CROWDFUND CORNER

If you feel a bit unheard or misunderstood, it turns out you are not alone. There are many that would listen given the chance, but they may be hearing things at different frequencies. One of the humans that wants to get us all listening a bit more to the planet and its outsiders is Actor / Activist Adrian Grenier, who is on a quest to find the Lonely Whale.  This lonely whale has been calling out for his whole life in the Pacific Ocean at a frequency that no other whales can receive.

I will admit that I was initially skeptical about the idea of supporting a famous actor in a quest for a whale that at first glance seemed a bit trivial in the grand scheme of the world’s problems. Also, as the most Independent of outfits, it is difficult for Indie Street to support a successful Hollywood Actor when there are so many other more “needy” artists out there raising funds.

But in this case, I am thankful that my experience with Adrian’s campaign did not end with me as a typical Indie hater. I decided to attend an event where he was scheduled to speak about his journey through the crowdfunding campaign. I mostly went because my friends Dani & Alex (Founders of Big Vision Empty Wallet) were throwing the event and those ladies are always doing awesome things to help foster independent creators.

adrian_grenier_big_vision

To keep this concise, I wanted to mention a few quotes from Adrian during the conversation, that not only swayed me and our support for the project, but also swayed my general opinion of this human being, well, as a human being.

1. The story touched his heart, and will touch yours.

Hollywood Actors have hearts too, and I know he is trained in a craft of persuasion, but I am skilled in poker and reading people, and I’d bet the house that he has a genuine care for this whale and the message it represents. In comparison to any other A-list Actor kickstarter campaigns that I have come across this is the most selfless I have come across.

Adrian: “A whale that is swimming in the pacific all alone calling out constantly and never once receiving a response…I have never come across a project that has so immediately captured my heart.”

2. It’s a relatable story.

Relatable is a word that is thrown around a lot in the realm of story telling, but it is a rare occasion that something in the real natural world (during present day life) can be so organically captivating and relatable. So, for this reason alone, we hope this film gets funded so the story can be told in almost real time.

Adrian: “Unless you are a robot or a sociopath, you are going to feel soemthing about this story, because we can all relate to what it must be like to be in the abyss, in the darkness with no friends…being misunderstood, being an outsider.

3. There are ACTUAL big picture implications.

This was where I was mostly apprehensive about the project going in.  The lonely whale, however, will not only bring to light concerns of ocean noise pollution, but may have an even larger positive sociological impact.  There are certainly many human beings in our society who feel like they are speaking at 52 hz when the rest of the world is only receiving signals at 15-20. Within this age of connectivity, our youth are growing more and more disconnected to each other, and it is a truly important problem that we should try to investigate through whatever means necessary. Hopefully through getting the youth excited about a lonely whale that they relate to, it can slowly begin a culture change toward acceptance of natural differences.

Adrian: “there is something deeper about that, having tolerance and understanding for otherness, putting yourself in the shoes, or fins, of someone else, so that we can start to listen to not only what the lonely whale is trying to say…but also what the planet is trying to say that we are ignoring or not listening too."

So the short of it is, Indie Street will be supporting Adrian and the project and you should to! After re-analysis, this Indie producer’s humble opinion is that the story of the lonely whale is a personal one, and one that is very personal to Adrian as well. It may be that Adrian has always spoken at 52 hz in the land of Hollywood, and none of the other actor trophy fish or executive whales really understood what he was trying to say. Through his budding career as a documentary producer, he is starting to be heard by the minnows like you and me, and that is probably who he was trying to reach in the first place.

