Kickstart This: 'Officially Limited' Looks at Modern Film Poster Scene
by Ben Pearson
January 11, 2013
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about indie projects that need your help to become a reality. This week, we're highlighting Officially Limited, a documentary that covers a topic near and dear to our hearts: film artwork. With companies like Mondo in Austin and places like Gallery 1988 here in L.A. gaining popularity in recent years, it's time to explore some of the deeper issues that go along with collecting some of today's hottest film poster art. Take a look below, and don't forget to toss these filmmakers a few bucks if you can. Check it out!
We love great art here at FirstShowing (even for bad movies, like this awesome Battleship fanmade piece), and you probably only have to scroll a page or two back through our archives to find a really cool piece of artwork. But if you've been following the poster scene even tangentially for the past few years, you've likely heard the complaints and responses to the "exclusivity" angle that places like Mondo adopt. Officially Limited will touch on that subject (the word "limited" is in the title, after all), but it won't spend the whole runtime discussing that topic.
This doc is much more interested in some of the more complex questions that lurk under the surface of this subculture, especially involving copyright issues, licensing, and fair use. Here's an excerpt from director John Otterbacher from their project page on IndieGoGo:
"Am I making this film because I'm personally interested in pop art? Absolutely. It wouldn't be any good if I weren't. There's more to it though as this culture is rich in different approaches to business and this gray area where art, marketing, and merchandising collide. I think it is an important discussion to be had and I am trying to cover all the angles… I do not pretend that Officially Limited is going to have all the answers but I think it will spark discussion and maybe some clarity can come out of that… Having been an educator for the better part of a decade, I'm hoping this film can be an accessible introduction for students to the delicate world of intellectual property, copyright, licensing, fair use, and appropriational art."
If they get the funding they need, the documentary will also feature interviews with artists, gallery owners, Mondo's creative director Justin Ishmael (who I actually interviewed at Comic-Con this year), and even our friend and colleague Germain Lussier from SlashFilm, who originally pointed this project out to us in the first place. Most of the heavy lifting has already been done out in the field, but the team needs funds to bring the project through the costly post-production process and hopefully shoot a few more interviews before they wrap it up. Check out the teaser trailer for Officially Limited below:
For more on John Otterbacher's Officially Limited, and to help support the project, visit its IndieGoGo page or its official website. Otterbacher and his crew are looking for $15,000 by THIS coming Monday, January 14th so time is running out quick! Please donate if this is something you're interested in, and if not, maybe you could still help them out by spreading the word to other friends who collect poster art or are passionate about this topic. Let's help make this one happen.
That's all for this Kickstart This. Be sure to keep suggestions coming to BenPears85@gmail.com for cool projects you see that need an extra push. My inbox is always open, and if you send in any Kickstarter or IndieGoGo film project, I can't always guarantee we'll feature it here, but I will absolutely take a look at it at the very least. Thanks for your support of these projects, because they absolutely couldn't be completed without without the help of film lovers just like you. For our full archives, visit here. Will you help fund?