Mythica, a five-movie fantasy-adventure series that has developed a passionate and devoted following, isn’t done quite yet. In the capable hands of actor/director Jake Stormoen (The Outpost) in the director’s chair, and the passionate devotion to the world of Mythica from production company Arrowstorm, a new addition to this beloved movie franchise is coming.
In what is clearly a passion project – not only for Stormoen, but the fans who flocked to Kickstarter to help put the funding piece of the puzzle over the top, the seeds of “Mythica: Stormbound” were planted, nurtured and grew. Stormoen, who is in the final stages of finishing up the new film in post-production, was kind enough to spend some time answering questions about the process – from beginning to end – of bringing “Mythica: Stormbound” to the screen. Here’s what he had to say.
How long had the idea for this new Mythica movie been percolating and what are some of the motivating factors for wanting to put it together?
That’s a good question, actually! I was approached about directing it in November of 2022 (or perhaps a little earlier…but we started early work on it at that time). I’m not entirely sure what the motivating factors were as I didn’t write the story, myself, but I was honored that they trusted me with directing it. After hearing the rough outline of the story and reading early drafts that existed at the time, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough.
Tell me what it was like to sit through the fundraising aspect of this. Nerves, excitement? And what were you doing as the numbers started climbing and it seemed a reality?
Definitely nerve-wracking. I knew that Kickstarter (which Arrowstorm – the production company – successfully used on all previous Mythica films) was not to account for the entirety of the budget, but that if the campaign failed, the film would not be made. I suspect a large part of that was not only the money involved but also seeing if the fanbase still existed and still longed for more “Mythica” films.
Like many crowdfunding campaigns, it started very strong, slowed down, and ended strong. I think I was probably more nervous than the producers were, in large part because they’d asked me to be the ‘face’ of this thing. It felt like a very personal success/failure for that reason.
Give me some idea of what you were doing, how busy you were once the fundraising was completed and Mythica: Stormbound was a go?
I’ve been working on this film essentially nonstop since November 2022. I came up with the social media teases leading up to the Kickstarter announcement, I was the nostalgic face of the new project and I wanted it to be the absolute best it could be.
My agent and manager turned down any audition opportunities which would have otherwise come my way so that I could focus entirely on making “Mythica: Stormbound” the very best it could possibly be. We’re now in the thick of post-production, so to be honest, I literally haven’t stopped working on it in what is coming up on a full year.
What was it like that first day of shooting? What were you feeling, etc.?
I was fortunate in that I’d directed on “The Outpost” already, and similar to that series, I knew the “Mythica” world inside and out from spending so long in it as an actor. I also know fantasy extremely well; I’m a diehard fan of the genre and have been for my entire life.
From a filmmaking standpoint, I was incredibly fortunate to have the absolute best cast and crew we could have asked for. I would joke that I had no idea how we’d assembled The Avengers to make this modest budget fantasy film, yet here we were. My director of photography, Sam Sargeant, was also instrumental as well as my 1st assistant director, Tobijah Taylor.
The two of them kept things moving smoothly with an insane schedule and a very ambitious shoot. Without them and the rest of the crew and cast, it truly wouldn’t have happened.
Fortunately, Sam was willing to sit with me evening after evening 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 could move at the ambitious pace we needed to. I was nervous, but excited – and again, everyone who was there – especially Sam and Tobijah – were constantly at my side in the trenches with me. The film is looking really great – I’m so excited to share it.
Give me a feel for how filming went and some of the moments that may have stood out for you?
Honestly? The whole thing was a blur. One big, wonderful, adventurous blur. I know I rambled about how wonderful the crew and cast were in my answer above, but that’s what I would circle back to here. It’s what stood out as the lasting memory more than anything else – the amount of support I felt from every crew member on set and the trust each cast member placed in me from the first minute we all arrived is something I can’t explain my gratitude for.
With filming completed, what are you doing in the next weeks/months to get it ready for the screen?
I’ve just finished my second pass of the director’s cut with my editor, and it’s now gone to producers for notes. I’ve met with the VFX team to go over every single VFX shot, and they’re prepping things on their end. Once producers sign off on the edit, 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 the film.
Give me a sense of what you’re feeling about bringing this project to a successful conclusion?
We had the deck stacked against us in almost every way. We’d lose crew members to other bigger jobs right before we started, or we’d lose a camera package we thought we’d been able to secure at a bargain rate. Things like that. Normal things, but very stressful things when the train is getting ready to leave the station. Somehow (thanks, cast and crew!) we STILL managed to get essentially all the shots I’d initially planned or adapted accordingly to not jeopardize and sacrifice story.
Looking at the rough cut of the edit now, I’m so, so proud of what we all did with so little. There’s a fine line with an independent film in a genre like this of trying to creatively use the tools at hand versus being overly ambitious and having quality suffer as a result. I’m really proud of how each person danced that line so wonderfully well. I think audience members – especially existing Mythica fans – are really going to love it.
Talk a little about the Mythica/Jake fandom that is quite passionate and exciting? What’s your take on the fandom?
I think the Mythica fandom is one that stems from audience members genuinely feeling the heart and soul we all put into those first five films. I constantly hear it called “the most faithful D&D-type of adventure I’ve seen on screen” from people, and to me there’s no compliment that could warm my heart more. That’s exactly what we’d hoped they’d be, and I love that people have come along for the journey of Marek, Dagen, Thane and Teela. I hope they fall in love with our new heroes just as much.
As for any sort of “Jake” fandom – I honestly don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such support, but not for one second do I take it for granted. I’m grateful to the point of being speechless. So honestly, I just want to say a very big, heartfelt “thank you.”
How was it directing this thing? I know you did some on The Outpost, but this was your baby and I’m curious about how you approached your role as director/actor?
It was great! I made sure I was as prepared as anyone could possibly be before showing up on set, and I’d love to think that showed. I’m excited to see it all come together and I hope everyone is proud of the amazing work they did.
Maybe offer some thoughts on what people can expect from this latest iteration of Mythica. What’s the vibe?
It’s a darker story for sure, but I’ve tried very hard to keep the spirit of Mythica alive and to give nods and easter eggs to existing fans, while still making it my own. My hope is that there’s enough of that where a second viewing reveals much that may be glanced over the first time. I love that with films, personally, so that was definitely a goal when possible here.
Is there a sense that more Mythica movies are potentially out there?
If there is, it’s far above my pay grade! I’m not sure what the future will hold, but if more are to follow, I’d love to think that “Stormbound” will have been a great launching point.
Join us on Facebook for fun, news, and fans to chat with!
Follow me on Twitter: @JbakeR2D2 and @Threeifbyspace
Subscribe for new posts and new items in our Collectibles Shop
Leave us an Upvote and a comment below!