KickStarter

heiman beach

With tons of movie and TV appearances under his belt, chances are you’ve seen Jesse Heiman before. You may not know it, though, because he’s just an extra (in The Social Network, Spider-Man, Old School and more). However, you probably do remember him by face from the Go Daddy commercial that ran during the Super Bowl this year. Heiman was the chubby nerd who got to make out with supermodel Bar Refaeli (shocking millions of viewers, although it’s rather tame compared to his threesome as “lucky party goer” in The Rules of Attraction, if you ask me). Ever since that ad, he’s been more recognized and more confident. The latter result recently got him in trouble when he went a little too far trying to kiss married Twilight actress Nikki Reed, but otherwise this is a guy who could now be on the rise as a bit player. And the documentary Jesse Heiman: World’s Greatest Extra will be tracking him whether his fame truly grows or not. This feature film is currently in production, following a year in the life of the guy, and the filmmakers are looking for financial help via Kickstarter. It could be an interesting look at Hollywood and a little-seen side of the industry. Sure, there’s been Ricky Gervais’s Extras series and the documentary Strictly Background, which follows a number of professional film extras, but Heiman is a different breed. He’s one of the most distinct-looking individuals doing work that’s usually supposed to be for nondescript (not […]

read more...

bttf doc

Documentaries on specific circles of fandom are nothing new. Ever since the 1997 film Trekkies hit big at art house cinemas (and maybe before that in the UK with Dalekmania), we’ve been treated to similar looks at followers of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, My Little Pony, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Alien, Firefly/Serenity, The Big Lebowski, John Hughes and the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres in general. And that’s just the movie and TV obsessions (we can go back further for, say, heavy metal fans interviewed in parking lots). The fandom doc subgenre will only be growing now thanks to crowdfunding, because there’s seemingly no easier kind of project to appeal to a large niche crowd than something about a subject that appeals to a large niche crowd. It’s the same reason two of the most successful campaigns we’ve highlighted here are those involving Superman and Batman. Next in line for such a documentary is the fanbase for Back to the Future. While not as well known or unified a devotion as those to Star Trek and some of the other properties that have gotten the treatment in the past, BTTF fandom is still quite big. There have been conventions and obsessive websites and demand for replicas of props like the self-lacing sneakers and hoverboards and flux capacitors. The biggest collector’s item for any BTTF fan, though, is a DeLorean, whether one actually used in the movie or just simply one of the rare originals from the short-lived […]

read more...

CLERKS 2

Now that we’re past the point of established Hollywood talents going to fans for funding projects, is it only a matter of time before Kevin Smith reaches out to his cult following via Kickstarter? Not quite yet, and maybe he never will. Talking to Kim Masters on the KRCW radio program The Business, Smith admitted, “I love the idea and I want to do it so desperately, but I think I’ve missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to materials, I do have access to money.” Let’s not forget that Smith was almost a pioneer of feature film crowdfunding three years ago when he looked into the idea of fan-based financing for Red State, a creative departure for the director and one that even his friends at The Weinstein Co. weren’t interested in. Of course, the idea of him crowdfunding was blown out of proportion and the possibility was met with great disapproval on the web, not unlike what occurred more recently with Zach Braff’s campaign. One website in particular called Smith a “beggar,” which hit the filmmaker deep. He commented on that to Masters: The moment I saw that I froze. That high school part of me, the last vestiges of high school that said, “Oh, I care what other people think about me,” seized me… And, I can’t even remember the name of the website or the person that wrote it, but I do remember that it was the last moment of my life […]

read more...

Kickstarter Last Resort

Recently, the act of donating to or promoting a Kickstarter campaign has become a highly politicized and moralized one for movie fans, an act brimming with questions, crises, and conundrums about systemic economic disadvantages normalized by dominant industries of filmmaking. Suspicion has been directed in droves toward legitimate-seeming yet vastly-supported projects like the studio-release Veronica Mars movie or Zach Braff’s directorial follow-up to Garden State, whose constellation of multiple funding sources perhaps says more than we’d like to admit about the complex process of realizing even the most distinctly above-the-line indie projects. While frustration directed at a feature adaptation of a canceled UPN show or Braff’s seemingly boundless ability to produce haterade may appear legitimate when accounting for Kickstarter’s role as the possible final refuge for American alternative filmmaking, fingers should instead be pointed to the reasons that a resource like Kickstarter has become necessary in the first place.

