To all of our lovely Witches, Wizards, and Non-Magic folk,
Hello! How are you? I sincerely hope this message finds you
well. It’s been quite a while since you last heard from any of us, so I suppose
that is where I will start.
First of all, on behalf of all the cast and crew of The Gathering Storm: A Marauders Fan Film
I would like to apologize for how long it has taken to bring this film to life
and to make this dream a reality. We realize that you have been waiting a long time for this film, and we are
truly sorry about that. I think that should be first and foremost. Believe me
when I tell you, we all want the film to be finished just as badly as you do.
And we absolutely hear you every single time one of you asks us “When is the
film coming out?” Whether we like it or not, it is always a fair question. So
again, we sincerely apologize for the wait and thank you from the bottom of our
hearts for supporting us, for sticking with us, and for maintaining your
enthusiasm for this project. We are working very hard to make it the film that
That brings me to a brief (ish) explanation of what the past
year or so of post-production has looked like and why it has taken this long.
The first thing to admit is that this project was an enormous undertaking. When
this film was dreamed up and our team was assembled, the majority of us were
still students, with a few exceptions who were recent graduates. As you may or
may not know, it is very rare for student-run projects to reach feature-film-length.
It is equally rare for fan films to do this. The simple fact is that without a
professional team already assembled and behind you (as well as a professional
budget), it is incredibly difficult to bring together enough resources and people
– and to carve out enough time – to shoot and produce anything longer than
25-40 minutes long. Even projects of that length are incredibly challenging
undertakings. Admittedly, we probably unknowingly bit off a bit more than we
could chew at the time. However, that is not in any way to say that the quality
of The Gathering Storm suffered as a result. It just slowed the process a bit, because we were all basically
learning on the fly. As you know, it took
us almost the entirety of that first year (May 2014 – March 2015) to finish
shooting all the footage we felt we needed in order to put together a
high-quality film and a fully-realized story. Yes, our inexperience hindered us in a few places along
the way, as it does with any student or fan project. While we may not be a Hollywood Blockbuster
level production, I have no doubt that you will love getting to see the
Marauders story we have all wanted for so long.
Since the completion of shooting, post production has been a
sometimes fast, sometimes slow process. Approximately the first six months after we wrapped
shooting (March 2015 – August 2015) were completely lost, as a result of some
unexpected turnover in the editing department. To put it somewhat more bluntly,
our original editors were unable to continue with the project. In addition to
that, the editor that we initially brought on to replace them also, after a few
weeks, determined that they would be unable to follow through with this
project. So searching for a qualified editor willing to commit to the entirety
of the project was step number one, and that took much longer than we had hoped.
After that, our post-production team evolved significantly. Members of our
team, myself included, who were not originally going to be part of
post-production, were brought on in order to shoulder more of the workload and
in order to get things moving in a productive direction.
The first few months were spent in intensive meetings between
Aaron (our director), Danielle (our producer), Jenni (our new editor), and
myself, where we recalibrated and reconfigured many of the creative aspects of
the film. In short, we felt like some of the moments of our story were not as
“earned” as they should be, so we spent a significant amount of time on fixing
that (and we believe we were successful, by the way). Those meetings illustrate
a larger point about the tediousness of this process though: We have kept you
guys waiting for so long now, that at this point we absolutely refuse to give
you anything less than the very best possible version of this film. Yes, we
could have accelerated the editing process We
could have not bothered to adjust story elements, and we could be taking much
simpler and more-direct routes through finishing the final aspects of post-production…
but we as a team cannot and will not in good conscience do that. You guys
deserve the very best, both for your support of us during the campaign, and for
your continued support and patience now. In every single conceivable sense of
the phrase, we would not have been able to make this movie without you. And we
will never probably be able to fully express our gratitude. The least we can do
is make sure that every aspect of this film is done in the best possible way it
That is why post-production has taken so long, along with a
number of extenuating circumstances. We have had other crew members have to
leave the project due to personal conflicts (as mentioned before, plus others),
our lead editor and our VFX artist both have to work over 60 hours a week at
their real jobs, some of us lost friends and family members over the past year,
and a member of our post team lost their home in the Louisiana Floods this past
August. It’s been a year, you guys.
As 2016 has been for many people, it has been. a. freaking. year. And to be clear, these aren’t
meant as excuses. We are not asking you guys to stop begging for this film or
to “get off of our backs.” We want you on our backs. Stay there. You’ve earned it. These are simply being
offered to you as explanations for part of why we have so dearly needed your
incredible patience and support.
We have been going back and forth amongst ourselves for a
few weeks now, trying to decide whether to send out a new update. For a while
we were thinking we wanted to hold off, not release any more updates until we
were ready to release a new trailer. But we have decided, that with things
moving as slowly as they have, we didn’t want to continue to maintain radio
silence. We realize that
updates have been few and far between for both supporters of our Kickstarter
and of our Indiegogo, and we’ve pledged to be more vigilant about that. If you
are one of our backers, please check the Indiegogo or Kickstarter Pages. We’ve
posted an update for you regarding backer rewards, as well.
So that’s where we’re at. We’re still here, we’re still hard
at work, we still love each and every one of you for your support, and we have
not forgotten about you or this project. We’re into the home stretch now. What
remains is finishing the original score, visual effects, sound mixing, color
correction, and a few other finishing touches. As I mentioned before, because
all of us have now entered “professional” life, we all have a lot less time on
our hands to get these things done. So I cannot honestly say how long those
remaining tasks will take. But what I can
promise is that we will do the best job that we can, and we will not be cutting
any corners. You all have waited this long for The Gathering Storm. We will not
be delivering the 75%-of-what-it-could-have-been version. When it is finally
done, it will be the 100% version of this film. And I promise, as soon as we
know when we’ll have it done, you will too.
We get just a little bit closer every single day.
This project has been a huge part of our lives for the past
couple years and it has been amazing to share the journey with all of you.
We’ll all be able to say “MischiefManaged” together soon, I promise. ^_~
So, finally, from all of us on the TGS post-team, and from
everyone who worked on the film during production as well: Thank you again,
from the bottom of our hearts, for your continued patience and support for The
Gathering Storm. You’ll be hearing from us again soon.
Benjamin Wessels Co-writer, Actor, and Associate Producer
I’m holding back mooost of my opinions and judgement of the Gathering Storm books until the storm blows over, and the information is out there for everyone to snag up and reaaaaad, but I’ll tell you where I stand as of right now:
I love what I have read. I had a very good time with the Fall of Cadia, and though these aren’t Gathering Storm books I think they are important: the Damocles Gulf books, and the Fenris books were fantastic! I really enjoy the new direction Games Workshop is taking the setting, and hopefully all of our favorite characters, factions, and whathaveyous get turned on their fucking head, die, and stagnation is washed away.
I am, without a doubt, ready for a new era of 40k. I just hope it is a fine era, and introduces itself better than Age of Sigmar.
While I like Cato Sicarius as a character, and glad that he got into (and out of) the Gathering Storm III, I feel that it would much, much better if in his journey to Terra Guilliman was accompanied by Uriel Ventris. Because this adventure is just his type of adventure.
Like the fantastic fiction that spawned it, my story is taking a decidedly dark turn.
I hemmed and hawed, wondering whether I should keep it light, but decided against it. I can’t go against where the characters are taking me. Even if I lose a reader or two due to trigger warnings, I won’t change a jot.
In any case, I haven’t gotten more than two hearts combined for all four acts thus far, so why should I worry?