Update: Minecraft Fan Film Wants $600,000 From Kickstarter

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Update: Minecraft Fan Film Wants $600,000 From Kickstarter

Filmmaker Brandon Laatsch is raising funds to produce a Minecraft movie that he hopes will impress fans and stay true to its roots.

Video game movies tend to suck. It's not that they're all abjectly horrible, it's more that the people making them just don't seem to get the source material. A PG-13 Mortal Kombat, for instance, can still be fun but it's doomed by default to miss the point of the games. That said, there are some who still believe in the idea of a great video game film. Brandon Laatsch is one of them and he intends to make it.

The question that comes out of that, of course, is which game does he want to adapt? The short answer is Minecraft. "To me Minecraft is the perfect video game to adapt to a film," he said, in a video accompanying his Kickstarter. His reasoning is that without a set story or characters he and his team will be free to faithfully recreate the unique world of Minecraft without tripping over the toes of an established canon. "Our plan is to tell an epic fantasy story that would stand alone on its own merit and set that story in the world of Minecraft for its visual appeal and the unique physical rules within the world."

To make the film, which will be named Birth of Man, Laatsch and his team are seeking $600,000 in funds. While it's an arguably lofty goal, Laatsch would point out that it's significantly less than Hollywood fare which "typically [spends] 100 times this much on a VFX heavy epic." Whether that will be enough to convince backers to part with their money is something we'll have to wait and see. That said, it's very much possible that Minecraft's popularity might be enough on its own to help the campaign reach its goal. Case in point, Nearly 800 backers have already given more than $54,000 to the campaign. With 29 days left to go there's still plenty of time to raise to the rest.

Update: The Kickstarter for Birth of Man has apparently been cancelled by its creator. While we've reached out to the project for a comment, it'd be fair to say, based on recent Tweets, that Minecraft's makers didn't tale too kindly to the film going forward without permission.

Source: Kickstarter

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There is so little canon in Minecraft to begin with that... Yeah. Free game.

Not something I would back or even really be eager to watch though. Naturally that means it'll be made and people will laud it until I see it! :D

StewShearer:
The question that comes out of that, of course, is which game does he want to adapt? The short answer is Minecraft. "To me Minecraft is the perfect video game to adapt to a film," he said, in a video accompanying his Kickstarter. His reasoning is that without a set story or characters he and his team will be free to faithfully recreate the unique world of Minecraft without tripping over the toes of an established canon. "Our plan is to tell an epic fantasy story that would stand alone on its own merit and set that story in the world of Minecraft for its visual appeal and the unique physical rules within the world."

This reads more like "We have an idea for our own movie, but we decided to set it in Minecraft because that's popular and will get us lots of attention and money without us having to worry about properly adapting anything."

Color me cynical.

It's worth pointing out, most of the money has been raised off the back of high reward tiers, with the top tier being set at a lofty $10,000, selling 3 out of it's 5 spots, and the second to last tier, set at $5,000, selling out. So support so far has been very very strong.

If it elicits this sort of excitement in people with pockets not as deep as the nether, then we'll be seeing this funded before the time is half out.

Personally... I'm iffy about the whole thing, but he seems to believe in the project. It might be worth a $10 investment. Even a bad Minecraft film will be good for a chuckle. If it's good, it can serve as an example to the film industry of how to create films out of videogame source material.

Sorry if this reads weirdly, I'm very tired.

Shitty FX works great within the Minecraft world, actually. Seems cool to me, but not cool enough for me throw a couple bucks at it.

Uh... Wouldn't this work better as an animated movie? Don't get me wrong, but "live-action with special FX" seems more "human" than what Minecraft is known for... (Maybe it's just me this time...)

Other than that... good luck, I guess?

i only saw a guy running in the trailer.
where is the survival and crafting parts of this movie ?

"Pay me 600,000 so I can make my big showreel for hollywood!"

Brandon, of FreddieW fame, is a really swell guy, and I hope they get to realise this movie. His work is usually top-notch so people backing this won't be disappointed.

