Get ready for Nazis in Space! And no, this is not a Mel Brooks parody.
“Iron Sky,” an indie film set for a 2011 release, has Nazis escaping to the dark side of the moon during the final days of World War II, only to return in flying saucers as the Fourth Reich to claim the Earth in 2018.
The Finnish-German co-production has raised 90 percent of its $8.5 million budget, according to the Underwire blog, and filming is set to begin in Australia and Germany this fall.
In addition to money from 12 traditional financiers (including Disney’s Finland division), the filmmakers also received 52 micro-donations through its Web site. The first teaser for the film pulled in 1.3 million views over the past two years on YouTube, and a new trailer released this month, featuring special effects footage from the film, continues the request for funds.
CGI maestro Samuli Torssonen supervised Iron Sky’s visual effects after spending seven years working on zero-budget feature Star Wreck. For the Iron Sky trailers, “everything was either shot by ourselves or created by our VFX team at Energia Productions,” Torssonen told Wired.com in an e-mail. “I think for indie productions it is very important to have in-house creative which can archive visually impressive shots with a decent budget.”
As a hybrid model blending conventional business cash with microdonations from sci-fi zealots, Iron Sky is emerging as the most expensive fan-curated movie to date. As such, it points the way toward a future in which audience and investor become one and the same.
“I think it’s great that the audience can, in some terms, ‘order’ a film that they find cool by investing, participating in the production or donating money,” Torssonen said. “They can give ideas and feedback, become part of the whole process, and finally see a film in theaters that has been tailored for their needs.”