My writing partner, Jeff Marvin and I first met 10 years ago working on some unremarkable film and TV projects in New York City. Long days on the set allowed us to talk about the types of things we would love to make given the chance. I won’t go into detail, but I imagine if one overheard the amount of James Bond, Batman and Die Hard going on, all hopes of ever seeing a woman naked again would simply fade away. Our freelance schedules (ie: poor and unemployed) allowed us to visit a special writer’s space in the city called Starbucks where we wrote many spec scripts and enjoyed the use of a free bathroom. Of all the scripts we wrote, Grave Soldiers received the most praise and interest from friends and industry people alike. Influenced by current world events and imagining a not too crazy “what if,” Jeff and I married comedy and action to contrast the horror elements of Grave Soldiers in order to avoid cliché. You will just have to believe me when I say the story isn’t about zombies, but we did begin writing it ten years ago so we will take credit for the current craze anyway. The good news was that we were actually able to get a few people with the juice to move the script forward, but economic reality decided to show up. Despite Hollywood stories turning the poor girl into the princess, in real life you need two fairy godmothers, an agent and lawyer.
The good news was that we now lived in a world where people go from ‘hey, that’s a good idea’ to ‘you should just make it yourselves’ to ‘hey, I want to be a part of that.’
Grave Soldiers blends genres and has a ton of killer action sequences because when Jeff and I were writing it we weren’t thinking of budget or having to film in Latvia. We wanted to make the coolest script possible and also write a movie we would actually want to see. In other words, we were writing a comic book without realizing it. Of course, had Brad Pitt fallen in love the script we would have changed our minds. Alas, after the second cease and desist order it was time to switch gears. Having self published before on a small scale we had a stable of good friends who not only were artists, but willing to work for free. Our crew was able to develop some awesome concept sketches and more. The visuals were so amazing Jeff and I were convinced the time had come for us to ask strangers for money. We just launched our very first Kickstarter and while we understood all the steps necessary for success it is still tough watching the number of backers trickle in, in the first day (Thanks Mom). Now the publicity machine is in high gear as Jeff goes to the Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend and I man the command center (my bed and laptop) sending out marketing emails and materials while getting Carpal Tunnel. Like waiting for a girl to return your phone call it is tough watching the countdown and even tougher knowing Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition. Grave Soldiers is many things, but at the end of the day, it is simply fun. And Jeff and I will spend the next 29 days working our tails off trying to turn Grave Soldiers into a reality.
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