Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rumors of Little Sammy's extinction...


have been greatly exaggerated!
Hello everyone! Contrary to what you might be thinking, Little Sammy is very much alive and kicking. We've been focusing pretty intensely on the movie and probably not taking as much time as we should to keep everyone updated! We apologize for that but if it helps get the movie done sooner we figure you wouldn't have too big a problem. We have a couple of awesome things we would like to report. First, we’re happy to announce that the AFD store is now up and running! If you missed your chance to donate to AFD during the Kickstarter you can still help the war effort by visiting the AFD Stockyard where you can get shirts, posters, patches and (eventually) even preorder the movie. The store can be found at americasfightingdino.storenvy.com On that note, if you have an idea for a cool piece of AFD merchandise you would like to see, let us know! We would love to hear your ideas. 

Second, we are very excited to show you a segment from AFD! Previously only seen at Emerald City Comicon, you can now preview a clip from the training film "Armed to the Teeth," a film used to prepare soldiers fighting with Sammy for just what they are getting themselves into. We're still searching for the original sound in the WW2 archives, and hope to have the picture AND sound available in time for the film's release.

If you can't see the video above, click here.
Just keep in mind that what you're looking at is very early and unpolished. The finished version will look much better. As we continue production we will continue to release small clips, segments and more. It's going to be an exciting summer! Also we have just launched the official America's Fighting Dinosaur mailing list: The Scars and Spikes! If you're receiving this update you'll be added to the newsletter but if you know anyone else who might like to sign up for it, they can do so here
Don't forget you can also join us on Facebook and Twitter. We thank all of you for your support. We hope to continue to reveal more clips, an expanded store and updates on our progress in the coming months!
 Dismissed!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day of Days


Geeks, Nerds, Dweebs and Dorks of the Emerald City Comicon!  
We are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the nerd world are upon us. The hopes and prayers of comic book-loving people everywhere march with us. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, we have secured booth 201 to help bring about the sales of T-Shirts and posters to the people of Seattle. Our task will not be an easy one. We have toiled and struggled and taken many causalities  Sometimes all felt lost. But this is the year 2013! Much has happened since the Kickstarter triumphs of September 2012. We have constructed several minutes of footage in open, man-to-computer battle. Our producer offensive has seriously increased our strength and organization on the ground. Our Audio and Video fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in footage, soundtrack and sound effect work. The tide has turned! The free men and women of the world are marching together toward several solid minutes of entertainment! We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Sir Patrick Stewart upon this great and noble undertaking. 
 SIGNED: William S. Snoey
OK so I had a little fun with Mr. Eisenhower D-day speech. The fact of the matter is that we are beyond excited to meet our fans, make new ones and show off a few scenes from America's Fighting Dinosaur! You can find us at booth 201 (see attached battle plan) and  possibly ask us a few questions at one of our TWO panels:
FRIDAY
AMERICA'S FIGHTING DINOSAUR Room: 2AB Start: 7:00PM End: 7:55PM America's Fighting Dinosaur is a faux-documentary series that explores the life and military career of Pvt. "Little" Sammy Vogel, a 7 ton, 40 foot long Army infantryman and T-Rex who fought for the Allies in WWII. Using photos, archive footage, letters and interviews with veterans and soldiers who served by his side, the series sheds some light on how America's biggest soldier managed to go unheard of for so long. We'll be premiering segments from the series and doing a Q&A with writer/director Steve Snoey, producer Lacey Leavitt, cinematographer Nathan Miller and composer Eric Nielson.
SUNDAY
CROWDFUNDING Room: WORKSHOP - ROOM 401 Start: 12:00PM End: 12:55PM Steve Snoey and Lacey Leavitt's "America's Fighting Dinosaur" Kickstarter campaign was one of the most successful. Their initial goal was $10k and by the time all was said and done, they had exceeded that goal by over 200%! Join them as they talk about the research they did before launching their successful Kickstarter campaign and learn what they might have done differently. An informative panel from two average Joes just trying to make a movie about dinosaurs in WWII. 
Please come by and see us and ask questions. Cant wait to see everyone!
Sincerely,
Steve Snoey
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Monday, January 14, 2013

A War of Words

As we march forth into the new year, I imagine some of you may be asking, "So what's going on with America's Fighting Dinosaur?" Some of you might even be trying to remember, "What was America's Fighting Dinosaur?" Well, we are certainly still here and in an effort to share the experience of making my first film, i'd like to talk about the process.

