Star Wreck Filmmakers Experiment With Iron Sky

from the making-movies-for-under-$200M dept

BullJustin points out to us that the guys behind Star Wreck (which we wrote about back in 2006) are trying a few interesting things to promote their follow-up movie project Iron Sky — a story about Nazis who fled to the moon in 1945 with plans to return to Earth in 2018. To connect with fans, the Iron Sky project released some Creative Commons material for a movie teaser remix and is selling “War Bonds” to crowdfund part of the movie production. To be clear, the “War Bonds” aren’t actually bonds — just a limited-edition package (only 2,000) of keepsakes that includes:

  • a 16-page book with very pretty pictures
  • a DVD with the teaser trailer and two documentaries
  • a signed certificate of support
  • official dogtags
  • undying gratitude

There are about 1,760 war bonds still available at 50€ a piece. Though, you can get some of the items separately from the Iron Sky online store (undying gratitude is presumably included in all purchases).

With only 240 war bonds sold since August 2008, the Iron Sky movie isn’t going to be completely funded by fans. But it looks like the British Stealth Media Group has chipped in up to 1 million euros for worldwide distribution rights — and the movie’s total budget has grown to be at least 5 million euros. On top of that, the Star Wreck folks seem to have even bigger plans — with a separate Iron Sky game project called Iron Sky: Operation Highjump that is looking for contributions/suggestions from fans to create a single-player video game based on the movie’s background story. All of which is based on the WreckAMovie community that encourages more films to be bootstrapped and crowdsourced from a collection of both amateur and professional filmmakers.

So for much less than $200 million, the Star Wreck crew is developing creative ways to interact with their fans (and other filmmakers) to get their projects accomplished more cost effectively. They’ve given away free promotional materials for fan remixing. They’ve set up a process for fans to donate ideas and money to the project. They’re creating movie accessories that get an audience excited about a movie that hasn’t even been made yet. Shouldn’t this be the way more movies are produced?

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Comments on “Star Wreck Filmmakers Experiment With Iron Sky”

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Michael Long (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“…. once they have a little more to show.”

Actually, that’s one of the problems I have with this concept. Say I want to make a movie. Fine. Now, how much do I need to tell you before you’ll donate? Enough to spoil the film?

Think of The Matrix. I could say that I’m going to make a movie about a computer programmer… boring. Okay, a computer programmer who discovers that…. what?

Anything I say from this point on is going to spoil all or part of the film for the viewer. I could say that it’s going to have really cool groundbreaking special effects… but anyone can say that. It’s hype.

You MIGHT be able to get fan funding for a known entity, like say, Firefly/Serenity II, but I strongly suspect that it still made more money on ticket sales from the general public than from fans.

chris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, that’s one of the problems I have with this concept. Say I want to make a movie. Fine. Now, how much do I need to tell you before you’ll donate? Enough to spoil the film?

i agree, you couldn’t make the matrix this way, so these guys are clearly wasting their time and need to stop immediately.

congratulations! you beat the internet. now everyone has to go back to buying CDs.

Sohrab Osati (user link) says:


Ok…so your comparing some amateur movie that will cost a few million with a $200 million movie that will probably make nearly $1 billion worldwide plus merchandizing…

So yea…next time Spielberg wants to get a project going…he should just beg for money from fans? eerrr Im not in denial about how expensive Hollywood flicks can be but what are we comparing here?

Joona says:

Re: eeerr

Hey buddy, you just don’t get it. Their idea is not to “beg money from fans”, but to let fans who wish to support them have a cool, voluntary way of doing so.

You are welcome to visit sometime, and you’ll see we are all a big family there. Some hangarounds just for fun, some actual collaborators and conspirators. I, for example, know them mostly for previously working in a computer games and nerdy stuff magazine as a reviewer and promoting the guys as I saw they had serious (and not so serious) potential. And I was glad in doing and still doing my part as a labour of love.


P.S. But please behave there. I has a stik of moderator rights 😛

Timo Vuorensola (user link) says:

Re: Trinkets?

