Kickstart This: 'Us and the Game Industry' & 'Beyond' on Kickstarter
by Ben Pearson
March 16, 2012
Welcome to the first edition of a new column here on FirstShowing called Kickstart This. The title is fairly self-explanatory, but each week we'll highlight some cool, worth-funding Kickstarter projects that we feel deserve a little attention. They could be short films, documentaries, features, or they might not even be films at all. Since Kickstarter is for fundraising, we know the folks behind each of these projects would appreciate it if you could donate any spare change. Otherwise, maybe you can spread the word to anyone you know and eventually we can help some pretty interesting enterprises see the light of day. Our first two picks below!
First up is a documentary called Us and the Game Industry. Similar to Indie Game: The Movie (which Ethan reviewed at Sundance here), it's about a group of independent video game developers and explores their motivations behind creating the games they work on. They're concerned with more than just the designs and constructs of the games themselves - they're reaching for a deeper emotional connection with the players and dealing with some philosophical questions about the nature of human interaction. There's an underdog element to this film too, since these smaller guys are competing in the same marketplace as gaming behemoths that we've all heard of before. It's an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the creation of something we might play on our cell phones, and all of the hard work that goes into making that possible.
For more info on Us and the Game Industry, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Common Dreams Ltd, behind the project, is looking for $20,000 in funding by March 18th - which is coming up very soon! They're still short quite a bit, so this is our last chance to help this gaming project out.
Are you a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Goonies? Then this one may raise your eyebrows. It's a short film called Beyond, which director Jeremy Haccoun says has the tone of all of the great action-adventure films of the 1980s. Haccoun is a commercial director, and he recently directed Leonardo DiCaprio in a series you can find on his website. Beyond is the story of a family on a road trip, and when an accident puts the parents' lives in danger, their little boy must find the hero within him in order to save their lives. Haccoun has storyboarded the whole film out and, in the video below, uses those illustrations to show us what the final film will look like. It's a great concept, and truly does have that almost indescribable feeling of adventure and promise that Steven Spielberg and his contemporaries made so prominent thirty years ago.
For more info on Jeremy Haccoun's Beyond, or to help fund the project, visit their Kickstarter page. Haccoun is looking for a total of $82,000 in funding by April 8th to make this film, he's still got a few weeks, but is short quite a bit from that amount right now. If you're interested in seeing this, help him out!
That's it for this week's Kickstart This selection. Let us know what you think about each of the projects in the comments below, and if you hear of any cool Kickstarter projects out there, feel free to drop me a line at BenPears85@gmail.com. I won't promise to feature them here, but I'll take a look and see if they're a good fit for our series. As we've watched Kickstarter quickly grow from a startup funding site to a full-fledged creative well filled with amazing ideas, we're excited to continue featuring projects that we think are worthy of being highlighted, supported and funded, though almost all of them are anyway. Be back with more soon.