NezumiiroKitsune:
It's worth pointing out, most of the money has been raised off the back of high reward tiers, with the top tier being set at a lofty $10,000, selling 3 out of it's 5 spots, and the second to last tier, set at $5,000, selling out. So support so far has been very very strong.

If it elicits this sort of excitement in people with pockets not as deep as the nether, then we'll be seeing this funded before the time is half out.

Personally... I'm iffy about the whole thing, but he seems to believe in the project. It might be worth a $10 investment. Even a bad Minecraft film will be good for a chuckle. If it's good, it can serve as an example to the film industry of how to create films out of videogame source material.

Sorry if this reads weirdly, I'm very tired.

I don't think you're reading the page properly.

At the time of writing this, 2 people have pledged 10k, with 0 people pledging 5k. It seems you're looking at how many of that tier reward are left and confusing it with how many have been sold.

Still, 2 people already pledging 10k each is pretty impressive!

A Minecraft movie sounds absolutely awful, but I wish him luck.

We'll see if people actually want this I guess.

NezumiiroKitsune:
It's worth pointing out, most of the money has been raised off the back of high reward tiers, with the top tier being set at a lofty $10,000, selling 3 out of it's 5 spots, and the second to last tier, set at $5,000, selling out. So support so far has been very very strong.

When I see that, I don't think "support." I think "they self-pledged to make it look like they had support."

Also, do they actually have the rights for this? Because if not, that's kind of a problem.

Overall, this is incredibly sketchy, and I would suggest that this project offers a higher risk than most Kickstarters of the creator taking the money and running.

hahahaha. no.

seriously no. what the hell dude...make a minecraft mod and film yourself there...

This looks and sounds ridiculous, nope I wouldn't support this even tho I fire up Minecraft every once in a while.

Also, what's the plot? Random adventuring? Minecraft itself has no plot so how would you make a full length film out of a game that has none?

I think a perfect minecraft movie would be a "survival" or "lonely conteplation" movie at most, than have some One Man Civilization emerge, with Steve bulding a whole city for himself since he is incapable of communicatting with anything else in the world, and so on. We would need at least 2 movies too, since the single player experience of minecraft is so diverse, and we need retellings of the story of Steve interacting with the world.

And it should be 100% huge pixels, including the protagonist, or 100% live action with realistic CGI, no cubes at all, but still minecraft physics (Like steve lost, proceding to build a huge monolith of dirt or sand or something to guide himself).

Minecraft can be made in to all sorts of movies, but the "Real man inside a pixelated game" is the most boring of all the choices you could make.
Unless you're trying to make your movie out of a Minecraft Let's Play. Then it would fit. But still boring.

edit:

Okay, so boring may be an overstatement for the movie they are trying to make. Is just that I have this idea that making a movie with Minecraft visuals, but using real people, has this youtube short feel (and I know it will be an youtube movie) that while it is fun for their personal projects (people like FreddieW and Corridor Digital), it just makes me feel a bit frustated in thinking this is what will be considered to be THE minecraft movie.

I don't know how to explain this any better. I don't hate the idea, is just not what I personally would do for a movie based off minecraft.
I am of course mostly talking about visual style here, the comedic approach can surely work for the plot, and I could enjoy it still.

Fundraising was cancelled an hour ago, check the link. It sucks, I was hoping to pith my minecraft short story as a plot.

This is why fans shouldn't make movies. This looks truly like a truly terrible piece of fan-wank. A very clever visual concept, but the idea of setting an actual story in that universe is ridiculous.

I can easily imagine a great Minecraft movie which takes the idea of the person trying to survive in the world of creepers and zombies by crafting and living by his wits, but this trailer makes me think of Tetris the Movie.

When he took the sword from the wall I died a little inside at how stupid it was.

I'm not sure why they would not even ask for permission to use the Minecraft IP before they started a half million dollar project. It seemed incredibly sketchy.

Oh come the fuck on now ...

Slap minecraft on something and tah dah, instant money!

Dungeons and dragons is basically "tell the story you want/epic adventures" and them movies suck ass, this is just leeching off minecraft to generate a little cash ... knowing how much Notch loves to rub himself up against the internet, like a purring cat, he will allow it.

