21st Oct2013

Back This! – October 2013

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the fourth edition of a new monthly feature here on Nerdly – Back This! – where we take a look at some of the cool content taking the crowdfunding route on sites such as Indiegogo, Sponsume and Kickstarter. This month we’re spotlighting two new projects – one comic/graphic novel and one (short) film, which comes from a pair of British filmmakers and is a project that I’ve personally backed.

If you’d like us to consider your project to feature in a future edition of Back This!, make sure to drop us a line.



A few weeks ago I reviewed Shortcuts to Hell: Volume 1, a British anthology featuring the 26 finalists in the Frightfest/Media Mogul 2013 short film competition. Whilst the anthology was absolutely packed with some superb shorts, it’s safe to say that one of the highlights was “Sweet 6teen” by Chelsey Burdon. Well now Burdon has, along with fellow horror enthusiast and film/music reviewer Mark Vessey, decided to try and kickstart a new short film project, She, which tells the story of a young couple who have a loveless and dispassionate relationship; no communication, affection or indication of attachment. Whatever spark they once had is now long gone. We build up to an anniversary dinner, when SHE poisons HE’s food with a substance that renders him physically paralysed. Finally regaining some sense of control, she carries out an act of violent revenge that will leave just as many scars on her as it does on him.

I’ll let the co-writer/director Chelsey Burdon explain a little more:

Myself and Mark Vessey came together through a love of horror films and a mutual desire to create something uniquely terrifying whilst remaining artistic and thoughtful. A wide range of influences have shaped our vision for SHE most notably Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, Park Chan Wook’s Lady Vengeance and Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur. We like horror that is shocking but believe that the shock factor works best when approached tastefully and handled with care and respect. SHE WILL be a shocking horror short, we are putting a great deal of effort into creating the type of effects that have not been seen before and are proud of the story that we have shaped around that.

Most importantly, we believe it will be a striking feminist short that subverts some of the clichés in the genre and presents characters that are both ordinary and extraordinary. You have been warned.

The She kickstarter has been running since October 9th and has already secured two-thirds of the original funding goal of £3500 – including a pledge from me which means I’ve scored a screen-used gory prosthetic limb! But it’s not only me that believes in the project… Whilst the HE in their short film will be played by newcomer Phillip James, Burdon and Vessey are joined on the project by Fiona Dourif, daughter of the iconic actor Brad Dourif AND star of the new franchise flick Curse of Chucky, who will be playing the titular SHE. It’s a major coup for the film to have the talented actress, who looks to be heading towards a successful scream-queen career, on board.

Perks for sponsoring this project include the usual social media shout-outs and thank you’s in the credits of the short, along with t-shirt, signed posters, DVDs of the finished film, and signed scripts. For those willing to pledge a little more there are set visits, producer credits and much more on offer. Plus you get the chance to help out two up-and-coming UK genre filmmakers! What could be better then that? For full details check out the She kickstarter page.

The Middleman – The Crowd-Funded Franchise Resurrection


In 2005, Viper Comics published The Middleman which spawned three more graphic novels and a TV show in 2008 (where I discovered the franchise). Sadly the TV show only lasted twelve episodes (but they were 12 great episodes) and since then it’s been all quiet on The Middleman front. Until now! I’ll leave it to artist and co-creator Les McClaine to explain:

Now, the comics are in danger of going out of print, and with them, our only hope of creating newMiddleman material. The Middleman is owned by ABC Family/Disney… but they have graciously given me, Les McClaine and Viper the right to publish new Middleman adventures in comics! With your help, we will create an epic tale in which the comic book characters collide with their TV counterparts: The Pan-Universal Parental Reconciliation!

But this Indiegogo project isn’t just about making a new comic but about giving The Middleman a new home – a print-on-demand webstore where you will be able acquire Middleman books old and new, with new covers in a never-before-seen large format. As someone who discovered The Middleman too late to grab fairly priced graphic novels (when I last looked the out-of-print graphic novels were commanding a whopping price) this is an exciting prospect.

Having already passed the original $37,000 goal the project is well on the way to funding the new graphic novel which is currently scheduled to debut in July of 2014, and the remastering of the legacy books… with the web-store scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2014. But that’s not all. With a new stretch goal of $60,000 – which the project is less than $5000 away from – each and every new Middleman graphic novel will be printed inside and out in 100% colour!

There are plenty of perks on offer, including and not limited to, the graphic novel of course, props from the TV version of The Middleman, signed scripts, bookplates, brand-new limited edition print, original pages from the graphic novel and even the chance to be drawn into the book. Contributions start at $5 for the bookplate and $15 for the actual finished graphic novel. So what are you waiting for? Check out the The Middleman – The Crowd-Funded Franchise Resurrection Indiegogo page now.


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