As a huge fan of Fantasy, especially when something involves Dragons, I jumped at the chance to speak with the folks over at Arrowstorm Entertainment about their newest film, The Christmas Dragon. It’s a bit of a departure from their usual outings into the genre; usually the films are always fun, but this is their first Holiday film. I had the great opportunity to speak with Arrowstorm’s Producer, Kynan Griffin, about the upcoming Holiday/Fantasy film and you can check out the interview below!
Casey: You’re obvious huge fans of fantasy, what made Arrowstorm Entertainment get into specializing in this type of genre?
Kynan: Well, there were two main reasons – 1) we are huge fans of science fiction and fantasy. Jason Faller and myself grew up reading all the same fantasy series, watching the same films (Star Wars, Neverending Story, Highlander, Conan, etc) and playing D&D, etc – even though we grew up on opposite sides of the world. (He’s from Canada, I’m from South Africa). We met in college, both studying film, and immediately talked about how there were no fantasy films being made. Which leads to reason #2 – we saw a market gap. When you look at literature and gaming, fantasy is a juggernaut, dwarfing other genres… yet in film we see so little fantasy beyond the mega-series, like LOTR and Harry Potter. It’s more popular now than when we began, but its still under-represented. So we carved out a niche for ourselves making the fantasy content we wanted to see ourselves, and knew that other fans around the world would want too… it really is a universal genre.
Kynan: We’d never seen a Christmas dragon, and so thought, why not? When John Lyde, the director, first pitched us the idea, we thought he was a little crazy, but once we imagined Santa as a medieval wizard, it made a lot more sense… Since then, I’ve looked online for images of Christmas dragons, and there are a bunch of them – so it’s clearly something fans want to imagine.
Casey: Getting a whole movie out by Christmas is quite the ambitious project, why did you go with crowd funding to achieve this goal?
Kynan: For us, crowd-funding is like a social network. It gives fans the opportunity to get involved from the ground up. We’re an internally financed studio, so we get to greenlight whatever we like (and can afford), so we treat Kickstarter as a pre-sales venue and a networking venue more than a funding source. We’ve had a lot of success in networking with filmmakers and backers we’ve met through Kickstarter. Also, it’s a way for us to directly communicate with our core fans and audiences. The feedback we receive directly influences the stories we tell, and we improve steadily as a studio as we interact with our audience.
Casey: This project features some amazing actors, how did you approach them with The Christmas Dragon and what were there reactions?
Kynan: The actors all fell in love with the concept as soon as we explained it to them, so it was pretty easy to get them onboard. It’s a really fun movie. We’re confident in its success.
Casey: Any plan to release a Christmas Dragon to a toy shelf near me?
Kynan: Actually, one of our Executive Producer level backers, Kevin Carvell, has been pursuing some deals in that space… so hopefully that will work out. Kevin is a good example of Kickstarter being a networking opportunity. He came on as a backer, but has really added value to the project, and is looking for further opportunities to market and help the film make money. We love meeting people like that.
Casey: What does an audience member come to expect from a fantasy film from Arrowstorm Entertainment?
Kynan: Our motto has always been “let’s make the movies we like to watch”… so what you get from Arrowstorm is things that Jason and I think are cool… we love fantasy which has a lot of action and adventure, and which is fun for the whole family. I really got into fantasy as a young kid, and we want people of all ages to be able to jump right into our world and experience wonder… we want to capture the imagination. So… expect a lot of creatures, magic, and action… but also expect great art, costumes and actors – we feel that is key to capturing the audiences imaginations. We want people to be able to immerse themselves into a realistic world – no matter how “fantastical” it as. A lot of credit needs to go to our production designers – we’ve used Anne Black a lot as a Production Designer and Director – but also Lauren Spalding who designed the Mythica and Christmas Dragon movies.
Casey: After this film is released in a couple of months, what do you have planned next?
Kynan: Well, we’re finishing up Mythica 1 through 3, and then we’ll hopefully shoot Mythica 4 and 5… we’re in development on some super fun projects, including a fantasy TV series, a pirate movie and a dragon riders movie. Oh… and we’re also making Bigfoot vs Nazis… but that’s a different kind of fantasy 🙂
I really want to see this Bigfoot vs Nazis film now! Thanks a ton to Kynan Griffin from Arrowstorm Entertainment to take the time to speak with us about his film company and the upcoming Christmas Dragon film. You can check out the trailer and see that it’s well on it’s way to becoming a holiday classic! Make sure to check out the website, LIKE them on Facebook, and follow them on the Twitters!