Sunday, October 8, 2017

This Week in Crowdfunding (10/8/2017)

By: Selina

Through “This Week in Crowdfunding,” you’ll find five of the best projects Trust the Dice found hosted on crowdfunding sights this week. These are Films/Web Series’/Shows of varying lengths and genres that we believe in. If you like any of the projects you see here, donate to them, tell your friends, and/or post it on social media.

These projects don’t just need money, they need people to care and spread the word that they exist.

Support creativity. Support indie artists.

Remember that every actor, director, writer, and movie you have ever fallen in love with had to start somewhere.

Trust the Dice does not, and will not, accept payment from project creators for
appearance on this list. Projects are chosen solely on the merit of the idea,
proposal, and people involved.

5 – M.O.T.H.E.R Knows Best

Crowdsource Platform: Kickstarter
Director: Chris Mayo, Scott Kingsnorth
Writer: Chris Mayo, Scott Kingsnorth
Other Staff: Holly Mallett, Carla Harrison-Hodge, Evelyn Lockley, Hannah Warman, Jenny Walters, Emma Tansley, Megan Smith
Amount Requested: $1,707
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $2,052 raised by 32 backers.
Type of Goal: All or nothing

Between when I first saw this comedy series on Kickstarter and when I started writing this article, M.O.T.H.E.R Knows Best reached, and exceeded, their goal. That means that it made over $1k in a matter of days.

I think that says a lot about what the series is. Clearly, I’m not the only one that thought there was something worth paying attention to.

Even before checking out the video, I was attracted to this project because of the dystopian dark comedy factor. I’ve seen precious few films and shows that have fallen into that specific category. There’s a kind of unique quality to it that’s very interesting.

The only real problem I’ve seen with the series is that the page doesn’t do very well at explaining what it’s about. You get a couple of sentences, but the rest is dedicated to the technique, and people, involved. There’s nothing too wrong with that, I just prefer to know more about the project in general, which is why this series isn’t higher on the list.

Lowest Fund Reward: $13.07 – Hearty Thanks – You’re a modern day hero! You will receive hearty thanks either in a tweet or by email from the creators of the show.
Highest Fund Reward: $653.49 – Executive Producer Credit – Holy bananas! This is the big one. A large executive producer credit (just like George Lucas) plus: A poster, early access to all episodes, a drawing from Scott, a short story from Chris and a hearty thank you from M.O.T.H.E.R. herself. PLUS exclusive additional footage.

4 – Today in New York

Crowdsource Platform: Kickstarter
Director: Michael Labbadia
Writer: Michael Labbadia, Madeleine Meigs, Gus Halper
Other Staff: Andrea Goocher, Rob Levy
Amount Requested: $8,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $1,365 raised by 28 backers.
Type of Goal: All or nothing

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve lived in various neighborhoods, but always right here. There’s no naivety in my love for this place, so it’s almost amusing to me when I meet people who come here with that innocence still intact.

That was partially what drew me to this project, but then I saw the video.

The Kickstarter trailer that the Today in New York team put together was incredibly unique. It did a phenomenal job on not only drawing my attention, but of forcing me to want to learn more. The kind of stereotypical old-school New York accent combined with a mix of the older and current New York background brought up images of some of the great films created in the city.

As trailers for projects go, especially projects that don’t have too many scenes to show yet, this was one of the best.

Everyone involved in the making of this film has some kind of experience living in New York.

“Although we are all from different places, we have all spent enough time in the city as young artists to understand ‘the struggle’... And our main character in the web series is experiencing her very first day in NYC so it's actually great that we all still freshly remember our first days,” writer Madeleine Meigs told Trust the Dice in a short interview. “In fact, each episode is based off of our actual experiences that we had when we first moved here.”

Crew members from New York mixed with transplants to make this series. I think it’s very important to note that, because it indicates that every aspect of the series will be as true to life as it could be while still remaining fiction.

The only reason I could see this series failing to make their goal is because it seems to be directed only toward New Yorkers, but that’s not how Meigs sees it.

“We want the series to be relatable to anyone and there will be many themes such as being a ‘20 something’, naivety, humility, and independence that will be explored,” she wrote.

The target demographic has little to do with New York and everything to do with young adults starting to strike out on their own. Everyone can relate to that at some point in their lives.

