Kickstart This: 'Derby, Baby', 'MK-ULTRA' and Film Doc 'Out of Print'
by Ben Pearson
April 27, 2012
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need a little bit of your help to become a reality. This week, we've got three films that we wanted to highlight: a documentary about roller derby called Derby, Baby: A Story of Love, Addiction and Rink Rash; a psychological drama based on real government testing called Project MK-ULTRA, and a documentary about revival cinema called Out of Print. Take a look at each of these projects below, sound off in the comments below, and toss them a few bucks if you can. Check 'em out!
First up is a cool example of how film can sometimes be cyclical. Derby, Baby: A Story of Love, Addiction, and Rink Rash is a documentary inspired by Whip It, Drew Barrymore's feature directorial debut. The filmmakers knew nothing about roller derby going in, but after a bit of exploring, they found it was much more than a sport: it's a movement. Featuring narration by Whip It star Juliette Lewis, Derby, Baby looks like an interesting - and sometimes brutal - examination of one of the world's fastest growing sports and the mentality of those who play it. Here's their pitch video:
For more information on Derby, Baby, or to support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. Directors Robin Bond and Dave Wruck are seeking $30,000 by May 22nd, and with your help, they can turn an idea into a finished product.
Next up, we've got the project Project MK-ULTRA, a psychological thriller based on the real-life government program. Because it's shrouded in mystery, MK-ULTRA has provided great material for exploration on the big screen in films like Richard Donner's Conspiracy Theory and on the small screen in TV shows like "Fringe." Director Ethan Kukulski is the latest to tackle the controversial subject in his short film, which follows an ambitious scientist who doesn't realize what he's getting himself into when he signs up for the program. This video gives us an idea of the tone we can expect from the film:
For more information on Project MK-ULTRA, or to support the project, visit its IndieGoGo page. Kukulski and his team are hoping to get $3,500 by May 12th, and we can help bring his vision to life.
And finally, there's Out of Print, Julia Marchese's documentary about the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles. If you live in LA or ever visit, the New Bev is a must-see spot thanks to their double features of older films. "Films" is actually the key word there, because in an age where digital is taking over and the future of cinema could be heading toward things like laser projection, that special feeling of sitting down in a crowded theater and watching a 35mm print needs to be preserved. Julia's been working at this theater for six years, and if she reaches her goal, she'll be able to interview people like Kevin Smith, Edgar Wright, and more about the theater itself and the subject of revival cinemas in general. Take a look at her pitch:
For more information on Out of Print, or to support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. Julia is hoping to receive $75,000 by May 24th to make this dream project come true, so help her out if you can!
That's it for this week's Kickstart This. We hope you enjoyed this week's selections, and find them worthy of supporting/funding. As always, send me an e-mail at BenPears85@gmail.com if you come across any cool projects that you'd like to see featured in this column. Thanks for supporting independent efforts like these, the filmmakers appreciate it, and be sure to let us know what you think about each one in the comments!