Carmilla Adaptation STYRIA Needs Your Help

As some of you may know, I’ve been following the production of Styria for some time.  This is the first major effort to seriously adapt Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic novella Carmilla in over twenty years.  Last year I even did a three-part interview with Mark Devendorf, one of the writer/directors of the project.

Now post production is gearing up for its final stage.  MCMD films needs to pay for several more pieces of work, like color correction (a process that allows the entire film to look the same), a small amount of CGI (computer generated imaging), a full sound design and a top-notch musical score.  Towards this they’ve set up a Kickstarter page.  The way it works is fairly straightfoward, and resembles the membership plans familiar to those who support regional theaters and PBS stations all over the country.  Quite simply, people go online to their page and contribute.  The level of contribution determines what kinds of gifts the production bestows upon the donor.  There are sixteen levels.   Gifts include Styria ringtones and copies of MCMD’s previous short film (for $1 or more backers) to DVDs of Styria itself ($25 and more) and tickets to the Hollywood screening/goth party ($75 and more) up to an Associate Producer credit on the final film and IMDB ($1000 and more) as well as a tour of Tura Castle in Hungary where filming took place ($10,000 or more).  Plus many more, much of them cumulative.

The kickstarter page includes an information video made by the filmmakers, describing much of the process that led them towards this particular ‘take’ on Carmilla.  Like the John Ajvide Lindqvist best-selling novel Let The Right One In (which was in turn inspired by Le Fanu), this story is set in the 1980s.  In this case the filmmakers found themselves fascinated by the connection between the undead and suicides as well as documented cases of multiple but seemingly unconnected suicides in “batches” all over the world.

Stephen Rea, who played a vampire in Neil Jordan’s Interview With The Vampire years ago, plays Dr. Walter Hill, an art historian.  He comes to Karnstein Castle in Styria, Hungary to preserve a series of murals created there when the castle was a sanitorium for wealthy tuberculor patients before the first world war.  His recently expelled teenage daughter Lara is played by Eleanor Tomlinson, who was in both The Prestige as well as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  She discovers an unknown mural, one that seems to predict events happening all around them.

Of course a car accident brings the young woman Carmilla into their lives.  Played by Polish actress Julia Pietrucha, Carmilla begins an intoxicating friendship with Lara, as some kind of strange chaos begins spreading in the town.

As of this writing, the kickstarter page has raised nearly $2,800 towards their goal of $25,000–after two days.  The campaign will run until October 14.

The page includes an initial trailer for the film which can also be seen here:  STYRIA trailer #1

So what do you think?  Do you look forward to seeing this film completed?  In so, why?  Or, why not?

By david

David MacDowell Blue blogs at Night Tinted Glasses.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is the author of The Annotated Carmilla. and Your Vampire Story (And How to Write It) as well as a theatrical adaptation of Carmilla.


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