One script I read for the Screenwriting Goldmine competition last year was ‘Winter’, by a writer called Steve Turnbull.
It was a terrific piece of writing, and it made it through to the semi-finals.
Fed up with waiting for the gatekeepers to let him in, Steve decided to make his own way.
He retitled the script ‘The Lazarus Machine’, started a company called Monstrous Productions, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £85K to fund an eight part web series.
‘The Lazarus Machine’ is a dark steampunk story told in eight episodes, set in an Edwardian Manchester on the verge of war.
Talia Winter is an impoverished Russian emigree trying to fend for herself and her dying father, a brilliant scientist. But Talia’s family harbours dark secrets and her father has his own agenda – one that takes priority over Talia’s happiness and the needs of the British military effort. When Talia falls in love with a young army officer, she must make an impossible choice between her father and the man she loves.
Since Steve believes that ‘If you think small, your brain shrinks’ he thought big instead – and signed up Timothy West (Timothy West!) to play the lead, with Sophie Aldred (Ace from classic Dr Who – companion to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor) in the pivotal role of Mary Treacher. And there’s original music from the likes of Unwoman and Sunday Driver.
I absolutely love this attitude of Steve’s and I would love to see more of these projects succeeding. The Lazarus Machine is currently live
on Kickstarter and they’re fast running out of time to reach their target, so even your smallest donation would make a big difference.
There’s no risk as you don’t have to cough up your donation unless the entire project gets funded – and there are some great rewards!
Find out more – and be amazed by the concept art for the show – here.
Apparently the models for the special effects are going to be made from 3D printers – which I still find pretty amazing!
Here’s a quick video about how they’re going to create the special effects: