Kickstart This: 'Kenny' Doc, 'P5YCH' + IndieGoGo's 'Halo: Helljumper'
by Ben Pearson
March 30, 2012
Welcome to this week's edition of Kickstart This, our weekly column devoted to shining the spotlight on interesting fundraising projects that need your help to get made. We're finally spreading our wings a bit and looking outside the Kickstarter umbrella to IndieGoGo this week, and we've got three projects that we think are worth a look. There's Kenny: A Documentary in G about the sax player, a horror flick called P5YCH that brings together classic horror icons, and a badass webseries called Halo: Helljumper that's so awesome it almost makes us forget that a big screen version hasn't been made yet. Check them out below!
First up is Kenny: A Documentary in G. I know, I know - your parents probably listened to Kenny G back in the 90s, and his music is cheesy as hell. But take a look at what filmmakers Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst have in store for us - it just might change your mind about the guy. His dream is to make music for movies, and this documentary takes us on a whirlwind tour of Kenny's past - playing for Presidents, Prime Ministers, and becoming one of the best-selling artists of all time - and gives a hopeful look at his future, culminating with his dream to go to the Oscars and play a song he wrote that's nominated for Best Original Song. Watch their Kenny: A Documentary in G pitch video here:
For more info on Kenny: A Documentary in G, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Rod and Brian are seeking $100,000 before April 17th, and they've got quite an uphill battle ahead.
Next, we have a throwback horror film called P5YCH, which is one of my favorite Kickstarter projects ever. It takes place in 1984, and the film asks the question: what happened to the survivors of the incidents that inspired the scariest movies of all time? The survivors undergo experimentation by Dr. Rick Gilbert (played by X-Men, X2, and Watchmen screenwriter David Hayter, who is also the voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear video game series), which takes them on an Inception-like journey until memories and reality mix and people start dying. This has the potential to be the definitive meta horror film ever made, so please support the movie if you can! Watch the P5YCH pitch video here:
For more information on P5YCH, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Director Matthew Currie Holmes is seeking $20,000 before April 26th, and we can definitely help get them closer.
"It's more than just dirt… it's our dirt." And finally, from the world of funding website IndieGoGo comes an amazing-looking project called Halo: Helljumper. You can already watch the first two parts here and here if you want, but the filmmakers are looking to continue the series in an even more epic way with better effects, props, and all the things they need to give fans the best Halo series they can. There's a great bleached out quality to the film that reminds me of Minority Report, and it's easy to see that all this project needs to achieve true greatness is a bigger budget. Watch their pitch here:
For more information on Halo: Helljumper, or to help fund the project, visit their IndieGoGo page. Director and screenwriter Dan Wang is seeking $65,000 before May 7th, so be sure to spread the word to any and every Halo fan you know so they can help make this project as awesome as it can be!
That's it for this week's edition of Kickstart This (as always, you can find our previous editions here). Let us know what you think about all of these latest projects in the comments below, and if you have funded any of them. As always, feel free to drop me a line at BenPears85@gmail.com if you come across any cool projects that need funding, and I might feature them sometime in the future. See you next week with more.
Reader Feedback - 12 Comments
Wait...is that the same as the "Halo" video games? These guys want 65,000 bucks for a fan film? Why would they waste their time with that? Best case scenario is that they get a job in FX. If they created something of their own, they could be the next Lucas/Cameron. When I was in film school, if someone had made something like this, no matter how skilled it was, that person would have been laughed at. Please...find some new ideas. Get to know some writers. Look for stories in public domain. Do something that is really creative, not bogged down in "fandom."
greedo on Mar 30, 2012
The problem is that it's not logistical. Let me just start by saying that I have watched Helljumper and find it very refreshing and inspiring that a group of obviously talented people came together to create a quality fan production. But that production is ultimately, a fan film. It would be very hard for it to be anything other than that, without the support of the copyright holders. While I support the show and would love for them to make more episodes, the amount they are asking for is unrealistic for a fan film. 1. Based on the fact of what it is. and 2. Because $65,000 is not needed, for something that you don't hold the right to. With the group of talent that they have I could see them needing maybe $10-$15,000, to purchase supplies, and compensate themselves enough to commit the time they need to finish the episodes.While yes, with the quality of the show and such a huge fan base already established it is a great place to showcase their talents and they have a great possibility to be discovered and potentially get hired on another production. But my main reason for disagreeing with the amount they are asking for is because it is not needed two episodes that are 10 minutes a piece. If it was a whole season of 5-10 episodes I could justify that.I currently have worked on 7 feature films ranging from $10,000 to $3 million budgets, primarily in the production department (alongside budgeting & scheduling), and with the experience and knowledge that I have, and seeing what they have already done, I know that they could easily make another two episodes for much less than $65,000On another note, I do not know legal status of the show. I have searched a little (not very much though) to see if the guys behind the production have gotten some form of permission to produce the show. I have not found any. So I am going to assume that they don't have permission. They are asking for donations to produce more content based off an copyrighted label. They are using the appearance,fonts, story, characters, and openly stating that is is based off of "Halo", a copyrighted franchise. Which could get them into trouble. Now you could fight to say that they are donations and they aren't making "profit" off the show. But if you look on YouTube, they have adds on the videos, which means they are YouTube Partners (or YouTube Pro, I'm not too familier with the service) and they are getting a percentage of revenue from the adds. Now, as I said, I like the show, and would like to see more be made, but I don't like the fact that 1. They are making money off of a brand (and have not stated if they got permission) 2. Are asking for way too much to produce a mear 2 episodes, around a total 20 minutes of content. And on the my final note, I feel what Greedo was saying about original content and being laughed at is based off the fact that, in film school they want you to be realistic, stop making little cheesy fan films, and start thinking professionally. While Helljumpers is NOT just a cheesy fan film, if you were to pitch something like that while in film school people would laugh because, since you don't hold the rights, it is not something that is profitably marketable, hence a "waste of time". I went through that myself and realized that it was a much better used of my time to focus on original content and actually working in the industry, than making my Star Wars fan films I did as a kid. I would've loved to keep doing it, but that would've not gotten me anywhere. But I digress. My rant is complete. I would actually like to hear some other opinions. Considering I just spend 10 minutes writing about something I have nothing to do with lol.
