Kickstart This: 'Coker Creek,' 'Jurassic Farce,' 'Flex is Kings' & More
by Ben Pearson
March 23, 2012
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's new column devoted to spreading the word about cool up-and-coming projects that need our help to become a reality. In our first entry in this series last week, we profiled a doc called Us and the Game Industry and a short called Beyond (which you can still help support), but this week we're taking it up a notch. We've got four projects for you to check out today, and they include a traveling theater production from Austin, a documentary in New York City, a short film from Tennessee, and even an RPG video game based out of North Carolina. Check them all out below!
First up, a project that only has a few hours left to help. It's called Saturday Morning RPG, and it's a video game set in the world of 1980s cartoons, movies, and pop culture. References to The Wizard, Back to the Future, and The Karate Kid are mixed in with a Saturday morning cartoon vibe which places the hero in a world where all of those properties are real. It's a game that perfectly captures 80s nostalgia (something filmmakers have been trying to do in the last few years), and they even got Vince DiCola, who did the music for Rocky IV and the animated Transformers movie to do the music for the game. They're launching on iPhones and iPads first, hoping to explore the limitations and creativity of the touchscreen interface.
For more info on Saturday Morning RPG, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Mighty Rabbit Studios is looking for $10,000 in funding by this Saturday night, March 24th, so if this looks like something you want to support, you'll have to hurry!
Next up, we've got a short film called The Account of Gold and Men at Coker Creek. It's a story about a miner in 1830s Tennessee who must find the truth behind why men in his camp start turning up dead. Oftentimes, filmmakers outside of Los Angeles and New York are fighting an uphill battle because they can't find talented actors or crew outside of the country's two biggest entertainment hubs, but it doesn't look like Ryan Newman, the writer/director of this short, has that problem. He's secured Michael Abbott Jr. in the lead role, who played Cleaman Haynes in Shotgun Stories and also starred in Compliance, the indie film about the real-life McDonald's strip search incident that's running the festival circuit this year. Newman calls Coker Creek "a cross between Kubrick's The Shining & Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James," and the beautiful cinematography on display is certainly striving to live up to those high standards.
For more information on The Account of Gold and Men at Coker Creek, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Ryan Newman is seeking $15,000 before April 5th, and he's still got a long way to go before he reaches that funding goal.
Next, we've got Jurassic Farce, a live theater show based out of Austin, Texas. You may have seen their work online before, as they've done versions of Robocop, Back to the Future, Independence Day, and even Aliens on Ice! This summer, the group is looking to bring a retelling of Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park across the nation, and they need your help to do it. I was first notified of these guys by fellow movie writer and Austin resident William Goss, and from the costumes that we can see in this video, it looks like these guys and girls have a blast putting this show on for the locals - now let's help them take it across the nation!
For more information on Jurassic Farce, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. The Old Murder House Theater is looking for $20,000 by April 11th, so if you want to see this dinosaur craziness in person, help them out with a donation.
"Dancing rules my world, and I won't stop until I die." Here's a little change of pace for you. This is a feature length documentary called Flex is Kings that takes us inside the New York City subculture of dance called "flexing." It's captivating to watch these guys twist and contort their bodies, and it's obvious that they take their art very seriously. The filmmakers have shot over 275 hours worth of footage already, and need help purchasing storage equipment and paying an editor to sift through all that footage and create a compelling film. Their image quality is flawless in this video, and the city serves as a colorful backdrop that highlights the self-described "urban improbability" of the film. And if a man letting a live bird fly out of his mouth doesn't at least get you to take a look at this video, I don't know what to tell you. Check this out:
For more information on Flex is Kings, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Deidre Schoo and Michael Nichols are hoping to raise $40,000 by April 12th, and they really need your help to turn this into an amazing movie.
That's it for this week's column, but let me address something before I wrap this up completely. I realize for the past couple weeks I haven't featured any projects from IndieGoGo or other fundraising websites, but I assure you that I intend to do that in the future. As a matter of fact, I already have a couple lined up for upcoming weeks. But based on the time-sensitive nature of these campaigns, it just so happened that the ones that expired first were hosted on Kickstarter. Let us know what you think about all of these projects in the comments, and feel free to e-mail me at BenPears85@gmail.com if you hear about any cool works in progress you'd like to see featured in the future. (I won't promise to profile everything, but I'll see what we can do.) Thanks for reading, and don't forget to donate and help keep independent projects like these alive!