The majority of what I've been spending my time on is research and scriptwriting. Writing the script has been admittedly challenging. At our initial goal we had intended on AFD running somewhere in the 8-12 minute range, enough time to skim over some major points and cover the broad strokes but no real real specifics. Much of this was already written before the Kickstarter campaign. With our somewhat unexpected success, we realized we could extend the cut of the film to somewhere in the 30 to 40 minute range and really make the movie we really wanted to make. This allowed us to add things we thought we would have to leave out. You know, like a story. Also characters. By no means a grand epic but at least soldiers with names and personalities and something resembling an arc. The film will be so much better because of it. But it has also came with some growing pains. I basically had to blow up what I had written and put it all back together, meshing it with the new additions.  
Along with scriptwriting comes an almost constant state of research. World War 2 was such a complicated, multi-layered, and incredibly vast event that trying to set a story within it requires serious discipline and a good set of blinders. There are so many interesting little footnotes, special operations, experimental weapons and just plain weirdness tucked into the greater narrative you can spend a lifetime trying to read about it all. Also researching World War 2 can be pretty heavy on the soul. There is excitement, adventure and courage but also misery, cruelty and death and it can be very mood altering. Every “fun” World War 2 story has to ignore some hideous and gruesome realities. All of it adds up to something so massive it can be hard to sift through. Like a maze where every dead end is a door to another maze. It has become so interesting to play with the equation of WW2 + (event/vehicle/battle) + T.Rex = Awesome, that you want to run every possibility through it and try and include all of it, which of course, you can’t.  
I guess what i’m trying to say here is that this is going to take a little while.
Now please, don’t get me wrong, everything is going great. We have saved stories from oblivion that we thought would have to be scrapped and added little touches that we thought we wouldn't have had room for. We have no doubt that its going to rock. It mainly a matter of when it’s going to rock. Our intention was to have the film done by early March, coinciding with the Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle, but in all reality we won’t. While we will certainly have a first look to show then, being fully finished is a bit unrealistic, not to mention foolish. We probably could have had something “done” by then but does anyone really want that? I would think not. In fact a Kickstarter blog post from last month entitled Is Lateness Failure? recently elaborates on this. Rushing a project to completion is the sort of thing huge companies do to please their stockholders and pad out their quarterly reports, with no real concern for quality. It’s a mentality that flies in the face of what Kickstarter is trying to champion. A “finished” project might please some temporarily but it if it means a rushed production it will be a fleeting feeling and ultimately a betrayal to everyone who donated to our cause. That's certainly not what we want. What we do want to do is maintain a brisk pace, a huge difference from rushing. We intend to have a sneak peek of some scenes from the film done by ECCC and fully finished in the months that follow but even that is something we don’t want to promise at the risk of disappointment. We want to briskly chip away at it without sacrificing quality and take you along for the ride, smooth or bumpy. As my first attempt at directing there is so much I have to learn myself and I wan’t to try and share as much of it as I can with other rookie filmmakers and film enthusiasts. We do apologize for the time between posts though. A projects taking a while to be completed is understandable, but leaving your backers in the dark is not. I promise we will do better.  
Here is one thing you can be excited about. Rewards have all been shipped!* Here a table of freshly recruited shirts awaits the green light indicating they are over the dropzone. These shirts are no longer with us. 
We are sorry that we didn't get everything to you by Christmas but since there was so gosh darn many of you awesome folks it took a while. Just know that we withstood the murderous glares of a long line of people behind us at the Post Office as we spent an hour and a half filling out forms and shipping out a series of mailing tubes and T-Shirt bags. You are all worth it! Here’s the receipts.    
For fun I combined and measured them for a total of 16ft! Roughly the height of Little Sammy, a fact both interesting AND meaningless! 
Again we thank you all for your patients and encouraging words. We would love to see pics of you sporting your shirts, or where you ended up putting those patches. We’re so excited to have you as part of the team and every E-mail, Facebook or Twitter photo acts as an added boost of encouragement when the going gets tough. Never underestimate how powerful that can be!  I thank everyone again for their patients. 
Respectfully yours,  
Steve Snoey
* - With the exception of the int’l folks who still needed to pay shipping costs and/or folks who wanted to add rewards. We have added these options on the right. (See PayPal buttons)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our Finest Hour

Last night, a flurry of donations pushed us right up to the $25k mark until finally we surpassed it! This is an awesome achievement and we are overjoyed by our backers' generosity. To celebrate this, we want to throw a new reward into the mix. It takes a specially trained soldier to handle the particular needs of a T-Rex Infantryman and in the heat of battle you need to identify them as fast as possible. That's why you always need to look for this patch:
The AFD Patch! We heard your requests and we're getting them made! (Do note that this is merely a mock up and the final patch may have minor differences.) The patch will be included in the $75 level (and up). Also if you would like to add one onto your donation of under $75, you can add $10 to your donation.

