The film is set in 1909, a time when science was not the death of magic, but still full of mystery and possibility. As a storyteller, Ortega found this era irresistible, and a perfect setting for his unique artistry with CG technology. Monsters were still real in this time period, and it's this mysterious possibility that inspired Ortega to transform his home into a full-blown set, and climb the tricky mountain of funding his dream project through sites like Kickstarter. He's well into post-production, but getting the film shot on budget was a self-proclaimed "painful experience".
The real trick, when making an indie film of this scope, is "making something that looks like it costs many times more"
It was definitely no small feat, but there's now a 35 minute pilot that is hoped to expand into a feature film. The real trick, when making an indie film of this scope, is "making something that looks like it costs many times more", Ortega says. Initially, the project was much smaller in scope, because there was no guarantee that there would be funding. Cryptology and museumology from over 100 years ago aren't, on the surface, blockbuster subjects. Ortega is inspired by scientists, naturalists, and explorers of the 1900's, like Carl Akeley (who invented taxidermy), Frederick Sealous, and Allan Quatermain, who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones himself. Not to mention Grover Krantz, who was the first to research cryptozoology in the 1960's.