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

It’s unknown whether the 38,377 people pledging to Zach Braff‘s Kickstarter campaign will now get their money back, but The Hollywood Reporter has announced from Cannes that the actor/filmmaker’s controversially crowdfunded film, Wish I Was Here, will receive funding from Worldview Entertainment (Killer Joe).* This is a very big deal, although it’s not clear what it means for the $2.6 million raised from fans on the Kickstarter site. According to THR, “Worldview will provide most of the financing for the drama” and “the budget is less than $10 million.” A couple weeks ago, Braff told the Los Angeles Times that the budget was about $5 million and that the money not funded through the drive would come from his own pocket and foreign distribution pre-sales. In the same interview, Braff was asked whether he’d take money from “industry types” that now see the film as a hot commodity and want on board. “I think that would be in bad taste for all the people who are backing this” he replied. “It wouldn’t be in the spirit of the thing.”

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

After all the hand-wringing and pearl clutching and doomsdaying about celebrities utilizing Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site is reporting that both the Veronica Mars movie and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here helped raise $400,000 for 2,200 other projects. How did they do it? By attracting more people to the site — 63% of their backers had never backed a project before, and many went on to find other worthwhile projects to give money to. The rising tide lifted all boats. Obviously this doesn’t dismiss other concerns about famous people and corporations mitigating their risk by asking their potential audience to pay what amount to inflated upfront ticket prices. However, this set of numbers is a powerful one that blasts any gut-notion that “blockbuster” projects take away money from the “true indies.” In fact, it’s exactly the opposite. As a for-profit company, these large projects are in Kickstarter’s best interest, but there’s also something amazing going on at that site. Great work is being done, people are finding new art to support and creators are getting the funding they need. If larger-profile appeals like these help everyone, then more power to them.

read more...

Zach Braff Wish I Was Here

The next step in our post-Veronica Mars world has just been mounted by Zach Braff. The Scrubs actor and Garden State writer/director/musicologist has turned to crowdfunding to attempt to secure $2m for a follow-up called Wish I Was Here, citing an inability to score financing that would offer him final cut and a number of other authorial freedoms. The movie itself will focus on a 30-something man (played by Braff) who is struggling with a non-starter acting career and ends up having to home school his children, leading him to craft a different kind of curriculum for them. Now, there are some notable differences between this and what Rob Thomas did with Veronica Mars last month:

read more...

miss cleo now

Remember your first 900 number? Anyone who grew up in the 80s and early 90s called at least one hotline, probably without a parent’s permission. If you got in trouble for padding the phone bill with each additional minute of listening to pre-recorded messages from the New Kids on the Block, Santa Claus, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Coreys or whoever else your TV told you to dial up, then Hotline is something to spark your nostalgia. And if you ever actually paid to talk to a real person to get your fortune, love advice, sexual pleasure or simply some conversation in lonely times, Hotline should be of interest to you now. Just pledge your support for this film. $1 for the first incentive, $5,000 for each additional executive producer credit. Operators are standing by… Okay, not live operators. Really, it’s the robots or whatever handles transactions on Kickstarter, which is where you’ll find the crowdfunding campaign for this nearly finished documentary on premium-rate phone numbers. It’s a fascinating subject, and the film looks to capture both the familiar and the unknown sides of the industry by following stories of people on either end of the line. Yes, these services still exist, and in addition to finding a number of experts in the field and about the phenomenon, the doc is being made by a filmmaker (Student Academy Award nominee Tony Shaff) who once was employed as a psychic for none other than Miss Cleo‘s famous hotline. And speaking […]

read more...

Pushing Daisies

“Yeah, yeah, a Veronica Mars movie is getting made. That’s nice and all, but what about a Pushing Daisies movie?” is hopefully what some of you thought after Mars creator Rob Thomas reached his Kickstarter quota. Thomas’s campaign has almost raised over double its $2m required, and it’ll make even more money before its 30 days are up. You know what Rob Thomas should do with some of that spare change? Give it to Bryan Fuller to make a Pushing Daisies movie. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Based on what a Pushing Daisies movie would need to come to fruition, that million or so would come in handy. We recently spoke with the show’s creator, Bryan Fuller, about what it would take to make this film happen via crowdfunding. It’s still only a possibility, but Fuller has the makings of a plan that comes complete with some serious challenges and a directorial ally.

read more...

