Alliance Media Partners and Roger! Pictures team up for It Came from the Desert
by Naman Ramachandran
- Marko Mäkilaakso will commence principal photography in Finland and Spain in the autumn
Director Marko Mäkilaakso will commence principal photography on the action-comedy science-fiction film It Came from the Desert in early autumn in Turku, Finland, and the Almeria desert, Spain. The project is currently in pre-production. The script by Mäkilaakso, Hank Woon (Age of Dinosaurs) and Trent Haaga (68 Kill) is inspired by Cinemaware’s cult 1980s video game of the same name, and involves motocross legends, keg parties in the desert, secret underground military bases and giant ants, in keeping with the pulp nature of the game. Mäkilaakso’s credits include the Finnish theatrical hit Ella and her Friends 2, action-horror War of the Dead [+see also:
film profile] and horror science-fiction Deadly Descent: The Abominable Snowman.
Mäkilaakso describes the film as “an action-monster-movie-comedy driven by the underlying emotional needs of its fun and energetic lead characters, who live in a dream world of extreme sports, beer, movies and movie heroes, until they have the fortunate (or unfortunate!) opportunity, in a truly epic desert setting, to find out if they are really heroes at all…”
The film is a collaboration between UK-based production company/financier Alliance Media Partners (AMP) and Finland’s Roger! Pictures. AMP is financing from its pool of equity and gap funds, alongside the Finnish Film Foundation, the West Finland Film Commission and Finnish production outfit Bufo. Roger! Pictures is a member of the Nordic Genre Invasion, and the deal between AMP and Roger! was formalised at April’s Nordic Genre Invasion market event in Helsinki, and at Cannes earlier this year. Roger!’s Teemu Virta (Ella and Friends 2) is producing with AMP’s Bob Portal (Mission: London [+see also:
film profile]). The executive producers are Roger!’s Tero Kaukomaa (Iron Sky [+see also:
interview: Tero Kaukomaa
interview: Timo Vuorensola
interview: Timo Vuorensola
film profile]) and AMP’s Inderpal Singh (The Hoarder).
Portal said, “The guys from Roger! have that infectious passion for fun, cool genre films, and an ability to pull off great production value in a lean, modern way. This is a smart, highly entertaining project – it’s a great fit for our production slate and fund. Like the titles we’ve been making in North America since we launched last year, it’s distinctive and comes pre-loaded with a lot of market interest.”
The titles that Portal is referring to include Trent Haaga’s pulp thriller 68 Kill, Simon Rumley’s thriller Fashionista, Greg Carter’s urban teen comedy My B.F.F. and Matt Winn’s horror thriller The Hoarder.
Virta said, “Since our first meeting with AMP, it’s been a fertile relationship on the project together. I’m very happy about the results and that we can now bring our action-packed creature feature into production. It’s going to be a thrilling ride, and I’m sure that audiences will love it!”
The film, which is due to be completed in mid-2017, has already made several pre-sales through Canadian-based sales agent Raven Banner.