Lowest Fund Reward: $10 – New Yorker – Like any real New Yorker you are there for your neighbors and friends when they need your help! We would like to thank you with a Facebook shout out and a more personal thank you email.
Highest Fund Reward: $1,000 – Rockefeller – Your generosity towards our vision blows us away! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please select two of your favorite songs, and Gus and Mike will sing them for you (via video). Along with that thank you, you will be credited as an executive producer, sent a monthly update on our progress with behind the scenes photos, and an exclusive digital premiere of “Today in New York” with interviews from key cast and crew members.

3 – Mara: The Seal Wife

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Uisdean Murray
Writer: Uisdean Murray
Other Staff: Adam Keltie, Donald Coutts, Jason Weidner, Philip Smith, Kevin Kelly, Sarah Pritchard
Amount Requested: $13,070
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $3,836 raised by 16 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

Spending time browsing Trust the Dice would inform anyone that both Cat and I love myths and legends. We’ve both spent extensive amounts of time reading about various cultural creatures and stories. Cat is the one obsessed with Irish, Scottish and Celtic legend, but I still find plenty of interest in it myself.

Selkies are new to me, I just started reading about them a few weeks ago. That made this a prime time to run into a short film based around the myth.

I contacted the writer of Mara: the Seal Wife, Uisdean Murray, and found out some pretty interesting facts.

“The short film I am working on now and running a crowdfunding campaign for is essentially the backstory of two small but important characters from my feature film project,” Murray told Trust the Dice.

In fact, by supporting Mara: the Seal Wife people are actually giving life to one piece of a much larger puzzle. Not only is Murray interested in adding that original full-length film to the short, but he also seemed interested in exploring other folklore-inspired tales.

Supporting this one film tells the writer that his other ideas could have some serious backing as well. I think, in this case, that’s a very good thing. His short film looks heartbreaking and intriguing in ways that not every story could.

“Mara: the Seal Wife is set during the 80s and 90s and it contains a unique interpretation of the traditional Selkie tale,” Murray wrote. “The film is in part about a man suffering tremendous grief after the loss of his wife in tragic circumstances and years later happens upon a Selkie on the beach who appears to look like his long-deceased wife.”

I urge you to look up some of the selkie tales available on-line. They are a very mermaid-like species, but with some seriously dark twists. Seeing them used in a cinematic world is worth a few dollars in donations.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1.31 – Join us on our adventure – A shout-out on twitter and exclusive updates throughout the production.
Highest Fund Reward: $3,267.44 – Producer Credit – You will receive an Opening Credit and End Credit screen all to yourself with your name and ‘Producer’ credit!

2 – Around the World

Crowdsource Platform: Kickstarter
Director: Tom Cheve
Writer: N/A
Other Staff: Clement Reubrecht, David Amouzegh, Ricardinho Chahini, Laura Biondo, Jordan Meunier, Esteban El Pantera, Archie Crispy, Juan Roberto Aguilo, Michal Rycaj, Ibuki Yoshida, Fagerli Brothers, Caitlyn Schrepfer, Andrew Henderson, Sean Garnier
Amount Requested: $57,494
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $2,929 raised by 52 backers.
Type of Goal: All or nothing

Soccer is not nearly as popular in the United States as it should be. Of course, that’s coming from someone who hates American football. I’d much rather refer to soccer as football… but I was partially raised by an Englishman so… I guess that makes sense.

That said, something we do love here in the U.S. is freestyle. Doesn’t really matter what kind: rap, dance, hacky sack… pretty much anything that could possibly be considered impressive. Well, freestyle soccer definitely applies. People talented in that kind of freestyle can do things with their feet that would make even the best break dancers green with envy.

I spoke to the Around the World team and found out that freestyle soccer is a lot more than it seems to be.

“Most of the freestylers see freestyle as an athletic performance by surpassing its limits. You know, it's a young culture created around the beginning of this millennium. That's why the community needs time to be really openminded as well and accept the ‘sensitive’ part of freestyle,” the team told Trust the Dice about the sport aspect of freestyle soccer.

Athleticism, however, is not the only motivation behind the subject of Around the World. The team went on to explain that, to some freestylers, it’s all about the art.

“Some freestylers like Clem Keym,” the team wrote, “find inspiration in dance, and especially in breakdance. It's like a new wave in this culture and it's growing up each day!”

Now, most people know that documentaries aren’t really my thing. I find that they can get boring and monotone. I don’t see that being an issue here. Just go to YouTube and search for ‘freestyle soccer’ or ‘freestyle football.’ The sheer level of impressive feats the athletes are capable of will have you glued to the screen.