- Jay Webb, Indie Street

Fund the Lonely Whale on kickstarter here.
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If you love short films, then you've most definitely heard about Jim Cummings' 2016 ultra-successful Sundance-winning short film THUNDER ROAD. If you haven't, then you've probably been living under a rock and that's no good. First things first, if you've not seen this short film, remove the rock from on top of you, stop everything else you're doing and experience one of the best, most emotional rides provided in a short film....pretty much ever. And if you've seen it - heck, watch it again right now! At Indie Street, we can't get enough of this short - it even won the inaugural Indie Street Film Festival Best Narrative Short Jury Award. A film fit for all the acclaim in the world! So, what could literally be better than this film? Um, probably the potential of A FEATURE LENGTH VERSION OF IT. Yes, you've heard me right. The team behind THUNDER ROAD are at it again and are looking to raise the money to fund one of the best filmic ideas of all time. If you appreciate any level of film, story, innovation, perseverance, creativity, Springsteen, and talent, you've GOT to donate to this cause right now. Over an hour of ace storytelling and camerawork will be gifted to all film lovers around the world. What more could you want?? Head to the THUNDER ROAD Kickstarter NOW and get donatin'!!! 

 About Maria:

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re likely a huge fan of film and art. But are you a fan of science as well? If so, you’re in luck, because there’s a new graphic novel series coming out soon called Legend of Sumeria that covers the topic of hard science through the use of stunning, eye-popping art and new technology! And if you’re not keen on science? Well, get ready to wanna jump back into some textbooks because this is one series that will totally pull you in! Co-creators and best friends Dr. Biju Parakkadan of Harvard and (Indie Street’s own!) Jay Webb have spun a tale of identity, discovery and purpose through the lens of questioning the very fate and existence of our species. These two besties even have Sumeria-themed tattoos to prove their devotion to their creation! How often do you find that true level of commitment to art and innovation!? The two self-funded all 250 pages of artwork and story as well as the development of Zyndo, a new interactive app that’s a total game-changer. Zyndo brings the sci-fi graphic novel experience to the reader as a z-book: one of the most interactive and immersive ways possible to become part of the story via tablets, phones, gaming consoles and get this: even VR!  Now is your chance to preorder Life · Blood · DNA, the first installment of Legend of Sumeria, via Kickstarter! The crowdfunding campaign runs through the end of the week and is so close to meeting its goal! You can experience the synthesis of science and art AND contribute to two best friend’s dream of bringing this story to the world by heading over to the campaign NOW and preordering your own copy! Contributor rewards range anywhere from getting a copy of Chapter 1 to limited edition/digital copies of the full graphic novel to even receiving a personal karyotope of your chromosomes! Now how’s that for hard science!  Check out more about Legend of Sumeria, the creators and how you can contribute by heading to Kickstarter or keep up with updates via on Twitter! 

Now seems as good a time as ever to keep up the discussion about the role of women in film. And in an exciting crowdfunding event, film distributor Kino Lorber is hoping to contribute to that discussion by releasing their massive undertaking, “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers”, celebrating motion pictures made by female American filmmakers from 1910-1929. Marking the end of the silent era, women had already positioned themselves as invaluable commanders in the industry. Unfortunately, most of these women helmed films are not known today, existing in poor, deteriorating conditions. Kino Lorber’s already successful Kickstarter campaign will attempt to make sure that these films no longer go lost and forgotten. A five box set of restored and transferred films, from directors such as Lois Weber, Alice Guy Blaché, Ida May Park and others, will also feature 20 hours of material and interviews with film historians and archivists. Kino Lorber stated, “By showcasing the ambitious, inventive films from the golden age of women directors, we can get a sense of what was lost by the marginalization of women to ‘support roles’ within the film industry.” The campaign ends in a few hours and has already reached its goal - but you don’t want to miss out on the exciting rewards available. Donate now!