With three days left, can we still break that Enigma code? It's going to take brains and brawn to do it. Sorry, Sammy, biting the machine isn't going to work.

I think we all know the drill by now. Post a link to the Kickstarter page on Facebook and Twitter (http://kck.st/O9IVwp) and tell your friends! Also if you see a tweet from @littlesammy1944 give it a retweet.

Wherever we end up I know this for a fact: your support has pushed us further then we could have ever dreamed! Thank you for your continued support and continue to send us your questions and messages. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

News From the Front!

With only four days to go, we wanted to show everyone the postcard that backers at the $10 and up level will be receiving. Sammy's whirlwind tour of Europe only looks like a good time but at least it’s good to know he's thinking of you.
Just four days left, lets show 'em that there's still some fight left in us! Perhaps this is a good time to up your donation to a receive a better reward. Or maybe tell a friend of yours who's been on the fence to get in the fight! And as always, share our campaign. Post a link to the Kickstarter page on Facebook and Twitter (http://kck.st/O9IVwp). Also if you see a tweet from @littlesammy1944 give it a retweet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Why We Fight

With five days left in our Kickstarter campaign, AFD hovers just outside of the $25k stretch goal. We believe we can make this and our main goal now, and for the rest of the campaign, is to hit our last stretch goal: $30k! And if we can't hit $30k we're going to get as close as possible.

So why do we care about hitting $30k, when we've already hit our initial goal? We aren't just splurging on prime rib for Sammy here at AFD headquarters. When we initially budgeted/asked for $10k, this was for a less than 10-min short film that we could enter into film festivals and release ourselves digitally. We weren't sure if we were going to be able to connect with enough of our audience at this point, before making anything but our 7 second clip, and $10k was the big but responsible amount to budget.

Now that we know we have an audience, we're going to make the project we dreamed of making: a series of episodes that delve into various chapters in Pvt. Vogel's story. How did he get involved with the Army? How do they keep him fed and armed? What was his impact on morale back home? What was his impact on the morale of the Axis troops? We've always planned on diving into these questions, and more, but now that we've hit our first few stretch goals, we'll be able to go deeper into the story and include everything that we want to tell, not having to keep it all under ten minutes.

Something we've always wanted to do, that we need to hit our $30k stretch goal to be able to afford, is a short within our short. Much like Kill or Be Killed, the government created their own short film about America's Fighting Dinosaur. Part propaganda piece, part field guide for how to fight alongside a T-Rex, it's a black and white short film that we will use excerpts from throughout our documentary. But if we hit $30k, we can create the entire film! It will be it's own short film, which we will also release alongside AFD.



So please, share our campaign with all of your friends and family. Post a link to the Kickstarter page on Facebook and Twitter (http://kck.st/O9IVwp). We have just five days left, let's give it all we've got!

PS - Richard Bliss recently interviewed Steve for his crowdfunding podcast "Funding the Dream." You can check out the 20-minute episode here: http://www.buzzsprout.com/4646

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Standard Issue: $25k Stretch Goal Rewards

With your help, we have reached the $22,500 checkpoint! Throughout this Kickstarter campaign your generous donations and kind words have been amazing; as we continue to reach our stretch goals, we continue to want to give back. As promised, the reward for the $25k level: 

T-Shirt choice! 
We are proud to reveal a second t-shirt option. This design reminds you of just how awesome that Little Sammy action figure you (never) had once was.
"Gun Really Fires!"
The "Gun Really Fires!" design will only be unlocked if we hit $25k. As we enter the last 10 days of the campaign it’s important to keep the heat on! $30k is within reach and with your help, we intend to win this fight! Please share our Kickstarter page with your networks on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It takes a village to raise a T-Rex!