I've never been affected like this before. Reading "Soldier of Leaves" a story about the second civil war in Liberia was truly an eyeopener for me. I would love to see this project for the upcoming years pipeline of our movie productions.
"Soldier of Leaves" was written by Varney Thomas who unfortunately died during the Ebola outbrake in Liberia in 2014.
His brother Blamah Thomas has promised to care for his brothers legacy and has sent me the story. I believe it might be a wonderful movie to produce.
Unfortunately, there is one catch. Listen up fellow friends. My friend Blamah Thomas Moore is in deep trouble. He needs 500 USD or his family gets evicted. I wonder if you, my friends, colleagues would like to help him out? He has only until October 23rd. It means until Saturday to come up with this amount of money.
I don't want to see this family to leave. 23 September 2017 will be a day to remember. Either the day we save a family from getting evicted or...well. I'm sure you too aim for the first choice. Every dime counts.
Soldier of Leaves
Written by Blamah Moore
is a dark account of survival in a war-torn African country, From 1997-2003, Liberia was torn
apart by civil war. In the eyes of the Liberian people, this was just one more quarter in their long
four-part civil war.
Soldiers of Leaves covers the second civil war, which the people divided into quarters according
to the number of main attacks made by the rebel forces, through the eyes of Varney Moore.
When the Civil War began in 1997, Varney was pressed into service as an ammo and weapons
carrier by the rebel forces. From the critical days before his forced service to his time in a
refugee settlement in both Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana and finally as a soldier for the government,
Varney’s adventure is far from ordinary.
The story explains how Muslims and Christians, on both sides, fought side-by- side in a civil war
with the aid of traditional (voodoo) practitioners and priests. This was no ordinary war and
Liberians feel as if the war was the product of outside influences. Varney’s narrative of events,
though in imperfect English, gives a vivid image of Liberian life, belief, and strength.
The President during the Second Liberian Civil War was Charles Taylor. Taylor was a war hero
from the First Liberian Civil War who was elected President in 1997. The second civil war began
that same year and lasted until 2003, when Taylor stepped down.
Varney’s narrative, recorded by his younger brother, describes life during war from a single
point of view, his own. He goes from rebel fighter to refugee after an attempt to attack a mining
compound goes horribly wrong. While a refugee, he takes on a myriad of jobs and meets many
people, even conning the relative of a friend through orchestrating a fake funeral for his friend.
After returning to Liberia with his portion of the con money, he starts his own businesses. He
enjoys a quiet life until 2003, when the rebels finally make it to Monrovia. It is at this time that
he is financially ruined and is forced to join the government forces just to survive.
Unfortunately, the push to create a film version of the book, not to mention the worldwide
release of the book itself, has come too late for the narrator to witness his story coming to life,
having died in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak. However, it is a fitting memorial and a way to
honor his remaining family.
In this handcrafted epic puppet film, a lone samurai and his odd companion, a cursed severed head, seek vengeance in a haunted world.
'Lost in a bamboo forest, his Shogun murdered by an evil supernatural force, a lone samurai collapses to his knees with an anguished cry. Disgraced and humiliated at having failed to save his Master, the Samurai prepares to commit seppuku. But a voice stops him. A voice emanating from a cursed severed head who offers to guide the Samurai on a quest for vengeance. Thus begins the tale of...'The Haunted Swordsman'.
This short film is only a single chapter in an epic tale of a lone samurai and his odd guide, the cursed severed head of another samurai, as they traverse a world of mythical creatures and nightmares of folklore...
For each new short film chapter, director Kevin McTurk will bring together his team of professional puppeteers, camera and lighting technicians, top creature effects artists, amazing voice talent and phenomenal sound designers and musicians, to create a visually captivating tale of revenge, honor, love, and betrayal.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Kevin McTurk | Director
A professional creature effects artist, cinematographer, model maker, and puppeteer, Kevin McTurk has been working in the effects industry for over 20 years. In 1992 he began his career in special make-up effects at Stan Winston Studios, working on Batman Returns, Interview with a Vampire, and the Jurassic Park films. He has worked for many effects companies over the years, including the Jim Henson Creature Shop, Amalgamated Dynamics, Spectral Motion, New Deal Studio, and Weta Workshop in New Zealand. His most recent credits include The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and Stranger Things. In 2011, Kevin completed his first puppet short film, a Jim Henson Foundation grant project, The Narrative of Victor Karloch. The film was a great success, playing in over twenty international festivals, and winning the 2012 BEST ANIMATED FILM at the DragonCon Film Festival. His follow-up film, The Mill at Calder's End was the result of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign and played in festivals around the world. This film won many awards including the Grand Jury Award for BEST ANIMATED SHORT at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Tab Murphy | Screenwriter
Tab attended USC Film School and has been a working screenwriter since 1983. His major breakthrough came with a writing credit on Gorillas in the Mist, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Tab wrote a number of Disney feature animation movies including Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, Atlantis: the Lost Empire, and Brother Bear, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In addition to his Disney credits, Tab has written several Warner Bros DC animated movies, including Batman/Superman: Apocalypse and Batman: Year One, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel.
