewers. Once the film is made I’ll be releasing it online for free.

My professional objective is to make feature films in the genres that excite me, but it’s all about steps and creating a strong backbone to give assurances to potential producers who might be willing to hire you to make their film. So I’m really busy writing scripts in the hope they will either get picked up or sell and I get attached to direct one of them, but also taking independent meetings with producers and production companies with the hope someone will take that risk in hiring me to take on their project.

Maybe I’d have been more personally hooked if Le Han had tried to sell me on the themes the film – there’s a lot of potentially interesting stuff lurking under that plot blurb – but I think he’s trying to pitch this at a more mainstream audience than want to hear about even easily soluble stuff like character arcs and subtext. I’m not saying the film will be without any or all of these things – we’ll just have to wait and see – just that they’re missing from the pitch so far. I guess that’s the way.

And also as you’d expect with  crowdfunding endeavours, backers are being offered rewards. This will include prop weapons and suits from the film as well as the typical downloads and producer credits; you can check the full list out at FundAnything, which is also where you can see Le Han’s video pitch and pledge your support, should you wish.

It remains to be seen if Breaker will be the springboard to feature films that many tipped Mrs. Peppercorn to be, but it certainly looks interesting in its own right. I look forward to hearing more.

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