Movies and video games have a sordid history, but artist Joe Russ is looking to change that with "FATHOMS".
"FATHOMS" aims to combine the best of video games and movies in its visual style to tell the story of Evan, Sam and their rescued cat Hippo. Survivors of a pollution ruined world, they explore the depths of the ocean searching for life and raw materials to rebuild their world.
"FATHOMS"' visuals are inspired by the limitations of modern video games, taking low-poly modelling and mixing it with hand-drawn textures and using dramatic lighting to give the movie a look that is both modern and retro.
"I grew up playing Tomb Raider," said Russ. "I really loved the sense of adventure, exploration and discovery." "FATHOMS'" style also draws from the art direction of ICO and the atmosphere of horror games Resident Evil, Silent Hill and particularly Dead Space.
"The sense of isolation in the first game is awesome," said Russ. "When you are in zero gravity in Dead Space, all you can hear is yourself breathing. This really struck a chord with me and I am using a similar kind of sound design in the underwater portions of Fathoms."
Gamers might find "FATHOMS"'' camerawork surprisingly familiar. "There are some scenes in 'FATHOMS' where I use an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective," said Russ. "After having played these kinds of games for so many years, it's become part of my visual language."
Russ hopes to have the film done by early 2012, but in order to do that he needs help. Russ started a kickstarter page for "FATHOMS" with a goal to reach $US7500 by July 27 and $US15,000 overall.
There are plenty of incentives to donate including mini statues, the original project files and an illustration of yourself in the movie. Check the project out and give Russ a little publicity, if not a little cash.