Filmmaker Kellie Madison (“The Tank”) has taken to Kickstarter to crowdfund a TV series teaser pitch she’s directing and producing titled “The Gate,” which is a supernatural saga chronicling the epic battle between good and evil.
After serving as Scarlett Johansson’s stunt double in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Amy Johnston stars as Cassie Weston, who as a child lived on the streets with her sister after their drug-addicted mother is killed by the leader of a Haitian voodoo cult. Cassie makes it her life’s mission to become a vigilante crime-fighter in order to rid the world of the evil and avenge her mother’s death. When Indonesian crime lord Rafael (played by “The Raid” star Yayan Ruhian) gets word of her bestowed angelic powers, he quickly becomes Cassie’s worst enemy.
“We have assembled a world-class team dedicated to the success of this series. This is a project that, with just a small contribution, fans can be a huge part of as we bring it to life as a television series,” said Madison, who has an arsenal of credits that speak to her creativity and storytelling skills, including “The Tank” for Open Road Films and “The Caul” for Project Imagination.
The Kickstarter campaign for “The Gate” has two goals in mind — to raise the funds to shoot a six-minute teaser pitch to show networks the style and tone of the material, as well as develop a built-in audience for the TV series down the line.
Johnston, Ruhian and the EMC Monkeys team and their talented crew — including camera operator George Billinger (Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) — will rehearse fight choreography for four days before shooting for three days.
In exchange for the pledges to the project, Kickstarter contributors will receive rewards including but not limited to, a one-hour martial arts lesson with Johnston and a chance to watch the action live by being an extra in the teaser.
The filmmakers have also just launched a contest to design Cassie Weston’s superhero costume, which is a big deal considering how important a costume is to a superhero’s identity. The contest runs from Sept. 17-24, and each submission will required a $25 donation from aspiring costume designers.
Madison and David Mack, the creator, author and artist behind Image Comics’ “Kabuki” as well as the writer and cover artist for Marvel’s “Daredevil,” will select the winning design. The costume will then be created and Johnston will wear it in the pitch teaser.
“Recent box office numbers indicate that audiences are tiring of the prequel/sequel/remake game and are turning to television for entertainment. ‘The Gate’ gives people the best of both worlds, incorporating visually cinematic action, compelling characters and original content,” said Madison, who is determined to challenge the stereotype that women can’t direct action projects. “I’m determined to prove them wrong,” she added.