“I am positive that if my mentor John Cassevetes were around today he would use Kickstarter to make his films.”
Whether Alexandre Rockwell‘s statement about Cassavetes is true or not (we’ll never know), it hardly seems implausible as we see yet another indie film legend going the crowdfunding route. It’s been a long time since Rockwell was a significant name in cinema, but he’ll always be remembered as an important member of the Sundance class of ’92, his quirky black and white feature In the Soup winning the grand jury prize that year over strong contenders like Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Allison Anders’s Gas, Food Lodging. He then came up with the idea for the anthology feature Four Rooms, on which he collaborated with Tarantino, Anders and Robert Rodriguez. More recently, he directed the Peter Dinklage comedy Pete Smalls Is Dead.
His latest project, which is on Kickstarter with a goal of $35K is titled Little Feet, and boy does it look adorable. It stars Rockwell’s young children, Lana and Nico (both with second wife Karyn Parsons, star of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and was even co-written by 8-year-old Lana. Unlike some films in which the director co-writes with his kids (Rodriguez’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl; Francis Ford Coppola’s Life Without Zoe), this one is not at all terrible, according to reviews and awards its received already. That’s right, Little Feet is already complete and has been seen, but it needs some post-production costs taken care of in order to meet the demands of theatrical distributor Factory 25. Those costs include sound mix, color correction (yes, for a black-and-white film) and song clearances.
Speaking of the soundtrack, it might just be the Sigur Ros music in the trailer (“Saeglopur” can make anything feel powerful to me), but I’m totally sold. Plus, I like the obvious influence of Killer of Sheep evident in the image above — Rockwell told Indiewire that Little Feet is like Charles Burnett’s classic crossed with The Little Rascals. This is a movie starring kids about what it’s like to be a kid, through their own eyes. There is clearly a lot of imagination and freedom and innocence in the hour-long feature. “I want to make a film from dirt,” the filmmaker says in his crowdfunding campaign video, meaning this is meant to be the cinematic equivalent of, say, a sand castle or mud pie or anything else his kids might create from nothing while playing outside. That sounds like what indie film should be.
Little Feet will definitely be funded if it continues on the pace its Kickstarter has been running since launching last week. Rockwell has already raised 60% of its goal and still has 23 days left. Maybe it’ll overshoot the budget and toss some extra money Rockwell’s way in order that he can put it towards his next super indie effort. The fact that this is sure to at least reach the $35K is really fortunate, though, because if it somehow doesn’t then I guess Factory 25 won’t put it out. “If the film does not make its goal, it will not be seen. It is as simple as that,” Rockwell says on the campaign page, which might be a bluff considering the movie reportedly also has a deal with Vimeo On Demand already, but who would want to call such a bluff?
According to the pledge perks (which include the chance to Skype with any one of Rockwell’s friends, like Peter Dinklage, Steve Buscemi, Sam Rockwell and Rosie Perez, or to get filmmaking assistance/advice from Fisher Stevens or Allison Anders, or to have a voicemail greeting by Sam Rockwell or either Rockwell’s present or ex-wife, the latter being Jennifer Beals) the film will be out around August 2014, which appears to be when a digital copy will be issued.
Check out the Kickstarter video for Little Feet below and chip in if you’re interested, or just get excited about this little film coming to theaters soon.