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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The future of the movie theater going experience may be set to change very soon. Vue Cinemas, one of the UK’s biggest movie theater chains, has just teamed up with Ourscreen, a social crowdfunding platform for film programming. Why, you may ask? Well, Ourscreen functions as a platform that allows audience members to vote on a certain film to be screened by committing to buying a ticket in advance. Through this collaboration, Vue Cinema just revealed that it has plans to allow film fans to pick their favorites from Vue’s library selection of over 400 films. Ourscreen works by allowing interested users to sign up for existing film “events” or even create their own potential screening. Just like other crowdfunding concepts, if the “event” gets enough interested parties, it’ll happen. If not, the screening is kaput and no one is charged a penny. Ourscreen has already teamed up with a number of cinemas, but with Vue onboard, this is a major step for the already fledgling platform. The curated catalog includes a choice of modern day hits, cult films, foreign language flicks, independent films and a little of everything in between. With cinema now in the “on demand era”, will this help bridge the gap and bring a fresh perspective to the concept of the dying movie theater? Read more here!

Australia's Tropfest, one of the world's largest short film festivals, hit a roadblock in 2015 when it had to be cancelled for the first time in its 23 year history. Though Tropfest is back this month for 2016 thanks to a lifeline from CGU Insurance, the future stability of the festival is still in jeopardy. Through a Pozible campaign, festival organizers are reaching out to the film community and their audiences to help create a near era for the short film festival within Australia and beyond. You can support the cause over the next few days by donating here.

Until now, Eline Jongsma & Kel O’Neill, an award-winning Dutch-American filmmaking team, has been best known for "Empire," the Emmy-nominated interactive documentary which appeared at The New York Film Festival in 2013 before being acquired by POV.

The filmmaking team was recently awarded the inaugural Tim Hetherington Visionary Award in memory of the celebrated British photojournalist and filmmaker ("Restrepo") who was killed covering the civil war in Libya in 2011. They received the award for their latest project, "The Ark," a virtual reality documentary that will tell the stories of the African and American rangers and scientists who are fighting to conserve the world's last four remaining northern white rhinoceros. Read more

Jodorowsky thinks that all money should be transformed into poetry. So that is what he is doing with his Kickstarter project for his latest film. Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, who returned to the spotlight last year with "The Dance of Reality," has turned to Kickstarter to raise $350,000 to fund his latest project, "Poetic Money." No matter how much you pledge, Jodorowsky will exchange it for his brand new "Poetic Money" and send it back to you. Of course, this money can't be spent on any material goods -- only on the poetry of the universe, as the campaign makes clear. Read more

Developed in a Google Incubator by two determined designers, the Light Phone is the opposite of every other phone in existence. It is thin, light, lasts 20 days on a charge, and literally does nothing but make and answer calls. It’s as if the makers of the Sports Illustrated Football Phone had studied the timeless teachings of William Walker Atkinson and created a telephone that was the platonic ideal of the ultimate telecommunication device. The best thing? It costs $100. Read more abou this "innovative" design here and fund the project on Kickstarter here.

HERE WE ARE, set in Austin, Texas, is the debut feature film of NYU film grad, writer/director David Bellarosa. It is inspired by his time living in Austin, Texas alongside other young, creative types trying not to slip through the cracks, as they struggle to hold onto their piece of a debased American Dream that seems to have little use for them or their aspirations in the first place. It also deals with what the writer calls "the epic poverty of ambivalence" amongst "Generation Why?" Americans. Fund it here

There are hundreds of examples of successful crowdfunding campaigns in the arts. There’s the quirky Park and Slide, which transformed Park Street in Bristol into a giant public water slide. There’s the cutting-edge Virtual Choir, which digitally brought together solo singers from all over the world. Then there’s the heartwarming Cancer sucks, Art Heals! project, which creates memorable experiences through art for children touched by cancer. But to date the focus in many how-to guides, articles and analysis is on developing a financially successful campaign. Perhaps then, we as a sector need to rewrite the rules and redefine success when it comes to crowdfunding in the arts. Read more

After a couple weeks of over-the-top crowdfunding, with the help of Aubrey Plaza, Newcastle Brown Ale on Tuesday released its "crowdfunded" Super Bowl ad. The spot squeezes 37 brands into a single 60-second ad that the Heineken-owned brand has said will air on only one local NBC TV station during Sunday's game. Worth it? Perhaps it will usher in a whole new era of collective advertising. You be the judge, watch the final product here

If you haven't heard of Seed & Spark CrowdFunding, it's about time you have taken notice to their community approach to crowdfunding. Check out and support this worthy project: A homeless kid from South Africa attracts international attention with his effortless style on a board and is invited to travel to the US to skate with the pros. The film explores what it really takes to rise up out of circumstances and make a place for himself in the world.

IndieStreet filmmaker Sean Dunne, winner of 2103 Tribeca award for best new documentary filmmaker, is at it again and tackling another challenging and complex subject matter. This edgy Doc discovers the real women and connections from behind the camera while exposing the intimate human side of internet sex. We are adamant about our community supporting this film because we know it will be an eye opening piece about a subject matter that too many are embarrassed to address. Street Creds Sean, we are happy to have you on board.