To be honest, I don’t believe in democracy of any type in collaborative creation over the Internet, and votes are the best possible way to kill a good story or film. Much more I appreciate people wanting to help a director with his vision, but in the end, it’s the director who decides what gets to the film and what not. I’ve seen quite a lot of different kind of voting systems on films, and they always fail.

Timo Vuorensola (user link) says:

Some thoughts

Hi, and thanks for a great story! I wanted to join the discussions to explain a bit further what and why we sell War Bonds.

Definitively, as pointed out by many, Iron Sky will not be fan-funded, and War Bonds are not going to be playing massive role in the film investment process – but more than that, we built them to make it possible for people to chip in, if they wish. Thing is, according to Finnish law, we are not able to just ask money from people, we need to be either doing something for general good cause, or sell something. Thus, we created bonds. And I see bonds as one form of community collaboration and engaging audience from the very beginning of the production.

Our idea in general is to try to activate the people interested in Iron Sky in as many ways as possible. We created a collaborative film prouduction platform for collaboration with the filmmakers, created the War Bonds for collaborative funding options and try to be active on all fronts to keep the audience interested. It’s really the only way for a puny Finnish filmmakers to compete with H’wood marketing money.

And more interestingly, the resources we’re able to reach with Wreckamovie and by selling bonds is extending the possibilities of the film in general. Meaning, every shot given and every bond sold helps the movie greatly. It’s always a great fight for resources, just like playing CnC.

Toni Nummela (user link) says:

Re: Some thoughts

I’ve bought Iron Sky War Bonds and believe in this production. I have no previous connections to these film makers. Good War Bonds package made me interested in this production.

1. I’ve registered to and contributed a little to this project
2. Because of this I am frequently following the progression of this project (website, blog, Twitter etc.)
3. I’ve talked and will continue to talk about this movie to my social network (family, friends, colleagues, web-friends etc.)

That last point is the key. If this will be a good movie, and even if it won’t be, I’ll still be mentioning it when it comes out. The question is: Which one do you trust more – advertisement OR your friend/family member etc?

Sheinen says:

Sounds like a bloody good plan to me. It’s not about finance, it’s about hype. If there’s one thing Hollywoods been abusing it’s just that, so why shouldn’t someone else for a change?

I just want to point out that ‘Ink’ has gone up in IMDB’s popularity ranking by 81,093% since last week. Thousands of people who never would have known that film existed not only downloaded it, but went nuts about it – big budget or not. Thats the good thing about hype, once the balls rolling it can’t be stopped!

John Paradox (user link) says:


I heard about Iron Sky some time ago, and have gone to the website to watch the trailer. The style appears (from the trailer, which has no actual actors in it) to be similar to Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow. I liked Sky Captain, and also enjoyed both the concept and effects shown in the trailer, but have not been able to contribute, because of my (ongoing…) unemployment.
I would probably actually purchase a DVD of the film when completed, in that I find it interesting, and hope that the folks making it are successful in getting their funding, and getting it released.

Timo Vuorensola (user link) says:

Re: Trailer

Thanks! Support in all forms is highly appreciated, even if it’s just a positive comment!

The style of the film will be a bit more “realistic” from Sky Captain, although the noir approach is very close to my heart. I would say it’s steampunk film noir, but unlike Sky Captain, we try to shoot much of the stuff in at least partially built real sets and take advantage of heavy CGI extensions to make them grand and outstanding.

Nina Paley (profile) says:

Worldwide rights are owned?

But it looks like the British Stealth Media Group has chipped in up to 1 million euros for worldwide distribution rights

Can someone clarify what that means in this case? If worldwide distribution rights have been sold, how will the result be libre? “Distribution rights” means the right to sue anyone who distributes a work without the holder’s permission.

Ben (profile) says:

War Bonds vs. Shares

So thinking about the incredible success of Blair Witch and Paranormal Adventures and Iron Sky’s potential, is the next step beyond donation offering shares in the production? Fans/customers would direct support the production and have the potential to get a slice of the profit, enticing them to contribute more and earlier in production. Film makers/bands would need to be careful in the terms of the agreement, but supporters would likely experience better returns than state lotteries…

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