Keep Watching the Iron Skies!

Forget about climate change, zombie apocalypses, Mayan prophecies, and asteroid calamities. All of this is ridiculous. What you should be concerned about is a possible moon Nazi incursion. The aliens are lurking behind the moon, preparing to return to Earth and finish their mission of world conquest.

According to the narrative of Iron Sky, a new crowd-funded film from Finnish filmmakers Samuli Torssonen and Timo Vuorensola, Earth is not alone in its solar system. The studio has also developed the film crowdsourcing platform, Wreckmovie, which allows film producers to put out open casting calls. We were able to meet up with Samuli during a hectic promotion period to ask him a few queries.

The official premiere is April 4th, but you’ve already played the film at a number of important events, including Berlinale and SXSW. What has the feedback been like thus far?

Overall, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback! The most common comment we’ve heard is that the movie far exceeded everyone’s expectations (including the doubting ones).

How much of the film do you think was made through crowdsourcing?

There were a lot of little elements that had to fall into place in order for the film to come together. For example, many of the plot ideas that wound up in the screenplay originated from the public. The fans created and printed prop posters for a scene in Germany, as well as some 3D models of Earth Force’s ships. The audience was also asked to record audio for Earth Ship captains.

In essence, we had the world’s most powerful marketing department working for us, for nothing. There was a lot of money raised, without which the film would never have been made.

What did you learn from crowd-sourcing your first film, StarWreck, that you could apply to the making of Iron Sky?

Overall, tasks that take between 2 and 3 hours provided the greatest results. One of the most crucial things we discovered was that, if they perceive you to have a respectable project and are ultimately providing something back, people will be ready to assist you.

Is a sci-fi film more suited to a collaborative production than, say, a drama or a thriller?

I suppose it helps since sci-fi fans are more likely to be online. This helps you to connect with your audience and interact with them more easily. I believe that other genres may be successfully crowdsourced if you can persuade the audience that your project is unique and valuable.

You also launched a website for film collaboration called Wreckamovie. Do you have any plans to utilize an algorithmic distribution system on the site?

We do not have any plans for an algorithmic distribution system at this time, but the technologies and user interfaces we currently have required a great deal of improvement. We’re experimenting with ways to improve it and examine how we and others would like to use crowdsourcing. We need to continue learning new methods so that we may evolve as a company.

What do you think is in store for crowd-sourced films in the future?

I believe that this is just the beginning of digital crowdsourcing. In the future, I believe internet tools will become more efficient and simple to utilize, allowing us to better persuade individuals to participate in projects.

Independent filmmakers will have almost limitless processing power as more distributed rendering projects emerge. The future looks bright to me (if we can just survive the moon Nazis’ invasion).

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