Category Archives: Film Update

While moving forward, a fun look back

Now that we’ve got things going again on the project (which has shifted into fun new territory), it’s worth taking a look back at the plan for the original short film. Followers of the project, or anyone who’s glanced at the concept art from past posts, know just how overly ambitious this project was from the outset. Below are a couple of storyboards we had planned to shoot — nearly 2 years ago. Fun fact: these boards were generously made by the immensely talented Mark Englert, now a successful and oh-so-collectible poster artist!

Novos SBoard 06 01_small Novos SBoard 07 02_small


A hint


So, what’s happening with Novos?

It’s been a long time since the last project update, so you might be wondering what’s happening with Novos. Everyone who donated their time, money, and interest deserves a clear explanation of where the film is.

The live action portion of Novos was set to shoot last September but was again derailed by unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances. Though setbacks happen in every production, Novos has proven particularly susceptible to them. I decided to put the project back on hold to assess why it was too difficult to make.

Part of the problem was I underestimated the true difficulty of what I was trying to achieve. My success with the print series and attracting talented artists to the project made me chronically overconfident. I was coasting on the extraordinary talents of those artists I convinced to help me rather than honestly assessing obstacles and making the editorial decisions that all filmmakers face. This made the live action portion of Novos dependent on everything going right — and those of you familiar with filmmaking know that never happens.

While one of the goals for the production was to show that the highest quality standards are attainable with enough planning, innovation, and work, reality has clearly illustrated the limits of that ambition. That’s not to say that this or any other project cannot be ambitious — just that the goals must be more fluid and flexible to accommodate the genuine difficulty of film production.

This is a long way to say I’ve been rewriting the film, and while the process is ongoing, I’ve started moving forward with a team on the new game plan. The changes reflect both artistic adjustments and the practical requirements of reaching a finished product. Novos is happening. I’ve invested too much time and energy and believe too strongly in the work so many talented artists have created to allow the project to wither. I will also finish the print package. One of the two final prints arrived in the mail a few days ago and I’ve been discussing the timeline with the final artist.

Independent filmmaking is a collaborative process between passionate, possibly-a-bit-crazy filmmakers and the support network built around the project. Novos has come this far thanks to all of you. It has been a transformative experience to witness the amount of enthusiasm so many of you have displayed for this little film. That alone will keep me going.

Thank you,

Jonathan Brebner, Director

“Synesthesia” art print by Chuck Sperry!

*The Novos batch of Synesthesia is sold out! If you missed out, fear not — Chuck Sperry will be selling his portion of the prints on his website tomorrow, July 26th, at a random time!

The Novos project, prints and film, is getting really busy. We’re currently rebuilding the crew, working with costume artists, and generally prepping to shoot the short film around the beginning of September, and we’ve got a brand new print by artist Chuck Sperry! We could extoll to you all the virtues of this print, but we think this one can speak for itself.

The prints will go up for sale on the Novos Store on Wednesday, July 25th at a random time!

“Synesthesia” by Chuck Sperry

22″ x 33″

Regular Edition of 100

8 colors printed on archival cream paper

Signed and Numbered

Check out below the jump to see the gorgeous variants!

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Novos New Year’s Update

Hello all!

It’s been a while since the filming delay was announced, but since then Novos has been moving along. Several prints in the print series are nearing completion and should be released soon. There’s also been some exciting progress in creating the film’s digital assets, a teaser of which you can see below. Expect more updates soon as the project really ramps back up!

It’s been a little while…

…since we last published some concept art. So, we’d like to share this amazing piece by Zoran. As far as the film goes, we’re currently in the casting process, and should have details on cast and full crew soon. Also, keep an eye out for the first print in the production series sometime soon!

by Zoran

New Team Members!

We’ve been busy over the last few weeks fleshing out the crew and various team positions, and we’re proud to introduce several new team members:

  • Billy Summers – Director of Photography: Billy is an award winning Director of Photography based out of Seattle. He has worked on everything from Multi-Million dollar Ad Campaigns and Feature Films to micro budget handmade Art Installations and Music Videos. With Billy’s guidance, Novos will now be shot on the Epic system, RED’s new, state-of-the-art camera. To give you an idea what the camera is capable of, there’s some guy in New Zealand shooting a cool little indie film called The Hobbit using the Epic. So it should work for Novos.
  • Kirill Kozyrev – Character Concept Artist:  To help us get through the last major design push leading up to principal photography, we’ve brought on Kirill to finish up the character designs. Kirill is a self-taught artist, based in Moscow, with a passion for game-development and film production. Currently he’s working as a freelance concept artist and illustrator for a multiple projects, including Novos and the steam-punk MMOG “Sky2Fly”.
  • Lucy Carpenter – CG Environment Artist:  A marine biologist turned CG artist, Lucy currently works for Google and on video games and short films, obsessively building 3D props and environments and making textures for these objects in Photoshop.


Now that we’re on the edge of June, the Novos production is starting to really heat up. So here are some updates!

  • “The Servant of Cybele” print has faced multiple unfortunate production delays (the most recent of which includes Jay, the artist/printer, sustaining major injury to his fingers). But the prints will be done soon, and will ship out next week. To thank everyone who purchased the print for their patience, there will be an additional special, limited edition print included with orders. We think you’ll really like it!
  • Thanks to the success of the Novos print series and the generosity of donors, we’ve been able to expand the initial budget projections. Our new goal is $50,000. This will allow us to pay more of the crew for their hard work and will expand opportunities in both principal photography and post production.
  • We haven’t updated the fundraising totals in a while, but we’re now up to $20,000 raised! This puts us at 40% to our new overall fundraising goal.
  • Fundraising will continue throughout production and post production, as will the Novos print series. Keep an eye out for some exciting new releases in the near future!
  • Finally, we’d like to formally welcome Travis Boatright, the film’s costume director, to the crew! Travis is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts and will bring the film’s fantastic costumes to reality.

Updated Scout Ship turntable render (in HD!)

The guys over at Straightface Studios have been making a lot of progress on the digital front. Check out this new turntable render of the Scout Ship. We’re still working on perfecting the design, but the render shows just how far the model has come since the last turntable. Make sure to watch it in HD and fullscreen!

Prints and CG updates

A quick update on the “The Forest Made Us Talk” prints and variants. We’ve shipped the prints to just about everyone who donated to the film since the print was released, save for a couple who we’re waiting on confirmation of seemingly non-existent addresses. At this point, there are about 15 of the regular numbered prints left and 6 each of the variants, so for any holding out donating on word of availability, fear not!

Also, we’ve been making some great progress on the Computer Generated Imagery front thanks to the talented people at Straightface Studios. I don’t want to reveal TOO much, but here’s something cool from a few months back (we’ve gotten MUCH farther since that time):