In late 2008, production of Golden Fists Prod’s “Vern Project” was aborted for undisclosed reasons. This short film was salvaged from footage that was not subsequently destroyed.
Victoria, Australia, 1854. Prof. Jason Crest III is despatched to the new colony to covertly field test his experimental invention for producing kinetic pictograms (ie moving pictures). On arrival, he hears of a miner’s uprising on the goldfields and is eager to document the events. He is annoyed to be ordered by the Governor to stay in town and produce pornographic films of the Governor’s courtesan, the dancer Lola Montez. Unbeknownst to them both, Lola Montez does not actually exist but is a collective identity used by gold-diggers; a ruse that was easier to carry off in days before photography was widespread. The Governor’s “Lola Montez” is in league with a mysterious German exile Frederick de la Vern for potential political blackmail, but he is currently occupied organising the goldfield resistance.
Crest eventually reaches the goldfields in time to film the brutal suppression of the insurrection and the subsequent massacre of survivors. Vern has already fled the scene by Zeppelin. Horrified by what he has seen, Crest confronts the Governor and threatens him with a public screening of his atrocity footage, forcing the Governor to free the imprisoned surviving miners and grant their democratic demands. As part of the agreement, Crest is forced to destroy his invention to prevent its future use and cinema will not be invented again until almost fifty years later.
The site of the massacre is turned into a theme park.