Utopia – Book 2 p. 1 – A SciFi Romance

“Don’t look back,” yelled Alan, “get in.”

Taharai ran to the top of the jet’s ladder, but she did look back even though she had heard him. Alan opened the door and pulled her inside the moving plane.

She caught a glimpse of the old Honda ditched down below past the small crop duster’s airport in the cane fields. The heavy rain pouring on the scene did it’s best to sink the old car’s tires deep into the muck all the way to the driver’s door where Ana embraced the steering wheel and rested her tired head over it and sobbed.  She couldn’t see Ana inside, but she knew her destiny was in the hands of the gun men inside the marked cars with the revolving lights and the loud sirens.  But when she looked up and saw the helicopter above them, she knew then what she had to do.

Instantly, her eyes turned a fiery red and she crouched to collect the sticky web flinging it to the belly of the jet before leaping from the opened door.  The jet’s wheels lifted off the ground taking it into the air.  Taharai hung from the dragline onto the wet runway and ran to cover under a crop duster.

Alan begged. “Come back, what are you doing?” But she couldn’t hear him anymore.

The plane veered towards the south under the nimbus cloud gaining full speed rapidly until it disappeared. The helicopter loomed above the cane fields while the police and FBI took a willing Ana into custody.

Taharai climbed into the crop duster’s cockpit and sat in the pilot’s seat.  Exhausted, she dozed off to sleep while watching the sunset over the rainbow as the rain subsided.

Alan clenched his teeth and shook his head all the way to the Tamiami Airport where  authorities awaited him.

At sunrise, when Taharai awoke, she remembered her night’s dream.  She was back in her beloved forest, the Amazon, taking a ready capybara from the previous night’s hunt to Alan’s cabin.  He had been expecting her and had set out to intercept her path a mile away from camp.

“I knew you were coming today,” he said surprising her with a bunch of wild violets.  She had smiled pleased that their kindred spirits had arranged the timing.

A drop of something wet trickled down her cheek.  She felt her face and wiped it off, then tasted a salty fingertip and wondered if that was what they called a tear.  “How will I be able to survive without the hunt?” She wondered.

Hybrid the TV Show
Venomous hybrids wreak havoc in the magic city.
Spiderwoman Taharai, an Amazon Legend
Survivors of the Ecotombe tell the story of a hybrid, part spider-woman who once wreaked havoc in the magic cities of the modern age.

 

 

Utopia – Life without the egoic self and other tales from the neo-Shambhalans

Today, December 22, at 6 pm ET, I will be reading from my book Utopia. Tune to the live radio show and support sci-fi authors like myself, there will be others featured on the show as well. Click here to purchase Utopia. Learn about build ing a neosociety based on compassion and at the same time be enlightened by the tale of Taharai, the spiderwoman from the Amazon who became the defender of the underdog in the modern world before the ecotomb.

Click her to visit Cantina and tune in. Thank you for your support. Happy Holidays!

Successful Crowdfunding Film Projects

Unless you have a following in the high thousands you will not be successful on a Kickstarter Film Project.  It can also be costly to get the list of backers and an expert who will send the info to the selected backers after analyzing which ones are likely to go for your type of movie genre and cultural viewpoint. So why start a crowdfunding campaign?  Lots of work and very big odds against you.  Out of 365,000 projects launched, an estimated 129,000 have been successfully funded.  So 35% of projects have met their goals but the top have exceeded expectations.  I was not surprised to find crowdfunding projects launched by well known artists who logically use their leverage for gain, and their projects have succeeded above the rest. Check out this article and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Top 12 Successfully Funded Kickstarter Films 

Hybrid,  my TV Series Pilot,  is going through an expansion phase in which I am looking to produce a comic book, a video game and offer a free ebook (novel) campaign in both, English and Spanish.  I would also like to offer on-demand production of fashion and arts merchandise along with action figure dolls.  The comic book will be titled “Legends from Utopia: Ta-ha-rai of the Jungle, and the new book, Utopia, which is already out, has a new cover and edition.  In order to develop and produce the pilot, the comic book and the video game formats I will need to pay contributing artists and crowdfunding is the only way I know to try other than out-of-pocket.  Venture capitalists are not so adventurous, they venture on people and projects who have already been successful, not to much venture in that. Despite the odds and knowing it will cost me to launch a good campaign,  and that I will have no guarantees, I am willing to try either Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings seem to be the new rave in crowdfunding.  Braid is the first feature film to be funded through an Etherean Crowdsale in the US. An ICO which is like an IPO but with coins or crypto, which basically means equity.  There is a return on the investment with an ICO, but I thought there was also an ROI on a Kickstarter or Indiegogo pledge.  Why would just a fan invest $30,000 or more on a film if not for the equity? But my research proves me wrong.  It’s a revolutionary new way to get funded and everyone wants it.

