Fife filmmaker launches fundraising appeal for new feature-length movie The Gudeman
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A Fife filmmaker, whose first movie has just launched on Amazon Prime, is crowdfunding for his next feature-length film, for which he has even learnt to build animatronic characters from scratch.
Ian Gordon, from Burntisland, has already begun shooting The Gudeman, a fantasy adventure set in the Highlands, using some of the most breathtaking and dramatic scenery Scotland has to offer as a backdrop.
It follows hot on the heels of his previous movie, Superterranean, going live on the streaming giant, and Ian has also just wrapped up the cinematography work he did on Robbie Davidson's international film festival hit Dick Dynamite: 1944 which had its first screening in Kirkcaldy recently at a sold-out Adam Smith Theatre.
Now Ian is looking for help funding The Gudeman, launching an Indiegogo appeal for the month of November, which offers perks to online supporters in exchange for donations to help him and his crew finish the film. The Gudeman Indiegogo crowd fund page can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-gudeman#/
Set during the Highland clearances, the film tells the tale of a troubled man sent to carry out evictions in a remote Scottish township, only to be caught up in a bitter feud between mythical creatures and relentlessly stalked by a sinister force.
While Ian’s work on Superterranean saw him learn a number of musical instruments to record the soundtrack, he’s already pushing himself further in preparation for the Gudeman, designing and building animatronic characters, which move via remote control and interact with the human actors throughout the film.
The first of which, a goblin, has already featured in a number of prominent scenes that Ian and the crew have filmed in beautiful Scottish locations like Assynt, Torridon, Glen Affric, the Trossachs, and Skye.
Ian, 45, said building the goblin with no prior experience of animatronics or electronics, was no picnic.
“I didn’t want him to be CGI,” Ian added. “I wanted something that was real, and actually there in the locations with me, and I had a whole bunch of different ideas about how to build him which lead me down a few dead-ends before I eventually bought a 3D printer.
“I knew nothing about the electronics required, or the 3D printing needed to make the complex machinery to allow him to move. It took a lot of online research and a fair few YouTube videos - particularly for the animatronic parts. It's only now that I look back that I think about how many failures there were throughout the process.”
The goblin’s full appearance is being kept under wraps, along with all the other creatures, but he has already drawn attention - popular among hillwalkers who Ian and the crew have met while out filming in the remote parts of Scotland, particularly the Americans.
“You never really know how he’s going to react when you switch him on, as he’s one of a kind - he’s quite twitchy and sometimes looks a bit demented and feverish. He’s not easy to wrangle. He can be temperamental due to the electronics.
“Everyone seems to love him, but I have to admit there’s a lot of friction between me and my co-star.
“We’re looking forward to introducing him to viewers on-screen, and the mischief that he causes.”
Ian said he was inspired by the adventure films he watched as a child, and the breath-taking Scottish scenery.
“Folklore was the seed for it all,” he said. “I wanted to find some elements of Scottish folklore, things nobody has seen before in film, and weave them into a classic adventure tale.
“We want to do for Scottish folklore what Ray Harryhousen did for Greek mythology, as there’s such a vast but little-known wealth of Scottish mythology that we hope to bring some to the big screen.
“Much of the folk tradition of Scotland and particularly the Highlands wasn’t written, it was passed by word of mouth, and that oral tradition was partially lost during the clearances.
“There’s something evocative that comes from the Highland folk stories. We’re filming in some of the most spellbinding locations Scotland has to offer, and you hear actors filming in studios against green screens talking about the challenges of visualising the end product and maintaining the appropriate level of emotion while someone in a green morph suit waves a tennis ball around them.
“But I’m stood there alone in full period Highland dress, with a goblin in a heavy cage on my back staring at the same landscape people looked out on 300 years ago. At times it feels like we're making a film, but at others it feels like we're living it.”
Ian has enlisted the assistance of Fife-based Director of Photography Alexander Henderson, and Edinburgh practical effects specialist Colin Jarvie for the remote and challenging shoots whilst back at home, artist Adrian Smith leads a team constructing props and creatures in a Kirkcaldy workshop. Now, Ian is appealing to film fans to chip in and help fund the remainder of production.
“We’ve never had a film like this in Scotland, we’re crying out for something that taps into our natural resources of landscape, tradition and folklore.
“There has never been a tougher time to get funding for independent films and I think we're in real danger of losing original storytelling in this format. To help us keep it alive, we'd really appreciate it if people can go to Indiegogo and claim one of the perks on offer or make a donation of any value before the end of November.”
Ian’s first film, Superterranean, is a mystery thriller also set in the Highlands, as an injured climber wakes up with a mystery to solve, and finds his life in the hands of an uninvited stranger.
It was highly praised at a number of film festivals around the UK and beyond, picking up cinematography, screenplay and director nominations as well as winning Best Film and Director at Jump Cuts in Leeds, and Best Feature Film at the Frostbite International Indie Fest in Colorado.