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Crowdfunded Cinema: ‘The Last Good Country’, ‘Dear Mr. Watterson’, ‘Beauty is Embarrassing’ & More

Written by , on June 20, 2012 at 9:00 am 

There are many film projects seeking funds via crowdfunding platforms these days, which offers the unique opportunity for an audience to interact and connect with a film, sometimes before the first shot is captured. This bi-weekly column will highlight projects that demonstrate potential, and deserve a closer look (and possibly a donation).

The Last Good Country

The Gist: A narrative short film, focusing on a transformative period in Ernest Hemingway’s life. Based on historic findings, the film will depict time Hemingway spent in the Michigan wilderness, and how this experience shaped his identity.

Why It Should Be Kickstarted: Perhaps the most alluring line of their pitch video is when actor Nic Collins states, “In this film, we see Hemingway become the man he writes about.” That’s a tall order to fill, but an exciting one as well. Hemingway himself was an enigmatic figure, the strong personality behind all of his characters. It will be interesting to see how they portray this visually.

Most Interesting Reward: In addition to a special thanks credit at the end of the film, you can also receive a call or voicemail from their Hemingway, completely in character. ($100)

Click here to support the film.

Dear Mr. Watterson

The Gist: A documentary that explores the impact of the comic strip, Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.

Why It Should Be Kickstarted: Despite Watterson having retired the comic strip in 1995, Calvin & Hobbes still has a loyal fan base 17 years later. While it’s unlikely that Watterson, who has been living a very private life in Ohio, would participate in the film, it is worth the pursuit of exploring others who have been influenced by its impact, as well as the history behind it.

Most Interesting Reward: Assorted prizes, including a Sunday Calvin & Hobbes strip cut out from the newspaper that was used while making the film. ($150)

Click here to support the film.

Beauty is Embarrassing

The Gist: This documentary about artist Wayne White, is seeking funds to self-distribute, in hopes of reaching a wide audience.

Why It Should Be Kickstarted: The film premiered at SXSW, where it was well received by audiences and critics alike. They then went on to have similar success at Hot Docs and Full Frame. However, it still remains difficult for independent documentaries to have theatrical distribution, so it is increasing the case that a film needs to find its audience, before it can be shown to its audience. This is one that is worth being found.

Most Interesting Reward: Wayne will call you and offer his advice on life’s little problems. Or big problems. Or just BS for a while. ($500)

Click here to support the film.

Objects in the Rearview

The Gist: A short film about group of college friends on the brink of their 30s examines how much they’ve drifted from their dreams, driving one of them to make an unconscionable decision.

Why It Should Be Kickstarted: It’s being pitched as a character study, exploring the types of decisions one makes in their darkest moments. If done right, this could be quite raw and poignant. The cast filmmaker Adam Bagger has lined up, including Jonathan Tucker (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, In the Valley of Elah) shows good promise that it will move in this direction. The film has already reached it’s funding goal, but more funds will mean better production values.

Most Interesting Reward: An assortment of prizes, including a personalize thank you video, recorded by the cast & crew. ($100)

Click here to support the film.

Sundays.

The Gist: A narrative feature set in the future, in which various events shake its characters into a state of questioning their own existence.

Why It Should Be Kickstarted: The story seems to dabble in the large questions of what does it mean to be human, as well as reasons for existence. The premise seems to be moving in an interesting direction, and the visuals they’re showing thus far are quite captivating.

Most Interesting Reward: An assortment of prizes, including a limited edition Sunday print taken from the film, signed by filmmaker Mischa Rozema. ($50)

Click here to support the film.


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