With the advent of blockchain technology, a new crowdfunding model has emerged that allows fans and investors alike to contribute to a film’s funding in exchange for equity participation. This type of crowdfunding is called an ICO or Initial Coin Offering. Ben Arnon of The Huffington Post describes the ICO funding model as “the next frontier of film finance via crowdfunding.”

Every ICO is a little bit different, but typically there’s a time limit for the sale, and a set number of maximum tokens that will be sold. Once those limits are reached, the sale is done, and the owners can use their tokens as they please.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a platform for creation of decentralized applications running on blockchain, through the use of smart contracts.Since its launch on June 30, 2015, it has been steadily gaining popularity. Starting from late January 2016, it has experienced a surge. In its first year it had $1B market capitalization. It is similar to Bitcoin

These new ways of funding and money across the web are new and strange to me but worth the try.  At least I will learn more

about it.

REMAKES OF NOT JUST PLOTS

library scene beautyDo remakes stifle creativity or do they provide an opportunity to get more creative with the same story plot? What’s your opinion? Leave a comment and I’ll publish the survey results.

To me, remakes mean that the Hollywood machinery spends less time looking for new ideas and promoting them.  It is cheaper, after all, to market a public domain story than SELECT a new one from the stacks and make it into a blockbuster. How many authors are there with amazing stories that can and will become classics if given the marketing packages that these remakes receive?  Classics like Cinderella have been redone so many times that when a new Cinderella version comes out I cringe to just think how little girls’ minds are being programmed to believe that if they have a good heart and work hard, the valiant prince will show up with a slipper their size. I cringe, too, when I think of the writer whose job it is to retell the story in a different angle. And they succeed.  Every Cinderella story brings out a new, more sophisticated viewpoint than the previous, and so it is with Beauty and the Beast. Sure, Emma Watson is a beauty, but she is also homely, and the beast, well, he is surely furry all over and his feet are those of a goat.  But his heart, well, his heart is as pure as gold.  Even so, how could a young tender girl even imagine being in love with such?

Enough about that. What brings me to write about the new remake of Beauty and Beast is one of its cinematic scenes -the library scene.  As I was watching it, I remembered an Audrey Hepburn movie in a library scene just like it. I’m sure they planned it on purpose, the only thing that was different was the dialogue but not much. In Audrey Hepburn’s movie, Funny Face, she owns or works at the bookstore and an older (much older) protagonist, kisses her out of the blue. Did they go through the list of movies with library scenes and pick out Funny Face? Or did they do it inadvertently? Surely, that’s a question for the director. But if you are an Audrey Hepburn fan and IF it spikes your interest, watch Funny Face on YouTube and then look for the library scene in Beauty and the Beast. Compare the shots and the scenes.  See how much they are alike.  The two scenes show the beauty on a ladder looking at books during a dialogue with the ugly protagonist.

My point is that not only plots are remade but also shots and locations. If you look closely, how many other similar shots and sets will you find along the history of Hollywood’s remakes? Below you will find a list of movies where bookstores play a vital role. You would think they could be more creative than repetitive. But we, the consumers, love the familiar and are willing to support it with our tickets to the show, every time. As a woman in film, should I follow Hollywood’s example and create shots ad scenes that are already tried and true, or should I follow my instinct and be creative in my own way?  Certainly, I must offer some of the same with a twist.  That is the Hollywood formula that seems to work.  And if my objective is to be like them, then I must follow the leader. But wait, my book, Utopia is about doing just the opposite. Does anyone out there want to follow the “creative instinct” instead of the tried and true?

funny face

http://bookriot.com/2013/01/30/16-movies-starring-bookstores/

Did you know there were that many bookstore movies?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZPpz6vWptg

This is Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn on the ladder.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=beauty+and+the+beast+library+scene+2017&oq=beautry+and+the+beast+library+sc&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.13534j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The new Beauty and Beast-library scene.