momentum maggy reveal

After all that has happened with Kickstarter this week, Fund This Film seems to be a more necessary regular feature than ever. Not all projects can be set up through a major studio and involve Hollywood stars and be based off a property with a built-in fanbase. Some are like this week’s selection, Momentum, an ambitious short with a much smaller goal and much bigger task in finding supporters. And yet there is some Hollywood talent involved, as the three creators of this film are professional concept artists in the biz: Robert Simons worked on Ender’s Game and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peggy Chung worked on Pacific Rim and Mark Yang is an Imagineer for Disney. And visual effects supervisor Kyle Spiker worked on Avatar. Director Michael Chance previously made Project Arbiter, one of those hot sci-fi shorts called “the next District 9” a while back. If their resumes aren’t enough, some of their supporters might encourage you. Two of their initial backers are Neville Page, creature/character designer for Avatar, Cloverfield, Super 8, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness and the upcoming Oblivion, and Tim Flattery, who worked on Back to the Future Part II, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Serenity and the upcoming After Earth. Their connections appears to be that they went to and/or worked at Art Center College of Design (also my father’s alma mater!), and so did this film’s co-creators. Additionally they have the support of others at the school, including space craft thermal engineer Joe Reiter, […]

read more...

Pushing Daisies

Lovingly tucked inside this thoroughly insightful interview with Rob Thomas upon the successful funding of his Warners-distributed Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign was a note about Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller getting in touch with him to ask about it. “I did get an email from Bryan Fuller earlier today saying, ‘Hey, can you jump on the phone with me at some point? I know you’re busy, but I would love to talk to you about how this thing works,’” said Thomas.  ”And I know it was specifically for Pushing Daisies.” The show featuring Lee Pace as a pie-maker with the power to bring dead things back to life was, like Veronica Mars, a fan favorite that was cancelled because it brought an immense amount of joy to a medium amount of people instead of a medium amount of a joy to an immense amount of people. Obviously from the limited information in the statement, it’s unclear whether Fuller would explore bringing the show back as a series or as a film, but anything he did would need the blessing of Disney, who owns the copyright.

read more...

FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate movie fans who also love love getting t-shirts when they Kickstart a movie. For your consideration, Episode #14:

read more...

scrooge-mcduck

Vimeo has launched a new distribution channel for creators, and a major studio is using Kickstarter. It’s been quite a week for the future of film financing.  In this episode, we’ll talk with Vimeo VP for Creative Development Blake Whitman about Vimeo On Demand, and then Operation Kino co-hosts Matt Patches and Da7e Gonzales join us for a four-way conversation about whether Warner Bros. getting into the crowdfunding game with Veronica Mars is good, bad or ugly. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe), Scott (@scottmbeggs), Patches (@misterpatches) and Da7e (@da7e) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #10 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

read more...

Veronica Mars

Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell raised $2m through Kickstarter yesterday, and they did it in under 10 hours. As of this morning, their effort to score a budget for a Veronica Mars movie has secured their goal with about $500,000 and 29 days to spare. One guy, entrepreneur Steve Dengler, even gave $10,000 to the production to get a small speaking role in the film (and because he’s a big, big supporter of crowdfunding). What they did took a certain kind of courage. Maybe not greater courage than the more-standardized model of getting money from fans when they hand it over at the box office, but absolutely a different type of courage. After all, it’s one nerve-wracking thing to convince studio executives that your idea has an audience, but it’s another to prove it out on the limb without the amount of fan support you thought you had. Simply put, it’s likely we’d all be writing different pieces if Thomas and Bell’s Kickstarter campaign were still languishing at $6,000. Fortunately, fans have proven their overwhelming dedication to seeing Ms. Mars again by breaking records and ensuring that Thomas may actually get to include a big choreographed fight scene amid all the broody talking. With 29 more days to raise funds, who knows how high they might go. Now, all of this comes with a catch: Warners (because they’ve held onto the copyright) will be distributing and making money off a movie that fans are funding. Depending on the deal they have with […]

read more...

Down and Dangerous

Haven’t heard of Down and Dangerous? You’re not alone. It features no big name stars (except Judd Nelson!), doesn’t come from an established director and hasn’t been anywhere near a studio, but the action thriller from Zak Forsman scored $38k through a slick KickStarter campaign (I hear they even auctioned off the C in the director’s first name). It was his pitch video that impressed then, and it’s the production’s trailer that impresses this time around. The plot focuses on an incredibly crafty cocaine smuggler (John T. Woods) stuck between the Feds, violent traffickers and a beautiful woman. No ground broken there, but the film comes directly from Forsman’s father’s experiences as a cocaine smuggler in the 1970s. Plus, the trailer is high quality in just about every regard, including its levels of Judd Nelson-ness:

read more...