Take into account that this documentary is going into how freestyle soccer is approached by various countries, as well. It’s easy to associate soccer with England, less-so with some of the other areas they intend to hit.

I admit, I could be a little bias because of my love of the sport, but I don’t think that’s all there is to it. The Kickstarter page is incredibly well thought-out and, though ambitious, seems doable.

I’ll admit that they are asking for quite bit of money, but for what they need it for… it’s not that much.

The team of this documentary is passionate about the stories they want to tell, and they have a subject that could be interesting to people that know nothing about it. They don’t intend to stick to technique, they intend to focus on the humanity and skill of their subjects. I think all of that is a recipe for a great documentary that could even speak to people who don’t enjoy the genre.

Lowest Fund Reward: $1.18 – We Thank You – Hey every little counts at this point, so thank you for your generous support.
Highest Fund Reward: $8,861 – Executive Producer Credit – Your name or company will be in the credits at the beginning of the documentary. Everybody will see it, and see you as the Executive producer, and will associate our documentary to your name or brand. We’ll also make sure to bring forward your brand during our communication.

1 – Night Run

Crowdsource Platform: Indiegogo
Director: Erick Solis
Writer: Erick Solis
Other Staff: Elizabeth Salazar, Jake Hays, Tyler Cole, Rebecca Weaver, Tim Andrews, Cameron Tagge, Patricio Reano
Amount Requested: $28,000
Current Standing (as of Saturday night): $1,360 raised by 16 backers.
Type of Goal: Flexible

I cannot explain how excited I am for this project.

In a world of sequels and remakes, we’re finally getting a brand new 80s film. Not a reboot of an 80s film just… an 80s film. Sure, movies were a bit cornier back then… but I’ll be damned if they weren’t pure.

As an 80s kid, this Indiegogo instantly spoke to me. Loudly. It had everything one could expect from the type of film the team was going for. They had an intriguing trailer, a sample of their music that sounds right out of Knight Rider (1982-1986), even the names of the characters are super 80s. Hell, there’s even a VHS available as one of the rewards! I still have some VHS tapes that I’ll likely never get rid of. They’re probably worth nothing, but they hold a strong place in my heart.

Clearly, this film isn’t made in the decade its representing, so the creator, Erick Solis, has to rely on manufacturing an 80s feel. The actors, the setting, the script… everything needs to feel right in order for this film to work.

The problem is, we live in 2017. Cars aren’t that old, the settings are modern, and it would take a lot of budget to change that. So, I asked Solis what his plans were in that regard.

“In terms of recreating 80's car chases, we'll be on the lookout for companies that rent out cars for commercial purposes,” Solis told me. “There's a lot of companies that provide rentals at a fairly decent price, the problem is finding cars from the 70's and 80's. Trying to avoid Computer Generated (CG) cars is my main goal, so I plan on shooting wide shots of the real cars and cutting to the close up of the actors inside a studio, it'll be a combination of many things, but I'll avoid as much CG as I can.”

He went on to add, “not a lot of the budget will go to make the world look older. You can get away with things seeming older just by not including a lot of modern cars, a right amount of budget will go directly into wardrobe and finding the right locations.”

The desire to steer clear from CG, on his budget, is an honorable – and difficult – one. However, it shows just how committed he is to doing this film correctly.

Just for fun, I asked Solis who he would have hired to play the characters in his film if he was actually making it in the 80s with an unlimited budget.

“I never thought about that,” he said. “I'd say Ralph Macchio as Daniel, Elisabeth Sue as Jennifer, Johnny would be played by Patrick Swayze, Sheriff Atkins by Tom Atkins!!! For Jason and Billy they'd have to be played by one of the guys from The Lost Boys!”

To show my confidence in this project, I have donated a small amount toward its success.

The promise of a new 80s film that’s handled the way an 80s film should be, is something I can’t ignore.

Lowest Fund Reward: $5 – Bragging Rights – Complete bragging rights that YOU made this movie happen, like for real. Without you we couldn’t make this.

Highest Fund Reward: $1,500 – Executive Producer – The Executive Producer credit which will be featured in the opening titles and posters and any promotional material involving the film. You’ll also receive the movies’ Blu-ray, the limited edition poster, a digital download of the film and soundtrack plus the official logo t-shirt and the Compilation Album.

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