Brookfield filmmaker Craig Bass hasn’t been working on his documentary about Galloping Ghost Arcade owner Doc Mack quite as long as Mack has been working on his videogame “Dark Presence,” but it’s been long enough.
After two years, more than 45 interviews and around 150 hours of film, he’s ready to begin making “Ghostlord and the Quest for Dark Presence” a reality.
“My ideal is to have the film done by the end of the year, which is super ambitious,” said Bass. “It’s a huge undertaking.”
It’s also an expensive undertaking, one that Bass says he’s sunk tens of thousands of dollars into already. So, to get the film to the next step – a rough cut – Bass has launched a Kickstarter campaign that seeks to raise $60,000 to help pay costs associated with getting the documentary into finished form.
“Initially I was thinking private investment, and there still may be room for that, but the decision to go into crowdfunding was more along the lines of starting to get the audience involved in it and starting to generate an audience,” Bass said in a phone interview last week.
The online fundraiser can be found at kickstarter.com//projects/ghostlordsquest/ghostlord-and-the-quest-for-dark-presence where you’ll also be able to find a link to a new 3-minute trailer Bass has created to create a buzz about the documentary.
A short teaser trailer released last week showed the documentary’s scope, following Mack’s quest to develop a Mortal Kombat-style arcade game from the time he was a fresh-faced teenager to today, where Mack oversees a virtual empire of Galloping Ghost businesses while still trying to realize his dream.
“Now it’s time to get into the fun stuff, but we need the funds to do that,” Bass said.
The money from the Kickstarter will mainly go toward production costs, Bass said, to pay for crew, stop-motion animators, costumes, set design.
“A large chunk of that will go right into production and making that happen,” Bass said.
Because Bass is a filmmaker working at a local production company, he said that the Kickstarter money can be stretched much further than if he was producing the documentary solo.
“We have the infrastructure in place to do $300,000 worth of work for $60,000,” he said.
The Kickstarter launched March 28 and will run for 30 days. This weekend Bass’ team will be hyping the documentary and fundraiser at C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, at McCormick Place South, which is expected to draw 20,000 or more people and will feature an actual video game arcade, built by Mack, on the show floor.
“Once we have [the fundraiser] complete it goes into structuring how to get done what we want to get done,” Bass said, “because I certainly don’t want this to be my ‘Dark Presence.’”