nicholas ray action

Fans of our regular series highlighting filmmaking tips from great directors ought to be interested in a project that’s in the works called ACTION! Master Class With Nicholas Ray. The legend behind Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar and In a Lonely Place would have been 100 years old in 2011, and to mark the occasion The Nicholas Ray Foundation has been honoring the man’s legacy through the Nicholas Ray Centenary Project, which consists of a triptych of films focused on the final ten years of his life. The first was a digital restoration of the most complete version of his ultimately unfinished experimental work We Can’t Go Home Again. The second is a documentary companion to that called Don’t Expect Too Much, which was directed by the filmmaker’s widow, Susan Ray. Those are presently available on a disc from Oscilloscope. Susan Ray is also at the helm of this third effort, another documentary, which deals with Nicholas Ray’s later gig as a teacher. The film will feature recordings from class lectures and private conversations along with footage from his films and his video archives. On the Kickstarter page for ACTION!, we’re told of what we will be directly learning from Ray in this “master class”:

read more...

df3635859b6837f5af86ba2fa0165411_large

Crowdfunding campaigns are everywhere these days, and with this week’s report on the huge success of films financed through Kickstarter (more than 8,500 projects have made their goal since 2009), the number is sure to keep getting bigger. So, how do you choose which projects to help out, if that’s something you’re interested in? The easiest way to go is to find familiar talent, such as a veteran indie filmmaker looking to both avoid the established studios and financiers and focus on pleasing his fans rather than a suit with a checkbook. Animator Bill Plympton is a perfect model for how crowdfunding works best with an artist’s fanbase, by calling on and also giving back to the loyal followers as well as potential newbies. His latest feature, Cheatin’, is currently in the works and needs financial support, which he’s seeking through Kickstarter. It’s likely mostly people who know and love past “Plymptoons” like the feature-length Idiots and Angels (which we recently recommended you stream), the Oscar-nominated shorts The Face and Guard Dog and his brilliant first feature, The Tune, who will be lending a hand.

read more...

Transformative technology. Fips. The Marvel Model disrupting superhero movies (and how it can survive alongside perpetual reboots). The literal death of film. Megan Ellison saving movies. The sleeper hits of 2012 and a great movie year for every kind of fan. Emerging independent funding. Fans saving shows with their own money. The digital horizon. Here at the end of the year (and the end of this podcast) I’ve asked FSR associate editor Rob Hunter, Cinema Blend editor-in-chief Katey Rich, Movies.com managing editor Erik Davis and screenwriter Geoff Latulippe (Going the Distance) to talk about the things that will never be the same again in the movie world after 2012. They’ve come through with some incredibly interesting answers. Plus, your view on what’s changing and a look ahead to the future. Download Episode #156

read more...

Jeremy Renner Ingenious

There’s a scene in Ingenious where Sam, the seat-of-his-pants flying salesman, convinces Matt, the quirk-filled inventor, to gamble away the money they have to re-invest in their novelty gift business at the dog track. His brilliant can’t-lose method? Bet large on the dog that drops a deuce before getting into the gate. It’s slightly less than scientific, but there’s a good chance that writer/producer Mike Cram was feeling a blend of what Matt and Sam felt at the track when he and director Jeff Balsmeyer emerged from the festival circuit without any viable distribution offers. There were deals on the table, but nothing close to ideal, meaning Cram and company were about to take a massive gamble. It’s a position that thousands of filmmakers find themselves in every year, but Ingenious was different in one specific way: the guy playing the slick co-lead had just been nominated for an Oscar after bursting onto the national scene. The movie had (by a standard business measure) crapped out during its festival run, but Jeremy Renner (and a firm belief in the quality of the film) gave the production team good reason to bet on themselves to win.

read more...

The Goon

It’s been four long years since we first talked about comic creator Eric Powell and his series “The Goon,” which had just begun to spurn talk of a film adaptation. Back then it was Powell on stage at Comic-Con, talking and creating with comics Brian Posehn, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Back then, there was nothing but a proof-of-concept clip that ravaged the eager crowds of the Con. Since then, Tim Miller of Blur Studios and Dark Horse Studios, alongside his co-director Jeff Fowler, have stuck with the idea. They’ve even roped in David Fincher as a producer. But despite the names attached and the excitement from that first clip, The Goon has never quite gotten off the ground. Presumed dead, it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from team Goon. Until now. Now they need some help, and they’re looking to those same giddy fans to foot the bill.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 04.16.2014
B+
published: 04.16.2014
C-
published: 04.16.2014
B-
published: 04.14.2014
B

Listen to Junkfood Cinema
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3