Guy Davis | Production Designer
Guy is a Conceptual Designer and Storyboard Artist for film, television, and video games. His work can be seen in the Guillermo del Toro projects Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim, The Strain, Pinocchio, and the upcoming film, The Shape of Water. Guy has also contributed concept art for The Mill at Calder's End, Paranorman, Steven Universe, Gears of War 4, Evolve, The Simpsons: Tree House of Horror XXIV, and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival. He is also an Eisner winning comic book artist and the creator and illustrator of The Marquis(published by Dark Horse Comics).
Arjen Tuiten | Lead Puppet Sculptor
Accomplished Dutch sculptor and make-up artist, Arjen Tuiten has worked for Stan Winston Studio / Legacy Effects, DDT, and Rick Baker's Cinovation Studio. One of his greatest make-up contributions is the Pale Man character for Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth. He has now founded his own studio R-E-N and is responsible for the make-up effects for the films Rings and Wonder.
Paul Komoda | Puppet Sculptor
Paul Komoda is an artist whose dark dreams are manifest through sculpture and illustration. He's worked in the fields of film and collectibles, and for a time, had worked directly with the legendary surrealist, H.R. Giger. He is expanding into realms of graphic storytelling and fine art.
Mitch Devane | Puppet Sculptor
Mitch Devane is one of Hollywood's top sculptors who has contributed his artistry to many films including Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Ring, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, among others.
Eli Presser | Puppeteer
Extraordinary marionette puppeteer and creature suit performer, Eli Presser is a CalArts graduate in Puppetry Arts. Eli lead the team of puppeteers on The Mill at Calder's End. Eli currently serves as the Technical Coordinator for the Performing Arts Program at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.
Peter Abrahamson | Mechanical Designer
A skilled animatronic designer, Peter Abrahamson has been working in the film industry for over 20 years as a puppeteer, robot builder, and animatronics creator for such projects as Hellboy, Men In Black 2, BattleBots, and the Jim Henson TV show Dinosaurs.
Luke Khanlian | Mechanical Designer
Luke Khanlian is a Design Engineer who spent most of the 90's working as a mechanical designer and puppeteer on film and television projects including: Starship Troopers, Bicentennial Man and The Green Mile.
Tim Gore | Puppet and Prop Painter
Master painter Tim Gore has over twenty five years of experience in the make-up effects industry and has worked on many iconic films over the years including The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2, Hellboy, Lady in the Water, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army .
Miyo Nakamura | Sculptor and Painter
Accomplished sculptor and painter Miyo Nakamura has worked on the films X-Men: First Classand The Thing (among others) for Amalgamated Dynamics as well as many giant sculptural pieces for Blizzard at Alliance Studio.
Spectral Motion | Associate Producer, Creature Design Consultants
Mike Elizalde’s Spectral Motion is one of Hollywood’s premiere creature-effects shops, making monsters for films such as Stranger Things, Hellboy, Hellboy 2:The Golden Army, and Pacific Rim.
Will Thomas | Composer
Will Thomas, a composer & producer based in Los Angeles, has released four albums under his minimal electronic moniker Plumbline as well as four albums under his song based project Dive Index. These have included collaborations with ambient innovator Roger Eno, as well as Joseph Arthur, Merz, Mark Gardener (Ride) and Ian Masters (Pale Saints) among others. Will has also composed music for commercials, film and TV projects including CSI, Johnson & Johnson, Smirnoff, Herman Miller, Cody, Nocturne podcast and BMW. He most recently produced the latest Helen Money album ‘Become Zero’, out on the Thrill Jockey label.
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September 9th Octolab released their latest music video "Mind and Matter" directed by Jonas Wolcher. It's Octolab's second video and they kept the story from the previous one.
Octolab minds and matterPhoto: Octolab Press
Horror producer Jonas Wolcher known for strange titles such as the zombie cult movie "DIE ZOMBIEJÄGER" and "CANNIBAL FOG" is back for the second time. "Mind and Matter" by Octolab. The band who consist of Arielle Andersson and Fredrik Lundvall Kindsäter. Fredrik is more known for one of the band members in the cult electro-duo Presto Fervant.