A site called Kickstarter helps out various projects by asking people to pledge a certain amount of money in exchange for recognition, a t-shirt or even a film credit you can brag about to anyone on Facebook. I first learned about Kickstarter when Incognitio Cinema Warriors XP, one of the heirs apparent to the MST3K tradition, needed some extra cash for equipment. They needed four grand, and they got it, plus matching funds from the site. I gave them ten dollars and got a mention on the group’s latest DVD.
Then I found out about a romcom called Lust for Love, about a guy who finally wins his childhood sweetheart…only to lose her a short time later. He asks another woman to help him out on how to attract a woman. The producers were hoping to raise $70,000.
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Typical movie, right? But what would you think if the cast included several actors from Dollhouse, Joss Whedon’s last TV show? Imagine Fran Kranz, the computer genius, as the unlucky romantic. Imagine Dichen Lachman, who was the Active Sierra, as his “love teacher”. Then add Enver Gjokaj (Victor, and quite good at impressions) and Miracle Laurie (who played November), and suddenly it’s not so hard to raise cash. Adding Maurissa Tancharoen, who wrote for the show and appeared as an Active, doesn’t hurt either.
I had to get on the ground floor on this one. I pledged 25 bucks, and will get a special autographed DVD and a mention on the website.
After 28 days, the film received more than $101,000 from more than 1500 fans. They each pledged between one dollar and ten thousand dollars. For three grand, and if you fit the part, you can say “Happy birthday, Astor” on screen. For a hundred bucks, you can be an “Associate Producer”, plus receive other items. Of all the donation levels, the $35 level was the most popular at 563 backers, followed by the Associate Producer level at 260 backers. Maybe I should have tried for that.
The point is, every contribution, whether large or small, will be recognized and appreciated by those who wanted this movie made. Usually banks or corporations put up the cash for movies. It’s always cooler when the average guy or gal can say, “See that movie? I helped raise money to get it made.”
It’s also a chance to see Fran, Dichen, Miracle and Enver, and other actors, do something different, and we don’t have to wait for the mainstream to give them that chance. The old process of making movies, or all types of entertainment, is giving way to a new process that can provide opportunity to many people. Kickstarter, and Lust For Love, is the latest proof of that.
At this rate, maybe we can get a new Browncoats movie off the ground, or maybe a new Wonderfalls feature. Tim Minear could do that, right? We can only hope.