Mythica: Stormbound (2024)

Mythica: Stormbound Review

Mythica: Stormbound (2024)

Mythica, a five part series of epic fantasy films that has developed a devoted fanbase over the years, is not quite done yet. Not when there are people like actor/director Jake Stormoen (The Outpost) in the director’s chair and production company Arrowstorm who loves this world as much as anyone dreaming up new installments to add to this beloved franchise.

This isn’t just a passion project for me though it very much is that. It’s also a passion project for all the fans who went to Kickstarter to help make sure we had the funding piece of the puzzle. The seed of “Mythica: Stormbound” was planted, watered, and nurtured by them. So I thought it would be nice if they could ask some questions about what it took from beginning to end to put “Mythica: Stormbound” on screen Here’s what they came up with.

I don’t know if that’s ever happened before! Let’s see… I was approached to direct sometime in November 2022 (or maybe earlier… but we started doing early work on it around then) I’m not entirely sure what motivated them because I didn’t write the story myself but I was honored that they asked me to direct. After hearing the rough outline of what was happening and reading some early drafts that existed at the time I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

Yes Very nerve-wracking I knew from previous Mythica experience that Kickstarter (which Arrowstorm used successfully on each of their prior Mythica movies) wasn’t going to account for the entire budget but that if it failed, we weren’t going to make this movie. And my guess is that part of what made Arrowstorm understandably nervous about even trying was not only money involved but also whether or not there still was a fanbase out there longing for more Mythica films.

Like many crowdfunding campaigns, it started very strong, slowed down, and ended strong. I think probably the producers were less nervous than I was in a lot of ways because they’d asked me to be the ‘face’ of this thing. So for me, it felt like a very personal success/failure.

What’s your day job? Because since November 2022 when we came up with social media teases leading up to Kickstarter announcement until now (in post-production) I’ve been working on this film non-stop. Literally. My agent and manager turned down any audition opportunities that would have come my way so that I could focus solely on making “Mythica: Stormbound” the best it possibly could be.

So technically I haven’t stopped working on this film for almost a full year now.

I was lucky since I had already directed on “The Outpost” and similar to that series, I was also a. Mythica fan for life; as an actor it’s what I knew best. Fantasy is my jam always has been.

But from a directing standpoint, let me tell you how fortunate we were to have the absolute best cast and crew we could ever ask for. I used to joke about not knowing how we managed to assemble The Avengers to make this modest budget fantasy film… but then again, here we were. Sam Sargeant, my director of photography, was instrumental in this process as well as my 1st assistant director Tobijah Taylor both of whom kept things moving smooth with an absolutely insane schedule and very ambitious shoot. Without them or any other member of our team (cast included) this would not have happened.

Sam would sit with me night after night going over shot lists multiple times for every single scene before we started rolling cameras; so when we showed up on set we were already on the same page and able to move at the pace needed while still being ambitious with our shots which is huge because I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous or excited in my life… Again though, everyone who was there, especially Sam and Tobijah were constantly by my side in the trenches. This film looks so good man… I’m so excited for people to see it.

Honestly? It’s all a blur. One big, wonderful, adventurous blur. What sticks out more than anything else though is everything that made it possible… And that’s the crew, the cast, support, etc.. The amount of love felt from each crew member on set mixed with just enough trust shown by every single cast member starting from minute one when they arrived is something I can’t/could never explain/really will never be able to put into words just how grateful/thankful I am.

I’ve just finished my second pass with my editor and it’s now gone to producers for notes. The VFX team has been met with, we have gone over every single VFX shot and they’re prepping things on their end. Once producers sign off on editing VFX, sound mixing, color grading, and score can all begin their work and I’ll be available to each of them as we put the bells and whistles on this thing.

We had the deck stacked against us in almost every way imaginable. We would lose crew members to other bigger jobs right before we started or lose a camera package that we thought we had secured at a bargain rate…. Things like that. Normal things but very stressful when the train is getting ready to leave the station yet somehow (thanks cast/crew!) we STILL managed to get essentially all of the shots I had initially planned or adapted accordingly so only what needed to be cut was jeopardized/sacrificed story-wise.

Watching the edit now, I’m incredibly proud of what we were all able to do with so little. With an independent film in a genre like this, there’s a balance between creatively using the tools at hand and being over-ambitious to the point where quality suffers. Every single person involved danced that line beautifully, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I think people especially Mythica fans are going to love it.

Can you talk a little bit about the Mythica/Jake fandom that is so passionate and exciting? What has your experience been with the fandom?

I feel like the Mythica fandom comes from people really feeling the heart and soul we put into those first five films. It’s constantly called “the most faithful D&D type adventure I’ve seen on screen” by people, which to me is just about the greatest compliment anyone could ever pay them. That’s what we set out for them to be, and I love that people have gone along on Marek, Dagen, Thane, and Teela’s journey. So here’s hoping they fall in love with our new heroes just as much!

And then any sort of “Jake” fandom honestly I don’t know what I did to deserve such support, but not one second do I take it for granted. It makes me grateful to where words fail me. So all I can really say is thank you.

What was directing this thing like? You had some experience on The Outpost but this was your baby and I’m curious how you approached your role as director/actor?

It was awesome! I prepared myself literally as much as humanly possible before showing up on set because… yeah… it was my baby haha! But no it was amazing. There were some things that happened throughout shooting that seemed specifically designed to test us or make our lives more difficult but at every turn we rose above! And tried even harder than we thought we were capable of trying. So I’m excited to see how it all comes together, and I hope everyone’s proud of the work they did.

Maybe talk a bit about what people can expect from this latest iteration of Mythica. What’s the vibe?

It’s definitely a darker story, but I’ve tried really hard to keep the spirit of Mythica alive and give nods to existing fans while still making it my own. So hopefully there’s enough of that where on a second viewing someone could be like “Ohhh okay so that was something!” Because those are my favorite kinda films personally, so if ever there was an opportunity for me to make one… this is probably it.

Is there a sense that more Mythica movies could be made?

If there is then I don’t know about it! All I know is what we’ve done up to now, and look just getting through one movie at a time has been tough enough! So who knows what the future holds haha. But if there are more… then yeah I’d like to think Stormbound will have been a great launching point for them or whatever. It was such an awesome adventure being in that world with even more amazing people than before!

Watch Mythica: Stormbound For Free On Gomovies.

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