Hi, I’m Matt Cates, and I’d like your funding to make the most important film ever made!
Yes, I am talking about ‘The Quest for Stars War Uzay Head Man: Finding the Rarest Star Wars Bootleg Toy on Earth!’
I’m a retired vet, traveling overseas. I’m also a huge Star Wars fan. I was there in 1977, a little kid at the drive-in movie theater in Oklahoma, sitting in the bed of my older brother’s Ford Ranchero, quaking with fear and wonder as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, waltzed through the burnt ozone and smoke of blaster fire, over the corpses of his fallen Stormtroopers…. On the outdoor screen, he was massive!
Photo still from ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’
I was addicted! I used my allowance and got as many toys as I could (and notebooks, lunch boxes, bed covers, etc). I still have several of the original Kenner line figures from my childhood, which my own kids play with, like the ones below…
I was recently in a Turkish toy shop and saw many ‘original’ brand name toys next to some local knock-offs. My daughter and I got a laugh at one series of bootlegs called‘Stars War.’ But that made me wonder–what if, somewhere out there, somebody might actually want to collect these bootlegs?
So I did a Google search for ‘Turkish Star Wars toys’ and, apart from results on the film, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (also known as ‘Turkish Star Wars’ because it blatently stole some of the film footage), I discovered ‘Uzay Savasçıları – Head Man.’
(By the way, ‘Uzay Savasçıları’ translates better as ‘Space Warriors,’ I think…).
Who was this guy Head Man? He wasn’t in the film that I watched! He’s got on a sort of Imperial Royal Guard helmet, though. Pretty sure those were crimson-colored, not gold…
Anyways, as I read more about this ‘Uzay’ line of bootlegs, I learned how valuable and rare ‘Head Man’ and the gang are. Collectors were paying an arm and a leg for these guys! In fact, there were fakes being made of the fakes, and trading on eBay (Why??).
My brain is pretty slow on the uptake sometimes, but it didn’t take long for me to realize–if my kids play with my old Star Wars toys, then probably some of these old Uzay-line toys were still floating around in the homes of local Turkish families…maybe even out in the villages!
I decided to try to find them. If you want, you can help me on this adventure!
The hypothetical owners of these old bootlegs probably would have zero clue how valuable the toys were to obsessive Western toy collectors, though. And my intent is not to exploit anybody. But you have to be careful; you don’t want to buy a fake fake, and it’s always possible to get scammed.
So I am proceeding with caution!
I’m drafting the story of my search, ‘The Quest for Stars War Uzay Head Man.’ I would also love to turn this into a short fan film, but alas I am totally broke. My family and I live on my government pension; it was our choice to live overseas, and so I have no sob story to sell here. That’s not the point of this.
But it is hard to work when moving abroad; I try to do some freelance writing and English teaching to private students. The meager proceeds from those things goes fast; I don’t have an capital to put into even a camera to record my adventure.
Thus the point of this GoFundMe is to see if anyone wants to participate in the questby first funding a camera (something better than just my smartphone) and local travel expenses?
I’m not asking anyone to fund me, but you can if you like. If you do, the money will go towards:
1) a GoPro Hero video camera and rig (which cost even more overseas due to import taxes)
2) the bus and taxi rides I need to get around to the places I’m going to scout
If I get past those points, the next things to really go bigger on this are:
3) an upgraded laptop and external hard drive for editing the film
4) video editting software (unless I use freeware)
5) professional graphic/logo design for ‘The Quest for Uzay Head Man’
If enough is raised, I want to really try to do something professional… to that end, I’d love to fund:
6) hire a professional voice actor(s) to some overdubbing
7) a professional musical score or at least theme song
8) advertising and promotion of the short film
9) any other related costs associated with the production of a short film, includingdistribution…unless I end up releasing it on YouTube!
9) shipping and appraisal costs of any merchandise I purchase that is related to the story/film (any Uzay-line Stars War toys)
I already have one very promising lead!
I created an ad on Facebook, which I shared within a local online ‘buy and sell’ page.’ Here’s the ad; I used Google Translate to post in Turkish, since most of the folks on the page don’t use English.
My FB ad:
Took a couple of trys but eventually someone posted back that they’d seen a ‘box’ of these toys at a weekend antique swap meet!
My heart started pounding when I read that. I called up a Turkish friend Mithat and asked what he was doing this weekend.
On the ad, I didn’t want to make too high of an initial offer, because again, you never know what you’ll find. But if I end up discovering the real deals, I will buy them, have them professionally appraised, and then return to the seller with more equatable sum.
No, really; I have close ties with many locals; I would not try to rip these folks off. In fact, I recently went to a local village wedding; lot of dancing late into the night, outside under the moon and stars. Lot of fun; lot of pistol fire, too…that’s how they celebrate!
Sorry for the tangent…
Okay, guys, that’s it! Like I say, I didn’t return to the fulltime work force, by choice. My wife wanted to take the fam overseas, but it is hard to take on fulltime work like this…plus jobs where we are pay next to nothing. Thus I’m not on unemployment or disability; I’m just on ‘sabbatical,’ taking time to teach myself new tech and marketing skills. and hone my own writing skills, too.
So why fund this? I have no idea; that’s up to you. If you’re a Star Wars fan, or a collector, and this project interests you, then please consider donating.
If you do fund it, please let me know why! And let me know if I can use your name and reason in my article (and film, if I raise enough), ‘The Quest for Stars Wars Uzay Head Man.’
Star Wars fans always amaze me with their level of commitment to the SW universe. No one beats Star Wars fans; I truly believe they (and yes, I include myself in this) are some of the most awesome people out there in the galaxy.
So I can’t express how grateful I’ll be to get funded. In fact, honestly I will be incredulous (oh, this box doesn’t have a spell checker! I just had to Google ‘incredulous’ to make sure I didn’t flub it).
GIFTS: I am not sure if this is where to write this, but: if you give $5 or more, I can send you a free copy of any of my Amazon Kindle eBooks. Check out my page and let me know which you’d like. If you do not specify, I will send you ‘Why Are You Still Working?’
My Amazon Author Page:
If you give $10 or more, I will send you any 3 of my Amazon Kindle eBooks you like (note many are just short stories, not novels). Below is only a sampe of the available options:
If anyone has ideas for other prizes, lemme know! I’m all ears… I’m considering gifting some of the modern version Stars War bootlegs, for folks who donate over $25 (because shipping is expensive from here!). What do you thing? Any interest? If so I will post pics…
Okay, enough chattering on my end! Thank you so much for reading, and no matter what you choose–to fund or not to fund–I sincerely appreciate your interest.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
May the Force Be With You…Always!