Ah, remember the good ol' days of variety shows?! Yea, probably not because they actually reached their heyday decades ago. On television, variety was at its most popular in the 1960s and 70s. But I mean, wouldn’t it be cool if we could bring them back, incorporating, say, the latest and greatest up-and-coming alternative filmmakers? Actually, this is a mighty close reality. You don’t say?! Well, producers Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell have just launched a Kickstarter that, if successful, will introduce The Eyeslicer - “a new variety show bringing the next generation of alternative American filmmakers together under one strange roof.” The campaign was launched last week and is almost halfway to its goal with a few weeks to go. It promises to be weird and that’s a good enough promise for us. Be warned, Season 1 will run as invite only, so if you’re interested in watching, make sure you donate at least $20 to the campaign to get full access to the exclusive “club”. Read here to learn more about what promises to be “120 Minutes, but for alternative film instead of alternative music” or just trust us and jump directly to the campaign and get donating!

While it’s still not a total walk in the park to make an indie film these days, it was the concept of crowdfunding that fell from heaven and gave us mere filmmaking mortals a chance to do things that may have otherwise been impossible from the funding standpoint. Den of Geek has kindly perused a plethora of crowdfunding sites to bring us a list of 25 upcoming British films that have been crowdfunded. Take this list as a healthy reminder that films from all around the globe are worth backing, even if we don’t get to see them immediately back in the US. Knowing that you are helping to fund international indies that otherwise may not have had the chance to even be created and shown in their home countries, is a great feeling. Get your crowdfundin', film-watchin' passport ready and check out Den of Geek’s exciting list of upcoming British films here!

While crowdfunding could be the catalyst that helps make your film a reality, it can also be the downfall of your final production. Even if your campaign is a success, there are still a lot of mistakes to be made after that initial excitement period! Indiegogo's Head Film and Creative Campaign Strategist, John T. Trigonis, created a Film Courage video and shares his six major mistakes filmmakers can make when trying to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. From relying too much on influencers to setting your goals too high and having no audience, check out the things to avoid when going down the crowdfunding path here.

Crowdfunding giant, Kickstarter, has just announced that one million people have collectively backed over 12,000 documentary film projects on their site over time, with 5,000 of those campaigns being successfully funded! These projects are being backed more than 600 times a day - that’s $120 million that has been pledged to documentaries alone! Seems crowdfunding is becoming a huge destination for reality-based film projects. And film lovers and regular people alike are wanting to see more! Read here and here for more info on the announcement.

Kickstarter recently announced their exciting new partnership with Eastman Kodak on a collaboration that will help curious filmmakers shoot their projects on film stock. Digital advances have done wonders for the film industry but you can’t deny the magic of stories told on actual film. Though it’s not as strong as decades before, there is still a high demand and interest in shooting on the medium. The problem is overcoming the costs involved, especially for lower budget indie films. That’s where this new partnership comes in! Kodak and Kickstarter will provide selected filmmakers with discounted film stock and help them launch Kickstarter campaigns for their projects. Five filmmakers have already signed on, with some even sporting live campaigns ready for your support! For more info on these projects and for the rules on how to participate in future selections, read more here.

Attention documentary filmmakers! Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Seed&Spark are teaming up to launch a crowdfunding rally in order to hopefully find the next great untold story. Crowdfunding projects will launch on Seed&Spark and the 10 most popular ones will move onto the finals. From there, documentary experts and industry insiders will select the winner. The winning project will receive up to $20,000 in matching funds from Project Greenlight Digital Studios and Seed&Spark, a massive digital distribution package, and marketing support throughout the process and release. To learn more about the process and see what it takes to create the next great untold feature documentary story, head on over to Seed&Spark and start preparing some ideas that no one has ever seen on screen!

As Indiegogo heads to SXSW for their 9th year, they are set to celebrate their biggest year there yet! Thirteen of Indiegogo’s past successful film campaigns will be showcasing their finished products at the festival. The crowdedfunded alumni include everything from documentaries about Nazi art thieves to the first ever POV action film, HARDCORE HENRY. Indiegogo’s Head of Film, Marc Hofstatter, will also be speaking at two events at the conference, including a panel on distribution. Interested in learning more? Head over to Indiegogo and get a rundown of the lucky 13 films and more information about the film panel talks here.

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