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Pueblo filmmakers ask for your back

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The cast stayed after the kickoff party for photos. Photo courtesy of Matthew Sparks.
After two or three website errors, Tim Sparks and David Hartkop could finally kickoff their fundraising campaign on Kickstarter officially for their first feature length film “Recursion” Oct. 1 at the Rawlings Library.

Although the attendants had to count down several times for the filmmakers to successfully click the launch button on the website, the pumps could not spoil their moods, especially after the screening of the high-quality film trailer shot for the campaign.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects ranging from films, music, arts and games to technology. Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler in Manhattan, New York co-founded it in 2009.

Since its establishment, more than $350 million has been pledged by backers, supporting more than 30,000 projects, according to information on Kickstarter’s website.

Once the campaign was launched, the filmmakers have 30 days to raise $125,000 to cover costs of hiring actors and actresses, professional make-up artists, building sets, purchasing costumes and so on. There are different pledge levels starting from $10, and backers can receive rewards accordingly.

“It’s going to be a lot of social networking,” Sparks said. “It’s going to be intense.”

“The smallest thing someone can do is just share it,” he added.

“Recursion,” meaning a repeated application of a rule or procedure, is a science fiction and horror movie set
in Pueblo in the year 2024. The movie is about a small group of survivors who fight to stay human after an organic computer virus has transformed humanity into a race of networked zombies.

The idea was originated from a 10-minute short film “16 bit,” which Sparks and David worked on together for the 2012 Pueblo 24 Hour Film Festival.

“This is really taking that idea of ‘16 bit’ and just stretch it into a feature,” Sparks said.

Sparks and Hartkop serve both as the producers, directors and cinematographers for the film. Previously, the two have worked on several short films together, including a commercial for Solar Roast Coffee, owned by Hartkop, “the Meadow” and “16 bit.”

“The Meadow,” received the “Best of Festival” and “Best of Science Fiction Genre” in Pueblo’s Sol Film Festival in 2011.

Sparks graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2012 with a degree in mass communications. He and his brother Daniel Sparks co-founded Sparks Bro Media, a video production company doing wedding videography as well as commercials.

Before “Recursion”, Sparks has made his name in Southern Colorado through several local film festivals. “My Own Prison” won “Best Film” in Pueblo’s 24 Hour Film Festival in 2010.

“The Blacksmith,” an 11-minute documentary on a Colorado metal worker, was also selected to screen at the Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs in 2011. The festival viewed 800 films but only selected 120 to screen.

Hartkop earned his bacholer’s degree in Film Producation and Communication Arts from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He worked in the entertainment industry for eight years, mainly shooting, editing and creating special effects for music videos and commercials.

His productions include Nelly’s video “Hot In Here” for MTV European release, and Eminem and Obie Trice in “Rap Name,” according to information on Sparks Bros Media’s website.

He also consulted for McCartney Multimedia and assembled a personal videography studio for John Cleese, writer and actor of Monty-Python fame.

“We actually can take this whole thing on if we actually work really well together,” Sparks said.

The film is approximately 100-minute long and will take 16 months to produce, Hartkop estimated.

For anyone who wants to check out the trailer and back the film, go to recursionthemovie.com.