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Fund This Film: ‘Momentum’ is Original, Smart and Well-Designed Science Fiction

By  · Published on March 16th, 2013

Fund This Film: ‘Momentum’ is Original, Smart and Well-Designed Science Fiction

After all that has happened with Kickstarter this week, Fund This Film seems to be a more necessary regular feature than ever. Not all projects can be set up through a major studio and involve Hollywood stars and be based off a property with a built-in fanbase. Some are like this week’s selection, Momentum, an ambitious short with a much smaller goal and much bigger task in finding supporters. And yet there is some Hollywood talent involved, as the three creators of this film are professional concept artists in the biz: Robert Simons worked on Ender’s Game and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peggy Chung worked on Pacific Rim and Mark Yang is an Imagineer for Disney. And visual effects supervisor Kyle Spiker worked on Avatar. Director Michael Chance previously made Project Arbiter, one of those hot sci-fi shorts called “the next District 9” a while back.

If their resumes aren’t enough, some of their supporters might encourage you. Two of their initial backers are Neville Page, creature/character designer for Avatar, Cloverfield, Super 8, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness and the upcoming Oblivion, and Tim Flattery, who worked on Back to the Future Part II, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Serenity and the upcoming After Earth. Their connections appears to be that they went to and/or worked at Art Center College of Design (also my father’s alma mater!), and so did this film’s co-creators. Additionally they have the support of others at the school, including space craft thermal engineer Joe Reiter, who teaches science at Art Center and who can be seen in a video supplement for Momentum describing the technology behind the maglev vehicles that are central to the film’s plot.

Oh, right, the plot. Momentum is a future-set character-based father and daughter story that’s set amidst a cross-country maglev rally. If we wanted to reach for comparisons that might allow for a frame of reference, it sounds like The Cannonball Run by way of Speed Racer and the podracing sequence from The Phantom of Menace, with a touch of The Wrestler or Over the Top for that estranged dad trying to do right angle. And it looks, via concept drawings, like the sort of futurist stuff of Blade Runner and Minority Report. But that’s not important. What is important is that while this may be influenced by other works, it isn’t based on anything. It’s the sort of original material we’re all constantly claiming to want more of.

So, if we want more if it, why not support it? The good news is the makers of Momentum will apparently be happy enough if you just follow them through social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Of course, they’ll be happier and more successful if you are able to contribute anything to their Kickstarter effort, which has a goal of $19,000. There are the usual incentives, plus original artwork. They also invite you to help them by working on the film if you’re in the L.A. area and have any useful talent. The ultimate plan for Momentum is to expand it as a feature, so you could potentially be part of the start of something really big.

Check out their campaign video below, which details the story and shows some of the designs and prop-building, and see if it interests you enough to contribute.

Do you want to see this film? Enough to help fund it?

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.