Alex F on Mar 31, 2012
i agree with you, in that this is asking for too much money to do a great fan version of something that is already owned by someone else. if they are going to do something, i'd prefer them to try even just a little more, like what the guys creating P5ych seem to be trying to do with existing intellectual property (and boy, do those guys seem genuinely enthused; that's what i want to see from someone if they are asking for investment). surely those involved in Helljumper have already made their calling card with the existing episodes? i've nothing against them carrying on if they wish, their output to date is commendable, but it seems, well, a little redundant to do so. as you say, come on, guys - start thinking professionally. cheers for your thoughts. it's good to hear some views on emerging talent like this.
son_et_lumiere on Apr 2, 2012
The reason for doing a fan film over an original short to establish yourself as filmmaker is it has a built in audience that will bring in more views. Down in Front did a cool podcast about it a few months back - check it out. http://www.downinfront.net/intermission/index.php?id=2
Robert on Apr 2, 2012
I understand that, and that's an interesting point. I can see that doing one great fan film could be a good move. It's like how a guy trying to break into comics might draw a Batman story. But going on and making a series just seems so...pointless. And, if you keep using other peoples ideas, you will never, ever create something great, and you will never make your own "Alive in Joberg."
greedo on Apr 2, 2012
you should really take a look at bat in the sun productions, they have made some amazing batman shortfilms and deserve more attention like this.
Zade_92 on Mar 30, 2012
Alex B., first off, I really like this site. Keep up the good work. Secondly, why would I not support a bunch of fanboys? Because I have seen what they have made and think that they are capable of more. Alex F. makes many good points, one of them being that they don't have the copyright on Halo. Now, I'm sure that Bungie/IBM don't care about fan films because those fan films are essentially advertising the real product. To my eyes, these Kickstarter guys want 60,000.00 to advertise Halo video games, so I won't give them a dime. Now, I am not going to just sit here and judge without some backup. I make my living off copyrighted material, and I am a bestselling author. My ideas and my concepts have made me a decent living. I'm not rich, but writing is my full time job, and I own a house and have two kids. I would never have achieved any of this if I sat around writing fan fiction. Yes, I made Star Wars movies at one point as well, but had stopped by high school so I could make my own work. Sure it sucked and was derivative, but it was mine. If these guys want to make military sci-fi, they should spend some time reading current sci-fi anthologies and looking for stories they like. I am sure that if they found something cool, the writer would give them the rights for free. Most authors want as large an audience as possible, and a film made from one of their stories would surely excite them. Not only that, if the film kicks ass, the whole thing could be picked up as a feature. My god, look at Annoying Orange! They could potentially be that successful, but by working with the material of an already copyrighted franchise, they are limiting themselves. They should also spend time in comic shops looking at books made by the smaller companies. Again, there could be some insanely cool ideas out there that writers would gladly hand over to see made into films. I think that the whole fanfic/fanfilm world is very destructive and creatively bankrupt. And I see it to be somewhat sad when someone devotes time and effort into these projects. It's as if these people have given up on ever creating something of their own, so they just jump headlong into worshiping some other piece of media. Just curious...does Kickstarter take a small percentage of cash like Ebay. If so, how is that legal? They would be making money off Halo.
Greedo on Mar 31, 2012
One more point, Alex. You said "Come on, give it a chance, it looks cool." Isn't that the same mentality that is giving us crappy blockbuster like Wrath of the Titans? I don't think that independent/short filmmakers should be held to different standards than feature filmmakers.
greedo on Mar 31, 2012
The halo stuff looks super cheesy to me. Just saying. Halo deserves FAR better. Great effort, mediocre results; visually, acting, etc.
Marty on Mar 31, 2012
Wait so Helljumpers is a fan made series??
Said Samayoa on Apr 1, 2012
"Listen kid...I've been doing this for so long that somewhere along the line I forgot what this was all about" HAAAAAAAAAahahaha this scene is hilarious. First of all, the dude looks like, 19. So he's probably been doing "this" like a month. Second, the medic is like "Yup..there is definitely nothing more important for me to be doing right now than listen to this guy." Que flashback. Sorry, nope. I'll keep my filthy money thanks.
Muzzlewog on Apr 2, 2012
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