“We live in a world of gods and monsters,” Mitchell Lawerence, played by Alexander native, Tim Schiefer, said. “We’re simply here to tell the story.”
What story is Schiefer trying to tell? The story of “Godzilla: Heritage.”
Schiefer and Director Greg Graves have been working on the film for six years. It’s all coming to fruition. However, to make the movie the way they have always pictured it, the crew needs help raising money.
Thirty-Six days remain for the project’s crowd-funded Kickstarter. They have so far reached $10,463 of the $40,000 goal. If the project does not get fully funded, the production will not receive any of the money raised.
This is the second kickstarter campaign following a successful lead. The first time, the crew asked for $10,000 and received almost $20,000. The money that was raised went toward nicer cameras, travel, filming the teaser and the creation of the monster suits.
The suits are being made by season six winner of the SyFy network show "Faceoff," Rashaad Santiago. Santiago moved to Batavia to help with the movie. Godzilla has been a fascination of his since he was a child.
“For me, he was an escape from reality growing up,” Santiago said. “My mom recorded seven or eight hours of a Godzilla marathon when I was younger. I would watch it on loop until the film popped.”
Schiefer and Graves brought several other professionals onto the project. They include Chris Barbis, Kyle Gilmore, Tyler Graves, Billy Rupp and Christopher Bloomer. Bloomer has done visual effects for “Zombieland” and “Dragonball: Evolution.”
The cast and crew need the money to finish making the monster costumes, pay actors, promote the film, for anticipated filming permits and other expenses.
“Eighty to 90 percent of the movie will be filmed in Batavia,” Schiefer said.
Ken Mistler, owner of several local businesses, including City Slickers, has donated the spaces that “Godzilla: Heritage” will be filmed in. Additionally, the movie may need to be filmed outside on a street and permits would be necessary.
The character of Godzilla is not in the public domain. In fact, he’s heavily trademarked. It is for this reason that Scheifer and his team are creating the film as a fan film. No money will be made off of this production. They are making the film strictly for the passion they have for Godzilla.
“As massive fans, we wanted to do something different,” Santiago said.
“We want to make the movie that we’ve wanted to see,” Schiefer added.
There are rewards for financially supporting “Godzilla: Heritage” and any amount helps. Still, the crew is looking for donations of any kind.
“Any local investor is helping local kids do something that has never been done around here before,” Schiefer said.
To financially support the film, visit the Kickstarter and check out their Facebook page.