"Our plan is to tell an epic fantasy story that would stand alone on its own merit and set that story in the world of Minecraft for its visual appeal and the unique physical rules within the world."

and the unique physical rules within the world? Is your main protagonist going to punch trees to knock them down? Slap a saddle on a pig?

EDIT: it seems a previous guy was right, funding was cut but I will leave my post as a hypothetical film.

ClockworkUniverse:

NezumiiroKitsune:
It's worth pointing out, most of the money has been raised off the back of high reward tiers, with the top tier being set at a lofty $10,000, selling 3 out of it's 5 spots, and the second to last tier, set at $5,000, selling out. So support so far has been very very strong.

When I see that, I don't think "support." I think "they self-pledged to make it look like they had support."

Also, do they actually have the rights for this? Because if not, that's kind of a problem.

Overall, this is incredibly sketchy, and I would suggest that this project offers a higher risk than most Kickstarters of the creator taking the money and running.

Not only do they not have the rights they apparently haven't even contacted Mojang about it.
http://www.reddit.com/r/Minecraft/comments/1x70f1/birth_of_man_a_minecraft_film/cf9c1ze

The fact that this basically looks like tagging superficial elements from something popular on to a completely unrelated story means it is very likely to have a copyright claim destroy it before it starts. I can't imagine that this could be good, it just looks like a random story with silly references.

So yeah this seems a bit dodgy to me, first off you're totally right about the self-pledging at high tiers. I remember that the Day one Garry's Incident kickstarter had a 10,000 donation by the CEO of the developing company. That's just bullshit hype manufacture.

Not optimistic in any way but I'd love to be proved wrong.

I'm surprised at the lack of FreddieW and VGHS fans here. Nobody thinks these guys can pull this off after all of their previous successes?

Where's the source that this was cancelled? I'm not seeing that anywhere. Not on the Kickstarteer page, YouTube, Twitter, or on Rocketjump.com.

I'm glad it was cancelled, it was an incredibly stupid premise for a film.

Lono Shrugged:
I'm glad it was cancelled, it was an incredibly stupid premise for a film.

That no one was forcing you to watch or even donate to.... what's wrong with people who like Minecraft wanting to fund a project to make a Minecraft themed film that will be watched by people who enjoy Minecraft? But oh no wait Lono Shrugged thinks it's stupid, sorry everyone, but your taste in games is wrong!

silverbullet1989:

Lono Shrugged:
I'm glad it was cancelled, it was an incredibly stupid premise for a film.

That no one was forcing you to watch or even donate to.... what's wrong with people who like Minecraft wanting to fund a project to make a Minecraft themed film that will be watched by people who enjoy Minecraft? But oh no wait Lono Shrugged thinks it's stupid, sorry everyone, but your taste in games is wrong!

There's nothing wrong with Minecraft fans donating to such a project.

Just like there's nothing wrong with people who thought it looked like a bad idea/scam being glad that it was cancelled.

:p

Them assuming they could just make a movie ask for money and slap minecraft on it wo asking notch or anyone at his company they deserved to be shut down on general principle, no way you plan something like without contacting the ip holders first.

It was bone headed disrespectful and i dont not care who the guy is or what he has done. if hes got any kind of utube celebrity hes got ad revenues hes got money coming in, which makes it even worse. He could have done a movie on his own payed people out of his pocket for the cgi such as it is and so on might not be what he would have wanted but he could have easily done a 10 20 minute film wo it being grossly costly. and if he had fans i am sure some would have been happy to donate talent to the project.

take ks out of it entirely he would have been golden, but if you going to ask for money no matter what its for you better not do it with someone elses intellectual property.

Another one of these "Uhh we dont have any permission to use this intellectual property for profit, but we are going to go ahead and do it anyway" deals.

Yeah I guess I should not have been surprised in the other thread related to steam how many people dont understand the differences of ownership

Im betting dollars to donuts that when it comes to light the reason this was cancelled there will be a cease and desist order, either from Mojang or Kickstarter for not having permission to make something for money from someone elses intellectual property.

Nooners:
Where's the source that this was cancelled? I'm not seeing that anywhere. Not on the Kickstarteer page, YouTube, Twitter, or on Rocketjump.com.

Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator 1 day ago.

Right on the top of the kickstarter page.

They cancelled the funding? Hmm. I can't say I mind much. Seems more like they're trying to use someone else's stuff for profit, that is, trying to benefit off of something else's popularity. Which I always see. Around the time Minecraft was at its height, every animator or live action group was doing parodies, same for when X and Y was coming out. It's just a tactic to draw a larger crowd. I don't mind as much if they're dedicated fans, but when they aren't, it just rubs me the wrong way.

Also "This is what I'm passionate about!" Cancels at the drop of a hat. I hope they got in trouble. I'm so vindictive.

I think this tweet from Notch may have something to do with it:

"We don't allow half a million kickstarters based on our ip without any deals in place. :/"

https://twitter.com/notch/status/431795020082216960

Headsprouter:
They cancelled the funding? Hmm. I can't say I mind much. Seems more like they're trying to use someone else's stuff for profit, that is, trying to benefit off of something else's popularity. Which I always see. Around the time Minecraft was at its height, every animator or live action group was doing parodies, same for when X and Y was coming out. It's just a tactic to draw a larger crowd. I don't mind as much if they're dedicated fans, but when they aren't, it just rubs me the wrong way.

Errm, like this?

Hell, this mini video was done by Brandon himself.

I suppose with the recent popularity and success with Video Game High school they might have thought this would've been the next best step. I'm not against Rocket Jump's decision in making one and setting-up a kickstarter because all the videos are publicly accessible.

Flammablezeus:
I'm surprised at the lack of FreddieW and VGHS fans here. Nobody thinks these guys can pull this off after all of their previous successes?

So am I...So am I

Shitty cash-in movie averted, the cycle continues.

It was a stupid move to launch this without even considering that the owners of the IP might have wanted them to ask for permission first. But judging by the video nothing of value was lost anyway.

silverbullet1989:

Lono Shrugged:
I'm glad it was cancelled, it was an incredibly stupid premise for a film.

That no one was forcing you to watch or even donate to.... what's wrong with people who like Minecraft wanting to fund a project to make a Minecraft themed film that will be watched by people who enjoy Minecraft? But oh no wait Lono Shrugged thinks it's stupid, sorry everyone, but your taste in games is wrong!

I never said the game was stupid. It's a fantastic GAME. This is a terrible looking MOVIE. People can waste their money however they want. Even on terrible movies. It's my opinion, why should it bother you anyway?

(Sorry for the essay, I find myself oddly passionate about this for some reason)

I don't see how this could ever be good in the first place. Minecraft isn't even a "setting," it's a collection of variables that when taken out of its game context is pretty damn empty. Which isn't a bad thing because that emptiness is what makes it such a great game, that's what allows players to do things like re-create Skyrim or turn it into the Hunger Games but that's also what makes it a horrible property to turn into a movie.

Why? Well, let's look at how you would describe a hypothetical Minecraft movie, "A man tries to survive alone in the wilderness." That's it. That's Minecraft. How fucking boring does that sound? Now, Man VS nature is a tried and true plot type, there's nothing wrong with it, but context is important and Minecraft has absolutely nothing to give in that regard because wilderness survival IS ALL THAT IS, there is nothing more to Minecraft then chopping down trees and hunting pigs which, again, is fun gameplay but empty as far as storytelling goes.

Just for fun let's take that exact same plot description but put it in a different setting, the Fallout Universe. Now it's going to be summarized like this, "A man tries to survive alone in the wilderness of post-apocalyptic America." Doesn't that sound a lot more interesting? That already brings up a thousand possibilities alone doesn't it? Why, because the Fallout universe has WEIGHT, it has HISTORY behind it. This hypothetical movie wouldn't just be about a guy trying to survive in the wilderness, it'll be about a guy trying to survive in a world where events have occurred outside his immediate concerns. This is why setting is important.

Mekanicum:
snip

Yeah, you're over thinking it. Even then it isn't *official* nor is it trying to the recollections of H.G.Wells or George Orwell. It's entertainment and it being RocketJump which means that it will be more action than story.

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